Group 4 is where we hit solid ground. There is no question in my mind that every single one of these characters will show up in Season 6. All of them (except for maybe one) also have pretty decent prospects given WHH or a Reboot. The trick is going to be figuring out which of them has the best potential overall for success. This is definitely not easy.
Group 4 is another diverse set. Four of these eight characters managed to snag double-digit pick percentages, meaning that some of you had trouble making up your minds or that you simply had faith in a number of these folk.
From most-picked to least, here is Group 4...
She was a somewhat popular pick in Season 5 and went bust. This year has to be different. A whopping 38% of you picked Claire, making her the 5th most popular character in the Season 6 LFL. She's got some 'splainin to do, so I can see her beating her Season 4 total of 140 points by a good margin if the right scenario comes about.
Whatever Happened, Happened: She hasn't been around much, which means we'll have some catching up to do. Could Claire score her first centric episode since Season 3? WHH might play into that, which could be extra huge for Claire. She was last seen with Christian Shephard, so she may benefit from Island weirdness points too.
Reboot: We'll see her pregnant and getting off of the plane for sure. Beyond that though? It's hard to say. After her Season 2 episode, she all but ceased to be important. Would a reboot build any importance to her character? I don't know.
Grade: Good. Again, I think I'm being optimistic for WHH coming true. Even still, Claire, like Christian, could be a fake. Miles seemed intrigued by her and she was seen with Christian. She's a very risky pick in this regard but if she is real, I think she'll give Jacob a run for his money.
We just saw him get murdered and yet I think he'll do just fine no matter what we get this season. Twenty-one percent of you must have been thinking the same thing. Despite performing miserably in Season 4, Jacob mounted a stunning come-from-behind victory to win his group in one episode. This of course was the Season 5 finale- a 2-hour Jacob-centric episode. Despite being dead, I think Jacob is about to have a breakout year.
WHH: Yeah, he's dead, but he was just revealed to be part of a story line larger than anything we've seen yet on the show. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a fair amount of back story between Jacob and the Man in Black.
Reboot: The conflict between MIB and Jacob seems to loom larger than anything involving the Losties, so I bet Jacob will still be a factor one way or another. And in this case, he'll be alive.
Grade: Good. Jacob could really rock the Island weirdness points when it comes to learning all the mythology. He could also benefit greatly from meeting new people throughout his history. He could also very well stay dead and be little more than a red herring but I just don't see that being the case.
Slow and steady seems to be the case with Charles Widmore. He was barely in the plus column in Season 4 and did modestly better last year but modest points-earnings won't get you far in the LFL. Around 14% of you were willing to bet on a big year for Widmore. We'll see how that turns out.
WHH: This is his best scenario because we'll still have Charles around in two different time periods. Young Charles might be involved with helping the Losties get back to the present. Present Widmore still has some unresolved issues with Ben. I have to think that this will come to a head in the final season.
Reboot: Widmore is on the Island when the bomb goes off. This might kill him or he could survive. This could radically alter his past with Ben and the Island itself. If he never leaves, then might there be no Penny? A reboot leaves Charles very much up in the air.
Grade: Pretty good because I think we have to find out how he managed to get so rich off the Island. The big thing that could hinder Widmore's progress is his tempter. Young Widmore has shown a knack for laying the hurt on people. Older Widmore seems to have others do his dirty work most of the time. A kinder, gentler Widmore will improve his totals but this should not be hoped for too much.
He has been on the periphery the last two seasons but I think the 11% of you who went with Frank will be pleasantly surprised this year. He hit triple digits in Season 5 and he looks poised to repeat that success this year.
WHH: I think this scenario benefits his the most because he will be a factor. Ilana's group mentioned Frank as a possible 'candidate.' I have no idea what that means but I think it gives Frank some potential to become more important. Something big has to be coming in the fallout from Jacob's murder and Frank will be right in the thick of it.
Reboot: Initially, I don't see much for Frank here. It might be an interesting twist of fate if the reboot puts Frank in the pilot's seat for Flight 815. Beyond this, I don't know.
Grade: Good with an asterisk. I think my optimism might be getting the better of me here. Frank will probably only do well with a reboot. Maybe the 'candidate' thing could be a factor in a reboot but it's hard to say. I just like his WHH chances too much to consider the reboot theory possible. They've hyped him up too much to just have all this fall by the wayside.
He did significantly better in Season 4 than in Season 5 but I think he'll manage more than just five points this season. Christian is a rare character that could be sidelined by a factor other than WHH vs. Reboot. Around 7% of you picked him for your Fantasy Team rosters. There are certainly more 'obvious' choices than Christian so I'm curious if you guys picked him for the sake of thinking outside the box or because you just liked his chances more.
WHH: We've certainly seen a good bit of him moving around the Island lately and I expect that to continue. If we get WHH, I suspect we'll get the scoop on Christian and his apparent resurrection.
Reboot: This will hurt Christian because he is dead. A reboot might take him out of the picture except for a flashback or a picture appearance.
Grade: Shaky because Christian might not even be Christian. We know that Smokey can manifest itself in the form of others, so if Christian is actually some kind of manifestation by Smokey or something else other than the real Christian, all of his points will go out the window! Only the real Christian Shephard will get points. This could be a bombshell that could hurt a number of scores. This makes him one of Season 6's most volatile characters.
Of all the characters in Group 4, Juliet strikes me as the weakest. I cannot fathom a situation where she will continue to be important or involved to any serious degree on the show. Only 5% of you picked her, which tells me that most of you have written her off. She was a solid performer the past two seasons but circumstances have changed for Lost's blonde bombshell.
WHH: Well, if she detonated the bomb, as it appeared she did in the Season 5 finale, she should be dead. That pretty much does it.
Reboot: Maybe a cameo or two, but nothing major. I don't think the reboot would need Juliet anyway. We may just hear about her discovering a radical new fertility treatment.
Grade: Between bad and poor. In case you didn't know, actress Elizabeth Mitchell has been doing a little show called V. She is a main character. That all but rules out any serious involvement on Lost. She might come back for a cameo appearance in a flashback or two but I don't foresee much else. Just pray that we don't see her die again.
PENELOPE "PENNY" HUME
I'm a little surprised to see such a lack of love for Penny this year. I know these groups were hard to pick from but I figured Penny would have been a little higher than 7th in Group 4. Just over 2% of you have her on your Fantasy Teams. I think some folk were dismayed by how little Penny was in Season 5 but consider this- Penny still hit triple digits despite only appearing in five episodes.
WHH: Things for Desmond and Penny appear to be rosy at the moment but Eloise did say that the Island wasn't done with Desmond yet. That makes me think that there is room for Des in Season 6. If Des is going to be there in the present, you better believe that Penny will be with him.
Reboot: This could get tricky. If a reboot speeds up the process for Des and Penny getting together, we might see her but I think that a reboot eliminates the need for Desmond altogether.
Grade: Shaky but still pretty good. Actress Sonya Walger is a series regular on Flashforward, so her availability will be limited. But, considering that Flashforward isn't coming back until March, she may have found some time to sneak off to Hawaii. If Penny can score over 100 points in 5 episodes back when we deducted points for absenteeism, just imagine what she could do if she pops up with out the deduction! I don't see Penny being one of the top three scorers for Group 4 but I can't help but think she'll put up some good numbers. Romance points have always been her friend.
She wasn't the worst you could do in Season 5 but Eloise has yet to become a major factor in the LFL. Hitting triple digits last year was a big improvement but I feel like her story might be at least halfway played out. I think most of you saw this too, leading to a measly 2% selection rate.
WHH: We will hopefully see the circumstances of her leaving the Island and maybe a little more of her past with Daniel and Charles. Some of this will have to come from others flashbacks though, as I don't see her becoming that central a character. Also, present-time Eloise might score a few more points if she returns to the Island herself. I don't know how likely that is but anything can happen.
Reboot: I just don't know. Would the bomb going off kill her or would she somehow get off the Island with young Daniel in tow? Her role as time cop might be done away with in a reboot, taking her out of the picture quite a bit.
Grade: Shaky but still pretty good. She still has enough mystery surrounding her to be kept around. I don't think the producers are just going to write her off. We've got too many questions. She definitely benefits most from WHH but there may be room for her in a reboot. Either way, I think we'll see her.
I think we will see all of these characters for sure but my grading is fuzzy at best because some characters could be hurt badly by WHH or the Reboot. It's all going to come down to who best serves the story. Groups 1-3 will pretty much all be graded on their importance to the story. Group 4 is the tipping point. I think a few characters here will do very well and help balance out any weak spots in your Groups 5-7 picks. Here's my best guess on how Group 4 will work out:
4) Charles Widmore