A 'Lost' stocking stuffer

Sonyawalger_csiny_240Hey, remember at the end of last season, when Lost introduced Desmond's long-lost love Penny Widmore (played by Sonya Walger, who despite similar coloring and features is not current regular Elizabeth Mitchell) and her very probably nefarious dad Charles (Alan Dale)?

It looks like we may finally see them again once the series resumes in February.

We're still a good seven weeks out from the show's Feb. 7 return, but ABC has, in the spirit of the season or something, released its official copy on the events of the first four episodes back. As usual, the descriptions don't offer much. Here's what the network says about the Feb. 7 episode, called "Not in Portland":

Jack is in command, as the fate of one of The Others' lives rests in his hand. Meanwhile, Kate and Sawyer find an ally in one of The Others, and Juliet makes a shocking decision that could endanger her standing with her people.

Aside from that last clause about Juliet (Mitchell), the rest of it provokes a sort of "Well, duh" response. Digging down into the list of guest stars, though, we can get our speculative juices flowing.

For instance, that first episode looks like it may give us another look at Others Town before the crash, as it features William Mapother as Ethan. We'll also be seeing more of Alex (Tania Raymonde) and Karl (Blake Bashoff), the kid who was Sawyer's cage buddy for a short time early in the season.

The Widmores pop up in the Feb. 14 episode, which is called "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and involves Hurley and Charlie trying to figure out why Desmond has been acting so weird since the hatch went blooey. Crazy Frenchwoman Rousseau (Mira Furlan), meanwhile, is back on Feb. 28. That episode will also have Hurley finding a junked car -- for reals, that's what it says -- on the island.

So there you go, something to talk about with your Lost-obsessed cousin at Christmas or on New Year's Eve, after you've had a couple drinks and are feeling good and conspiratorial. But I have to ask:

Do ABC's hints intrigue you? Are you counting the hours until the return of Lost? Does it even matter to you anymore?

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