1. Is Juliet Really Gone?
No... and yes. The sixth season of Lost introduced the concept of parallel worlds. In one world, Jack and Co. never crashed on the Island. In fact, in this world, the Island has been sunk. In the other world, all the castaways are now back on the Island in 2007 following a trippy time travel adventure. In this world, Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) is dead, having met her demise in the season premiere. Lost exec producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof hint that we may see Juliet again this season — presumably in the non-crash reality.
2. Will Jin and Sun Reunite?
The couple (Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim) came to the Island unhappy with themselves and each other. But over time, they patched up their rocky marriage and even conceived a child. Since then, they've been separated by both space (Sun escaped the Island in season 4) and time (Jin started time traveling in season 5). The couple is together again in the rebooted world, albeit in (seemingly) shaky season 1 form. In the other world, both are back on the Island, in the same time period — but TBD on when they'll reunite. FYI: The producers say viewers won't explicitly be told why Sun did not go back in time with the other castaways on Ajira flight 316 — though fans may be able to puzzle it out for themselves.
3. Who Will Kate Choose?
For the first few seasons on Lost, Kate (Evangeline Lilly) seemed to view Jack (Matthew Fox) as the guy you want to marry, and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) as the guy you want to...well, hump in a polar-bear cage. While the romantic back-and-forth has inspired eye-rolling among some fans, Cuse says the writers have been ''very engaged'' by it this season: ''The Jack-Kate-Sawyer love triangle is absolutely central to the show this year. You can expect a lot of twists and turns.''
4. Who Are Jacob and the Man in Black?
Lost has long encouraged viewers to wonder if some divine power guided the castaways to the Island. The season 5 finale further nurtured that theory by introducing two supernatural, who-knows-how-old men: Jacob (Mark Pellegrino), who brings people to the Island for seemingly idealistic purposes, and the shape-shifting Man in Black (Titus Welliver), a bitter cynic opposed to Jacob's pet projects. The season 6 premiere further revealed that the Man in Black and Smokey the Monster are one and the same. Jacob and MIB hate each other — but why? ''It's kind of the driving question of the whole season,'' says Cuse, adding that the philosophical discussion between the two characters in last year's finale ''framed the conflict, which is not only a conflict between the two of them as representatives of good and evil, but also a conflict about what is the fundamental nature of man. Is man good or is man evil?''
5. What is ''The Loophole''?
For centuries, the Man in Black has looked for a ''loophole'' that would allow him to kill his adversary. He apparently found one by posing as Locke and manipulating Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson) to stab Jacob in the heart. The season premiere revealed that Fake Locke/Smokey is motivated by a desire to ''go home'' — wherever that is. FYI, even though Jacob is officially dead, ghost-seeing Hurley can communicate with him and heeded the dead deity's instructions to take dying Sayid and the rest of the castaways to the Temple.
6. Why Doesn't Richard Alpert Age?
Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell), the VP of the Others, hasn't looked a day over 35 for at least 50 years. The season premiere established that the Fake Locke/Monster entity and Richard know each other. ''It's nice to see you out of those chains,'' Fake Locke said — hinting, possibly, that Alpert is linked to the Black Rock slave ship. ''The questions about Richard have been: Why doesn't he age, and what is his function?'' Lindelof muses. ''But the critical question now is: What is his relationship to Jacob? Some people have theorized that Richard may be like the Panchen Lama, the second in command [to the Dalai Lama]. How much does he know, and what is he going to do with that knowledge now that Jacob is dead?''
7. Is the Real John Locke Really Dead?
Yes. Sorry to be blunt, but it's true. Ben murdered Locke and even the Island's mystical healing properties won't bring him back. ''The real mysteries of the show have always been: Who are these characters, and what is their destiny?'' says Cuse. ''Locke is a hugely important character in the lexicon of the show. What will become of him when the series is all said and done? We have an answer for that.''
8. What Is Charles Widmore's ''War''?
Charles Widmore (Alan Dale) was one of the leaders of the Others until Ben exiled him for siring an unnamed off-Island child. Most likely, this child was Penelope (Sonya Walger, now on FlashForward), the true love of Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick). Since then, Widmore has become very rich and very determined to locate his hard-to-find former tropical home. Last season, he backed Locke's doomed quest to bring back the castaways who had escaped the Island. ''There was a shift in Widmore last year from being a nefarious force to presenting himself as someone who was quite helpful to John Locke,'' says Lindelof. ''Clearly something happened to him between those two points. We'll explore that.''
9. Will Jack Find Redemption?
Of course, all of the castaways on Lost are flawed in their own way, but perhaps none more so than their fearless, reckless leader Jack, who is hopelessly hooked on ''fixing'' people. Driven by despair over lost castaway lives and losing Kate's heart, Jack fixated on the hydrogen-bomb gambit. He hoped it would prevent Oceanic 815 from crashing. His plan either worked or didn't work, depending on how you interpret the season's parallel worlds. However, the bigger, more profound question Lost will pose this season is whether the castaways truly have any control over their destinies. Says Cuse, ''This notion of predeterminism is something we're very actively exploring this season. Is redemption possible? Is redemption possible for all of them? Is redemption possible for some of them? What does redemption look like?''
10. Just How Many of Our Questions Are Going to Get Answered, Anyway?
The producers say the number and nature of the mysteries they intend to address during the show's final 16 episodes will be guided by this principle: Does the question matter to the characters? ''We don't want the show to be pedantic,'' says Cuse. ''If the characters are not concerned with a question, how can we be concerned with it? So there are many, many questions that people probably have that we just can't address.'' So, will they finally answer the fundamental question Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) posed in the first season: ''Guys…where are we?'' They've got 15 episodes to try.