Get Ready for a Big 'Lost' Tonight

Hey Lost fans, guess what? John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) is a candidate! No, not to replace Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) on the island. He’s a surgical candidate for Jack Shepherd’s (Matthew Fox) spinal cord-healing operation. In the sideways universe, that is.

So says Jack in the promo for tonight’s Jack/Locke-centric episode, called "The Candidate." If you’ve been following ABC’s sci-fi hit (Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET), then you know that the word “candidate” is weighted with meaning. Let’s refresh:

According to Imposter Locke (who’s also the Smoke Monster personified), Jacob has chosen several candidates to succeed him as leader and protector on the Island. There have been many of them, each is assigned a number, and the ones from Flight 815 are: Locke, 4; Hugo, 8 (Jorge Garcia); Sawyer, 15 (Josh Holloway); Sayid, 16 (Naveen Andrews); Jack Shephard, 23; and either Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) or Sun (Yunjin Kim) Kwon, 42. Their names are among many scrawled on the walls of a cave. While most of the other monikers are crossed out, all of the Flight 815 names remain -- except Locke. Imposter Locke crossed out his name a few episodes back.

The concept of candidates is a big part of the show’s central mystery. “I believe that the idea of the candidates points us in a direction…leading to the final set of circumstances,” O’Quinn explained in an interview earlier this year. “I think that’s a big deal when they talk about the candidates. People say there aren’t any answers. Well, but there are developments that lead towards answers, or at least lead towards a culmination, and I think that’s what the candidates helps to achieve.”

True, his explanation is extremely ambiguous. (No doubt O’Quinn’s been sworn to secrecy on pain of death.) But if ABC is teasing us with a promo about Locke being a candidate, then some big answers are no doubt in store tonight. If that’s not enough reason to make sure your DVR is working, here’s another: The spoiler sites are predicting that four main characters will die tonight. Want more details? Click here.

PLUS: 
- Jin Talks! 8 Questions with Lost's Daniel Dae Kim
- PHOTOS: The Men We Love on Lost 

Who do you think is the ultimate candidate? Chime in below!

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