So far we've officially met members of three distinct groups in connection with the isldan - the original cast aka the "Lostaways" or "Losties"; the "Tailies" from the back section of the plane; and the "Others" - the jury's still out on exactly who they are.
But there's a fourth group in the cast of characters; a subset I call the Flashbackees. These are people in the lives of the Losties and the Tailies who are seen only in their flashbacks.
Some of them - as well as the Losties themselves - have crossed over to appear in the flashbacks of other characters.
Dr. Christian Shephard - Jack's Dad (Flashbacks for Jack, Sawyer, and Ana Lucia)
Randy - boss from hell (Flashbacks for Locke and Hurley)
Richard Malkin - the psychic (Flashbacks for Claire and Mr. Eko)
Sgt. Sam Austen - Kate's Dad (Flashbacks for Kate and Sayid)
Diane - Kate's Mom (Flashbacks for Kate and Sawyer)
Nadia - Sayid's former Iraqi love (Flashbacks for Sayid and Locke)
Mary Jo - the Lotto Girl (Flashbacks for Hurley and Sawyer)
Chrissie - Oceanic ticket agent (Flashbacks for Jack, Sun, and Ana Lucia)
We even had a mysterious car that's appeared in the flashbacks for Locke and Michael.
And it looks like Clancy Brown's operative, Ingram, from one of Sayid's flashbacks, will figure in Desmond's big flashback for the finale.... but under a different name we've already heard.....
Dr. Christian Shephard seems to be playing a role similar to that of Noah Cross ("Chinatown") in David Thomson's book "Suspects", in that he's touching on the lives of more and more of the Lostaways as the flashbacks continue.
Some of these Flashbackees seem quite specific to the Lostaways in whose flashbacks they appear:
Margo Shephard - Jack's Mom
Sarah - Jack's wife
Helen - Locke's girlfriend
Johnny - Hurley's former co-worker
Carmen Reyes - Hurley's Mom
Jae Lee - Sun's former boyfriend/English teacher
Liam Pace - Charlie's brother (as well as the other bandmates)
& - Sawyer's two con game partners
I would have included Locke's father in this group, except that a popular rumor on the Internet has it that he is the true Sawyer, the con man whom James Ford (the "Sawyer" among the Lostaways) has vowed to kill.
Perhaps we may yet see some of these Flashbackees in some other flashbacks.
Here are a few suggestions:
Charlie and Liam consider the artwork of Claire's ex-boyfriend Thomas for the cover art on a Driveshaft album.
Michael's lawyer for the custody case might also represent Jack in his divorce proceedings against Sarah.
Sarah might have sex with Sawyer and end up getting fleeced by him.
Helen, the phone sex operator, might be standing by to help Hurley find a little "relief" during the night.
Some of the Flashbackees have died in their respective flashbacks. But as we've seen with Christian Shephard, that's no deterrent to appearing in the flashbacks of others.
Maybe Claire can stop by Frank Duckett's shrimp wagon on a whim to satisfy one of her pregnancy cravings. While going there, she could pass by Sawyer while he's casing out the owner (whom he mistakenly believed to be the real Sawyer).
Susan Lloyd, Walt's Mom, could have worked for the law firm that tried to broker the adoption of Claire's baby.
Kate's old boyfriend, Dr. Tom Brennan, might have gone to med school with Jack.
Kate's abusive step-dad turned out to be her biological father. Wayne might be the reason Libby ended up in the psyche ward in the first place.
There there are those Flashbackees who were specific to the flashbacks of Losties no longer with us - why should they no longer be seen just because their main sources of remembrance have passed away?
Sabrina Carlyle Rutherford - the Martha Stewart of wedding planners, Boone's mother and the stepmother of Shannon.
L.A. Police Captain Teresa Cortez - Ana Lucia's mother
Danny, Ana Lucia's former boyfriend (whom we never saw anyway).
Working in Hawaii has to be a great gig. It seems a shame some of these actors have to lose that opportunity just because the flashbacks in which they appear are no longer being generated.....
I have more thoughts about the evolving nature of the flashbacks themselves, as we've been seeing this past season. But I'll save those for a later time....
(Appearing in more nightmares than flashbacks)