Before the Island, she'd suffered a shooting that killed her unborn child. She killed her attacker afterward in revenge and subsequently resigned from the police force.
On the Island, early clashes with the Others heightened her mistrust, and she responded with aggression, culminating in accidentally killing Shannon. This largely kept the middle section from accepting her, but she developed some camaraderie with Jack and Sawyer. Her life ended suddenly when Michael killed her.
Before the crash
Ana Lucia Cortez was born in 1975 to Teresa Cortez and an unknown father. She was raised by her mother, a police captain, and would eventually join her mother in the police force. She was raised speaking both English and Spanish, often speaking in both languages to her mother. ("Collision")
Los Angeles Police Department
As a police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, Ana Lucia was forced to take some time away from the force when she was seriously injured on the job. Pregnant with her first child, she was shot four times in the abdomen when a suspect named Jason McCormack tricked her into letting him reach for his student ID. He instead reached for his gun. Ana Lucia survived the shooting, but had to deal with the loss of her unborn child, whose loss ironically protected Ana from death. The father of the child was never revealed, though it was most likely Ana Lucia's ex, Danny.
After this incident, Ana Lucia took a series of counseling sessions for a total of four months in order to come to terms with what happened. During these sessions, it became clear that Danny had left her, and she told her psychologist that she was the type of person who was better off alone anyway. The psychologist eventually became convinced that Ana Lucia was fine to return to the force and her badge was returned to her.
Ana Lucia received a warm welcome back from all of her colleagues with the exception of her mother, Teresa Cortez, who also happened to be her captain. Ana Lucia was eager to get back on the streets to fight crime, and was angered when her mother purposely gave her a desk job. In Spanish, she asked her mother whether she made this decision as her captain or as her mother. Teresa's reply to this was "both". Ana Lucia used emotional blackmail and insisted that her mother instead put her up for a transfer, but Teresa backed down from the argument and decided to give her daughter what she wanted.
Ana Lucia was happy to be back in her element as she returned to patrol with her partner Big Mike. Instead of taking their usual route, they patrolled through Westwood, a less dangerous area of town (which was Teresa's idea) and Ana Lucia seemed annoyed at this. Ana Lucia's competency to be back on the job was put into question when she and Mike responded to a domestic call involving a young couple. Shawna and Travis were in the middle of a violent break-up which was disturbing their neighbors and making their baby cry. Ana Lucia, clearly still affected by her shooting, pointed her gun at Travis and got so angry she had to be restrained. It was then quite apparent that Ana Lucia had not yet overcome the loss of her unborn child.
Back at the station, Detective Raggs informed Ana that they had "got her guy," referring to the shooter, Jason McCormack. When asked to identify him, Ana curiously denied that she recognized the man who had shot her. Her mother was certain Ana was lying, but eventually had no choice but to let the man go. The next week, Ana followed McCormack to his car one night and yelled to him "I was pregnant!" before shooting him six times and killing him. ("Collision")
When Ana Lucia arrived at work the next day, she was confronted by her mother, who angrily demanded to know where she had been the night before. Ana lied and said she had been at home, so Teresa took Ana to the morgue where Jason's body lay. When Teresa told Ana that she knew what she had done, Ana immediately turned in her badge and her career as a police officer came to an abrupt end.
As Christian's bodyguard
Ana Lucia took a job as an Airport Security Guard, but it didn't give her the same satisfaction she experienced as a police officer. She met Christian Shephard while taking a break at the airport bar. He told her the story of his conflict with his son and that he was flying to Sydney to try to escape him. After Ana told him she was an ex-cop, Christian asked her if she wanted to go with him as he needed some hired "protection" in Sydney. After she reluctantly agreed to go, Christian insisted that they both assume aliases. Ana Lucia decided to call him Tom and Christian called her Sarah.
Once in Sydney, Christian and Ana did little more than drink for four days, until Christian randomly knocked on Ana's hotel door in the middle of the night. Christian had Ana Lucia drive him to a small house in the suburbs, and told her to stay in the car. He knocked on the door and a woman answered. She seemed shocked to see him, and an argument began involving Christian wanting to see his daughter. Ana saw that the argument was getting out of control and quickly pulled Christian from the house and back into the car.
Ana soon grew tired of Christian's endless drinking and when he made remarks about her body, it was the last straw. She stopped the car and attempted to stop Christian from entering the nearby bar, hoping that he might instead agree go back to the US with her and confront their troubled pasts. He declined her offer and opened the car door, accidentally hitting a man with it. ("Two for the Road")
Later, at the check-in desk of the airport, Ana Lucia overheard a customer talking about burying his dead father. She didn't realize that the dead man was actually the same man she had traveled to Australia and spent several days with. As Jack continued to speak with the ticket agent about the loss of his father, Ana Lucia's guilt became too overwhelming. She pulled out her cell phone and called her mother.
While on the phone with her mother, Ana tearfully admitted that she fled to Australia, it was a mistake and that all she wanted was come home and for everything to be alright. Teresa said that everything would be, and told her daughter to come back home to her. Wiping away her tears, Ana Lucia stated that she would be on Oceanic Flight 815. ("Two for the Road")
Later on, she talked to Jack in one of the airport bars over a drink. In the middle of their conversation, Ana Lucia's phone began to ring. After assuring Jack that they would have the next drink on the plane, she walked off to answer it. ("Exodus, Part 1")
On the Island
Days 1–43 (Season 2)
From the plane crash, Ana Lucia could only recall a hard suitcase hitting her on the head and knocking her out. She woke up underwater and swam to the shore. ("Orientation")
Like many others, Ana Lucia helped the wounded get to dry land. She notably gave one of the children CPR and promised she would get her home to her parents. During their first night on the Island the tail section survivors were attacked by the Others, and Ana became increasingly worried about the group's situation and safety when three of their people were kidnapped. When the Others attacked again a week later, Ana killed one of them and found a list with the names of those who had been taken on it, which included the children. Suspecting that there was a spy amongst them, Ana became the unofficial leader of the tail section passengers, making the decision to organize them, so that they could leave the beach to go inland, where they would be able to hide themselves more easily from the threat.
Ana Lucia began to grow increasingly suspicious of one of the other tail section survivors, Nathan, who would go to the toilet on his own and defy her leadership. One day, she threw him into a pit that she had dug, with plans to torture him unless he revealed where the children (along with the other kidnapped survivors) were. Goodwin, knowing that Ana would grow suspicious of his refusal to cooperate eventually, let him out and killed Nathan during the night, hiding his body from the camp.
Ana believed Nathan had escaped and she feared their location had been compromised. She moved the group further into the jungle, where they discovered the Arrow station and set up camp inside. ("The Other 48 Days")
At some point Goodwin reported back to Ben and informed him that he was making a case for Ana Lucia to come and live in their society of the Others, something Ben seemed very skeptical about, due to her rash and violent nature. ("The Other Woman")
On a walk outside of the survivors' makeshift camp, Ana Lucia eventually realized Goodwin was not a crash survivor and began inquiring who he really was, and what he wanted with her people. After telling her that he disagreed with his leader that she was a good person, Ana got into a fight with Goodwin, eventually impaling him on a spear.
When the tail section survivors received a transmission on the radio they had found in the Arrow, Bernard communicated with the person on the receiving line, who told him he was a survivor of Oceanic Flight 815. Ana turned the radio off, assuming it was the Others trying to trick them into giving away their location. Bernard tried to argue with her, as he thought there might have been other survivors, but Ana dismissed him, saying, "This is our life now; get used to it." After turning off the radio, she went to a stream to cry, at the same time that Eko finally completed his 40 days of silence, and comforted her. ("The Other 48 Days")
Days 44–64 (Season 2)
Jin, Michael and Sawyer washed ashore on the northern part of the Island after their raft was destroyed by the Others. When they were found by the survivors from the tail section, both sides suspected each other of being the Others. The tail section survivors threw the men into the tiger pit, and Ana Lucia went in as a decoy to try to find out who they really were. She managed to grab Sawyer's gun before leaving the pit. ("Orientation")
Ana let Michael and Jin out of the pit and they convinced her they really were on the plane. Sawyer followed, though he and Ana clashed a lot more. They all set out for the Arrow station. ("Everybody Hates Hugo")
Ana decided to take her group and the others across the Island to the main camp, where she believed they would be safer. She insisted the group keep silent so the Others would not know they were moving. Michael ran off into the jungle after Walt while with Libby picking fruit, making Jin and Mr. Eko run after him. Ana told Eko she wouldn't wait for him and started the trek across the Island. ("...And Found")
Halfway through the journey, Ana Lucia lost her way. At that moment, Mr. Eko, Jin and Michael reappeared. However, as they neared the southern shore they had to go inland to save Sawyer's life, as he fainted and became unable to move by himself. In the jungle they heard strange whispers, which frightened and confused them, and one of the tail section survivors, Cindy, suddenly disappeared. In the confusion that followed, Ana shot Shannon as she emerged from behind the undergrowth, believing her to be a hostile member of the Others. ("Abandoned")
Shannon's death caused Sayid to attack Ana, and he was taken hostage and tied up for his own and everyone else's safety. She attempted to negotiate safe passage into the jungle, but her fellow survivors lost faith in her leadership and eventually headed for the camp, leaving Ana Lucia and Sayid alone. A guilt-ridden Ana gave Sayid the opportunity to avenge Shannon's death. The two bared their souls and Ana Lucia untied him, ready to accept the consequences. But he took pity on her and spared her life, saying they were "both already dead." Arriving at the main camp, Ana finally met again with Jack. ("Collision")
Upon their arrival at the new camp, Eko explained to Ana Lucia that the survivors viewed Shannon’s death as an accident, but Ana disagreed and chose to distance herself from the other survivors because of her guilt. ("What Kate Did")
Jin introduced Sun to Ana Lucia and presented her with a fish, attempting to help integrate her with the other survivors. Vincent befriended her as well. Jack came to her and said he had heard she was a cop, and that she had killed one of "them." When she verified these facts, Jack asked her how long it would take to build an army. Later he also showed her the camp and helped her build a tent. ("The 23rd Psalm") ("The Hunting Party") ("Fire + Water")
Though she remained an outsider, Ana became an active member of the beach community, pushing Jack to form an army against the Others. Her strong attitudes against the Others was noted by other middle section survivors, particularly Kate, who suspected her of being behind the attack on Sun in order to get her hands on the guns (though in fact she was innocent of this). ("The Long Con")
She was asked by Locke to interrogate Ben (then under the alias of Henry Gale) to help ascertain whether he was in fact "one of them." She stopped Sayid from shooting him and convinced him she wanted to help. Ben drew a map to Henry Gale's balloon and told her that his wife's grave would be located there. Disregarding Jack and Locke, Ana enlisted the help of Sayid and Charlie and set off to find out the truth.("The Whole Truth") The group found out the balloon was indeed Henry Gale's, but after digging up the grave, they found the real Henry Gale's driver's license and realized the man was lying about his identity.
Ana became one of the survivors guarding Ben in the Swan station. ("Lockdown"). Sayid and Ana interrogated Ben about the real Henry Gale and asked if he had killed him. After listening to Ben talk about his leader, Sayid threatened him at gun-point. He pulled the trigger, but Ana intervened just in time.
While Jack and Kate were away at the line, Ana attempted to give Ben food and was attacked. Locke intervened, after which Ana left the hatch. She tried asking Sawyer for a gun, then after he declined, she ended up making love with him as a ploy to retrieve one. Returning to the Hatch, Ana asked Michael whether he had seen Cindy or the kids during his time with the Others. ("The Other 48 Days") ("Two for the Road")
Ben thanked her for saving his life. ("Dave") Finally having the opportunity to shoot Ben, Ana couldn't bring herself to kill again. Ben told her she was not one of the "good people" but said Goodwin had thought she could be changed ("The Other Woman"). Michael arrived and offered to do it for her, saying that he also wanted vengeance after the Others had kidnapped Walt. When Ana handed him the gun, Michael shot her dead before freeing Ben. ("Two for the Road")
On the Island
Ana Lucia appeared in a dream to Eko, helping his brother Yemi deliver the cryptic message that Eko needs to "help John find the question mark." Ana Lucia's body was found that night by Jack and Kate and confirmed dead. She was found along with Libby, who was unconscious and in shock. In the armory, Eko prayed over her lifeless body. ("?")
The next day, the survivors buried Ana Lucia alongside Libby, who died despite Jack's best efforts, at the graveyard on the beach. However, their funeral was interrupted by the sighting of a small boat offshore. ("Three Minutes")
While in captivity by the Others, Jack encountered tail-section survivor Cindy, with the children Zach and Emma who were abducted from Ana Lucia's care. Emma asked Cindy to inquire about Ana Lucia. Jack, haunted by Ana Lucia's death, yelled at the congregation to leave. ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
According to the story told by the Oceanic Six, Ana Lucia died in the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 when it hit the water. When Hurley ended up meeting her former partner Mike Walton, he denied knowing her. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1") ("The Beginning of the End")
Appearing to Hurley
In 2007, Ana appeared to Hurley while he was fleeing the police and transporting an unconscious Sayid. She chastised Hurley for giving in so easily and pulling over given the murder charges against him. She warned him to avoid police, to lie low and to go somewhere safe because it was of paramount importance that he not get arrested. As she walked away, she nonchalantly told Hurley, "Libby says hi." ("The Lie")
In the flash sideways world she was a LAPD police officer, just as she was in life. However, unlike Det. James Ford, who was a detective on the same force, she was corrupt. She helped Desmond, Kate, and Sayid escape custody for a price. Unlike in life, she was still on the force on and after September 22, 2004.
To facilitate their escape, Desmond offered her $125,000. She released them and Desmond from a paddy wagon and asked for her money, saying in a dead pan fashion if she didn't get it she would have to say that she shot them all trying to escape. Hugo Reyes then pulled up in his Hummer. He was surprised to see Ana Lucia was there, although Ana Lucia had no idea who he was. Hurley gave her the money and she left. Hurley asked if she was going with them. Desmond replied that she was "not ready."("What They Died For") She wasn't present at Eloise's church when the group "moved on" together. ("The End")
- Ana Lucia appeared in four episodes after her death: "?" as a corpse and in a dream, "Three Minutes" as a corpse (although she was covered), "The Lie" as an apparition, and "What They Died For" in the Afterlife.
- Ana Lucia was the fifteenth character to ever have a flashback, and the first who was not one of the original fourteen main characters.
- Ana Lucia was the eighth former main character to appear in Season 6.
- Ana Lucia's total episode count is 23.
- Ana Lucia is one of 22 main characters to have their names appear in a soundtrack title.
- Ana Lucia never met Boone, Walt, Juliet, Daniel, Charlotte, Miles, Richard, Lapidus, Ilana, Pierre Chang, Penelope Hume, and Eloise Hawking.
- Ana Lucia, along with Eko, Nikki, Paulo, Walt and Michael did not return to Main Characters status in "The End".
- Ana Lucia is the only character to both kill a survivor and be killed by a survivor: Jack and Michael killed survivor(s) but weren't killed by survivor(s); Mars, Shannon, and Libby were each killed by a survivor but didn't kill survivor(s).
- Ana Lucia was the third main character to be killed.
- Ana Lucia was the second female main character to die and second major death in Season 2.
- Ana Lucia was the first main character to be murdered, and the only pre-meditated murder victim in the first two seasons.
- Ana Lucia was shown to be able to speak fluent Spanish.
- Ana's nickname for Christian was an extremely popular name in the series: the Other Tom, Tom Brennan, Claire's boyfriend Tom, Charlie's friend Tom, and Tom Sawyer (alias of Anthony Cooper) all share the name.
- The episode "Knight of a Thousand Devils" of Knight Rider features a character named Ana Lucia Cortez.
- Ana Lucia is, along with Eko, Libby, Nikki and Paulo, one of only a few main characters to never appear in a season premiere.
- Ana Lucia is one of the few main characters whose name wasn't seen on either Jacob's cave wall or the Lighthouse wheel, the others being Libby, Paulo, Richard, Frank, Christian, Eloise, Penny, Bernard and Ilana.
- Out of those, it is possible the names of Libby and Paulo were present but not confirmed, as their surnames were never noted in the series.
- Ana Lucia is one of four main characters to have died in a DHARMA station. The others are Libby, Charlie and Juliet.
- Last words: "For what?"
- Witnesses of her death: Libby
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Ana Lucia Cortez/Theories