Ilana Verdansky was a survivor of Ajira Flight 316. She claimed to Sayid Jarrah to be a bounty hunter hired by the family of Peter Avellino to capture Sayid and escort him to Guam. In reality she was summoned to the Island to protect the remaining candidates by Jacob, with whom she had a previous relationship. Once Ilana had captured Sayid in Los Angeles, she forced him aboard Flight 316, where they were accompanied by most of the Oceanic Six. During the flight, the plane encountered turbulence and crash-landed on Hydra Island. There, she assumed leadership of a group of people, including Bram, a fellow server of Jacob, Sun, Frank, Ben, and several survivors of the Flight 316 crash. She led this group to the remains of the statue of Taweret, where she revealed to Richard Alpert and the Others that the man with them, John Locke, was not who they thought he was. During her time on the Island, Ilana led some of the candidates to safety. Upon encountering Richard again, she explained to him that Jacob had identified him as the person who would know what to do. Following Richard's instructions, Ilana prepared a mission to destroy the Ajira plane. However, in her haste she mishandled some dynamite from the Black Rock, which detonated, killing her instantly.

Before the Island[]

Early life[]

Not much is known about her life, but she stated that Jacob was the closest thing she ever had to a father - possibly suggesting she was orphaned. ("Dr. Linus")

It is implied that Ilana was either Russian in nationality, or was brought up in Russia. Hurley found a Russian-language copy of Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground in her possessions. ("Everybody Loves Hugo") However, her accent is not Russian and the name 'Ilana' is a very common Israeli forename. Her accent is a fair approximation of an Israeli accent and there are many Israelis with Russian ancestry.

Visit from Jacob[]

5x16 InjuredIlana

A heavily bandaged Ilana is visited by Jacob in a Russian hospital. ("The Incident, Part 1")  ("Ab Aeterno")

Sometime before late 2007, Ilana was hospitalized in Russia after sustaining a severe burn that left her bedridden and heavily bandaged. The extent of her injuries and how they were obtained is unknown. At some point, a nurse approached Ilana's bedside and informed her she had a visitor. ("The Incident, Part 1")

The visitor turned out to be Jacob, who apologized for not being able to come see her earlier. Ilana recognized him and said she was happy to see him. Jacob asked for her help with something, which she agreed to. ("The Incident, Part 1") He gave Ilana a list of six names, whom he identified as the remaining candidates. He asked her to help him by going to the Island and protecting them, saying this was the mission for which she had been preparing. An unknown amount of time later, Ilana, her bandages removed and her wounds healed, spoke with Jacob further about her mission. She asked what she should do after she had brought "them" to the Temple. Jacob told her to ask Ricardus, as he would know what to do next. ("Ab Aeterno")

Meeting Sayid[]

Normal our-you333

Ilana holds Sayid at gunpoint and claims that she was hired by Peter Avellino's family. ("He's Our You")

Ilana first met Sayid in a bar. They had a brief, flirty conversation about their jobs, with Sayid mistaking Ilana for a professional prostitute and Ilana commenting that she wasn't "professional at anything." They got a room together in a hotel, and Ilana, while seducing Sayid, asked him to take off her boot. As he started to do so, she kicked him in the head, then pinned him to the bed and pulled a gun on him. Ilana said that she had been hired by the family of Peter Avellino, the man whom Sayid previously killed while working for Ben, to capture Sayid and bring him to Guam. When Sayid asked if she was a bounty hunter, she replied that it didn't matter who she was, and that he was going to answer for what he did. ("He's Our You")

The next day, at the LAX terminal, Ilana passed through security, posing as a federal marshal with Sayid as her ward. ("316") Before the plane took off, Sayid noticed the other members of Oceanic Six. Worried about where he might actually be going, he requested they take a different flight. Ilana denied his wish and insisted they take that particular flight. She and Sayid got on Ajira Airways Flight 316. ("He's Our You")

Flight 316[]

5x10 PlaneRide

Sayid questions Ilana about her knowledge of Ben Linus. ("He's Our You")

On the plane before takeoff, Sayid saw Ben get on the plane and asked Ilana if she was working with Benjamin Linus. Ilana asked him "who is Benjamin Linus". He told her, Ben was a liar and a murderer responsible for genocide. Ilana replied, "Why would I work for somebody like that?" Sayid's response was, "I did". The plane took off and later encountered some turbulence, during which Ilana looked visibly shaken. ("316")  ("He's Our You") The plane then made a crash landing on Hydra Island. Ilana was rendered unconscious, and Caesar awoke her. She mumbled "Jarrah" while she was still not clear-headed. Caesar introduced himself and informed her they had crashed, but were now safe. Somewhat disorientated, Ilana looked to the seat to her left to see that Sayid had disappeared. She looked around the cabin for him to no avail. She got up out of her seat with Caesar's help and left the wrecked air carrier. ("Namaste")

On the Island[]

2007 (Season 5)[]


Ilana asks Sun if she lost anyone in the crash. ("Namaste")

After the crash, Ilana approached Sun on the beach, asking if she lost anyone in the crash. Sun responded that she was traveling alone. Then Ilana, Sun, and the rest of the Ajira survivors listened to the pilot and Caesar debate about what they should do next. ("Namaste")

A short time later, Ilana and Caesar discovered the abandoned Hydra station, and decided to look inside. As Caesar explored an office, Ilana entered and informed him of a man in a suit that Roxanne had encountered while scouting south.

5x07 JohnAndIlana

Ilana speaks with the mysterious "John Locke". ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")

Caesar and Ilana returned to their makeshift beach camp and passed the reasonably intact crashed plane. They talked of the man whom Roxanne had met and how none of the survivors recognized him as being aboard during the flight. Caesar theorized that the man may have been one of the passengers who disappeared while the plane crashed. But Ilana disputed this, pointing out that the man was not even on the plane. A roaring signal fire was burning, and many of the survivors stood in a circle surrounding the mysterious man, who called himself "John Locke".

The next morning, Ilana offered Locke a mango in an attempt to strike up a conversation with him. He asked her if the outriggers belonged to them, and she replied they were already there before they arrived. Locke asked her if she had a passenger manifest, and she told him that he would have to talk to Caesar. She told him that no one remembered him being on the plane. Then she asked him what he remembered about his past. He told her that he didn't remember much, but that he remembered dying. Ilana appeared flustered and confused, then walked away. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")


Ilana demands to know "what lies in the shadow of the statue." ("Dead Is Dead")

Later, Ilana stood near a giant steel crate that several Flight 316 survivors, including Bram, tried to open. Ben approached her and asked what was inside the crate. Ilana was brief with her answer, saying that it was just some things that they needed to get moved. When Ben asked her if they needed a hand, she told him they had it.

Frank, Sun, Ben, and Locke had left for the main Island at different times. Caesar had been killed by Ben, Ilana, Bram, and three others. Now rid of their competition, they found some guns and forcefully took over leadership of the remaining survivors. When Frank returned to Hydra Island, Jed informed him of this, and Frank cautiously approached Ilana. She walked up to him, holding him at gunpoint, and asked him, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" When he failed to produce the answer she wanted, she hit him on the head with the butt of her rifle and knocked him unconscious to the ground. She then told Bram that it was "time" and to tie Frank up and take him with them. ("Dead Is Dead")


Ilana enters Jacob's cabin to find it deserted. ("The Incident, Part 1")

Ilana and Bram led the rest of their group to the main Island in the outriggers, including an unconscious Frank. Bram asked her why they were keeping Frank since he did not know the answer to the question Ilana had posed to him earlier. Ilana responded that just because Frank did not know the answer didn't mean he wasn't special. Bram thought that Ilana considered Frank was a candidate. Ilana did not respond and instead pointed out that Frank was awake. Frank asked what he was a candidate for, and she told him that her group were "friends". They showed Frank what was inside of the Ajira crate, and he was shocked by what he saw.

Ilana and the survivors made their way to Jacob's cabin, which she found to be deserted. Bram discovered the ring of ash around the cabin was broken, and the group appeared distraught. Ilana stepped over the ash and went inside to look for clues that would tell her what to do. She found a scrap of cloth that bore a picture of the statue. She told the group that someone other than Jacob had been using the cabin and that they had to burn it down. The group set the cabin on fire, and Ilana led everyone to the statue. ("The Incident, Part 1")

5x17 JustAFriend

Ilana reveals herself to Richard Alpert and the Others. ("The Incident, Part 2")

When they arrived at the remains of the statue, the group encountered Sun and the Others, who were awaiting the return of Locke and Ben from their visit with Jacob inside the statue. Ilana asked for Ricardus, and when Richard revealed himself, she repeated the question, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Richard answered correctly in Latin, saying "he who will save us all." Ilana prompted her group to reveal the contents of the crate, saying that she had found it in the cargo hold of the Ajira Flight. The body of the real John Locke tumbled out of the crate. ("The Incident, Part 2")

2007 (Season 6)[]

6x01 AimingAtLocke

Ilana aims at the Man in Black. ("LA X, Part 2")

Ilana demanded to see Jacob, a demand which Richard fervently denied. He told her that just because she knew what lies in the shadow of the statue didn't mean she was allowed to see Jacob. Ben, having just left Jacob's quarters, approached Richard to tell him that Locke had requested to meet with him inside. Ilana asked Ben if Jacob was alright, and Ben made an attempt to avoid talking about what had happened. However, Richard told him to answer the question, and Ben lied by claiming that Jacob was fine and that John wanted to speak to him. Richard dragged him to Locke's corpse, which Ben was shocked to see.

Bram lost his patience after waiting so long and grabbed Ben, forcefully bringing him inside the statue of Taweret. Once there, Bram and the rest of Ilana's team were killed by the smoke monster. "Locke" then walked outside, and Ilana prepared to fire her gun at him, but Richard immediately ordered her and the others not to shoot at him. Ilana watched helplessly as "Locke" approached Richard, beat him unconscious, then carried him away, leaving the rest of them behind at the statue. ("LA X, Parts 1 & 2")

6x04 MourningJacob

Ilana mourns Jacob's death. ("The Substitute")

Ilana went inside the foot of the statue, and was found by Ben crying and mourning the death of Jacob and her team. Ben walked up to Ilana, and she demanded to know exactly what had happened. He told her that "Locke" turned into a pillar of black smoke and killed them before his very eyes. When she asked him what happened to Jacob, Ben lied to her, saying that "Locke" had killed Jacob as well before kicking his body into the fire. Ilana gathered Jacob's ashes into a pouch and exited the statue with Ben. Once outside, Ilana discovered that Richard's group had left, and Sun told her they left for the Temple. Ilana suggested that they go there as well, as it was the safest place on the Island. Sun said that Locke deserved a proper burial and they needed to bury him first. Ilana agreed to it and led the group back to the beach camp for a funeral.

6x04 Locke'sKiller'sIdentity

Ilana learns the identity of Locke's murderer. ("The Substitute")

Ilana and Ben both carried Locke's corpse while they were on their way to the beach. Ilana explained that she and Bram had discovered Locke's body in the crate after seeing him walking around on the beach. The two of them carried his body to the statue in order to show the Others the face of who they were up against. Ben asked her if the Man in Black would be able to change his appearance in the future, and Ilana told him that he was stuck in the form of John Locke. When they arrived at the old graveyard, they buried Locke, and Ilana asked if anyone wanted to give an eulogy. Ben decided to give a little speech, and in doing so revealed that he had murdered Locke. Everyone, including Ilana, shared shocked looks. ("The Substitute")

6x06 MeetingUpAgain

Ilana evacuates the candidates during the Temple massacre. ("Sundown")

Ilana, along with Sun, Ben, and Frank arrived at the Temple at sundown during the Man in Black's attack on the Others who had decided to stay. Among all the chaos, Ilana and her group began searching for the candidates in order to get them to safety. Ilana stumbled upon Miles, who was hiding from the Man in Black. Ilana asked him where Shephard, Reyes, Ford, and Jarrah were. Miles told her Jack, Hurley, and Sawyer had left, and that Sayid was at the spring. Ben went to get Sayid, and Ilana led the rest of her group, which now included Miles, through the hallways, scanning the Egyptian writing on the walls. She spotted a particular hieroglyph on the wall and pushed it, revealing a secret passage. She and the others entered the passage for refuge from the Man in Black's massacre. ("Sundown")

6x07 MoveYouMurderer

Ilana orders Ben to dig his own grave. ("Dr. Linus")

After leaving the Temple, Ilana and her group met up with Ben in the jungle. Ilana demanded to know where Jarrah was, and Ben told her that Sayid had just killed the Temple Master, Dogen, and his translator, Lennon, thus it was unlikely that Sayid would be joining them. The group decided to head back to the survivors' old beach camp. During their walk, Ilana expressed suspicion that Ben had lied when he told her the Man in Black had killed Jacob. She asked Miles to determine Jacob's dying thoughts by communing with his ashes in order to figure out how Jacob died. Miles revealed that it was Ben, not the Man in Black, who had killed Jacob. Ilana was extremely upset and angry at Ben and revealed that Jacob was the closest thing she ever had to a father. When the group reached the beach camp the next day, Ilana held Ben at gunpoint, chained him to a tree, and forced him to dig his own grave in retribution for the murder of Jacob. Ilana kept close watch over him as he dug, but at one point she walked a short distance away and ate a mango.

6x07 I'llHaveYou

Ilana agrees to have Ben on her side. ("Dr. Linus")

During this time, the Man in Black came and offered Ben a place in his group, then somehow unlocked the shackles Ilana had placed on Ben's wrists without touching them. Ben, not wanting to die, made a break for the jungle, and Ilana gave chase. As Ilana was catching up to Ben, he found a rifle the Man in Black had left for him. He aimed the rifle at Ilana, forcing her to drop her own weapon. Ben then explained to Ilana his reasons for killing Jacob: he had been angry at Jacob for ignoring him, and very distraught by the death of Alex. Ben asked her to allow him to leave the group and join the Man in Black, as no one else would have him. Upon seeing Ben's guilt for his actions, Ilana replied that she would have him, then walked away, having apparently forgiven Ben for his misdeeds. Back at the beach, Ilana broke down into tears. Jack, Hurley, and Richard arrived at the beach, and Ilana shook hands with Jack and Hurley, whom she had never met before. ("Dr. Linus")

That night, Ilana, while sitting at a campfire, relayed her prior meetings with Jacob before arriving on the Island. She revealed that Richard was the one who supposedly knew what their next step should be, according to Jacob. Richard himself denied knowing anything and maintained they were all in Hell.

6x10 BelieveMe

Ben and Ilana discuss the chances of Richard returning. ("The Package")

He then left the beach camp, and Ilana decided the best thing to do was to follow him. She believed that Jacob meant what he said, and that Richard was mistaken in thinking he did not know what they were supposed to do next. ("Ab Aeterno")

Hurley left the campsite to go find Richard by himself. Though several people in Ilana's group doubted that Hurley would be able to find Richard and convince him to return to the campsite, Ilana was more relaxed and adamant that Richard would return, insisting that they wait for him. Later, Ben finds Sun knocked out in the jungle, unable to communicate in English. Ben helped Sun back to the camp where Ilana wouldn't believe him that Sun was already unconscious when he found her. Ben questioned this and Ilana replied that she didn't believe him merely because he was speaking.

6x12 HugoAndIlana

Ilana expresses her condolences for Libby's death. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

Richard eventually returned to the camp with Hurley, where he told them all to pack their bags, as they needed to leave and go blow up the Ajira airplane on Hydra Island to keep the Man in Black from leaving. ("The Package")

Later, as Hurley laid down flowers and spoke to Libby at her grave, Ilana came over to ask whether he was ready to leave for Hydra Island. She told him of their plan to blow up the Ajira plane with dynamite. She then asked Hurley about the grave he was kneeling at, and he told Ilana about his relationship with Libby and about her death. Ilana expressed empathy for him.

6x12 IlanaIsGone

The dynamite explodes, killing Ilana. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

At some point later, Ilana traveled to the Black Rock and obtained four sticks of dynamite, planning to use it to destroy the plane. When she returned to the campsite, Hurley said that he felt they should not blow up the plane as originally planned. Ilana insisted they do so, as Richard said they should, and Jacob had told her that Richard would know what to do. As she spoke with determination about their need to destroy the plane for their own safety, she filled her bag with bottles of water, and set her bag containing the dynamite firmly on the ground. The dynamite immediately exploded, obliterating Ilana. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")



Hurley looks through Ilana's belongings after she dies. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

Just after the dynamite blew up and killed her, Hurley began looking through her things, finding a Russian-language copy of Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground (Записки из подполья) and the draw-string pouch with Jacob's ashes, which he then took. Richard and Jack got into an argument about whether they should continue trying to blow up the Ajira plane with dynamite. Jack was adamant the tragic events showed they should not use the dynamite; Richard insisted they do so as, otherwise, Ilana's death would have been in vain.

Later, Ben commented to Jack and Sun that Ilana had been killed soon after she had told them they were candidates, saying that she had lived out her usefulness and "the Island was done with her." He then commented that he wondered what would happen to them once the Island was finished with them. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

Jacob mentioned Ilana when, in his child form, he asked Hurley to hand over his ashes, the ones he took from Ilana's possessions after she died. ("What They Died For")

Flash sideways[]


Ilana realizes Claire's connection to another customer of hers. ("The Last Recruit")

In the flash sideways, Ilana was a lawyer at the firm Sweetzer & Verdansky in Los Angeles. She knew Desmond Hume, and they appeared to be old friends; she owed him a favor and was very glad to see him for their appointment. She was also the executor of Christian Shephard's will, and had been searching for his daughter, thus was surprised when Desmond brought her to her offices. She greeted Jack and David when they arrived at reception before introducing Jack to Claire, whom Jack only knew as a mysterious recipient in Christian's will. ("The Last Recruit") Ilana gave Claire a music box that Christian wanted her to have, as indicated in his will. ("The Candidate")

Ilana had not yet "awakened" to the memories of her former life. She was not present at the church when Claire, Desmond, Jack, and their friends and lovers "moved on" - although it is possible she could have moved on prior to them. ("The End")


  • Ilana is one of 13 main characters to not have their name appear in a soundtrack title.
  • Ilana's episode count is 16 (including the appearance of her flash-sideways counterpart in "The Last Recruit").
  • Ilana died in the original timeline in "Everybody Loves Hugo", her fifteenth appearance.
  • Ilana was the fourteenth main character to die, and the fourth main character who was not a passenger of Flight 815 to die (after Charlotte, Daniel and Juliet).
  • The character's first name "Ilana" was revealed in the ABC press release for "316", her first appearance, but not in the episode itself. Caesar addressed her by her name in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham".
  • Ilana was the last main character to be introduced into the series (although the Man in Black's presence in earlier episodes did not become clear until after Ilana's introduction).
  • Along with Caesar, Ilana was mentioned in the fifth Dharma Special Access e-mail as a new cast member. [1]
  • Out of the main characters, Ilana met Sayid, Sun, Frank, Ben, Richard, Jack, Miles, The Man in Black, Hurley, Desmond and Claire.
    • She was on the same plane as Kate. However, she never spoke to her.
    • She was aware of Sun's husband, Jin, as well as Sawyer, Libby and Locke. It is also likely she is aware of Charlie and Boone, because the Oceanic 6 mentioned them in their lie.
    • Ilana first met Desmond and Claire in the flash-sideways timeline.
  • After appearing in seven Season 5 episodes as a guest star, Zuleikha Robinson was promoted to the main cast for Season 6.
  • Ilana's casting call was the very first for Season 5, as she was originally meant to appear in "Because You Left". She was described as "Ilanna, a European female in her late 20s to early 30s who possesses great intelligence, but who is also dangerous. She was alluring and apparently accustomed to getting her own way." [2]
  • Ilana, after the Man in Black, was the second character to be portrayed as recognizing Jacob when first encountering him in the series.
  • In her character bio on the ABC website, Ilana is described as having recovered from being "badly burned" while she was in the Russian hospital. [1]. This fact was also revealed in the enhanced version of the fifth season finale.
    • The ABC episode recap for "Ab Aeterno" says that she was burned during training. [2]
    • Although, the episode recap also says, "Jacob reaches over and touches her face, helping the burns heal and Ilana get better", Jacob is not seen to touch Ilana in the episode.
  • Ilana means "tree" in Hebrew. In Kabbalah, (Jewish mysticism), the numeric value of Ilana (96) equals the "throne of God." Two variations of the name are "Elana" and "Ilanit." [3]
  • Ilana was the 31st character to have a flashback.
    • Ilana was the seventh guest character to have a flashback and the third to have a flashback as a guest star before becoming a regular. The other two are Desmond and Frank.
  • Ilana is the third main character, after Libby and Charlotte, to die without having had a centric episode. Her only flashbacks were in the Jacob-centric episode "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2" and in the Richard-centric episode "Ab Aeterno".
6X09 IlanasEye

One of Ilana's two flashbacks.

  • According to Zuleikha Robinson in an interview with NY Magazine, Ilana's badge in "316" and "He's Our You" bore the false name "Mary."
  • Her death is reminiscent of Leslie Arzt's death. ("Exodus, Part 2") Jack and Hurley were present for both explosions.
  • Ilana wore the same clothes for an entire season, then changed her clothes shortly before her death. The same happened to Mr. Eko.
    • Ilana consistently wore a red shirt shortly before her death. (See redshirt)
  • Her last name may be a reference to the famous Russian scientist and philosopher Vladimir Vernadsky, most famous for developing the concept of the biosphere and the noosphere.[3] This would be keeping with the Lost tradition of naming characters after philosophers and scientists.
  • Ilana's abrupt death and the lack of answers regarding her past despite being promoted to the regular cast confused some fans. When asked about it, Carlton Cuse has said they had "greater plans" for Ilana but decided to spend more time with established characters instead. In the same interview, he also said that Ilana led a "hard and tragic life" that he could not reveal any details of yet. [4] Cuse initially likened the character to Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight, stating that: "There was something very unsettling about the way the Joker kept telling different stories about his background — something very similar to what we had planned for Ilana."[5]
  • Zuleikha Robinson confirmed that Ilana had originally been intended to be Jacob's biological daughter. However, this was later dropped as it was deemed that there was not enough screen time to develop the storyline further in the final season.[6][7]
    • Ilana also told Ben Linus that "Jacob was the closest thing [she] ever had to a father. ("Dr. Linus")
  • Ilana is not featured on the season 6 poster, despite her main character status in the final season. She is the only main character (not including those upgraded in "The End") to not appear on a season poster, even as recurring characters Rose and Bernard (with Vincent) appear.
  • Of the twenty-eight credited main characters in "The End", Ilana was the only one who did not appear.
  • Out of all the main characters, only Ilana and Frank appeared in no scenes before the crash of Oceanic Flight 815.
  • Ilana 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 Ana Lucia, Christian, Richard, Frank, Libby, Eloise, Penny, Bernard and Paulo.
  • Last words: "Hugo, I'm looking out for your best interests! All of you! Nothing is more important than this! That thing is evil. And God help us if it ever leaves this island, you've got to be-"
  • People who witnessed her death: Ben, Sun, Hurley, Richard, Jack, Frank, Miles

Unanswered questions[]

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Ilana Verdansky/Theories
  • Where and when did she first meet Jacob?
  • How did she get severely burnt?