Many characters in Lost pursue redemption for their past mistakes. Though some achieve this goal, others never manage to.
Characters receive opportunities throughout the series to redeem themselves. Characters receive a blank slate upon arriving on the Island and get to make different choices. Later in the series, characters get new opportunities by escaping the island and through time travel. Notably, many characters die soon after achieving redemption. Even after death, the Flash sideways world allowed characters to redeem themselves in other ways and resolve whatever issues that were not sufficiently dealt with in their lives, before "moving on".
In pre-series finale interview, show-runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse said that redemption was the show's important theme.  Said Damon Lindelof, "If there’s one word that we keep coming back to, it’s redemption. It is that idea of everybody has something to be redeemed for and the idea that that redemption doesn’t necessarily come from anywhere else other than internally." Lindelof linked the theme to that of unity saying, "But in order to redeem yourself, you can only do it through a community. So the redemption theme started to kind of connect into 'live together, die alone,'... Let’s bring them together and through their experiences together allow themselves to be redeemed.
Almost from the moment she arrived on the Island, it was apparent that Ana Lucia was an incredibly troubled young woman. She had suffered a miscarriage, and taken vengeance by murdering the man who had shot her, which caused the loss. After traveling to Australia with Christian Shephard, Ana resolved that she would face what she did and return to America, phoning her mother from the airport and telling her that she would be on Flight 815. ("Collision") ("Two for the Road")
Of course, Ana never made it to Los Angeles, and on the Island it became evident that her issues had not been overcome. Ana Lucia killed an unnamed Other in addition to Goodwin, and her deteriorating stability in response to the dangers on the Island led to her accidentally killing Shannon. ("...And Found") Later, Ana planned to kill "Henry Gale", but at the final moment decided not to. She confessed to Michael, "I couldn't do it. I couldn't even kill him. I looked at him and he — I can't do this anymore." It is at this final moment, where Ana for a second time openly admits to everything she has done and wants to change and be redeemed, but Michael murders her in cold blood. ("Two for the Road")
- Deceiving the Survivors
- After lying to both Jack and Locke about his name (claiming he was Henry Gale), Ben tells Jack in the Hydra his real name is Benjamin Linus to earn Jack's trust. ("The Glass Ballerina")
- Killing Jacob
- After having escaped his chains, Ben told Ilana that he killed Jacob because he was "angry and confused" that Jacob had ignored him despite sacrificing everything for the island, even his own daughter. He admits to Ilana that he made the wrong choice and that the only thing that had ever really mattered was his daughter, Alex. He then told Ilana that he would go with the Man in Black because he was the only one who would have him [Ben]. However, accepting Ben's remorse, Ilana says she will have Ben, and the two return to the beach. ("Dr. Linus")
- Murdering Locke
- In the flash-sideways timeline, Ben apologizes for killing Locke and claims he was "selfish" and "jealous." Ben acknowledges that he wanted to be "special" like Locke. Locke then forgives Ben and says he "hopes it helps." Ben says it does. ("The End")
On the Island, Boone repeated tried and failed to help fellow survivors. at helping those around him. Minutes after the crash, he incorrectly performed CPR on Rose, and he improperly suggested a tracheotomy right after. ("Pilot, Part 1") A few days later, he failed to save a drowning woman, and by delaying her would-be rescuer, he contributed to her death. ("White Rabbit") His dying act though was to refuse further treatment to conserve resources for others. ("Do No Harm") Locke said Boone died a hero's death. ("The Greater Good")
- Charlie battled heroin addiction, both off the Island, and on. While he at first vehemently chastised his brother for using it, Charlie soon became addicted himself. ("The Moth") When he crashed on the Island, Charlie managed to kick the habit with the help of John Locke.
- However, Charlie has a major relapse when he finds the Virgin Mary statues in the drug smugglers' plane. He lost Claire's trust when she found out about the statues, and further when he tried to baptize Aaron against her wishes. He eventually regained her trust and friendship, partly by giving Claire a box of medicine from the supply drop and partly by throwing the statues in the ocean. ("Exodus, Part 2") ("The 23rd Psalm") ("Fire + Water") ("Three Minutes")
- Inferiority Complex
- Throughout his life, Charlie has battled feelings of self-doubt and inferiority, possibly brought on by his father not approving of his musical ambitions and his brother always stealing the spotlight. On the Island, Charlie has tried to redeem himself on many occasions, often failing. However, there are some instances of redemption.
- After failing to stop Claire's kidnapping, Charlie shoots Ethan when he returns to the camp. ("Homecoming")
During her time on the Kahana and later on the Island, Charlotte maintained her real reason for joining the science team a secret, even from those she was close to, like Daniel Faraday. Charlotte was raised on the Island but forced to leave prior to the Incident and she then spent her life trying to find the Island to prove that it existed. After her subsequent return to the Island, Charlotte maintained her often cold demeanor until Daniel urged her to leave the Island and return to the boat in the face of the Secondary Protocol. For the first time, Charlotte divulged that she was "still looking for the place she was born" and refused to leave. ("This Place Is Death") ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")
After the Island's move Charlotte started to suffer the effects of the time flashes. Before her death, Charlotte started to reveal more and more about herself, such as her ability to speak Korean (which surprised her fellow crewmen Daniel and Miles). Most prominently, however, when her condition worsened she emotionally revealed the truth about her history to Daniel. Having learned to not be so secretive and to let those who she was close to in, Charlotte subsequently died. ("This Place Is Death")
- The Car Crash
- After inadvertently crashing their car, Claire sees her mother go into a coma. Some time before she boards Flight 815, Claire apologizes to her comatose mother. ("Par Avion")
- On a symbolic level, the message Claire sends with the bird serves as a form of redemption as well: after hurting someone, she now tries to save someone else. ("Par Avion")
- After pressure from Charlie, Claire agrees to let Eko baptize Aaron and herself. Baptism is ritual purification by water, and a symbol of redemption and public commitment to redemption (according to Christian theology). ("Fire + Water")
Desmond could be seen as the more significant of the changes that occured on the Island. At first he was a man with very little faith in life and was in constant doubt regarding his relationships and the way that he was living his life. After he got on the Island his life suddenly had a purpose, which at first he shared with Kelvin but on the day of the plane crash, desmond had to take the fate of the world entirely to himself. He, later on, gets unusual powers over Time, being, as Faraday tells Desmond that he is uniquely special, because "the rules" don't apply to him and implying that Desmond is the only one who can change things.
- Desmond has on several occasions been called a "coward", both off the island and on. Indeed, the very reason that he came to the island is that he sought to redeem himself from what both Penny and her father called cowardice. Consequently, Desmond has spent some time trying to redeem his valor.
- Desmond leaves his fiancée Ruth to become a monk - ostensibly, according to Ruth, because he is a coward. However, Desmond is redeemed when he is kicked out of the monastery and meets Penny. ("Catch-22")
- His turning of the fail-safe key, described by Ms. Hawking as "the only great thing [he] will ever do", redeems Desmond after having tried to run away - subsequently, he is "reborn" with the ability to predict the future. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")("Further Instructions")
- Immediately following the implosion, Desmond is seemingly launched back in time. He now has the chance to redeem himself by changing events so that he proposes to Penny; but in the end, the universe "course corrects" itself, and Desmond instead breaks up with her - to which Desmond is once again called a coward. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
- By season 3, Desmond seems to be somewhat redeemed, taking a semi-leadership role and becoming the camp's hunter. ("Left Behind") ("Catch-22")
Eko's redemption differs from other characters because it wasn't overcoming his flaws which led to him being redeemed, but rather his refusal to apologize for them because they were done with the greater good at heart. In "The 23rd Psalm" flashbacks showcased Eko making great sacrifices for his brother, Yemi, when he killed a man to prevent his brother from having do it, thus starting his life as a warlord. Eko's sacrifices to save his brother were again featured in the flashbacks in "The Cost of Living" in which he faced a punishment after stealing food for his brother, and accepted the punishment. After Yemi's subsequent death, Eko tried to redeem himself for his involvement in his brother's demise by becoming a holy man, although his attempts were in vain. ("The 23rd Psalm") ("The Cost of Living")
Eko's redemptive efforts continued during his time on the Island, including a 40-day vow of silence after killing two Others. Eko confessed his guilt for the act in the Swan, symbolically cutting off a part of his beard. ("The Other 48 Days")("Maternity Leave") But it was only after The Monster, who had been posing as his brother, told him to repent for his sins but Eko refuses, saying that he had not sinned but did what he needed to survive and protect those close to him. The Monster then preceded to kill a now redeemed Mr Eko. ("The Cost of Living")
Hurley spent time in a mental institute and suffered from hallucinations. He overcame his mental illness, but he returned to the institute years later, thinking he was suffering a relapse. ("The Beginning of the End") Jacob later convinced him he was not insane. ("The Incident, Part 2")
After winning the lottery, Hurley believed he was cursed with bad luck, and this belief stayed with him for the first few seasons. In "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead," he tried "making his own luck" by starting the DHARMA Van.
Hurley also suffered from an eating disorder, which his imaginary friend contributed to. He fought this on the Island with Libby's help. His weight issues were part of a larger problem Hurley had with self-image, and Libby helped him with this as well. ("Dave")
Jack can be looked at as a prominent example of rebirth on the Island in terms of:
- Control over his life
- Father issues
- Social relationships
Before he was on the Island he had perfect control over every decision made in his life. When his control began to fall apart, his relationship with his father and his wife became strained. When he crashed on the Island, he became the de facto leader of the fuselage survivors, and regained control of his life, aside from the loud fact he was stranded on an Island. After escaping the Island, he began seeing his late father, his relationship with Kate completely deteriorated, and his control began to sleep, which gives a fine example of how the Island cured Jack emotionally.
- Relationship with Wife
- He has a love-hate relationship with his wife. He drifts away from her by spending more time at work, nearly has an affair with another woman, and drives Sarah into an affair.
- Jack tells Sarah that he has kissed another woman. ("The Hunting Party")
- Relationship with Father
- One of the biggest obstacles in Jack's life is his troubled relationship with his father, further complicated by Jack's strong ethics costing Christian his job.
- Jack is temporarily redeemed from this pressure while on vacation in Thailand, where Achara tells him that she isn't interested in his father. "That's a relief," Jack replies, "because I'm pretty tired of talking about him." ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
- On his mother's urging, Jack travels to Australia to bring his father home. However, he is too late and finds his father dead. Feeling responsible for what has happened, Jack takes it upon himself to bring the body home as quickly as possible, in an effort to be redeemed. ("White Rabbit")
- Jack is finally redeemed when Sawyer recounts a meeting he had in a bar in Sydney with Christian. Through Sawyer, Jack learns that his father does not blame him and that he in fact is proud of him. ("Exodus, Part 1")
- Jack was tricked by Sawyer in a con, losing the weapons and supplies in his care. Jack later defeated Sawyer in a poker game and got them back, redeeming himself to the others who had put their faith in him. ("Lockdown")
- His father told him that he "doesn't have what it takes" to be a leader, but he later becomes a leader for all the survivors. ("White Rabbit")
- Dogen offers Jack a chance to redeem himself for all the killed and wounded people he had been responsible for. By giving Sayid a poisoned pill ... ("What Kate Does")
- Relationship with Sun
- Jin destroys Sun's garden, trying to protect her. He later tries to replant what he can. ("The Whole Truth")
- Just before the crash, Jin had almost lost Sun, and she was about to leave him. However, at the airport he gave her a brief show of tenderness, which persuaded her to change her mind at the last minute. ("House of the Rising Sun")
- Although constantly protective and controlling of Sun, after finding out she is pregnant, Jin accepts her request to stay in the garden on her own, despite recently being attacked there. ("The Whole Truth")
- Relationship with other survivors
- When Hurley is stung by a sea urchin, he asks Jin to urinate on his foot. Jin does not, but later brings Hurley a fish as a gift. ("Hearts and Minds")
- Jin attacks Michael for wearing the Rolex watch Jin is supposed to hold for Mr. Paik. Later, he brings Michael wood to rebuild the raft. ("House of the Rising Sun")("...In Translation")
- Jin ultimately gives Michael the watch. ("Exodus, Part 1")
After becoming a wanted fugitive, she spent her life running and constantly avoiding contact whenever possible. However, on the Island, she has become a key figure of her group, and has managed to in part let go of her emotions over Tom Brennan and secrecy about who she really is. It is through this that Kate was both freed and reborn on the Island.
- Kate has caused other peoples' deaths; both directly, when she murdered her father Wayne, and indirectly, when Tom was shot during a getaway. While Kate appears to feel no remorse for murdering Wayne, she does feel guilty for Tom's death.
- While on the run for murder, Kate stayed with a farmer in Australia. He later notified the authorities, and when his life was put in danger, she accepted her arrest in order to save him. ("Tabula Rasa")
- Running Away
- Although a fugitive, early on Kate was given a second chance when Jack found out about her past, but decided not to judge her because of it. ("Pilot, Part 2")
After her husband passed away, Libby had entered a dark place as seen in "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1". She became mentally ill, unable to cope with the loss of her loved one. As seen in "Dave", After spending a short time in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, Libby was able to mentally recover, but was unable to overcome the strength to love again. She was emotionally unstable, attempting to cope with the fear of falling in love again and losing it. When meeting with Desmond in the coffee shop, she said her final goodbye with her late husband by giving his boat to Desmond.
After crashing on Oceanic Flight 815, and merging with the fuselage survivors, Libby continued to struggle with her inner demons of lost love. As she began to bond with Hugo Reyes, she soon realized her past connection with him at the mental institution. Their relationship heightened to its peak, as Libby kissed Hurley at the top of a cliff. She overcame her most dreadful fear of falling in love again. Two days later in "Two for the Road", Hurley and Libby searched for items to bring for a seclusive picnic on the beach. Hurley searched through Rose and Bernard's tent for a bottle of Cabernet as Libby went to the swan station for blankets. Libby walked into the station right as Michael shot Ana Lucia. She called out Michael's name in confusion as Michael turned and shot her accidentally. She went into shock and died the following day in "?". ("Dave") ("Two for the Road") ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")
John Locke perhaps shows a more literal example of a "second chance" on the Island, after having spent four years in a wheelchair prior to the crash of Flight 815. Arriving on the Island, Locke discovered his paralysis to be completely gone, and so began his second chance on the Island of being able to walk again. Locke quickly adapted to living on the Island, believing himself to have a greater fate there. His devote belief in destiny has led him to also join the Others, who presented him with his father. With his death arguably marks the point where Locke has completely let go of his previous life off the Island.
Michael initially blames himself for not being there for Walt as a father. After he gains custody of his son back, Michael calls his mother and expresses further doubt about being a capable parent, even trying to give her custody. ("Exodus, Part 2") The Island gives the two a chance to bond.
His love becomes an obsession though, and to retrieve Walt after the Others kidnaps him, Michael shoots Ana and Libby and betrays his friends. He spends the remainder of the series atoning for these acts. As seen in the episode "Meet Kevin Johnson", he became haunted by Libby and eerily saw her twice during his attempts to kill himself and, later, to infiltrate the Kahana as a spy for Benjamin Linus. When Michael was discovered on the freighter by Sayid and Desmond he revealed that he accepted Ben's offer to return to the Island in order to redeem himself for the murders. ("Meet Kevin Johnson") ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")
SUN: And now you're working for Ben?
MICHAEL: I do not work for Ben. I'm trying to make up for what I did. I'm trying to help you out here.
When a bomb was discovered on board the Kahana, Michael worked with Desmond and Jin to defuse it. With time running out, Michael told Jin to rejoin his wife and unborn child and agreed to man the bomb alone. In doing so, Michael ensured the escape of the Oceanic Six, Desmond and Frank Lapidus from the Island and in doing so redeemed himself before the Kahana exploded, killing him. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2") Sadly, as of "Everybody Loves Hugo", the Island does not seem to believe in Michael's redemption. Michael still haunts the island as one of the whispers.
Ironically, the people most arguably affected by the deaths of Ana Lucia and Libby; Sawyer, Hurley and Jack, never saw Michael on the freighter and remain unaware of the role he played in security the escape of the two latter survivors. However, it is assumed Hurley and Jack know of What Michael did, as Kate is aware of Michael's passing in "The Little Prince".
- Nikki mistrusts Paulo and uses a Medusa spider on him to try and find the diamonds. When he proves that he cares more about her than the diamonds after all, and she is bitten by a Medusa spider herself, she runs to the beach and uses her last words to try and warn Hurley and Sawyer that she and Paulo were "paralyzed", attempting to save them both.("Exposé")
- As a seasoned con man, Sawyer has some things to atone for.
- Before the crash, Sawyer starts a con on a couple named Jessica and David. However, when he sees their young son and is reminded of himself, he calls off the con. ("Confidence Man")
- Sawyer also conned a woman named Cassidy, stealing an unknown amount of money. After his capture, she visits him in jail and reveals that he had a daughter named Clementine. He later left some money for Clementine anonymously. ("The Long Con") ("Every Man for Himself")
- Killing Frank Duckett
- Sawyer was falsely led to believe that Frank Duckett, an American living in Australia, was the man who conned his parents. In cold blood, Sawyer murders Duckett - notably the only murder we know he committed before coming to the Island.
- Though tricked by Hurley, Sawyer achieves a level of redemption after fearing he may be ostracized by the camp. ("Left Behind")
- Jack and Sawyer shared a rivalry from early on, started by differing views on how supplies from the crash should be shared, and Sawyer's dishonest appearances. However, shortly before leaving on the raft, Sawyer relayed to Jack the story of meeting Jack's father in Sydney, partly mending their relationship. ("Exodus, Part 1")
- Sawyer finds and takes the diamonds that Nikki and Paulo had stolen. When confronted, he gives them to Sun, trying to prove that he didn't kill them for the diamonds. When Sun gives the diamonds back, he scatters them into Nikki and Paulo's grave. ("Exposé")
- Upon learning that Sawyer masterminded Charlie's assault on her, an angered Sun violently slaps his face. Sawyer seems genuinely hurt by Sun's grudge against him and seeks her forgiveness.
- Sawyer accepted responsibility for killing an Other to Richard Alpert, explaining it was self-defense. After a lifetime of cons and lies, he told Richard the truth. He eventually becomes head of security for DHARMA, an important and responsible position where his judgment is relied on. ("LaFleur")
- Sayid served as a soldier in the Iraqi Republican Guard. In Desert Storm, his military base was captured by U.S. forces. A U.S. military man named Kelvin Joe Inman manipulated Sayid into utilizing torture methods on his fellow Iraqis. Sayid's final words to Inman were "I will never do that again." ("One of Them")
- Shortly after the crash, Sayid was an early target for blame, due to his Middle Eastern heritage. However, his hard work and ingenuity proved himself as a valuable member of the new community.
- When he was found by Danielle Rousseau, she thought Sayid was a "hostile". He was eventually able to convince her that he was not, and the anomosity disappeared. ("Whatever the Case May Be")
- After Shannon said she had seen Walt, Sayid voiced his disbelief, which hurt and angered her. He later found her and apologized saying he believed her after all. ("Abandoned")
- Sayid killed Dogen which allowed The Man in Black to enter The Temple where MiB took to its smoke monster form and killed almost everyone there. ("Sundown") Sayid later redeemed himself for this by sacrificing himself to save everyone else from MiB's bomb on Widmore's submarine. ("The Candidate")
- Sawyer was tortured by Sayid to try and get him to reveal where he had hidden medicine. Later, Sayid took a solitary journey into the jungle on a quest of redemption. ("Confidence Man") ("Solitary")
- Nadia was tortured on orders from his Republican Guard superiors. Sayid later helped her escape, and had been searching for her up until flight 815 crashed. ("Solitary") ("The Greater Good")
- Ben was tortured on suspicion of lying. Sayid later voiced that he believed he had done no wrong, and therefore no redemption was necessary. ("One of Them")
- Amira was tortured under unknown circumstances while Sayid was in the Republican Guard. Sayid later admitted to it, and apologized profusely. ("Enter 77")
Shannon is the strongest example of rebirth on the island. Initially, she acted with selfish motivations, and refused to involve herself with the main group. However, as events passed, Shannon became more caring about her fellow survivors, and when she saw Walt appear before her, she chased after him into the depths of the jungle, ultimately leading to her death. Part of Shannon's rebirth came from having someone, mainly Sayid, believe in her for the first time in her life. Her stepmother had refused to finance her ambition to take up an internship, saying she could not be trusted and could not achieve anything without sponging off others. Having someone see her as worth something as her own individual seemed to have an impact on Shannon, and indeed moments later it seemed to allow Sayid to also see Walt in the jungle for himself.
Her other issues on the Island seem to center on the fact that no-one ever believed in her. In the episode "Abandoned," flashbacks show how Shannon tried to convince her step-mother to give her the money to pursue her opportunity with a dance company, pleading that she "just need to get to New York. I need just something — something to get started. I'll pay you back." However, her step-mother refused to believe her, retorting "this week it's an internship — last year it was what — interior design? You'll never pay me back." Later, Boone offered Shannon all the money she needed, but she questioned his motives behind the loan, asking:
SHANNON: Do you believe I can, or don't you, Boone?
SHANNON: Okay, you know what, I really want you to just take your money — go work for your mother — I don't want it...
On the Island, Shannon saw Walt repeatedly, despite him being kidnapped by the Others. However, no-one would believe her, and even Sayid doubted the claim. Out in the jungle, Shannon eventually confronted Sayid, showing the true root of her complex:
SHANNON: Why don't you believe me? [Sayid doesn't answer] I need you to believe in me!
SAYID: I do believe in you.
SHANNON: You don't! No one does. They think that I'm some kind of joke. They think I'm worthless.
SAYID: Shannon, you are not worthless.
After Sayid truly believes in Shannon, Walt reappears, and this time Sayid can also see him. With this resolution to Shannon's problems, she proceeds to chase after Walt, and in the confusion of surrounding whispers, is shot by Ana Lucia. ("Abandoned")
Sun has also arguably been metaphorically reborn on the Island. Before the crash, she was stuck in an emotionally and physically abusive marriage she partly wished to escape. Despite this, she still deeply loved her husband, and could not bring herself to leave him. After the plane crash Sun was initially held back by Jin, who refused to allow her to get involved with the other survivors, and on a number of occasions told her to cover up her skin, despite the heat. Indeed, Sun's desire for freedom was apparent in "Pilot, Part 2" when Kate stripped off to bathe herself in the water. However, Sun later managed to become an individual and stand up for herself and dressed and acted how she wished. The pinnacle of this self-freedom was seen in "...In Translation" when she dressed in a bathing suit and stood in the waves before the camp, not caring if anyone would see. In a bitter twist of irony, Sun's initial motivation to leave her husband was fulfilled as she returned from The Island without Jin - albeit her feelings about her husband had dramatically changed since the day of the crash.
Even at a tender age, Walt was constantly moving around with his mother all over the world. When he arrived on the Island, he decided that he did not want to move anymore, and that he liked the Island. His time there showed that Walt had found some harmony, being with his father finally on a place where they could both stay. Indeed, Walt burned down the raft to ensure he did not have to leave. However, he had a change of heart after realizing how much Michael wished to go, and helped his father build a second raft. After being captured by the Others and then rescued, Walt left the Island hugging his father, showing his progression since the initial plane crash where they hardly knew each other and often argued. In a fit or irony, it was not until after the two left the Island that the issues were dredged up again.
- Evangeline Lilly, in the 11/14/05 podcast, mentioned redemption and the fact that she believed that it was a major driving force to the show.
"... And everybody's convinced that he's dead. And it's so tragic, and it's so wrong in every sense of the word, and all of the sudden, there's this new life. [Soundbite continues with Charlie revived] And he's back in that. And the redemption that comes... and I don't use that word a lot for the show, but I really believe that's a main theme in the show."
- Damon Lindelof, in the 12/02/06 podcast, made mention that redemption was a theme of Lost.
- Damon Lindelof made a second remark in a USA Today article (referring to the character's challenges, and Michael's acts of murder):
The producers remind that redemption has been an overriding theme of the series since Day 1. "Kate blew up a house with a man inside," Lindelof says. "Sayid is a torturer. Sawyer has done all sorts of nasty things. That's the space the show lives in. Michael was one of the few characters who was a victim before he came to the Island. He was a good guy, and his wife took his son away from him. He didn't have anything to be redeemed for until now."
- "The show is about redemption," said executive producer Carlton Cuse in a 2007 interview. "All the characters on this island are confronting the failures of their past and revisiting issues that go to the core of their emotional make up."
- Jack Bender in a DVD extra similarly said Lost is "All about redemption and rebirth."
(direct references only)
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- While on the raft, Sawyer sang Redemption Song by Bob Marley; the song was also played during a DJ Dan podcast. ("Exodus, Part 2") (DJ Dan August 11, 2006 live podcast transcript/Part 2)
- A copy of the novel Redemption by Leon Uris is displayed on Jack's office bookshelf. ("A Tale of Two Cities")
- The Brothers Karamazov, a classic Dostoevsky novel in which redemption plays an important role, is found in the Swan. ("Three Minutes")