Season: 4-6, Episodes: 29, Faction: Freighter/Survivors
Frank J. Lapidus is an aircraft pilot who was originally scheduled to pilot Oceanic Airlines Flight 815, but overslept and missed the flight. Before joining the freighter team, Frank was among the few who believed that the wreckage of Flight 815 found at the bottom of the Sunda Trench was staged. Matthew Abaddon described him as a “pretty good pilot“, but Frank may be an alcoholic with some past issues according to Naomi. Frank was hired by Charles Widmore to be the lead chopper pilot on the freighter Kahana in order to ferry the science team to the Island. After the death of Naomi, however, he begrudgingly transported the entire mercenary team as well. When Frank learned that Oceanic Flight 815 passengers were alive on the Island, he agreed to help them escape, and succeeded after the Others’ ambush of the mercenary team. When the freighter sunk and the island disappeared, the helicopter eventually ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean, but Frank found rescue along with Desmond and the Oceanic Six. After being rescued, Frank participated in the cover up story of the Oceanic Six.
Three years later, in 2007, he began piloting for Ajira Airways. Frank piloted Ajira Flight 316, the plane that returned the Oceanic Six to the Island. Frank safely landed the Ajira Plane on the Runway at the Hydra Island despite some system failures. After the rough landing, Frank ventured on with Sun in search of Jin and her friends, but they eventually parted ways. As soon as he returned to the Hydra Island in hopes of fixing the plane, he encountered Ilana’s group and got knocked out after failing to answer their question (“What lies in the shadow of the Statue?”). While unconscious, he was taken back to the Main Island. Bram questioned Ilana about Frank’s status as a “candidate” for the replacement of Jacob as guardian of the Island. Frank accompanied Ilana’s group to the Statue where he watched Ilana show Richard the corpse of John Locke. After Jacob was murdered, he followed Ilana to the Temple and arrived there just in time to witness the Temple Massacre. Frank resided at the beach camp along with Sun, Ilana, Miles, Ben, Richard, Hurley and Jack until Ilana’s death, at which point the group split in two, with Frank staying with those who chose to reason with the Man in Black in order to keep him from leaving the Island. He left in the submarine with Jack’s group, and was on board when it exploded and sank. Frank survived and was saved by Miles and Richard, who helped him repair the plane. The three of them left the Island along with Kate, Sawyer, and Claire.
On the mainland (Before the Freighter)
4×02 – Confirmed Dead | 4×03 – The Economist | 6×07 – Dr. Linus
Frank Lapidus grew up in the Bronx in New York. He claimed that he was the original intended pilot of Oceanic Flight 815, but was replaced by his friend and fellow pilot Seth Norris when he overslept due to a dysfunction of his alarm clock. For a while, he went to work for Caribbean Dreams Island Travel and Tours in Eleuthera, the Bahamas. One day, when Oceanic Flight 815 was reportedly found in the Sunda Trench according to news channels, Frank immediately contacted the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board’s ‘Oceanic hotline’ and spoke to a representative while he was watching live footage of the plane’s remains. He stated that in the footage they had identified the corpse of pilot Seth Norris, however he said that he is absolutely positive that the body was not actually Norris since Frank knew that Norris never took off his wedding ring and he justified that by pointing out that the corpse wasn’t wearing one. (“Confirmed Dead”) (“The Economist”) (“Dr. Linus”)
At some point after discovering that the wreckage was fake and contacting the NTSB about it, Frank was recruited as a pilot by Matthew Abaddon who had belonged to the organization which was responsible for staging the fake wreckage of the doomed Oceanic Flight 815. Abaddon, who was working under the direct orders of wealthy industrialist Charles Widmore, sent Frank along with a Science team on a mission to the island. He was stationed at the Kahana, a freighter which belonged to Charles Widmore which was dispatched to find and capture the island 3 months after the crash of Oceanic 815. His role was to transport the Science team to and from the island and then later, the Mercenary team in order to capture Benjamin Linus. In a meeting between Abaddon and Naomi, Frank was described as “a drunk.” (“Confirmed Dead”)
On the freighter
4×08 – Meet Kevin Johnson
Shortly after arriving near the Island, Frank told Naomi that he wanted to take the helicopter first and go to the Island since he is the pilot after all, but she denied him and said that he needs to stay on the freighter so that the science team could be transported to the island. After speaking with Naomi, he introduced himself to Michael (Kevin Johnson) and asked him why he was on board the freighter. When Michael said he was just looking for some adventure, Frank told him the biggest adventure was the Oceanic Flight 815 wreckage found at the bottom of the ocean and that he was one of the few people who know that the wreckage is actually a fake. He told Michael that Charles Widmore, the owner of the boat believed him and that is the reason why he signed up for the job and is on the freighter. Frank said that if they ever found a survivor of Oceanic Flight 815 it would be cataclysmic. (“Meet Kevin Johnson”)
On the Island (Days 91-108)
4×02 – Confirmed Dead
Frank piloted a helicopter from the freighter to the Island. On approach, the electronics failed and the rest of the members of Frank’s team bailed out by parachuting down. Frank managed to bring the helicopter down without any significant damage. Although he landed the helicopter safely, he sustained head injuries which made it difficult for him to walk. He climbed to the top of a hill and was approached by one of the cattle that lived at the Flame. As soon as he ascended to the top, he fell on the ground and grabbed his satellite phone in order to communicate with his team but discovered that it was destroyed due to the rough landing. When he tried to get up, he found out he was having trouble standing, so he loaded up his flare gun and fired it so that his team could find him.
Frank passed out for a short period of time after firing up the flare gun, but was awoken when Jack and his team found him. When he was awoken, he reacted with a reflex of hostility but after he saw Daniel Faraday and Miles Straume he calmed down. They both asked him what happened to Charlotte and the Chopper, and he responds by saying that she bailed out just like they did right before he went down. When Miles asked Lapidus where the helicopter crashed, he replies by saying “What kind of pilot do you think I am?” he pointed to Miles that he landed the Chopper right by the hill. As Juliet was tending to the wound on his forehead, Frank asked her what her name was. After hearing it, he realized that she wasn’t on Flight 815. He had memorized the entire manifest and was able to identify her as a “native.” (“Confirmed Dead”)
4×03 – The Economist
While Miles was arguing with Jack about moving out to Locke’s group and taking Charlotte back, Sayid told them that they are not going anywhere and immediately addressed Frank if the helicopter will fly. Frank replied by saying that it does fly which prompted Sayid to order Frank to take him to the freighter. Frank told him that they burned a lot of fuel coming to the island so the helicopter can’t carry much weight and that he’ll only take three people with him. Miles quickly reminded Frank that Charlotte was taken prisoner, implying that she is their priority. Sayid vowed to bring Charlotte back safely in return for a spot on the helicopter, an offer which Frank accepted.
When Sayid left with Miles and Kate, Frank asked Jack about where Sayid is from. Jack said that he was from Iraq and then added that he was a torturer after Frank asked if he was some kind of diplomat. Later Frank and Jack watched Daniel setting up some tools and equipments to conduct an experiment, which made Jack wonder what exactly he was doing. Frank said that he couldn’t explain to him his story, saying that half the stuff he says goes way over his head and the other half goes way way over. After Daniel was done setting up the tools, he asked Frank if he could use the phone to talk with Regina on the freighter because he figured that since their waiting he wanted to try out something. Frank wondered what Daniel was up to, so he questioned what exactly he is trying to do. Daniel said that he wanted to do an experiment but before he could explain what it is, Frank immediately gave him the phone, knowing that he wouldn’t know what he was talking about anyways. He just tells him that if Minkowski gets on the phone he should hang up right away. As Daniel initiated the experiment, Frank told Jack, “Don’t sweat it, he does it all the time.”
Desmond arrived from the beach and confronted Frank about the picture of himself and Penny that he had found with Naomi’s things. Frank stated he wasn’t very high up in the freighter’s rankings and knew nothing about it. Sayid returned with Charlotte and Frank agreed to take Sayid, Desmond and Naomi’s body to the Kahana. They lifted up and headed toward the freighter. (“The Economist”)
4×04 – Eggtown
More than a day later, those on the Island discovered Frank, Sayid, and Desmond had not yet made it to the freighter. (“Eggtown”)
4×05 – The Constant
While on course toward the freighter, the chopper entered a thunderhead. The group experienced turbulence, and as it became worse, Frank was unable to follow the bearing Daniel had instructed him to stay on. Eventually, he landed the helicopter. Once on deck, Keamy and Omar approached Frank and asked who Sayid and Desmond were. Frank explained they were survivors of the crash. Later, after an argument with Keamy, Frank swapped the phone for Sayid’s gun. After this, they headed down to the sick bay and gave Desmond the phone to talk to Daniel, who was on the island and gave Desmond the information he needed. However Ray pushed the alarm button, and Keamy took the phone from Desmond. Omar also told Frank the captain wanted to speak with him. (“The Constant”)
4×07 – Ji Yeon
That night, Frank was seen carrying a bag as Keamy approached him. He reminded Frank not to be late upstairs and Frank said he would be there. He brought the bag to Sayid and Desmond and encountered Regina reading in front of the door. He mentioned that her book was upside-down and she grunted, apparently angry at him. She let him in and he dumped the bag containing cans of Lima beans on the sick bay bed. He told Sayid the kitchen was having problems. Shortly thereafter, Frank ostensibly flew Keamy and his men to the island to capture Ben. (“Ji Yeon”)
4×10 – Something Nice Back Home
Running through the jungle the day after The Man in Black attacked Keamy’s team, Frank stumbled upon Miles, Sawyer, Claire, and Aaron. Holding a sat phone which showed the locations of the mercenaries, he warned Miles, Claire, and Sawyer that Keamy was heading in their direction. He urged them to hide and they did so. When Keamy’s team arrived, Frank was concerned about an injury one of the men had sustained, but Keamy warned him just to do his job and get them back to the helicopter. Keamy heard Aaron cry, but Frank distracted him before he could figure out what the sound was. They soon left the area, leaving Claire, Aaron, Sawyer, and Miles safe. (“Something Nice Back Home”)
4×11 – Cabin Fever
The next day Frank flew back to the freighter with the mercenaries. Later he helped a locked up Michael off the floor. He asked why Michael never told him he was a survivor of Oceanic Flight 815, and that he was one of the only people who would have believed him. Michael told Frank that it was because Widmore, Frank’s boss, was the one who staged the wreckage, but Frank thought it was a conspiracy. Michael begged Frank not to take Keamy and his team back to the island, thinking he would kill everyone. Frank told him not to worry about it. They left the room and saw Omar strapping a device to Keamy’s arm.
That night, Frank told the mercenaries he would not help them get back to the Island, emphasizing that his job was to fly scientists to and from the island, not mercenaries. In response to this, Keamy slit Ray’s throat and chucked his body overboard. He then warned Frank that if he didn’t fly them back, he would kill someone in the next thirty seconds. Captain Gault interrupted their conversation by firing the gun Keamy gave him to fix. Gault asked what was strapped to Keamy’s arm, but he pulled a gun and shot the captain.
Shocked by this, Frank reluctantly agreed to fly Keamy back to the island. Just as they were taking off, Frank wrapped a satellite phone up and when they reached the island, he threw it onto the beach below them. (“Cabin Fever”)
Frank landed the helicopter five kilometers away from the Orchid station and Keamy’s men left him handcuffed inside the helicopter before moving out. Some time later, Jack and Sawyer found Frank and gave him the toolbox so he could free himself, and he told them where Keamy was headed. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1”)
While attempting to escape, Keamy returned to the chopper with a captive Ben and questioned Frank on how he reached the tool box. Before Frank had the chance to explain, Kate ran out from the jungle, claiming she was being chased by Ben’s people. A fight immediately ensued, with the mercenaries being attacked by the Others. Frank took cover, and was the only Kahana crew member to survive the ambush. Shortly after, Sawyer, Jack, Hurley, Kate, and Sayid reached the chopper, and Frank flew them off the Island towards the freighter. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2”)
A fuel leak, caused by the gunshot battle, forced Frank to lighten the load, and after Sawyer jumped from the chopper to save the others, Frank landed on the Kahana, patched the hole and refueled the helicopter. The Oceanic Six, along with Desmond left shortly before the Kahana exploded, leaving Jin behind. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2”)
Much to Frank’s amazement, the Island disappeared as the chopper headed toward it. Because of the lack of fuel, he had no choice but to crash the helicopter into the ocean. Although visibly hurt, Frank helped Jack to carry an unconscious Desmond to the life raft Sayid threw from the chopper. The survivors drifted in the lifeboat for hours, until they were rescued by the Searcher, a ship owned by Penny. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 3”)
5×02 – The Lie
During their time aboard the Searcher, the Oceanic Six, Desmond, and Penny formulated the lie they would tell upon returning to the mainland. Frank agreed to cooperate with whatever they chose to do. (“The Lie”)
One week following the rescue, the Oceanic Six prepared to leave the vessel on a life raft to maintain the story they would tell to the public. Frank and Jack said their final goodbyes – both joking that they hoped to never see each other again. After the six departed on the life raft headed for the island of Sumba, Frank remained on the Searcher with Desmond and Penny. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 3”)
Associated LOST Themes
Decoded Season 1 Characters
Decoded Season 2 Characters
Decoded Season 3 Characters
Decoded Season 4 Characters
Decoded Season 5 Characters
Decoded Season 6 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
Patron of: the ferryboat that carries the souls of the dead to the underworld.
Appearance: A man dressed in the garb of a sailor, standing in the stern of a papyrus boat.
Description: Aken was the custodian of the ferryboat in the Underworld. However, he was somewhat amusing, for he had to be woken from slumber by the ferryman Mahaf to provide the boat for travel on the celestial waters.
Worship: Not truly worshipped, but mentioned in many hymns and passages of The Book of the Dead.
The chief deity in Egyptian mythology, Ra, when considered as a sun god, was thought to traverse the daily sky in a boat, and cross the underworld at night in another, named Meseket. As the mythology developed, so did the idea that Meseket was controlled by a separate ferryman, who became known as Aken. In their mythology, the underworld was composed of the general area, named Duat, and a more pleasant area to which the morally righteous were permitted, named Aaru. At this point in history, Anubis had become merely the god of embalming, and Osiris, though lord of the whole underworld, dwelt specifically in Aaru, and so Aken was identified as the ruler of the area outside it, Duat in general, on Osiris’ behalf. Because the Egyptian word for part of the soul Ba was also used as a word meaning ram, Aken was usually depicted as being ram-headed. As both an underworld deity, and subservient to Osiris, Aken became known as Cherti (also spelt Kherty), meaning (one who is) subservient. The main center of his cult became Letopolis, and it is considered a possibility that his cult caused the development of the myth of the ferryman in other Mediterranean mythologies, such as that of Charon.