Her full name is Charlotte Staples Lewis, an obvious nod to writer CS Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia). Charlotte was born in England, at least according to Ben (when she first landed on the island, he told Locke & co. everything he knew about her...from his spy Michael's intel on the freighter).
Charlotte is an anthropologist who received her PhD at Oxford (where Daniel Faraday was a physics professor).
When the fake wreckage of Flight 815 was reported in the media, Charlotte was on a dig in Tunisia and expressed skepticism about the crash.
She then unearthed a Dharma collar (with the Hydra station logo) that was attached to the skeleton of a polar bear.
Ben later traveled forward in time to Tunisia, and it wasn't his first visit. Coincidence? I think not.
Matthew Abbadon, who claims to work for Oceanic Airlines, hand selected Charlotte to be one of the Freighter Four (along with Daniel Faraday, Frank Lapidus and Miles Straume) and travel to the island on a ship funded by Charles Widmore. Her actual assignment and role are unknown.
Charlotte arrived on the island via parachute, crash landing in a tree before being discovered by Locke and his group.
Ben shot her in the upper chest, but she she had a bullet-proof vest on so she survived. He then proceeded to share her life history with the group, and she looked surprised to hear it.
Charlotte accompanied the survivors to the abandoned barracks in New Otherton, but Sayid came and exchanged her for Miles, so she returned to the beach with Daniel and Jack's group.
Due to her vague answers and sassy attitude, Charlotte was not very popular there, especially with Juliet (which led to a nasty fight in the Tempest later, and should make for some interesting exchanges between them next season because they're among the only ones left on the island).
Let's back up a step. Charlotte clearly knew more than she was letting on, which became obvious when she and Daniel secretly took off to the Tempest station to turn off lethal gas. Oh, and our mysterious anthropologist knocked Kate out with a gun when she started asking too many questions. Add Charlotte to the list of women on Lost with prior gun experience that does not relate to what she supposedly does for a living.
She and Daniel went with Jin and Sun to get medical supplies when Jack required emergency surgery. We learned during that trek that Charlotte speaks Korean, when she interpreted and understood Jin and Sun's private conversations. Jin and Sun think that Daniel has a crush of Charlotte, but it appears that she views him more as a little brother. By the way, Jin confronted her about knowing Korean and threatened Daniel's life unless she helped Jin get Sun rescued.
When it came time to leave the island with the survivors and take them to the freighter for rescue, Charlotte chose to stay behind because she's still "looking for where she was born." Miles implied that she'd been to the island before, but she pretended not to know what he's referring to.
LINGERING QUESTIONS ABOUT CHARLOTTE
- Did she know Daniel Faraday during their days at Oxford? Have they worked together before?
- When she first encountered Locke and his group after dislodging herself from the parachute, she inquired about Claire and Aaron. Did she know the history of babies and infertility on the island?
- Could she have been a child of Dharma folks? Was she born on the island, and if so, would that make her the first child to be conceived and delivered there successfully?
- If her parents were working on the island for Dharma and they died during Ben's purge, are they the ones who provided Miles (the ghost whisperer) with the information about her previous stint on the island?
- Even though there is an age discrepancy, could she possibly be Annie, Ben's childhood Dharma friend? Or could Charlotte be related to/know Annie? When she first encountered Ben, Charlotte didn't give any indication of recognition when she saw him and heard his name...
- When Ben visited Tunisia before (time unknown), was Charlotte there? Was he there because that's where the island had moved before? If so, Charlotte may have known that (thus, the dig for the Dharma collar there).
- Is it possible that Ben really doesn't know everything about her, that his only information came from Michael?
- Does she work for Widmore directly and was she under his employ when she went on the Tunisia dig? Was he her source of information about the island and how to access it/avoid the dangers on it?
- Had she also studied the Flight 815 manifest (like Frank)? Did she learn Korean only recently, as part of her homework for the mission on the island? And if so, how did she know for sure that not only were there survivors from Flight 815 there, but that the two who spoke Korean survived the crashed?
- What will she make of the 4-toed statue? Perhaps she already knows about.
- Does she make it off the island in the future and interact/work with any of the Oceanic 6 or Ben?
...one of Widmore's daughters. She and Penny don't share the same mother, and Penny is not aware that she has a sister. Charlotte has been to the island before because Daddy discovered and/or owns it, but she was very young at the time and doesn't remember much about it...yet.