Follow along! The episode guide for “Abandoned” is in Finding Lost, pp. 205-210.
I haven’t pretended to be a fan of Shannon. She was irritating from the very beginning – suntanning herself and giving herself pedicures on the beach while everyone else was foraging for food, burning the dead, trying to find water. When Boone tried to give her food, she refused. The only time she was useful was when she was trying to show up Boone. As with many characters, they become likable only when we see their flashback (see: Kwon, Jin Soo). So perhaps it was unfair that she didn’t get a flashback until now, and the character was never given a fair shot with us. But here’s the problem: I find her sudden likability in this episode a bit of a cheat. She was treated badly by a horrible stepmother. She was told over and over again that she was useless and would never find her own way. So she decided she would show them… and she gave herself pedicures on the beach. Sawyer might have sat around being a complete dick in the beginning, but that behavior lasted all of a week before he was starting to become a useful member of the group. The Shannon who stands on the mountain and refuses to even attempt to listen to the Frenchwoman’s distress call despite everyone asking her to just TRY is not the same Shannon in this episode who is likable, talented, and trying hard. They haven’t exactly made me like Shannon in this episode – they’ve simply created a new character that I like a lot more than that blonde bimbo on the beach.
Fun things I noticed:
• That scene where Shannon starts kissing Sayid and they stop abruptly always makes me laugh. I wish they’d let me in the writers’ room so I could write the dialogue for that one. Shannon: “Is that a gun in your pants or are you just happy to see me.” Sayid: “Uh… both.”
• Sawyer always looks stricken when he’s caught pretending to be the bad guy. Notice the instant regret on his face when Michael hears him talking about him.
• Shannon’s actually lost all of her immediate family – her mother, father, and stepbrother.
• Charlie is SO mean-spirited in this episode. His comments to Locke about Claire always drive me insane. (I checked my book and I go on at length about the wrongness of it, so I won’t repeat myself here.)
• Do you think Sayid is telling the truth about believing Shannon (before he sees Walt) and that he’ll never leave her, or is he just trying to talk her off the ledge?
Things that have new meaning:
• There’s been a lot of speculation that Libby could have been an Other or may have been connected with Dharma. I’ve often wondered if the fact she’s a clinical psychologist could have connected her to Dharma? Psychological experiments were a big factor in what they did… and an even bigger curiosity to the Others.
• I really love the connection between Locke and Claire. Could there be any link between this and what later happens to Claire? Locke is the only one who can see Jacob in his cabin, and he’s the one given the instructions in “Cabin Fever.” In that same episode, he sees Claire sitting in a chair inside. The jury’s still out on what her deal is, but both of them are connected to Christian in this scene (Claire biologically) and I wonder if the writers were purposely giving us these scenes of the two of them together for that reason.
• Watching Sayid cradle Shannon made me think of the scene of Nadia’s death in “The Incident.” Man the writers have put Naveen through the ringer. Poor Sayid loses both of the women he loves in horribly violent ways.
• Sayid shoots Elsa in “The Economist” the same way Shannon is shot.
• Notice the horrified look on Michael’s face when he sees someone killed with a bullet (Shannon is hit in approximately the same spot as he’ll shoot Libby).