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"Worst Heartbreak Of My Career": Lost Star Reflects On Shannon's Fate 19 Years Later


  • Maggie Grace was disappointed with Shannon’s early death on
  • Shannon’s death had a meaningful impact on other characters, like Sayid.
  • Killing Shannon ensured a sympathetic and memorable exit, with brief returns in later episodes.

Lost actor Maggie Grace reflects on her character’s fate on the popular ABC television series. Grace played Shannon Rutherford, stepsister to fellow Oceanic Flight 815 survivor Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder), and she became romantically involved with another castaway, Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews). Grace was a series regular throughout all of season 1 and up to the season 2 episode “What Kate Did,” where Shannon was buried on the island after being shot in season 2, episode 6, “Abandoned.” She briefly reprised the role for a season 3 episode and in the series finale.

While speaking with The Independent, Grace looked back on her time spent filming Lost and her disappointment that her character was killed so early in the series’ six-season run. She admits that “I thought they were gonna take her a little further. It’s still the worst heartbreak of my career. I was devastated!” She also spoke about reasons Shannon may have been killed, along with her unrealized hopes of how the character could’ve developed had she survived longer. Check out Grace’s comments below:

[She] was sort of a caricature of white privilege before that was a phrase, you know? And maybe I was just too good at my assigned job of being incredibly annoying. I thought maybe she would do something surprising, or have another colour [to her personality]. Maybe she’d, at the last moment, redeem herself and be incredibly self-sacrificial in some way. I guess there were flashes of it, but
not in the way I hoped in terms of an arc
. That’s a selfish actor’s point of view. They definitely had bigger fish to fry.

Should Shannon Have Survived Longer On Lost?

Shannon’s Death Had A Meaningful Impact On Other Characters

When Shannon was killed early in season 2, it came as a shock, as the only other major castaway to die at the time had been Boone. The episode she died in, “Abandoned,” gave her an overdue sympathetic backstory, seemingly poising her to become a more developed character before Ana Lucia Cortez (Michelle Rodriguez) made the mistake of shooting her. Even though it initially seemed like her character may have been killed prematurely, future episodes proved that it was the right decision.

Ana Lucia’s mistake haunted her and prevented her from assimilating as well as the other tail section survivors did, which was vital to her arc moving forward. Shannon’s death also shaped the direction of Sayid’s tragic arc and his attitude toward the Others. Beyond these impacts, there wasn’t much more that Shannon could contribute to the main group or to the story, as she didn’t have any essential skills needed for survival, and so much of her identity and what was holding her back was intertwined with Boone, who had already died in season 1.

Boone died in season 1, episode 20, “Do No Harm.”

Killing Shannon in this way ensured that her character left the show on a sympathetic and devastating note, making her exit memorable and consequential. Her cameo via flashback in the season 3 episode “Exposé” was a fun way to briefly bring her back to the series, as was her more meaningful return in the Lost series finale, which confirmed that she remained an integral member of Lost‘s core group of characters, along with reaffirming the genuine love she and Sayid had for each other.

Source: The Independent

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