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3x10-death-card

The "death" Tarot card seen in "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead".

"It's sort of understood on Lost that that's what you sign up for. There's going to be constant character turnover, because the stakes on the Island are life-or-death."

-- Damon Lindelof, (Lost: On Location (Season 2))

Life and death is a commonly recurring issue on Lost, and according to Damon Lindelof, are two major themes on the Island. While naturally character death is a feature to a good narrative and adds to suspense, life has often been shown to juxtapose with death, creating an intricate balance.

Redemption and Death

Main article: Redemption

Many deaths (especially those of main characters) have come soon after the characters overcome their issues on the island. While this could be seen as a way of progressing the story, it has also been seen by others as support for theories, such as that the Island is purgatory.

Dying with eyes open is a common occurrence with many of the characters. Characters who have died with their eyes open are Locke, Matthew Abaddon, Daniel Faraday, Keamy, Minkowski, Nikki, Paulo, Naomi, Ana Lucia, Libby, Jae Lee and Charlotte. In some cultures, dying with eyes open is interpreted as dying in a state of unrest or mission in life unfulfilled. Eyes are also a way into their soul.(eyes)


Ana Lucia

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. ("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 shooting and killing Shannon. ("...And Found") Later, Ana planned to kill "Henry Gale", but at the final moment decided not to. She tells 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, that Michael shoots her dead. ("Two for the Road")

Boone

Boone was also an example of one who died soon after his redemption. After being tied up by Locke while excavating the Hatch, Boone experienced a hallucination as the result of a paste being rubbed on his head. In his hallucination, he is forced to confront his major issue: love for his stepsister, Shannon. In his hallucination, he finds her dead, and as he later confesses to Locke, he felt "relieved." This eased his jealousy for Sayid, as well as freeing himself from his love for Shannon. ("Hearts and Minds") However, soon after his redemption, Boone climbed into a Beechcraft plane, but the plane fell from a cliff with him inside, killing him. ("Deus Ex Machina")

2X06 ShannonSayidRain

Sayid believes in Shannon, resulting in Walt appearing to him too.

Shannon

Shannon's 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?

Boone pauses

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.

Eko

Eko finally accepted his fate, and refused to change or admit guilt, possibly showing a loss of possible redemption.

Charlotte

Charlotte finally stopped being secretive with others when she admitted to Daniel that she had been born on the island. She learnt to let people in rather than shutting them out, and then died.

Michael

After murdering Ana Lucia and Libby, Michael redeemed himself by saving those on the helicopter. He also tried to save the lives of the people on the Kahana by disarming the bomb.

Suicide

Suicide has been a theme on Lost. Many characters have attempted suicide, but the success of these attempts has varied from person-to-person. The cause of suicide is generally depression, but in the case of some, to simply escape, or even because of a mental illness.

Pre-Crash

In 1977, Sawyer's mother was conned by Anthony Cooper. Enraged, his father, Mr. Ford came home, shot Sawyer's mother, and then committed suicide. ("Outlaws")

During Desmond's time in the Swan with Kelvin, he had been told about Radzinsky, Kelvin's former partner who was responsible for many things in the hatch. Finally, after being questioned by Desmond, Kelvin revealed that Radzinsky had committed suicide, pointing out a bloodstain on the ceiling. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

JaeCar3x02

Jae's body on Jin's car. ("The Glass Ballerina")

After recieving orders from Mr. Paik to kill Jae Lee (whom Paik had seen having an affair with Sun), Jin set off to Jae's apartment, beating him profusely. However, instead of killing him, Jin offered Jae a chance to leave the country and never come back. However, as Jin was leaving and got into his car, Jae's body, clutching a strand of pearls he had offered to Sun, smashed down onto his car, as a result of Jae leaping from his hotel room window. ("The Glass Ballerina")

Another suicide occurred off the island, as Hurley and Ken Halperin were discussing Hurley's financial situation. Suddenly, behind Ken, a man was seeing falling to his death outside, having jumped off the building to commit suicide. ("Numbers")

1X21-SayidEssamGun

Essam holds Sayid and gunpoint before killing himself ("The Greater Good")

Upon travelling to Australia in search of the source of the Numbers, Hurley met Martha Toomey, the wife of Sam Toomey, who had first heard the numbers. When asking about Sam's location, Martha stated that, in order to escape the numbers, Sam had killed himself several years prior to Hurley's visit. ("Numbers")

During Sayid's time in Australia, he worked undercover with the CIA in order to uncover a terrorist sect nearby. He was reunited with his college friend, Essam, and stated that he would orchestrate a suicide bombing with Essam, in order to locate the explosives. However, just before the bombing was about to occur, Sayid revealed to Essam his true mission. Essam, angered by the betrayal, held Sayid and gunpoint before turning the gun on himself. ("The Greater Good")

After the Crash

While in the hatch, a depressed Desmond contemplated suicide while drinking heavily and starting to read Our Mutual Friend. However, before he was about to commit suicide, however, he heard Locke, angered by Boone's death, pounding on the hatch door above, restoring his faith and making him lose the thoughts of suicide, knowing he was not alone. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

DAV4

Dave tries to get Hurley to jump off a cliff. ("Dave")

Hurley, almost a month later, soon became haunted by his imaginary friend, Dave. During his final meeting with Dave, Dave tried to convince him that the island wasn't real, and that it was all a figment of his imagination. Dave stated that if Hurley threw himself off a cliff, he would survive and wake up in Santa Rosa. However, Hurley was stopped by Libby, with whom he shared a kiss. ("Dave")

After leaving the island, Michael decided to reveal the fact that he had killed Libby and Ana Lucia to his son Walt. Walt then, however, wanted nothing to do with Michael, and opted to live with Michael's mother instead of Michael. Michael fell into a deep depression, and attempted suicide by ramming his car into a storage unit. While badly injured, Michael survived and quickly healed. After getting out of the hospital, Michael sold Jin's watch in order to purchase a revolver from the pawn shop.
Not Yet

"Not Yet." ("Meet Kevin Johnson")

Going into a nearby alley, he attempted to shoot himself, but the gun jammed several times. Tom then appeared, and stated that the Island would not let Michael commit suicide because he still had work to do. Upon returning home, Michael was still unable to shoot himself, and finally visited Tom to see what work was needed from him. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")

Later, on the Kahana, Michael prepared to blow up a suitcase bomb given to him by the Others, which would kill him and everyone else on board. However, when he went to detonate the deadly device, a small flag stating "Not yet," popped up, giving Michael yet another failed suicide attempt. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")

Meanwhile, Ben had shot Locke and left him in a pit for dead. Locke, finding a revolver on the corpse of a nearby Dharma worker, held the revolver to his head and attempted to pull the trigger. However, before he could carry on with the suicide, he was stopped by Walt, who told him he had "work to do." ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")

At the Looking Glass, Mikhail Bakunin, though thought dead by Charlie and Desmond, escaped into the moon pool with a grenade. While Charlie made contact with Penny Widmore, Mikhail tapped on the glass, showing Charlie the grenade in his hand while pulling the pin. The grenade exploded, with Mikhail effectively killing himself and drowning Charlie at the same time. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")

Reginajumps

Regina jumps off the Kahana. ("Ji Yeon")

Sometime later, after Desmond and Sayid's arrival at the freighter, they witnessed a woman named Regina commit suicide by wrapping herself in chains and throwing herself off the side of the ship. Gault soon appeared, and informed them that Regina's suicide was likely the result of "cabin fever" that was going around people on the ship. This was further confirmed by Ray noticing a large blood stain at the wall in one of the ship's cabins, presumably of another suicide.("Ji Yeon")

After the escape of the Oceanic 6 from the island, John Locke, using the alias of Jeremy Bentham, followed them, and approached each of them, telling them of the repercussions of their leaving, and warning them that they needed to return to the island. However, after visiting them all, he was found dead in his apartment, and the death was ruled as a suicide. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")

The truth, however, was that Ben had convinced Locke not to kill himself, but then strangled him with the same rope after hearing Locke tell him about Eloise Hawking. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")

After reading about Locke's death, Jack fell into a deeper depression, eventually pulling over while driving on a bridge and preparing to jump off. However, before he could do so, a car accident occurred behind him, a result of a driver being distracted by Jack standing on the side of the bridge. Jack abandoned his suicidal mission and saved the passenger and her son instead. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")

List of "life moments"

Off the Island

2x01-SarahMiracle

Sarah after being healed. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")

Maternity-leave-cap830

Aaron was born on the Island. ("Do No Harm")

On the Island

List of "death moments"

3x20 LockeMassGrave

An unknown number of DHARMA Initiative members who died in the Purge. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")

302 Jin Jae

Jae Lee commits suicide. ("The Glass Ballerina")

2X08-AnaShooting

Ana Lucia kills Jason for revenge. ("Collision")

AnaKillsGoodwin2x07

Goodwin killed by Ana Lucia. ("The Other 48 Days")

Costofliving

Eko is killed by the Monster. ("The Cost of Living")

Sawyer kills cooper

Anthony Cooper is killed by Sawyer. ("The Brig")

DeadRay

Doc Ray's body washes up on the beach, after he had been killed by Keamy. ("The Shape of Things to Come")

Freightergoesboom

Multiple people die in the freighter explosion. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")

Coffin

Locke is revealed to be in the coffin. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")

Pre-crash deaths

Post-crash deaths

"This place is death!"

-- Charlotte, ("This Place Is Death")

Post-island deaths

Appearances After Death

Several characters have reappeared after death, although the form of that appearance is currently an unsolved mystery.

Death on the Island

  • Horace Goodspeed is discovered by Locke while chopping down a tree and they have a conversation about Locke's destiny.
  • Charlie Pace appears to Hurley at Santa Rosa Mental Institute. Charlie is also seen by another patient and slaps Hurley in the face during their conversation.
  • Libby appears to Michael Dawson in his hospital room dressed as a nurse and again on the Kahana.
  • Ana Lucia appears to Hurley in Los Angeles. She is driving a police car and pulls him, then delivers a message to him.
  • Alex appears to Ben in the Temple, pins him to a column and demands that he follow Locke's leadership.

Dead Body Known to Arrive on Island

  • Christian Shephard's coffin was on Oceanic 815. He appears soon after the crash to Jack. He also later appears to Jack in Los Angeles. He appears on the island to daughter Claire, holding his grandson Aaron, and convinces Claire to come with him and leave Aaron behind. He has subsequently appeared to Locke, Sun and Frank.
  • John Locke's coffin was on Ajira 316. He appears on the beach with the other survivors, talking to Ilana.
  • Yemi's body was placed on the smuggler's plane that crashed on the island. He appears to Eko.

Death Off-Island

  • Emily Linus died giving birth to Ben, but later appears to him in the jungle and speaks to him.

It is unclear if Boone's appearance to Locke in the sweat lodge is truly an appearance, or occurred while Locke was having an induced hallucination.

Footnotes

Note 1: It is implied by Damon Lindelof during the August 2nd, 2007 podcast and in the World of the Others special that Isabel is also killed during this attack.

Main cast kill count

This lists the known direct kills committed by the main Survivors actually shown in an episode, whether on or off the Island. It does not include kills that are merely referenced in dialogue (for example, Sayid telling Charlie about how he was a member of a firing squad in Iraq). ("Outlaws")

Main Character Off the Island On the Island Total kill count
Sayid
1X21-SayidIsland
13
Eko
1x22 eko
8
Ben
3x20-Ben-shooting-Locke
5
Sawyer
1x02 Sawyer Close Up
5
Ana Lucia
2X20 AnaLuciaIsland
4
Bernard
3x22 BernardGun
No known kills 2
Jin
3x22 JinGun
No known kills 2
Michael
MichaelGun
No known kills 2
Locke
3x23 LockeGun
No known kills 2
Juliet
3x07 JulietKillsDanny
No known kills 2
Kate
3x13 kate promotional
No known kills 1
Charlie
1x15-Charlie Shooting Ethan
No known kills 1
Hurley
Ryan hit by van
No known kills 1
Desmond
Desmond harpoon promotional
No known kills 1
Sun
3x02-SunShooting
No known kills 1
Nikki and Paulo
3x14
No known kills 1
Jack
1x03-JackNotMurderer
No known kills 1

Trivia

  • One of the original 14 main characters has been killed off each season:
Season One: Boone
Season Two: Shannon
Season Three: Charlie
Season Four: Michael
Season Five: Locke
  • The main characters' total kill count is 50 (this total does not include Bernard's 2 kills as he is not a main character)

See also

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