NEW YORK - It would seem to be lights out for Shannon on "Lost."
The spoiled Daddy's girl was apparently killed off Wednesday night as the ABC thriller made good on its promise to eliminate one of its characters.
Hyped by the network as the episode that "people will be talking about all year long," it had indeed spurred lots of chatter even before it aired. Despite mighty efforts by the series' producers to keep secret the victim's identity beforehand, bloggers and other "Lost" sleuths seized on Shannon Rutherford weeks ago as the castaway most likely to be "lost forever."
Even so, the episode put forward another possible candidate: fellow refugee Sawyer (Josh Holloway). Feverish and weakened from a bullet wound, he fell into unconsciousness during a grueling hike through the jungle interior.
It seemed he was a goner. Or just a red herring? At last sighting, he was being carried on a makeshift stretcher by others in his party. His condition seemed grave. "Lost" can be a tease.
But by all indications short of a death certificate, the bell tolled for Shannon. Pushing through the thick jungle growth in frantic pursuit of Walt (Malcolm David Kelley), the vanished child whose image keeps haunting her, Shannon was mistaken for one of the demonic Others and shot by trigger-happy Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez).
Wounded and bloody, Shannon collapsed into the arms of Sayid (Naveen Andrews), who had just professed his love for her - and told her that, by golly, he had seen Walt's vision, too.
It was just another day on the uncharted tropical island where Shannon and dozens more airline passengers crashed last fall - at the same time launching "Lost" into a hit.
Played by Maggie Grace, Shannon had been depicted as a sexy brat whose checkered past included seducing her stepbrother Boone Carlyle, a fellow island refugee until his death last season in a freak accident. Shannon was left reeling by that loss.
On Wednesday's episode, Boone (played by Ian Somerhalder) made a guest appearance in a flashback. He was seen comforting teenage Shannon upon the sudden death of her father, after which her stepmother rudely cut off her funds.
Then trust-fund Boone betrayed Shannon when he announced that Mom had offered him a well-paying job.
No wonder Shannon wrestled with abandonment issues.
"I know when we get out of here, you're just gonna leave me," she tearfully told Sayid moments before she was shot.
"I will never leave you," he said.
His devotion seemed to be a "Lost" cause.