Tricky devils, those writers.
Let's face it, no one should be surprised that Shannon is the one who died in tonight's episode. I don't read the message boards, I converse with some fans at work but not in overwhelming detail, and still even I figured that Shannon was a good candidate for extinction.
Yes, I liked the Claire theory, which was tantalizing because it would make everyone else bring up baby, and the show certainly hinted that in Locke's paternal moments. (Gosh, how good is Terry O'Quinn?). And they did play effectively tonight with the idea that Sawyer's time was up.
But they also telegraphed Shannon's demise pretty thoroughly in the flashbacks. Her place in the ''Lost'' universe reminded me of where Gary was on ''thirtysomething'' just before they killed him -- so apart from the core characters, so marginalized from the real action that each could be dispatched without excessive disruption of the show's universe. The show tried to make it seem that the death had great impact, but it wasn't a bold stroke; taking out Nancy would have been the daring, risky move.
But back to ''Lost'': Even Shannon's moment of emotional redemption felt like a farewell. ''She is so dead,'' I said to my wife.
But, as I said, those ''Lost'' guys are tricky. Having Shannon's end come as a result of friendly fire was the sort of thing that makes you walk away with a gasp and a grin. The show seemed to be going in an obvious direction. (Indeed, while there were some little points of interest, the episode for the most part felt like a very long wait for the death scene.) Then, bam, they once again say that you should never relax. And that they're bound to have something else interesting in a week.