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ShannonHospital2x06
Shannon speaks with her step-mother after her father's death ("Abandoned")

Parent issues, and especially father issues, have been a theme of Lost from the very first episode, "Pilot, Part 1". The parent-child relationship seems to be of particular interest to J.J. Abrams, who created Alias with a similar theme.

Father issues

"You needed a father figure and I needed a kidney, and that's what happened. Get over it. And John, don't come back. You're not wanted."

-- John Locke's father.

The following characters have had "daddy issues." Importantly, these are not only biological fathers, but adopted fathers, fathers-in-law, stepfathers, and father figures:

Father First Reference Reasons
Alexandra 'Alex' RousseauAlexRobert & Benjamin Linus"Not in Portland" Alex was abducted by Ben (who was under orders to kill her) when she was only a month old. Ben tells her her mother is dead and later imprisons her boyfriend Karl in order to prevent him from getting Alex pregnant. She has told numerous people that she does not like her father and finds him very manipulative, but shows concern for him when he is threatened and often speaks out or acts to prevent harm from coming to him. When Alex is held hostage by Keamy, Ben gambles for her life and loses; Keamy kills her and Ben is guilt-ridden for the next three years.
Henry GaleBenRoger Linus"The Man Behind the Curtain" Ben's father, Roger always blamed him for the death of his mother, and was neglectful and selfish while Ben was growing up. Roger drank a lot, and always seemed to forget Ben's birthday. After years of neglect and emotional abuse, Ben murdered his father during the purge. Ben finds a kind of replacement father figure in Jacob, but then feels increasingly neglected by Jacob's continued refusal to communicate directly with him, culminating in their encounter in the statue in "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2"and then he kills him.
Charlie-miniCharlieSimon Pace"Fire + Water"Mr. Pace was very oppressive over Charlie, wanting him to become a butcher.
Claire-miniClaireChristian Shephard"Raised by Another"Claire hardly knew her father as he had a 'real' family in America. This later turned out to be Christian Shephard, Jack's father. Claire's son Aaron was also abandoned by his father, Thomas.
Daniel-miniDanielCharles Widmore"The Variable"Daniel never knew that Charles Widmore was his father. He doesn't play a role in his life, besides sponsoring his research and offering him a job on the freighter. However, Widmore sends Daniel to the island aware that this will bring his death.
6x05 David ShephardDavid ShephardJack Shephard"Lighthouse"In the flash-sideways timeline, Jack has a son, David. Jack has a difficult time connecting with David because of his own father issues. Eventually, Jack bonds with David and decides to be a bigger part of his life.
Desmond-miniDesmondCharles Widmore (Father-in-law)"Live Together, Die Alone"Charles Widmore always disapproved of Desmond, considering him not good enough to marry his daughter. Something happened to Desmond's biological father, leaving him to take care of his three brothers.
Eko-miniEkoYemi"The Cost of Living"Eko called Yemi "father", as his priest and as his parent figure.
Hurley-miniHurleyDavid Reyes"Tricia Tanaka Is Dead"Hurley was suspicious of his father, as he abandoned him when he was young, but returned when Hurley won the lottery.
Ilana-miniIlanaUnknown & Jacob"Dr. Linus"Ilana says that Jacob was the closest thing she ever had to a father, likely because she never knew or had a bad relationship with her biological father. Also she was left devastated and filled with anger after Ben killed Jacob.
Jack-miniJackChristian Shephard"White Rabbit"Jack always thought of his father as an alcoholic. Christian always told him he was never good enough. Jack feels [and maybe is somewhat] responsible for his father's death after reporting Christian's malpractice, which leads to him losing his license and going on a drinking binge that eventually kills him.
Jin-miniJinMr. Kwon & Woo-Jung Paik"...In Translation"Jin is ashamed of his roots and has to work for his father-in-law, clearing up "business".
Kate-miniKateWayne & Sam Austen"What Kate Did"Kate hated Wayne because of what he did to her mother, and was shocked to find out Sam wasn't her real father. Kate killed her real father - Wayne.
Locke-miniLockeAnthony Cooper"Deus Ex Machina"Cooper is essentially responsible for almost every tragedy in John Locke's life. He acted as if he loved him at one point just to steal his kidney, he forced him into being a partner in a con, which resulted in his girlfriend, Helen leaving him, and he pushed him out of an 8 story window which resulted in paralysis. He continues to ridicule him once Cooper arrives on the Island.
Miles-miniMilesPierre Chang"Some Like It Hoth"Miles grew up without knowing his father. He was initially interested in finding out who his father was but gave up once his mother told him that his father abandoned them and had subsequently died. Once Miles started working for the DHARMA Initiative however, he discovered that his father was Pierre Chang and initially avoided him.
Mini-PenPenelopeCharles Widmore"Live Together, Die Alone"Penelope found it hard to deal with the fact that her father didn't like the man that she loved, and therefore cuts off any sort of relationship with him.
Sawyer-miniSawyerMr. Ford & Anthony Cooper"Outlaws" & "The Brig"Sawyer watched as his father killed his mother and then killed himself. Later on the Island, he killed his father figure Cooper, aka Sawyer.
Shannon-miniShannonAdam Rutherford"Abandoned"Shannon was very emotionally attached to her father, as is seen at his funeral.
Sun-miniSunWoo-Jung Paik"House of the Rising Sun"Woo-Jung thought that his daughter was too good to marry a man from a small fishing village.
Mini-TomFriendlyTomUnknown"The Other Woman"Tom mentions that Stanhope made him tear up over his daddy issues.
Walt-miniWaltBrian Porter & Michael"Pilot, Part 2"Walt had lost his mother, and his step-father gave custody to Michael, Walt's real father. Neither of them knew much about each other and often fought.

Details are listed below, sorted by episode.

Season 1

Jin's father
Jin and his father ("...In Translation")
AnthonyLockeHunting
Locke and his father ("Deus Ex Machina")
  • Jack and his father didn't get along. This culminated when Jack ended his father's career by telling the hospital board that he performed surgery under the influence. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues")
  • Walt was estranged from his father, Michael Dawson, for most of his life. ("Special")
  • Sawyer's father killed his mother, and then committed suicide, after the con by the original Sawyer. ("Outlaws")
  • Jin was ashamed of his father because he was a simple fisherman. He told his wife that his father was dead. ("...In Translation")
  • Sun was shown in denial/fear of what her father is. ("...In Translation")
  • When Hurley won the lottery, he presented his mother, brother, and grandfather to the press. His father was noticeably absent. ("Numbers")
  • Locke didn't know about his father until he was an adult. ("Deus Ex Machina")
  • Locke was raised in a foster home. ("Deus Ex Machina")
  • Locke's father cons him out of one of his kidneys, and then abandons him. ("Deus Ex Machina")
  • Locke's mother tells him he is "immaculately conceived", although she apparently meant he was born without a father to "create him", not that he was conceived without sin. ("Deus Ex Machina")

Season 2

2x09 kate sam
Kate and her adoptive father ("What Kate Did")

Season 3

3x01 jack christian
Jack and his father ("A Tale of Two Cities")
  • Jack wrongly suspected his wife Sarah of cheating on him with his father. ("A Tale of Two Cities")
  • Sawyer is allegedly the father of Clementine. The mother is Cassidy Phillips, who Sawyer had conned $600,000 from, and who subsequently turned him into the authorities. ("Every Man for Himself")
  • Eddie Colburn (who himself gave a story of an alcoholic, abusive father) teased Locke that he should hook up with Lizzy (a girl half his age) at the commune, saying "She's looking for a daddy, same as everyone here." Locke replies "That's not funny." ("The Cost of Living")
  • Alex refers to Ben as her father. Whether she knows the truth or not, she keeps helping Kate and Sawyer and even tries to escape the Island Ben controls, showing that she strongly disagrees with his orders. ("Not in Portland")
  • Desmond had to support and raise his three brothers after an unknown event involving his father. Desmond also approaches Charles Widmore to ask for Penelope's hand in marriage, which would make him Widmore's son-in-law. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
  • Hurley apparently had a good relationship with his father, David Reyes, until David left for 17 years for unknown reasons. Hurley seems to now dislike his father and wishes him to leave. ("Tricia Tanaka Is Dead")
  • Claire's father, Christian, appears after she and her mother get in a car accident. Claire rejects his offer to kill her mother legally and wishes to not know who he is. ("Par Avion")
  • Anthony Cooper, John Locke's father, pushes Locke out of an eight story building after an argument, paralyzing Locke for four years. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
  • Sun knew of her father and his company's "wrong doings" and she chose to ignore that when growing up. ("D.O.C.")
  • Locke made sure that his father, who was currently on the Island, was killed by Sawyer, someone whose life was also destroyed by Cooper. ("The Brig")
  • Roger Linus, Ben's father, blamed him for Emily's death. He often forgot his birthday and was killed by Ben in The Purge. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")

Season 4

  • While talking to Juliet, Tom says that Harper had him crying about his "daddy" after only a couple therapy sessions. ("The Other Woman")
  • Once they had left the island Michael told Walt that he killed Libby and Ana Lucia. This led to a complete breakdown in their relationship. Walt chooses to stay with his grandmother and completely avoid his father. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")
  • Alex was held hostage by Keamy's team when they tried to force Ben to give himself up. Keamy threatened Alex's life , but Ben refused to surrender. He told Keamy, among other things, that Alex was not his daughter and that she meant nothing to him. Alex was then shot dead which shocked Ben as he was simply bluffing about not caring for Alex. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
  • After leaving the Island Sun confronts her father claiming he had always hated Jin and that he is one of two people responsible for Jin's death. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")
  • Once off the island Jack is finally able to have a funeral for his father, albeit without a body. After the funeral he discovers that his father had an affair with Carole Littleton. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")

Season 5

  • Roger beats his son Ben. ("He's Our You")
  • Miles never knew who his father was while growing up. He was told by his dying mother, Lara, that his father had kicked the two of them out when Miles was just a baby. She also mentioned that his father was dead and his body in a place that Miles could never go to. ("Some Like It Hoth")
    • Miles avoids interacting with Pierre in 1977. Hurley tries to convince Miles to get to know his father and he seems to warm up to the idea when he sees Pierre reading a story to his baby self. ("Some Like It Hoth")
  • Daniel did not know the true identity of his father, Charles Widmore. ("The Variable")
  • Miles finally refers to Pierre as 'Dad' when he rescues him at The Swan construction site. ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2")

Season 6

  • Unlike the original timeline, in the flash-sideways world Anthony Cooper has a healthier relationship with his son, John Locke. ("The Substitute") ("The Candidate")
  • In the flash-sideways world, Jack has a son, David, with whom he has a rocky relationship. Jack eventually connects with David after a piano recital and decides to be a bigger part of his life. ("Lighthouse")
  • Ilana mentioned Jacob as the closest thing she ever had to a father, pointing out that she either never knew or had a bad relationship with her biological father. ("Dr. Linus")
  • Daniel Faraday is recognized by his father Charles Widmore and has apparently been raised by him in the flash-sideways world. Penny, on the other hand, has apparently been raised by her mother. Daniel's and Penny's last names are different in the two realities. ("Happily Ever After")

Mother issues

The following characters have had mommy issues:

Mother First Reference Reasons
Ana-miniAna LuciaTeresa Cortez"Collision"Ana Lucia's mother was a captain of a police force. Ana Lucia seemed to find it hard being told 'what to do, how and when'.
Claire-miniClaireCarole Littleton"Raised by Another"Claire is responsible for her mother's comatose state.
Daniel-miniDanielEloise Hawking"316"Eloise spent most of her life knowing that one day her son would travel back in time only to be killed by a younger version of herself.
Jack-miniJackMargo Shephard"White Rabbit"Margo blamed Jack for her husband's departure to Australia.
Jin-miniJinJin's mother"D.O.C." Jin believed his mother to be dead; however she was a prostitute who abandoned him with his father when he was a baby. Later, she blackmails his wife.
Kate-miniKateDiane Janssen"Born to Run"Kate explains that she can never forgive her mother for calling the police when she murdered Wayne.
Locke-miniLockeEmily Locke"Deus Ex Machina"Locke's mother told him that he was "special", but later she took it back by saying that was the only way Anthony would give her money and for him to receive Locke's kidney.
Sawyer-miniSawyerMary Ford"Outlaws"Sawyer watched as his father killed his mother and then killed himself.
Shannon-miniShannonSabrina Carlyle"Hearts and Minds"Soon after Shannon's father died, Sabrina wanted Shannon to move out and gave her no money at all.
Sun-miniSunMrs. Paik"...And Found"Sun's mother was always pressuring Sun to find a 'suitable husband'.
Walt-miniWaltSusan Lloyd"Special"Walt's mother was a lawyer, and probably rarely got to see him. She died when Walt was quite young, and Walt had to go and live with his father.
Monster-miniMan In BlackMother "Recon" The Man in Black's mother murdered his real mother and kept him from leaving the island. Later on, he would describe himself as having a crazy mother.
Jacob-miniJacobMother "Across the Sea"Jacob believed that Mother loved the man in black more.

Details are listed below, sorted by episode.

Season 1

Season 2

  • Shannon's step-mother, Sabrina Carlyle, refused to help her after the death of father. ("Abandoned")
  • Ana Lucia had an argument with her mother, who is also her police captain and boss. ("Collision")
  • Kate's mother turned her in to police for killing Wayne. ("What Kate Did")

Season 3

  • Claire's mother, Carole, went into a coma after the car accident. Before the car accident Claire told her mother that she hated her and wished she was dead. ("Par Avion")
  • Jin's real mother is a prostitute who abandoned him at birth and whose only apparent interest in him later in life is monetary. ("D.O.C.")
  • Ben's mother, Emily, died after giving birth to him. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")

Season 5

  • Daniel's mother forces and manipulates in many of his life decisions, and also kills him. ("The Variable")

Season 6

  • The Man in Black claimed that his mother was "a very disturbed woman," as a result he had "growing pains" and has problems he is "still trying to work through." ("Recon")

The Lost Experience

Producers' commentary

Fan: Now, for the big guys out there on the right side, I was just wondering if there’s anything that goes along with the rich powerful fathers, like Sun’s dad, Jack’s dad, Locke’s dad, Libby’s husband… are they all like, have anything to do with the DHARMA Initiative or…?

Carlton Cuse: Uh… you know that I think father issues are very much a part of the show. Dramatically, that is something that we deal with extensively. And if you look at the characters on the show, a lot of the characters have “daddy issues”. And that is sort of a thematic thread, and something that is very much a part of how we come up with stories and how we break stories.

Damon Lindelof: But, you know, there are obviously… one of the things that we love writing and we feel that fans that watch the show very closely is realizing at what level do certain characters connect to one another? And there are connections between Mr. Paik and various other parties that are sort of being alluded to… not on the internet, but maybe gradually as we begin sort of moving towards it on the show… You’re asking the right question, but we’re certainly not going to confirm or deny it right here.

See also

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