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Christian Shephard is the deceased father of Jack Shephard and Claire Littleton. Christian was a doctor and the Chief of Surgery at St. Sebastian hospital in Los Angeles. He is played primarily by John Terry, and has appeared in eighteen episodes and two mobisodes.
Christian Shephard was the Chief of Surgery at St. Sebastian in Los Angeles, California. He was married to Margo Shephard and is the father of Jack Shephard, who followed in his footsteps as a surgeon, and Claire Littleton. Christian was a dedicated surgeon and worked with his son at St. Sebastian's, but also wrestled with alcoholism.
When Jack was very young, Christian traveled to Sydney, Australia where he had a fling with Carole, Claire's mother. He did not know about the pregnancy until he was back in Los Angeles, but flew to Australia often to be with Claire, giving her toys and singing to her. Carole forbade him from seeing Claire ever again when Claire was two years old, upset at the fact that Christian had another family, and told Claire that he was dead.
Returning to Los Angeles, Christian lived his life with his family there. His son grew up to become a surgeon and he worked alongside him at St. Sebastian. A car wreck victim's life was saved by Jack, but there was severe damage to the woman's spine. Jack gave a bleak diagnosis to the paralyzed woman, Sarah, but Christian gave his son some advice to improve his bedside manner. He believed that, despite how screwed a patient may be, it would be nice to give them some hope no matter how small it may be. Jack later managed to perform an impossible spinal surgery on Sarah, and the two grew close and became engaged. On the eve of his son's wedding to Sarah, Christian told Jack that commitment was what makes him tick, but he had a problem letting go.
Christian received word from a doctor friend in Sydney that Carole had been involved in a serious car accident. The extent of the injuries resulted in Carole's life being sustained by machines, which Christian paid for confidentially. He later flew to Sydney to see Carol, but ran into his daughter, Claire, and Carole's sister, Lindsey. Lindsey demanded he leave, but Christian believed Claire had a right to know and revealed to her that she was his daughter. Hours before he was to leave for Los Angeles, Christian made one last attempt to reach out to Claire. He told her how he visited her until her mother refused to let him see her and how Lindsey hated him. He told Claire how Carole was alive, but not really living, and how it was time to pursue alternative means to ease her pain. He reminded her of how it was illegal to turn off the machines keeping her alive, but he knew of ways to achieve the same effect without legal consequences. Claire refused to listen to Christian, but he told her not to keep her mother alive for the wrong reasons. There is hope and then there is guilt, and he knew the difference. Claire left, not wanting to know her father's name.
Back in Los Angeles, Christian's son was having trouble with his marriage. Word of his miraculous surgery spread and he engulfed himself in his work. An Italian man sought out Jack specifically to remove a tumor that was impossible to remove. The man's daughter, Gabriela, accompanied him and Christian could see how Jack could be enticed by the woman. After Jack agreed to perform the surgery and the man died, Christian notified Gabriela to prevent Jack from contacting her. However, the two met in the hospital parking lot and shared a kiss before Jack pulled back and left. He told Sarah but then discovered she was seeing another man and was leaving him.
Christian's words of how his son had trouble letting go rang true. Jack sought out the name of the man his wife was seeing, following her to work and stealing the contacts list on her cellphone where he found Christian's number. Jack came to the belief that Christian was the man he was looking for. Secretly following Christian to a hotel, believing he may be seeing Sarah, he only found Christian at an alcoholics anonymous meeting. Undeterred, he accused Christian of being with Sarah and attacked him. This event drove Christian back to the bottle after fifty days of sobriety.
One day Christian was called away from his lunch hour, during which he drank excessively, to perform an emergency surgery. During the procedure he accidentally severed one of the patient's arteries. His son took over, but was unable to save the patient. Christian attempted to persuade Jack to omit details of his drinking in the report, telling him that accidents happen everyday and the mention of alcohol would be the only fact that would matter. Jack agreed to go along with Christian, but at the subsequent hearing into the woman's death he learned the woman was pregnant. He revised his statement and told the board that Christian was inebriated at the time of the surgery. Christian lost his license, which was his life, and left home.
He met Ana-Lucia Cortez in a bar at LAX. He told her that he wanted a bodyguard and talked her into accompanying him to Sydney, Australia. Not wanting to use their real names, Ana-Lucia called him "Tom" and he referred to her as "Sarah." On their fourth day in Sydney, Christian roused Ana Lucia in the middle of the night and had her drive him to a suburban house. Christian demanded that the woman, Lindsey, let him inside to see Claire, seeing as how he was paying the mortgage for the house and wanted to see her. When the argument got heated, Ana-Lucia dragged him away. The next day they were driving by the docks and Ana Lucia asked him why he was in Sydney. Christian told her that he was there because he couldn't apologize to his son, and Ana-Lucia was here because she was also running away. Stopped outside a bar, Christian wanted to go in for a drink or ten, but Ana-Lucia refused. The two parted ways.
Inside the bar, Christian eventually met Sawyer. He told Sawyer something of his troubles with his son. Christian knew it was his fault, but he didn't have the courage to call him and apologize. Unable to find his wallet, Christian was offered a bottle of alcohol by Sawyer that he had the bartender leave. Turning to Sawyer's problems and why he was in Sydney, Christian gave him advice that eventually led Sawyer to murder an innocent man.
Christian died of a heart attack in Sydney, induced from the amount of alcohol he consumed. Jack was taking his body back to Los Angeles for burial, but Oceanic didn't want to take the body onto the plane. It is unknown whether or not they relented. Jack found his father's coffin in the caves among some wreckage from the plane, but it was empty. It is unknown what has happened to the body of Christian Shephard.
- 1x04 - Walkabout (played by an uncredited extra)
- 1x05 - White Rabbit
- 1x11 - All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues
- 1x16 - Outlaws
- 1x20 - Do No Harm
- 2x01 - Man of Science, Man of Faith
- 2x11 - The Hunting Party
- 2x20 - Two for the Road
- 3x01 - A Tale of Two Cities
- 3x12 - Par Avion
- 4x01 - The Beginning of the End
- 4x10 - Something Nice Back Home
- 4x11 - Cabin Fever
- 4x14 - There's No Place Like Home (3)
- 5x05 - This Place Is Death
- 5x09 - Namaste
- 5x17 - The Incident (2)
- 6x18 - The End (2)
- 1x05 - White Rabbit: Jack has hallucinations of his father.
- 1x16 - Outlaws: In Sawyer's flashback, he meets Christian in a Sydney bar.
- 1x20 - Do No Harm: Christian gives Jack advice about his wedding.
- 1x05 - White Rabbit: "I had a boy on my table today. I don't know, maybe a year younger than you. He had a bad heart. It got real hairy, real fast. Everybody's looking to your old man to make decisions. And I was able to make those decisions because, at the end of the day, after the boy died, I was able to wash my hands and come home to dinner, you know, watch a little Carol Burnett, laugh 'till my sides hurt. And how can I do that? Hmm? I mean, even when I fail, how do I do that, Jack? Because I have what it takes. Don't choose, Jack. Don't decide. You don't wanna be a hero. You don't wanna try and save everyone. Because when you fail... You just don't have what it takes."
- 1x11 - All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues: "I know... I have been hard on you. But that is how you make a soft metal into steel. That is why you are the most gifted young surgeon in this city. I mean, this... this is a career that is all about the greater good. I've had to sacrifice certain aspects of my relationship with you so that hundreds and thousands of patients will live because of your extraordinary skills. I know it's a long... long time coming. What happened yesterday, I promise you, will never happen again. And after all I've given... This isn't... This is not just about my career, Jack. It's my life."
- 1x16 - Outlaws: "You tell 'em, cowboy. These bastards think Americans can't hold their liquor. Look, I, uh... I hate to hold my hand out, but I seem to have misplaced my wallet. [..] I drink to you. What's your name, cowboy? [..] To Sawyer. May he find whatever he's looking for at the bottom of a glass. So, Sawyer, what brings you to Sydney? [...] You know why they call Australia 'down under,' don't you? Because it's as close as you can get to hell without being burned."
- 1x16 - Outlaws: "It's fate. Some people are just supposed to suffer. That's why the Red Sox will never win the damn Series."
- 1x20 - Do No Harm: "Commitment. It's what makes you tick, Jack. The problem is, you're just not good at letting go."
- 2x01 - Man of Science, Man of Faith: "You might wanna try handing out some hope every once and a while? Even if there's a 99% probability that they are utterly, hopelessly screwed, folks are much more inclined to hear that 1% chance that things are going to be okay."
- 2x11 - The Hunting Party: "Lest you forget, I am still the chief of surgery. [..] Maybe you should go home. [..] She's gone. Jack... Go home."