Season: 3-4, Episodes: 11, Faction: The Others/Survivors
Karl Martin was a young man who was one of the Others. His origins are unknown, but he seemed to have been desperately trying to escape. Karl was Alex’s boyfriend, but Ben, fearing he would get Alex pregnant, would not allow this relationship and locked up Karl. Afterwards, Karl escaped and joined the survivors with Alex. He, along with Alex and Danielle, was en route to the Temple before he and Danielle were assassinated by an unseen foe. Karl was shot in the chest; his death was later reported by Alex, and his body was found by Miles, Sawyer, and Claire.
On the Island
3×16 – One of Us
Shortly before the crash of Flight 815, Karl had the X-Rays that revealed Ben’s tumor developed. (“One of Us”)
Some time between then and the kidnapping of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer by the Others, Ben became concerned that Karl would get Alex pregnant and decided to prevent this by having Karl imprisoned at the Hydra Station. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 1”)
3×01 – A Tale of Two Cities
When Sawyer woke up in his cage, Karl did not respond to his questions about where they are and who he is. When Sawyer decided to investigate the cage and its buttons, Karl tried to warn him about the shocking device in the cage’s food delivery system. Right before picking the lock on his cage, Karl asked Sawyer about the other survivors from the Oceanic Flight 815 (thus, Karl knew of the crash). (It should be noted that he asked Sawyer the walking distance to where he came from, making it sound as though there were no second island.) He broke out of his holding cell and freed Sawyer as well, apparently to serve as a distraction while he escaped.
Karl was captured by Tom and Juliet, who also captured Sawyer. He was forced by Tom to apologize to Sawyer for using him in his breakout attempt. Then he was taken away, presumably for punishment. (“A Tale of Two Cities”)
3×02 – The Glass Ballerina
After Karl was taken, Kate was put in his cell. While Kate and Sawyer were digging up and moving rocks, Alex, who was trying to remain hidden from the rest of the Others, asked Kate about Karl’s whereabouts and whether she had seen him specifically in that cage. (“The Glass Ballerina”)
3×06 – I Do
Two days later, Alex told Kate that they would kill her boyfriend, “just like they killed mine.” (“I Do”)
3×07 – Not in Portland
During Kate and Sawyer’s escape from The Others, Alex met up with them, asking them to help her find Karl, who she said was her boyfriend. At this point, Sawyer realized that Karl was the person originally in the cell next to his. If they agreed to help her, Alex promised, she would give them a boat to leave Hydra Island.
The three arrived at the small building bearing the Hydra logo on the main doors. Inside, Karl was found in Room 23, restrained to a chair and wearing LED glasses, being forced to watch a bizarre video with flashing images and words, as well as a loud industrial-sounding soundtrack that seemed to be a form of brainwashing. When Kate and Alex freed him from the chair, Karl was not fully conscious and had to be carried out by Sawyer.
Just before escaping, Juliet stopped them, forcing Alex to stay on the Island by saying that her father would need to see her when he came out of surgery, and would never allow Karl to live if Alex left. After killing Pickett, Juliet allowed the half-conscious Karl to leave in the boat with Kate and Sawyer. (“Not in Portland”)
3×09 – Stranger in a Strange Land
While the three were on their way to the main island, the still-groggy Karl repeated a phrase from the Room 23 video: “God loves you as he loved Jacob.” Once they reach the Island, he briefly talks to Kate about the Others. He says that they use the Hydra Island for “projects” (but live on the main island) and that the children who were taken have been given “a better life” by the Others. He also reminisces about when he and Alex were younger. The following morning, Kate and Sawyer find Karl crying by himself. Sawyer talks to him alone, and suggests that he go back for Alex. Karl fears that he will be killed if he’s caught again, but ultimately, he seems to be convinced that she’s worth the risk. (“Stranger in a Strange Land”)
3×21 – Greatest Hits
Karl was later reunited with Alex and followed her path as she traveled with the Others. Hiding nearby but beyond the Others’ detection, Karl received food and care from Alex in secret. When Ben decided to attack the survivors’ camp earlier than planned, Alex urged Karl to warn them, pointing out that he owed Kate and Sawyer for saving his life earlier. Karl consented, taking the gun Alex gave him, and then ran to the shore. He hurriedly paddled the outrigger to the shoreline of the survivor camp, and there informed them that, once again, the Others were coming–earlier than the losties had thought.
He volunteered the gun to them, proving that he could be trusted as Sawyer and Kate had vouched for him. (“Greatest Hits”)
3×22 – Through the Looking Glass
On their way to catch up with Jack, Ben reveals to Alex that the reason he disapproved of her relationship with Karl was because he wanted to prevent her from getting pregnant, and having her life at risk on the Island, at all costs. Karl accompanied the main group of survivors to the radio tower, and reunites with Alex on the way. After Ben gets captured, Karl witnesses Alex’s reunion with her mother. Karl then holds the rope which Ben is tied to, and guards him during Locke’s confrontation with Jack. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 1”)
4×01 – The Beginning of the End
Following Jack’s call for rescue, Alex and Karl both celebrated both the survivors rescue and the fact that they were reunited, without Ben’s interference. That night, when the survivors all met and split into factions he followed Alex and sided with Locke and proceeded with the rest of the group to the Barracks. (“The Beginning of the End”)
4×02 – Confirmed Dead
In a moment of rest, Ben’s taunts of his relationship with Alex resulted in Karl getting enraged and menacing his former captor with a gun, but he was told that “he’s just trying to get in your head” and to take a walk by Sawyer. (“Confirmed Dead”)
4×08 – Meet Kevin Johnson
He was present, along with Alex and Danielle, when Ben told everyone that his spy on the freighter was Michael. Ben then told them that the freighter people’s mission was to capture him, then kill everyone on the island. After the rest of the survivors left, Ben asked Alex to stay behind. He told her to go to The Temple because it was a “sanctuary” and possibly the only safe place left on the island. Karl and Danielle accompanied her.
On the way there, the trio stopped for a short break. As Karl told Alex that he was getting a bad feeling, a bullet went through his canteen. He stared blankly at it before he was shot in the chest. He fell over, apparently dead. As Alex was screaming for him, Danielle claimed that he is “gone”. (“Meet Kevin Johnson”)
4×09 – The Shape of Things to Come
Before she was shot by Keamy, Alex told Locke’s group that the freighter mercenaries killed Karl. (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
4×10 – Something Nice Back Home
Miles later found his body while walking through the jungle, and Sawyer was visibly anguished by confirming the young man’s fate. (“Something Nice Back Home”)
Associated DHARMA Stations
Decoded Family Members
Decoded Season 1 Characters
Decoded Season 2 & 3 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
A master of wild beasts and a demon slayer, Shed, whose name means ‘rescuer’ or ‘savior’, is depicted as a youth with the characteristic shaved head and braided forelock, often grasping or treading upon serpents, antelopes, crocodiles and other wild animals. Shed bears a close resemblance to the child form of Horus, who is often depicted in very similar fashion, particularly on the magical stelae known as cippi, and in such contexts they are functionally indistinguishable. Shed is strongly associated with hunting, particularly in the desert, and may bear a small gazelle head projecting from his forehead, this being perhaps one of the principal ways of distinguishing Shed from Horus on the cippi. On one early cippus, Shed is described as “coming from the desert lands with the wedjat,” or Horus-eye, “in order to protect the shrines,” (Strandberg, p. 142).
Shed was a protective god who was venerated mainly from New Kingdom times, though he is known to us prior to that period. In fact, he appears to possibly be an Egyptian aspect of the Semitic god Reshef. Known as ‘He who rescues’ or ‘the enchanter’, he was the master of wild beasts of the desert and river as well as weapons of war. He was believed to pursue and kill dangerous animals. Hence, he was suppose to provide protection from dangerous animals such as the scorpion as well as from martial harm. In addition, he also a guardian against illness and inimical magic.
Shed was associated with Horus, and sometimes appears in the form of Horus-Shed, to the extent that by the Late Period he was largely subsumed by Horus.
The iconography of Shed usually depicted a child or young man, most often with a shaved head except for the sidelock of youth. He wears a kilt, sometimes with a broad collar and a quiver slung over his back. He may grasp serpents and wild, symbolically noxious animals while standing on the back of one or more crocodiles. This is essentially the same iconographic attributes found associated with cippi of Horus. Shed is also sometimes depicted in a chariot that is pulled by a Griffin with a Seth animal head known as ‘the swift one”.
It was popular religion that seems to have spawned Shed and we know of no temples or cult centers for his worship. His name is attested within individual’s personal names, and we find representations of the god on protective plaques, pendants and amulets known from a variety of contexts. There were two staelae found in a chapel in the workmen’s village at Amarna that were dedicated to the god, which is unusual and shows his popular support, given the restrictive religion of that period. In fact, it may have been this period of uncertainty in Egyptian history that caused the rise of Shed as a savior god.
Shed is an Ancient Egyptian deity, popularly called, ‘the savior’ and is first recorded after the Amarna Period. Representing the concept of salvation he is identified with Horus and in particular “Horus the Child”. Rather than have formal worship in a temple or as an official cult, he appears to have been a god that ordinary Egyptians looked to save them from illness, misfortune or danger. He is shown on the Metternich Stela as vanquishing danger in the form of a serpent, a scorpion and a crocodile.
The rise of “Savior” names in personal piety during the Amarna period has been interpreted as the popular response of ordinary people to the attempts by Akhenaten to proscribe the ancient religion of Egypt. Shed has also been viewed as a form of the ancient Semitic god Reshef. Shed can be depicted as a young prince overcoming snakes, lions and crocodiles.
Shed has been viewed as a form of savior, a helper for those in need when state authority or the Kings help is wanting. The increased reliance on divine assistance could even extend to saving a person from the underworld, even to providing a substitute, and lengthening a persons time in this world. In the New Kingdom Shed “the savior” is addressed on countless stelae by people searching or praising him for help.