Karen isn't who she appears to be
|First appearance||(3.09 "Losing Time")|
|Last appearance||(4.12 "Kansas")|
|Portrayed by||Gigi Edgley|
Karen Shaw was a young woman John Crichton knew in his youth. She is most notable to Crichton because she was the one to whom he lost his virginity. In reality, "Karen" was a time-traveling Chiana whom he met in the fall of 1985.
It is unclear whether there was a real Karen Shaw whose identity the teenage Crichton mixed up with Chiana's or if he simply mistook that as her name when they first met. She told young Crichton her name was Chiana after she instinctively turned the music volume way up and he thought she said "Karen." She then cried out "She-aw!" in excitement and he thought she meant her surname was "Shaw." Her appearance didn't seem out of place to him as he believed her to be wearing a Halloween costume.
Later, when Noranti used some of her powder to make Young John forget his encounter with his older self and the others, Chiana stepped in and placed a suggestion in his mind that he not forget Karen Shaw. ("Kansas")
Years later, Crichton would remember Karen Shaw as the women he lost his virginity to, but he never made the connection that it was Chiana.