'Finding Carter' Theories About Carter's Kidnapping Make Lori's Motivations a Lot Clearer
There are only three episodes of Finding Carter out so far and the biggest mystery driving the show is why Carter Stevens got kidnapped. In Face on the Milk Carton, the book/miniseries to which Finding Carter is inevitably compared, Janie was kidnapped by a deeply disturbed woman who had been brainwashed by a cult. Yeah, it was that kind of novel. However, Finding Carter is doing something unique in which — if not for the whole kidnapping thing — Lori Stevens would be one of the most sympathetic characters on the whole show. Her chemistry with Carter is unbelievably sweet and caring and she seems to want little more than to get "her" daughter back, to the point where it's hard to remember that Lori is the one who committed the crime and has Carter so brainwashed that she refuses to see her kidnapping as one.
The way that the MTV show is painting Lori Stevens makes it clear that there has got to be more to Carter's kidnapping than meets the eye. Even Lori herself said that there was a lot that Carter didn't know and, though that could very well be the ranting of a seriously disturbed woman, that seems to hold true for the audience as well. Considering it's one of the main focuses of the series, it's probably going to be a long time before we really figure out why Lori kidnapped Carter. In the meantime, however, I've developed some theories.
Theory #1: Lori is Carter's biological mother.
The thing that strikes most fans as suspicious is the fact that Carter looks more like Lori than she does like her biological family. Maybe Lori did that on purpose to make Carter harder to find or maybe it's a sign that Lori is actually Carter's biological mother. What if Lori gave Carter up for a closed adoption to the Wilson family only to change her mind later on, track her down, and then kidnap her? Maybe Carter and Taylor aren't twins in the traditional sense, but instead twins in the sense of both being born in the same year.
Theory #2: Lori was the Wilson family's surrogate.
Maybe Elizabeth thought she was unable to conceive (or just plain couldn't take the time off work) and got Lori to be her surrogate only to discover too late that she was already pregnant with Taylor. There have been cases in the past of surrogates wanting to keep the babies they brought to term instead of giving it to the parents who asked them to carry it and Lori could just be an extreme case who waited three years for that feeling to kick in.
Theory #3: Lori is getting revenge on Elizabeth.
Elizabeth isn't winning any prizes for mother or person of the year on Finding Carter. Described by Carter as having a personality like nails on a chalkboard, Elizabeth could have had an adversarial interaction with Elizabeth in the past that resulted in her wanting to revenge. It's clear from Lori's numerous aliases that she has a criminal history, so kidnapping Carter could have been entirely about ruining Elizabeth's life.
Theory #4: David and Lori once had an affair resulting in Carter.
Just because Elizabeth is the one who was seriously considering abandoning her family doesn't mean that's not a two way street. Maybe David pulled a Dan Scott from One Tree Hill and got both Lori and Elizabeth pregnant in the same year. Maybe Lori up and left town for a while when David decided to stay with Elizabeth, leaving Carter on his doorstep, then came back in disguise to kidnap her just when the Wilsons were putting that whole mess behind them.
Theory #5: Lori is actually insane.
Living a life of crime under numerous aliases has got to get lonely sometimes. Maybe Lori fell so in love with her brief time in suburbia that, when she was leaving it, she wanted to take something with her. Only an insane person would take someone else's baby as a souvenir as a happy time in their life, but the last thirty seconds of the third episode of Finding Carter hinted that Lori's not as mentally stable as we might have thought. Hopefully, we'll find out more details about Carter's kidnapping soon.