The return of Lost to ABC is only a day away from the time of this posting, and you can sort of feel the anticipation in the air.
The show begins a season-ending run of six episodes at 10 p.m. ET Thursday, where it will be paired with Grey’s Anatomy. When we left off, Rousseau (Mira Furlan) and Karl (Blake Bashoff) had just been shot, while Sayid (Naveen Andrews) had just exposed Michael’s (Harold Perrineau) identity to the captain of the freighter docked not far off the island.
Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse promise to clear more things up by the end of the season, which will come in a two-hour finale on Thursday, May 29. Last week I shared some of their comments on the coming episodes elsewhere on the site. (And I’m sure you’ve been keeping up with all of Ryan’s analysis and theorizing on the Lost blog.) What follows is more from Lindelof and Cuse’s conversation with reporters about the rest of season four and beyond.
Rousseau’s fate/back story
Cuse: She was shot with bullets. You’ll actually find more about the fate of those characters in the first episode back. … The good thing about Lost is that oftentimes, being dead leads to more work on the show. … If in fact Rousseau does prove to be dead, that really doesn’t have much bearing in terms of us telling more of her story. I think the whole back story of Rousseau and her science team, and the ship that came to the island, is pretty interesting, and we’d love to tell that story at some point.
Lindelof: We introduced Penny [Sonya Walger] in the second-season finale; you’d never really seen her before. By making the two-hour season finale all Desmond [Henry Ian Cusick] flashbacks, considering he’d run off into the jungle at the beginning of the season, it was certainly our intent to make that an epic love story. … The chemistry between Ian Cusick and Sonya Walger worked so well, it was a well we wanted to return to time and time again.
Cuse: [in re Penny’s father Charles, played by Alan Dale] Characters’ importance changes over time. Without saying too much, I think that will be very much true for Alan Dale.
Lindelof: You’ll probably see him sooner rather than later.
This season’s finale
Lindelof: We can’t think, How do we outdo ourselves [compared to] last year, because last year was a one-time-only opportunity to present a flash-forward as a flashback. I think people will be watching this year sort of on the edge of their couches, trying to figure out if we’re up to any shenanigans. Therefore we purposely present this story in a more accessible way, so it’s more about what happens as opposed to some sort of smoke and mirrors we’re tyring employ.
Cuse: Locke [Terry O’Quinn] and Jack [Matthew Fox] from the very beginning represented the two significant philosophical poles of the show. Jack was the ultimate empricist, and Locke was the person who believed his fate and destiny were tied up in the magic an mystery of the island. The conflict between those two guys is really the central conflict of the show. That’s a theme we’re continuing to explore, and there’s a big kind of culmination of that that takes place in the season finale.
Surprises of the season
Cuse: For me, it’s been how much we’ve loved the freighter folk. Jeremy Davies — we really feel like our casting choices, the people we added to the show this year completely brought it. Rebecca Mader, Jeff Fahey, Ken Leung — they’ve all really kind of worked completely as we had envisioned in our mind’s eye. It’s been a little frustrating that we haven’t had a chance to do more with them, but we were really excited about how they actually realized our vision of those characters.
The near future
Lindelof: We’re talking about what we’re going to do at Comic-Con, which probably will be before any stuff that will lead into the season but might be tied into it. Last year we showed the Orchid video, which is gonna pay off in a big way in the season finale this year. So we’d love to do something similar.
Lindelof: The last line of dialogue, we have a little bit of wiggle room. But the last scene definitely is determined. There would have to be a major shift in both our minds to sort of back off that. It’s what we’ve been working toward for a couple of years, even before the end date was announced. Now that the end date is announced, we’re able to determine at what speed we’re working toward it. … We’ve got both pieces of bread that are eventually going to make the sandwich that is the remaining two seasons of the show. Now it’s just a matter of how much mayo we want to put on.
How much mayo would like to see in the final episodes of this season? What do you want to happen on Lost?