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October 22, 2014

Lost's final season won't answer all of viewers' questions - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 12th 2010 10:01PM
Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse at the Lost panel at the Winter 2010 TCAsRight before the Conan "piss off, NBC" letter exploded all over the place, ABC had started their day at the TCAs with the critics' full attention. Why? Because the first panel of the day was the last time that the producers and crew of Lost would be in front of the critics answering questions about their confoundingly complicated show.

It almost felt like a collective valedictory speech, as the cast was given a chance to talk about their biggest memories from six years of shooting the show in Hawaii, and EPs Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof waxed poetic over what they think the legacy of the show is going to be.

But the big takeaways? The final season is not going to answer every question surrounding the show. The story arc this year will be told in a way that might not actually confuse anyone who's decided to finally jump on board and watch. And Lindelof's reaction to the possibility that the premiere might be pre-empted by the State of the Union address was priceless.

"I'm a lifelong Democrat," said Lindelof, "but when I first heard that they were considering February 2nd, I was like, 'That
motherfucker.' Just being honest." It got big laughs in the room, but then again, that's what Lindelof does.

As soon as the producers got an end date from the ABC brass three years ago, they started thinking about what the final season was going to be like. Heck, they had an inkling about it way back during the first season. But that doesn't mean that in the writing process, things don't get added as the story takes shape. "We kind of knew what the end point was, but as you move towards the end point, you add elements," said Cuse. "And obviously, the end is not yet written, and there are certain sort of mythological, architectural elements that are intact for that ending, but a lot of character stuff will get worked out as we go along."

Later, Lindelof and Cuse both confirmed that it would be a mistake to try to answer every question during the series finale. "Obviously not every question's going to be answered, so obviously, some people are going to be upset that those particular questions don't get resolved," said Cuse. "We felt if we tried to just answer questions, it would be very pedantic."

Lindelof, of course, had a funnier view: "Now there is certainly a hope on all our parts that everybody sort of universally loves the ending that we put forward. (But) I don't think it would be Lost if there wasn't sort of an ongoing and active debate amongst the people who watch the show as to whether or not it was a good ending.

"If I could put on my predicting hat, there would be people over here who say it's the worst ending in the history of television, and hopefully to balance them out, my mom who will say it's the best ending, although she doesn't understand the show."

According to Lindelof and Cuse, the show will actually be accessible to those who've never seen it before. "We are doing something different narratively which doesn't require sort of deep-and-vast knowledge for you to get, and we also just feel like the stories that we're telling this season kind of really do harken back to the first season of the show," said Cuse.

"I think if you watched the first season of the show, that's probably the most important thing leading into the final season. We do feel that there's some accessibility there."

As we reported before, Harold Perrineau and Cynthia Watros will be reprising their roles this season. In what form, of course, we don't know. And I'm sure there will be other surprises.

But you know that even after Lost leaves the air, it's going to have a following. When asked if they saw themselves going to Lost conventions in thirty years, Terry O'Quinn said very seriously, "We all hope we have something else to do." Josh Holloway, on the other hand, wasn't quite as somber about the prospect. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm retiring. I'm only doing conventions."

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