Hey everyone, are you all as excited for the finale as I am? If you’re reading this blog, it’s hard to imagine that you’re anything but 100% geeked for this Sunday night. But before we get there, some of us got the chance to listen to LOST showrunners Damon & Carlton answer some questions last night. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering, and they managed to dodge as many questions as they answered, but it was still fun. It actually felt like one last chance to sit down and chat with one of your friends at work before they left for a different job. It’s not like you’ll never talk to them again, but it won’t be the same as having them around all the time. The bottom line is that I felt like the $12.50 I had to fork over for the ticket was well worth the experience that I had.
For the most part, the interview was structured around writing decisions the two had to make over the course of multiple seasons. There was one particular insight they shared that really resonated with me. They showed a clip of Locke trying to convince Jack to push the button in the Swan station (from Season 2), and Carlton noted that most sci-fi shows would be dealing with the logistics of the button: how was it constructed, how could they unplug it, how could they trick the system into thinking the button was pushed…that type of thing. But that for LOST, they were always more concerned with how the characters might react to certain situations. It wasn’t about how the button was constructed as much as it was what each character would feel when presented with the idea of having to push a button every 108 minutes in order to save the world. They pulled this off so well that it didn’t even occur to me as I originally watched it. I never even questioned how the button worked. It was their conscious misdirection, and focus on character motivation that made that piece a non-issue.
They also mentioned that it took them 5 weeks to complete the Desmond-centric “The Constant”, mostly because they wanted to do time travel in such a way that was both more emotional than sci-fi, and also because they didn’t want any actions in the time travel to potentially disrupt any known “truths” about the story…both what the audience already knew, and what the writers knew was to come.
A little less than halfway through, Michael Emerson (Ben) joined the conversation, and not too long after that, so did Jorge Garcia (Hurley). At that point, tons of fan questions rained down, too many for me to remember for this post. But some of the more memorable moments included:
- The writers being on-set for the final (not final, final according to Damon) scene, and asking the actors in it if they had any questions about what it was or how they needed to play the scene. Jorge commented that they hadn’t been cluing them in for six season, so why should they start now? That got laughs from both the local and remote audiences. Carlton probed a bit further, and Jorge said he didn’t need to ask because he thought he got it. That elicited a cheer.
- The writers admitted that they used a combination of long-term planning, short-term planning, and making it up as they went along during the course of the show’s run. They admitted that they broke the fourth wall in more ways than one in “Expose”, when Sawyer didn’t know who Nikki was, and when they buried both Nikki and Paulo alive as a way of saying, “we get that the audience doesn’t like these characters…we’re going to bury them alive instead of pushing them to the background”. They did, however, say that the finale plays out mostly the way they enivsioned it from the beginning.
- Many cheers went up in New York, and “ooh”s and “ah”s from the audience in San Diego when the writers said that we’d get to see Walt in the finale. At the same time, they suggested that we cover the credits at the beginning of the finale so as to not be spoiled about some of the guest characters.
- Jorge mentioned Ben as his favorite character, because he gets to say some cool stuff; Emerson mentioned Mr. Eko because he had a well-fleshed out backround story and got to carry a big stick.
- The writers said that their most difficult decision on the show was killing off Charlie. They admitted that Dominic was doing some fabulous work, but that they had to make Desmond’s flashes real, and realized that it meant that Charlie had to die. They even called themselves “bastards” after they watched the final cut of the season 3 finale and realized what they had done.
- One of the more interesting things they said was that they have equated LOST and their relationship with the fans to a romantic relationship. In the beginning, if someone were to ask, “You’re not going to break my heart, are you?”, then they’d say, we’re only on the first date, I hope not! But to ask it now, after six seasons…at some point, you just have to take that leap of faith. At some point, you have to risk getting hurt in order to achieve that happiness that you couldn’t get otherwise. As Damon said, you can’t hit a home run if you don’t swing the bat.
The event ended with a preview of the finale. It actually is an extended clip of what you can find on ABC’s site: http://abc.go.com/watch/clip/lost/SH006723620000/165261/261547
The extended bit shows Sawyer physically attacking Ben and taking his weapon, and stating that he and the rest of his group aren’t candidates anymore. As Sawyer quickly exits, Locke tells Ben that he chooses not to chase him because it doesn’t matter; he’s going to find Desmond and use him to sink the island. Ben’s upset with that because Locke promised that he could have the island, but Locke says that he can still have it if he wants…it’s just that it’ll be at the bottom of the sea. He also gives Ben another option: he can be on the boat that Locke’s on as he leaves. As the two get ready to leave the area, Locke notices a paw print near the well, and states that a dog has been there…
Overall, the night was a great way to get that one last fix of LOST before the finale on Sunday. I’m ready; there’s nothing left to do now except sit back and see what they’ve got in store for us.
With that, I’ll be gone until Sunday night, where I’ll post an open thread for any comments anyone wants to leave regarding the finale. I’ll be back on Monday with a review of the finale, although it may only be for Part 1, depending on just how dense the writers pack everything in. Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy the finale on Sunday!