Freighter Folk Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies), at left wearing tie, and Charlotte Lewis (Rebecca Mader), center, join forces with Losties Bernard Nadler (Sam Anderson) and Jin Kwon (Daniel Day Kim), far right.
Shortened season ends with 3/4 long ‘Lost’
Lost" fans bemoaning the writers strike that condensed the remaining Season 4 story line down to five episodes might draw some relief in knowing that the May 29 finale will run two hours.
"Essentially, one hour of television is 41 minutes. As a result of trying to cram that story in, around the finale the rubber hit the road, and we realized it all felt very rushed and we were shortchanging our emotional moments, our character moments," said "Lost" co-creator, executive producer and writer Damon Lindelof. He and executive producer/writer Carlton Cuse spoke to members of the national press last week in a conference call from Los Angeles, and deftly hinted at future plot lines without revealing too many details.
As the last few episodes unfold, expect more focus on Locke and Jack. "They represent the two philosophical poles of the show," said Cuse. "The conflict between those guys is really the central conflict on our show. And there's a big culmination of that taking place in the season finale."
Also look for a resolution in the Jack/Kate/Sawyer drama. Obviously, Sawyer is not one of the Oceanic Six; Jack and Kate are. What happens in the finale "is all on the axis of the love triangle," said Lindelof. And nobody should dismiss Juliet. Anticipate more revelations about her increasingly affectionate relationship with Jack in the May 1 episode.
The eccentric bunch of newcomers known as the Freighter Folk aren't about to sail off into the sunset either. Because they got shortchanged this year, the writers plan to explore their back-story in depth next season.
The story line is bound to contain less meandering now that writers have mapped out the last scene of the final show in 2010. "We've got the two pieces of bread that are going to make the remaining two seasons of the show," said Lindelof. "Now it's just a matter of deciding how much mayo we want to put on."
But they'll guard those secrets with their lives. Of the number of people who know the ending, Lindelof said, "You can count them on one hand. If we disclosed the names of any others (besides the two of them), they might be kidnapped and taken off to Central America and tortured!"
Another mutation down the road could include a shift in the flashbacks (and flash-forwards) to which viewers have become accustomed. "We sort of view the show as a mosaic," said Cuse. "And we're putting in tiles all over the mosaic. But it's entirely possible that in future seasons the notion of what's the past and what is the present and what is the future could change. It almost depends on 'from what point of view are we telling the story?' And we don't have any hard and fast rules about what we must or must not do."
In addition, rather than encouraging viewers to examine every nuance of the show for trickery or hidden meaning, "we purposely presented the story in a more accessible way, so it's about what happens as opposed to some sort of smoke and mirrors we're trying to employ," said Lindelof.
As the season comes to a close, the executive producers hope they leave the audience pondering potential plot lines during the eight months before Season 5 begins in early 2009. It's their intention to keep viewers on their toes, they said.
Not difficult for writers quick to infuse everything they gleaned from philosophy courses into their scripts. "It's a great cautionary tale for anyone going to college who thinks their classes are too obscure," said Cuse, who graduated from Harvard with a degree in American history. "We are always continuing to read and educate ourselves, and a lot of things that we're interested in intellectually find their way to the show."
It's quite possible these musings will appear when viewers finally learn the fate of the Oceanic Six. In his usual obtuse manner, Cuse hinted that "there are definitely some very large and seismic events that will happen to our characters between now and the finale. Some people's fates will be clear, and others will not be so clear."
That doesn't mean fans should worry too much about the potential demise of their favorite characters. "The good thing about 'Lost,'" noted Cuse, "is that oftentimes being dead leads to more work on the show."