Friday, October 16, 2009

Three Things We Know About Lost's Last Season - TV Guide

By Natalie Abrams

Spoiler alert: Lost will be mysterious to the end.

Recent Emmy winner Michael emerson — just one the Losties who talked to us recently about the show's sixth and final season — promises it will resolve some but not all of fans' questions.

"I don't know if they'll be fully satisfied or not," Emerson says. "I don't know if we want to be fully satisfied. I think it's always best to go away wanting a little more."

You can forgive Emerson for being as enigmatic as his character, Ben Linus. But in interviews with, his castmates (including Jorge Garcia, Daniel Dae Kim and Terry O'Quinn) did clarify three things that have nagged us since the fifth-season finale in May:

1. Yes, the bomb exploded. "Basically a bomb went off at the end of the last one and all bets are off," Garcia said. Adds Kim: "At the end of last season there was a big explosion." Of course, neither of them guaranteed that the bomb was Jughead, but we'll just assume it was to keep our heads from spinning.

2. We haven't seen the last of Juliet. ****

3. ****

Of course, the world of Lost is full of few constants and many variables. But whatever the writers have planned is worthy of the show's past secrets and reveals, O'Quinn promises: "When I read the first script, it's the first time in the whole series that I said, 'Wow, that's amazing,'" he said.

Lost Season 6 Poster

Here is a close-up of the full poster (notice the hieroglyphics in the words):

The Left Side:

(left - right: Daniel, Boone, Miles, Michael, Ana Lucia, Charlotte, Shannon, Desmond, Eko, Kate, Jack, Sawyer, backwards Locke)

The Right Side:

(left - right: Ben, Sayid, Libby, Sun, Jin, Claire, Hurley, Juliet, Charlie, Frank, Richard, Bernard, Rose)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lost: Who's Gonna Die? - TV Guide

By Mickey O'Connor

Note from Melissa: This article is pure speculation on who might die this season, based on a rumor that someone's going to. Anything based on actual spoilers rather than conjecture has been removed.

**** Putting aside for a second the fact that dying on Lost doesn't exactly mean a trip to the unemployment office, let's examine a few likely suspects, and then tell us who you think is going to take that long island dirt nap.

Last we saw him, little Ben was on death's door after getting plugged by Sayid. Sure, Richard Alpert said he could save him, but can he really? Plus, ****.
AGAINST HIM In revealing the backstory of Ben's fractured childhood — and his fate at the hands of the Hostiles — the character has become infinitely more sympathetic. In addition, Lost appears to be headed toward a showdown between Ben and Widmore, and it's still too early for that confrontation to take place.
NARRATIVE PUNCH Lost without Ben would certainly be duller. Good guy or bad, he has double-crossed nearly everyone in the cast.

FOR HER There is a well-developed conspiracy theory that claims that Claire actually died in that explosion in her house in New Otherton. Supporters point to her last communication with Miles (aka Señor Ghostbuster), her abandonment of Aaron and her cozying up to Christian, her dead dad, inside Jacob's cabin.
AGAINST HER There is no indication that Emilie de Ravin has been on set at all this season. Plus: *****
NARRATIVE PUNCH There are still a few unanswered questions in Claire's backstory, but most revolve around the significance of Aaron. In short, we might like her more as a ghost.

FOR HIM Desmond would do anything to protect Penny and their son, Charlie — including die to save them.
AGAINST HIM Daniel Faraday has hinted at Desmond's importance in the show's evolving time-travel conceit, in that the rules don't appear to apply to him. Now that the gang is stuck in 1977, he may be their only hope of rescue.
NARRATIVE PUNCH Desmond is a popular character, especially with the lay-deez. (Holla!) They would riot if he was killed.

Truthfully, there is no indication that it would be him.
AGAINST HIM Hurley is the Oceanic 6's truth-teller; he keeps everyone honest. Hurley seems to be the most accessible character through which to tell the story of "the numbers," an annoying plot point that has yet to be adequately explained.
NARRATIVE PUNCH Dude, it would totally suck.

NARRATIVE PUNCH Long-suffering Juliet seems to have finally found peace with Sawyer among the Dharma Initiative. Killing her now would be especially harsh — and dramatically potent.

There were rumblings earlier in the season that ****, which sent Lost fans into a tizzy that Kate might be exiting.
AGAINST HER The rumor was quickly silenced. ("Not even remotely true," a source told
NARRATIVE PUNCH Needless to say, losing Kate before the end of the series would be truly shocking.

FOR HER After Widmore killed Ben's "daughter," Alex, Ben pledged revenge. Last we saw Ben, he had an errand to run at what appeared to be a marina. He then boarded Ajira Flight 316 bloodied and bruised.
AGAINST HER Penny and Desmond's globetrotting (indeed, time-trotting) romance has become the heart of the show. It would be downright cruel to break up this happily reunited couple after their long, torturous separation.
NARRATIVE PUNCH Sucker. To the kidneys. And the heart. Sniff.

As Jim LaFleur, Sawyer holds a prominent position within the Dharma Initiative. But as James Ford, survivor of Oceanic 815, he has other goals. As his two interests start to diverge, it's possible that Sawyer's double-agent routine will be discovered.
AGAINST HIM The Kate-Jack-Juliet-Sawyer love rectangle is an endless source of discussion for the fans. They'd never remove one of the variables, would they?
NARRATIVE PUNCH Killing Sawyer just as he redeemed himself would be bittersweet — and characteristic of Lost.

After shooting little Ben, Sayid is Dharma Public Enemy No. 1.
AGAINST HIM His recent declaration — "You were right; I am a killer" — seems to indicate the beginning of a redemption story arc.
NARRATIVE PUNCH Hard to say. We love Naveen Andrews, but how much more do we need to know about Sayid?

She's hanging out with Christian lately, and he tends to show up, Grim Reaper-like, just before people meet their maker (see: Locke, Michael, Claire?).
AGAINST HER Similar to Des and Penny, Sun and Jin's flawed romance sneaked up on us. Sun has already believed Jin dead; isn't that enough?
NARRATIVE PUNCH Killing her off before (or even after) she finds Jin would make for some terrific drama.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

'Lost': The Die Is Casteneda - Doc Jensen, EW

By Jeff Jensen

Is Young Ben dead? If he dies, how might Lost history be altered? If there are alterations, would they be substantial or not as significant as our hyperactive imaginations may think? Tonight's episode, ''****,'' offers the promise of answers. *****

While we wait for clarity, allow me to share this crazy, twisted thought that just entered my head: What if Young Ben neither lives nor dies in this episode but instead...falls into a coma? What if the rest of season 5 proceeds with the tension of knowing (and worrying) that should Ben die, history-negating paradox may occur? What if in the very last scene of the season, time-traveling Desmond, full of vengeance toward Ben for killing Penelope and Young Charlie, sneaks into Young Ben's hospital room, pulls the plug on Young Ben's life-support machine, and causes time to implode?

Sawyer: I thought you said this wouldn't happen!?
Faraday: I was wrong!
Desmond: See you in another life, bruthas!

What if the final season of Lost will tell the story of the all-new, all-different, Ben-free history of the castaways, which will include a moment where Jack and Sayid find ''one of them'' in Rousseau's nets, and when they go and investigate, they will find a guy that they don't recognize, a guy who will call himself ''Henry Gale,'' a guy who was always meant to be on the Island and rule the Others instead of Ben, a guy we know as...John Locke?

Like I said: crazy and twisted. Lost would never really do that. Right? But I do like my Coma Boy Ben conjecture, so I'm placing $10 with Milo, my local Lost bookie, on its accuracy.

"****": ON THE SET
As it happens, I visited the Oahu set of Lost back in January while they were shooting "****.'' Somehow, I escaped the experience without anyone letting anything slip about the Sayid-shooting-Young Ben thing or its outcome. But I did learn that *****

During my day on the Lost lot, I saw many things that were still mysteries to me, as at that point I had only seen the season premiere. Jughead sat on the grass, covered by a tarp. A Hydra Station outrigger was parked on a trailer. Inside a soundstage, I sat inside the fuselage of Ajira 316 to scribble some notes and lurked in the doorway of the Dharma security station in order to watch cast and crew film a scene on another set right next door. I saw Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Miles ponder time travel conundrums, and witnessed a spoiler-sensitive moment involving ****, the significance of which only now makes total sense to me.

Matthew Fox was in a good mood. The day before, his favorite NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles, had beaten the New York Giants in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, earning them the right to...lose to the Arizona Cardinals the following week. (Glad I didn't visit then.) ''I feel very fortunate to be able to play someone like Jack Shephard,'' Fox told me. ''When we were shooting the pilot, I remember talking with Damon [Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof] about how we didn't want to make Jack the guy who was the 'knight in shining armor' or 'the classic hero.' It seemed like an antiquated, unrealistic version of heroism. We were really trying to look at a new way at looking at heroes.''

Fox describes Jack's journey on Lost like this: ''We set him up to be a hero in the eyes of people on the island — they needed that — but he really wasn't that, or he felt like he couldn't be that. And so we broke him down to where he was desperately trying to hold onto the idea that he can control his reality, that logic and reason and science are the real dictators of the world, not fate and magic. He then felt like his only way out was to take his own life. Failing that, he then moved to a place where he was finally forced to consider that he was probably wrong, that probably Locke was right, and probably the only way he can find any redemption or any salvation in this universe is to go back to the very place that he tried to leave and get back to whatever fated destiny that place has for him. Playing that has been a pretty extraordinary opportunity. A f---ing challenge the whole way through, but it's been really cool experience.''

I asked Fox to describe the state of Jack as we currently find him at this point of the season, and his answer speaks to the quiet, patient, humbled hero that has returned to the Island. ''Coming back to the Island, he gains strength just by being in its proximity,'' he explained. ''I've always believed part of what was destroying him was his actual lack of physical proximity to the Island. He is fated to do something on the Island, but in fighting to get away from that, the Island was destroying him from afar. Now, he's wide-eyed and alert and watching for his destiny. He doesn't have any idea how he's going to know it, or when he's going to know it. But when the moment comes, he will realize he's in the path of his own destiny. And when he's clicked into it, he can start taking action without over-dictating, without trying to control his reality, to just do what it is he's meant to do.''

Wow. How very Carlos Castaneda. Carlos Castaneda, you say? Yes: Carlos Castaneda, I say! My epic, consciousness-expanding explanation is to come, right after...

Exploring the mind-blowing collision of Lost and Carlos Castaneda

Pop quiz! Carlos Castaneda is:
A. A one-man codex that unlocks the secrets to Lost
B. The greatest literary red herring Lost has ever dropped into its clue-strewn matrix
C. A writer whose work is relevant to Lost in ways too subtle and sophisticated for Doc Jensen to recognize or appreciate

Chances are the answer is C (Milo's odds: 2-1), but this week, I am going to insist the answer is A...which in turn will also serve as compelling testimony for the subversive genius of option B.

Carlos Castaneda was introduced into Lost last week through Young Ben Linus, who served Sayid a paperback copy of the author's 1971 allegedly nonfiction work A Separate Reality with his chicken salad sandwich. ''I've read it twice,'' said the 12-year-old future psycho with the Harry Potter face. (Other books Ben has read twice in his lifetime: Philip K. Dick's novel Valis, thematically similar to A Separate Reality in many ways.) Wanna bet the Dharma Initiative's resident post-hippie mystic, Oldham, got Ben hooked on Castaneda? (Milo's odds: 5-2.) After all, A Separate Reality — the sequel to The Teachings of Don Juan — purports to be an account of Castaneda's continued tutelage under a Mexican shaman named Don Juan. It focuses on the practice of ''seeing,'' or the ability to look through the illusion of consensual reality and perceive and experience the spiritual infrastructure of the world and all living things...with the help of psychotropic drugs like peyote.

Castaneda's larger body of thought — revealed over the course of 11 increasingly weird books — argues that there is more to life than just a busy-busy struggle to survive, and that individuals have access to greater awareness, knowledge, and power than they allow themselves. People should strive to become ''warrior-travelers,'' and their heroic quest is to constantly unlearn and relearn ''the idea of ourselves'' and our conception of reality. Nobody on Lost embodies this better than John Locke, whose awkward ''Man of Faith'' evolution resembles Castaneda's trial-and-error vision of growth. Sayid's arc in ''He's Our You'' was a classic allegory for Castaneda conversion: A soul, trapped and stuck, defined by the personal baggage of his past and dehumanizing ''consensus reality'' of his society, who finds liberation by modulating the idea of himself — again courtesy of some really, really strong controlled substances.

Trippy stuff. But I could see how it might appeal to an alienated and abused young man like Young Ben Linus, full of yearning to transcend his mundane and miserable adolescence, gain mastery over circumstance, and transform his life into an exciting adventure. The Young Ben that we saw in ''He's Our You'' burned with adolescent rebellion and a very specific anger toward the dehumanizing, despairing lie of his wannabe utopian commune. In retrospect, turning one of Dharma's VW buses — a symbol of hippie-era idealism — into a Molotov cocktail on wheels struck me as a pretty clever act of protest.

Before we dig even deeper into Castaneda and excavate the ideas that will blow your mind with their Lost resonance, let's step back and consider Castaneda in the context of Big Ideas that Lost has thrown at us this season. Through Daniel Faraday, we got a strong dose of quantum physics. ''316'' gave us Christianity (and a wink at Christianity's heretical bad twin, Gnosticism) and an allusion to New Age mysticism. (See: the ''lines of energy'' map in the Lamp-Post, linking the Island to other hotspots of electromagnetic energy around the globe.) ''Namaste'' reminded us that the Dharma Initiative wrapped itself in Buddhism, Hinduism and Egyptian mythology. Now, we have Castaneda and his proto-Matrix philosophy, imported from Toltec mythology. The Western counter-culture of the early '70s was deeply interested in each of these bodies of thought. The New Age movement that emerged out of this era aspired to synthesize many of these strains of spirituality — along with some mystical interpretations of quantum physics — into a veritable Lost-esque super-string theory. Books like The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, The Dancing Wu Li Masters and many others (including Castaneda's entire oeuvre) brought this ambitious project into the mainstream. It was an endeavor deeply indebted to the Theosophists of the late 1800s. (Theosophy was a bid to blend ancient mythology, religious concepts, and new scientific thinking of the time, such as the newfangled electromagnetism of Lost-linked eggheads James Clerk Maxwell and Michael Faraday.) Theosophists dreamed of building ''a universal brotherhood of humanity'' and wanted to ''investigate the unexplained laws of nature and latent powers in man.''

FUN FACT! Lost has cited a number of writers who were deeply influenced by Theosophy, including Aldous Huxley (The Island), L. Frank Baum (The Wizard of Oz), and most recently, James Joyce (Ulysses).

Whew. Right? Bottom line: 1. Clearly, the so-called Me Decades in which Lost is currently parked was a boom time for alternative religion and new delivery systems of old-time spirituality; and 2. The aforementioned Big Ideas share one Very Big Idea in common, a serious interest in what happens to us after we kick the bucket.

Which brings us back to Castaneda. According to the writer, the warrior-traveler seeking life-changing, mind-expanding enlightenment is sometimes aided — and sometimes menaced — in his or her quest by otherworldly or ''inorganic'' beings. Often times, they take forms chosen by the subconscious. Indeed, sometimes they are nothing but projections of our subconscious, but we don't recognize them as such. These entities stick to their own turf, but can quite easily pass through the ''band of energy'' that separates our respective dimensions to interact with human beings. Would-be warrior-travelers need to confront, engage, and master these entities in order to gain knowledge. Once mastered, these hostile entities are known by a new name: ''the Allies.'' These ''Allies'' don't mind too much being mastered by their human friends. Indeed, they often forge partnerships with them and are willing to submit to their leadership. APPLICATION TO LOST: The Hostiles/the Others = ''the Allies.'' Ben's visions of his mother in the jungle = Ally as ''subconscious projection.'' Sonic Fence = ''Band of Energy.'' (Remember what Richard told Horace? ''Your fence can't keep us out.'' An ''Ally'' can say the same thing.) The Others' leadership structure = the Ally/warrior-traveler partnership.

According to Castaneda, there is one particularly monstrous inorganic entity that can rarely, if ever, be tamed: a creature known as a ''mud shadow'' or ''flyer.'' Castaneda writes: ''The flyers are an essential part of the universe...and they must be taken as what they really are — awesome, monstrous. They are the means by which the universe tests us.'' APPLICATION TO LOST: Hellllo, Smokey.

Finally, there is this. And I love this part. Castaneda believed that the final stage — the ''definitive journey'' — of a warrior-traveler's life was to prepare himself for more adventures and greater work in the afterlife, or what he called ''the active side of eternity.'' This preparation required shoring up a very firm, very fixed sense of identity that can survive the brutal segue into What Lies Beyond and can thrive there. In order to accomplish this task, warrior-travelers have to do one thing before they die: produce their own super-duper, back-story-revealing flashback episode of Lost.

''I suggest that you gather a collection of the memorable events of your life.... Every warrior, as a matter of duty, collects an album that reveals the warrior's personality, an album that attests to the circumstances of his life. Above all, it is like an album of pictures made out of memories, the recollection of memorable events; memorable because they have a special significance in one's life. Put in it the complete account of various events that have had profound significance for you. Not every event has a profound significance for you. There are a few, however, that I would consider likely to have changed things for you, to have illuminated your path.... Such an album is an exercise in discipline and impartiality. Consider this album to be an act of war. As such, it has all the meaning in the world.''

The active side of infinity. That's a pretty cool way of thinking about the Island. A collection of memorable album that reveals the warrior's personality.... That's a pretty on-the-nose characterization of five seasons' worth of soul-baring, history-revealing, character-defining flashback storytelling. It also harkens back very specifically to the season 3 episode ''Greatest Hits,'' in which a death-bound Charlie, preparing for his own ''definitive journey,'' compiled a conceptual album of ''memorable events'' of ''profound significance'' that summarized his life — or, as Castaneda might argue, effectively defined the idea of Charlie that would progress into infinity.

Consider this album to be an act of war. And suddenly my Lost-soaked mind whooshes to what Charles Widmore told John Locke during his Jeremy Bentham digression. ''[T]here's a war coming, John. And if you're not back on the Island when that happens, the wrong side is going to win.''

Honestly, I'm not sure what Charlie Widmore's War is really going to be all about. You know me: I'm all for some cosmic clash between good and evil, à la The Stand, The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Matrix, and all the other fantasy pop classics that Lost uses as touchstones. And yet, I now wonder if Chuck was speaking of a more figurative kind of ''war.'' The boot camps that Ben, Widmore, and/or the Island have put the castaways through this season have been psychological and spiritual in nature. We've seen Jack morph from ''Man of Science'' to ''Man Willing To Be Open To Out-There Possibilities.'' We've seen Sawyer transition from selfish rogue to responsible leader. We've seen Sayid modulate his inner killer. We've seen Locke's destiny-starved sucker gain some wisdom. Everyone is changing their core idea; everyone is ''moving their island,'' if you will. (''I-land''?) And if we were to take this Castaneda all the way, you just have to wonder if the reason all these shifts are now happening is because these characters' ''definitive journey'' is at hand, a perilous passage as terrifying as war.

Put the final touches on those memory albums, castaways, because I think you're all about to die.

And then, I think they're all going to become born again, courtesy of time travel/time loop/Island resurrection magic. Who will awaken changed and improved by his or her past life? Who will awaken lost all over again? And which side in the great Widmore/Ben conflict benefits from changed souls — and which side doesn't? Season 6 will tell us...unless, of course, the preceding 1,700 words are just totally, wrong-headedly irrelevant. In which case, see Answer ''B.''

Now and Ben: Has a Blast in the Past Changed Lost's Future? - TV Guide

By Matt Mitovich

Lost's Michael Emerson had warned readers that moments would come along this season where you leap off the sofa and shout, "They can't do that! Can they...?" One such shocker expelled from Sayid's gun and landed in a young Benjamin Linus' chest at the end of last week's episode. Sterling Beaumon, 13, shared with us a look at how that blast in the past may change Ben's future. Or not. I know you've done episodes of ER, Heroes and Bones. But was Lost your first death scene?
Sterling Beaumon: No, actually. I was on Crossing Jordan and I had to lie on a coroner's table for almost the whole episode. And on ER, I died in the end, with a tumor in my brain.... Of course, my question presumes that Young Ben died from Sayid's gunshot. Might that not be the case?
Beaumon: You'll have to watch and find out. **** Regardless of whether young Ben dies or not, will there be repercussions for what Sayid did?
Beaumon: It will be talked about quite often. That scene may have the greatest significance of any on this show. I read in a previous interview that when you first appeared on Lost (during Season 3), you were warned not to mimic Michael Emerson, because Ben wasn't that Ben yet. Is it safe to say he now is?
Beaumon: Not quite yet.... Something more would have to happen to put him on that path?
Beaumon: Yes. And that Ben.... Well, if you go back in the season to when they first met up with [Amy], they tell Daniel, "We can't interfere, because we can't change time," and Daniel says, "It doesn't matter now, because we're stuck here." **** OK. I was going to say, Who better to carry out the massacre in a few years than a presumed-dead, angry Ben, but....
Beaumon: **** How many kids did you beat out for this role?
Beaumon: There were, like, four pages of sign-ins for the first audition. Did you wear a version of Ben's tell-tale glasses for the audition?
Beaumon: No, because we did not even know who the character was. He was called "Young Andrew," and it wasn't even a scene from the "Man Behind the Curtain" episode. Do your eyes look like Michael Emerson's just naturally?
Beaumon: That was one of the requirements. The kid had to have blue eyes and brown hair. Before we go, you said you had a few things you wanted to clear up....
Beaumon: Yes, I was just reading the message boards — I know, I'm so bad — and there are some things I want to address. For example, Ben arrived on the island in 1974, when he was 12 years old. Now it's three years later, so he's like 14 or 15. When Sayid refers to "12-year-old Ben" [in the episode "He's Our You"], he just didn't know. They will later say how old I really am. Also, some people are thinking that Ben killed his dad in the van fire that he set; he didn't. Older Ben killed his dad in, like, 1995. Those are just a few things I'm seeing out there. All noted. So, what's next for you after Lost?
Beaumon: I have an animated feature coming out, Astro Boy, with Nicolas Cage, Freddie Highmore and Madeline Carroll, the girl who plays [Ben's childhood friend] Annie. Everyone is like, "The Island, it wants you two to work together!" [Laughs]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Will Lost's Juliet Find Herself Betrayed by Sawyer? - TV Guide

By Matt Mitovich

When last we tuned into ABC's Lost, (at least some) fans were pleasantly surprised to see Juliet and Sawyer find a groovy kind of love there in the 1970s. But can their romance stand the test of "time" — especially now that Kate is back in the mix? Elizabeth Mitchell shared a look at the twists ahead. We're sneaking this Q&A in just before the producers lower a "cone of silence" onto the cast members, at least until you have filmed the season finale. Pretty crazy, huh?
Elizabeth Mitchell: Yeah, pretty much! Once again, it's one of those highly secret, highly crazy, "You think it's one thing but it's another thing" kind of endings. There are still about six pages missing [from the finale script] that only the people involved in it have. I'm worried now, that you don't have those six pages.
Mitchell: [Laughs] I didn't have the six pages last time, or the time before that. I was like, "Tell me, tell me! No, don't tell me." It seems like these next nine episodes will be a lot to digest.
Mitchell: They will. "LaFleur" was one of those little "eyes of the storm." You've been storming, you've been storming, you get to the middle and you're like, "Oh, it's not so bad. It's kind of nice here! I'll wait around here and take a deep breath." And then you start right in. It should be pretty exciting. What went through your mind as you learned of the Juliet-Sawyer love story?
Mitchell: There's my initial feelings, my middle feelings, and then my feelings now. At first, Josh [Holloway] and I were like, "Nuh-uh! That's never going to work!" But surely you had an inkling they'd go that way, after the storylines got split.
Mitchell: I think I even said, "I don't think that sounds like a very good idea at all." But then as the season went along, I realized there were these little asides and glances... Both Josh and I were like, "We don't know about this." But luckily — and I mean this very, very sincerely — it became something I'm very happy with. Josh turned to me the other day and said, "Hey, that's pretty good huh?" I said, "Yeah, it kinda works!" But even if you did see this hook-up coming, one could never have predicted the weight given to it via time-travel.
Mitchell: Josh and I were sitting in a canoe, doing a scene, and I said, "You know, they're not going to have us have mad, passionate love up against a tree. They're probably going to, like, have us already have been married for three years." He was like, "No, they're not going to do that. That's just ridiculous." So when he got the ["LaFleur"] script, he was like, "That's creepy!" Do you feel cheated or honored to get clean-shaven Sawyer?
Mitchell: Oh, very honored - but I kinda get both, because we're always flashing [through time]. He's kind of ridiculously good-looking regardless of what he does, so I try not to concentrate on that too much. Has it been in the back of Juliet's head that Kate could return to the island someday?
Mitchell: Yeah, I do think it's been there. But I also think that at some point in time, because three years is so long, she actually came to believe that maybe this might work. Maybe that came to her just in the last two months before [Kate, Jack et al] showed up, but for the first time in her life there was a grain of hope. So I think that it's very sad for her. Does any insecurity register on Juliet when she first learns Kate is back?
Mitchell: I think so. Juliet is torn in a lot of different directions. She's torn that Kate is there, I think she's torn over how Sawyer is going to respond to it.... It's very telling that he doesn't saying anything at first about Kate being there. Juliet's just busy reading him, but of course there must be massive worry about [Kate's return]. Juliet, in turn, must have her own reaction to seeing Jack again.
Mitchell: *** It will be very interesting to see how people feel about their moments together. What are Juliet's priorities now?
Mitchell: Juliet has a couple of priorities, one of which of course is being in love, and that's figuring quite heavily in the writers' minds. And there's always the thing of, "How do I get my life back? How do I keep my sister and her child safe?" They are in this eye of the storm, this little hiatus, and that's new for her. Good lord, she's working in the motor pool, so she's not even trying to save lives! For the first time in her life, she's quite peaceful and living. **** When I spoke to Reiko Aylesworth (Amy), she seemed to hint that ****
Mitchell: **** And 11-year-old Ben is lurking around somewhere...
Mitchell: Of course he's there. He has to be. So it will be very interesting to see how that goes. Speaking Latin must have been one of the hardest things you've had to do for the show.
Mitchell: But you know what, I liked it. Part of me is kind of a brainiac so I thought it'd be cool if I spoke Latin anyway. There's that joy where you're talking to someone and all of a sudden you break off [into an unexpected language]. So yeah, it was difficult, but I thought it was pretty awesome!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Young 'Ben' gives up a few spoilers for Lost - Sci Fi Wire

Sterling Beaumon—the 13-year-old actor who played young Ben Linus in the third-season Lost episode "The Man Behind the Curtain"— will kick off a multi-episode arc on the ABC sci-fi series starting with ****

SCI FI Wire recently spoke with Beaumon about his Lost experience and his latest episodes. Following are edited excerpts of the exclusive conversation. Lost airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Go back a step. How did they first hire you?
I actually look hardly anything like Michael Emerson [who plays the adult version of Ben], besides the eyes. I guess I do; a lot of people say I do. But what really got it for me was I could cry. I could cry on cue. And in the first episode I did I had to cry in every scene.

When you did that first episode, did they tell you the role might be recurring?
They don't tell anyone anything, but everyone said, "Your character is so big, and your first episode is so big, they have to bring you back." Little did I know that after two years they'd bring me back.

We know that Lost has that crazy veil of secrecy over it, but give us a hint as to what you'll be up to in your episodes.

Do you get a lot of people coming up to you, asking what's going to happen?
Yeah. It's kind of nice, and it's kind of hard. It's nice because the secrecy gets people to watch, because they want to know what's going to happen. And, in a way, it's hard, because you want to tell people what you do, but now I have to wait months to tell people how fun it was to do this or do that [in an episode], or to show people pictures from the set.

Did you go back and watch any of Michael Emerson's performances as Ben in order to help you play a natural extension of the character?
After I did my first episode [a couple of years ago], we became hooked on Lost, and I watched every single episode. A ctually, ["Namaste" director] Jack Bender told me, "***" I didn't know what he meant, because I hadn't gotten the next script. ****

What are the chances you'll be back again after these episodes?
Everyone says, "Oh, gosh, you've got to come back again." What I'm hoping is that Annie, supposedly Ben's childhood friend, comes back [in a subsequent episode]. The girl who plays Annie [Madeline Carroll] is actually a close friend of mine.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lost Preview: Still-Tall, Non-Ghost Walt Returns! - TV Guide

By Matt Mitovich

Lost fans really haven't spent much time with Walt in recent seasons, save for a hand-wave from an apartment window and a haunting visit to Locke's would-be grave. But this Wednesday, Michael's son will get a bit more screen time as "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" details Locke's odyssey from donkey wheel to casket. Malcolm David Kelley — who as Walt was one of Lost's original cast members — shared a glimpse at his character's latest appearance. I have to tell you, a reader emailed me saying she was skeptical about your Lost future because of that Tyson chicken commercial you're in.
Kelley: Oh yeah, my manager told me about that! A lot of people are bugging out about that commercial — "What are you doing?!" But sure enough, Walt returns this week. In what capacity?
Kelley: Let's see.... I don't want to give anything away... but there's a situation where he knows something is going on, but nobody told him. It's that sort of thing. What, does he get wind that Jack, Kate and the others are returning to the island?
Kelley: I'm just going to be talking to somebody, and.... **** Now that the show is time-jumping around, do you get to play closer to your real age of 16? No more waving from windows or skewed camera angles?
Kelley: I do, and that's a very cool thing. I don't have to play this young boy anymore. I don't have to change my voice or have them dub in someone else's voice. There were a lot of things we had to do to try to make me sound younger. When you first started the show, did you worry, "If I start to sprout, I'm going to lose my job"?
Kelley: I really didn't expect me to grow that fast! It was just over a year period that I started sprouting up and my voice got deeper. I wasn't really thinking about it. I didn't know how long the show was going to go, but then they started saying "2010".... Does Walt know that his father is dead?
Kelley: [Pauses] **** I'm not sure. There's talk that Walt actually was on the flight back to the island in spirit, because Hurley took some of his comic books with him.
Kelley: [Laughs] That'd be pretty cool. But I hope I get to go back to the island myself at some point. But maybe since Walt has his telekinesis-like powers, somebody doesn't want him back on the island. He could prove too useful to ... someone.
Kelley: Right, that's true. So maybe they're doing a smart thing!

Lost's Lance Reddick: Be Prepared for His Return - TV Guide

By Mickey O'Connor

The Feb. 18 episode of Lost left viewers with a whopper of a burning question: How did Kate, Sayid and Hurley end up on that Ajira Airways flight when they seemed so opposed to doing so? Did the mysterious Matthew Abaddon (Lance Reddick) have anything to do with it? talked to Reddick about what exactly we'll learn about Abaddon next as he plays a significant role in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" (Wednesday, 9 pm/ET, ABC). In the meantime, Reddick offers up some juicy insight:

Thus far, Abaddon has helped assemble the team that came to the island from the freighter. He visited Hurley in the booby hatch to ask about the rest of the Oceanic 815 passengers. And he convinced a wheelchair-assisted Locke to go on a "walkabout" through the Australian Outback.

Although Matthew means "a gift from God" in Hebrew, the Bible assigns Abaddon many not-so-cheery meanings, including "a place of destruction" and "the realm of the dead." The word is also described as a creature that resembles a centaur with long hair, locusts' wings and the tail of a scorpion. All in all, scholars have roughly interpreted all this to mean that he's the king of hell, the anti-Christ, the big guy: Satan.

When asked this very question, Reddick chooses his words carefully: "He believes he's on the side of the good guys." This answer is, of course, fitting for a show that also features Benjamin Linus, Charles Widmore, the Others and "the freighter folk," none of whom conform easily to good guy-bad guy characterizations.

While Reddick says he has been given key pieces of context on Abaddon's backstory, which he declines to share, he says he prefers to "play to the mystery." Well, it has certainly worked.



"Just as every single moment that Abaddon has shown up has been a surprise, how he shows up and how the character develops throughout the episode... just be prepared to be very surprised," Reddick says.

We're prepared! We're prepared!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lost's Michael Emerson: "We May Already Know Annie" - TV Guide

By Gina DiNunno

It's virtually impossible to tell whether Lost's Ben Linus is a good guy or a bad guy. As much as we keep churning out the theories, turned to Michael Emerson himself for his thoughts on Ben's upcoming storylines. How much of Ben's past will we see during the time jumps? Will we ever meet Annie? Have we already? Has Ben's revenge mission against Charles Widmore been trumped by the getting the Oceanic 6 to return to the island?
Michael Emerson: I think Ben has not forgotten what Charles Widmore has done to him, and I think he's going to try to take care of that business at the same time as he's taking care of the larger mission. With all this time jumping happening on the island, will we see young Ben again?
Emerson: **** now that we are sort of ping-ponging around in the time-space continuum, all those backstories are re-emerging in more important ways. And the characters are, to some extent, going to be recontextualized. I know Ben is. You're going to learn things about him that either mitigate or intensify some of the judgments you've made about him. It's pretty hard to tell if he's good or bad on any given day.
Emerson: I think they mean you to be right there and not know. You may leave the series at the final conclusion still not knowing if he's good or bad. Did Ben's little girlfriend Annie die in The Purge?
Emerson: We don't know. That's still up in the air, but I'm guessing that's one of the most burning questions of the backstory that I'm sure will be dealt with. We have so much bouncing around in time and space to do this season it will make you dizzy. It's also going to provide some thrills and chills. [Laughs] So you think Annie will pop back into the picture?
Emerson: Yeah, I think so. In fact, I may go so far as to say we may already know Annie. Have you considered that? I'm not speaking from knowledge of a script because that's not a thing that has been written, but stranger things have happened on the show. Everyone is more connected then they ever thought, and it's often by blood.

TVGuide: Maybe Ben has unknown relatives on the island as well?
Emerson: That's a good one. Or it could be a deal where maybe some people never escaped a time or place. Or maybe some people are no longer in control of the when of their lives. Our writers are smart sci-fi guys and they're going to push the envelope. How about revisiting that crush Ben had on Juliet?
Emerson: I think it must be explained, or its end must be explained — the end of those feelings. You might want to put that in the file labeled "Stuff Ben Doesn't Have Time to Think About But May Be Able to Further Down the Line." I suppose it's possible, though, that the writers have made us understand that Juliet made her feelings too clear to Ben and the world, and he's moved on. How often have your scenes crossed with Fionnula Flanagan's Eloise Hawking?
Emerson: ***** One of the tributes to the genius of our writers is they will introduce a character like Eloise Hawking in a one-off kind of deal and we all think, "Oh, that was an interesting side journey that we could have gone on and didn't." But the writers haven't forgotten about it. They've brought it back around so it dovetails neatly with what's going on. Can you give us any idea on when or how we'll next see Jacob?
Emerson: Jacob seems to have fallen away from our consciousness. The show is so much more wrapped up in intermediary leader figures. There seems to be a whole raft of people Ben must answer to, but they're not as high up as Jacob. Jacob seems to have receded into the mist again — sort of mysterious and godlike. He continues to be much talked about, and ultimately is the force behind the island. **** So to be in charge of such a thing — what does that mean? These are questions I ask myself. Do you ever find yourself just reeling after reading a script?
Emerson: I have read a couple of scenes in the middle part of the season where I've dropped the script while reading it, or I stood up and said, "Oh my God, they can't do that, can they?" And they can. They can do whatever they want. There are a couple of things that will just make your hair stand on end. People across the country are going to jump up off their sofas and scream, "No! No way!" I just love it. [Laughs]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lost Preview: Will Jin Reunite with Sun? - TV Guide

By Matt Mitovich

ABC's Lost (Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET) tied up at least one loose thread when a young Danielle Rousseau and her team fished a water-logged, dehydrated and yet very much alive Jin out of the ocean last week. Will Jin now reunite with Sawyer and the other still-stranded castaways? Will Sun learn her husband is alive before she's gone too far? And just how good is Jin's English these days? Daniel Dae Kim shares a look at the "excellent adventure" to come. That was a very cool reintroduction you got.
Daniel Dae Kim: Yeah! I was happy with the way they did that, for sure. What is going through Jin's mind at this moment?
Kim: [Laughs] Probably water. Water. Food. I don't think he really cares about anything else. He's probably so dehydrated and dazed that he doesn't have much awareness of what's going on. And without Faraday around to explain to him the time-jumping thing...
Kim: I think he's still confused as to how this could be. But you'll see that he goes through his own little "excellent adventure." [Laughs] Like Bill and Ted. I guess that after the freighter explosion, he swam within the radius of the temporal whatnot?
Kim: Yeah. Somehow, wherever he landed after the explosion was within the radius of this... phenomenon. Does Jin know enough English at this point to get some answers from his rescuers?
Kim: That is a very interesting question. Watching Jin's journey with English over the next few episodes will be very interesting. Even though he's now back on the island, it could be a while before he crosses paths with his friends.
Kim: Absolutely. **** The producers of course played your status very close to the vest. Was it hard going along with that ruse?
Kim: Actually, it wasn't. They assured me from the beginning that it didn't mean anything more than exactly what it was: a ruse. I just kept my head down, did my work and let them worry about that stuff. I understand ABC will now "magically" re-insert you back into the Season 5 cast shot?
Kim: That's what I'm being told will happen! That's all composited anyway, but I was at that photo shoot. They have singles of me I assume they'll composite back into [the cast photo]. Do you think Jin would approve of the mission of vengeance Sun is currently on in the States?
Kim: I think that Jin, in his transition to who he is now, would probably make less of a judgment on Sun for anything. Maybe she'll learn that he's alive before she goes too far?
Kim: I'm curious to find that out myself. I'd like to see how much of her new personality is because of what she believes happened to Jin, or is it part of a larger growth for her? Is it safe to say they will be reunited by the Season 5 finale?
Kim: You know what? I am not sure. We just got the script for [Episode] 13 out of 17. But I think it's inevitable that they're reunited at some point. What else can you tease about Jin's upcoming storyline?
Kim: I can say this: He finally has some scenes with characters that he, in five years, has never really interacted with. Are you still on board to star in The King & I in London this June?
Kim: Absolutely! I'm working on my singing and the text. I'm excited to do it. I have to laugh at how the instant that news got out last summer, people started "killing Jin off."
Kim: [Laughs] It probably went a long way to aid with the ruse!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Lost: Digging Inside Season 5 - EW

by Jeff Jensen

Across the street from a neatly tended cemetery on the island of Oahu, there is a gated lot where the past, present, and future of Lost all come together. The Others' submarine, Henry Gale's hot-air balloon, Locke's outrigger — all beached on the grass like so many Black Rock shipwrecks. And inside a large soundstage, hidden away from prying eyes, Lost's iconic castaways are huddled on a top secret set, ****. The action being shot for the year's 12th episode is almost spoilerifically indescribable, *****

No, Lost definitely isn't playing it safe, even though it has every reason to do just that. Coming off a critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated fourth season and entering its next-to-last year, ABC's brilliantly odd, infectiously frustrating crypto-drama (airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m.) could have attempted to keep its no-longer-huge-but-still-fervently-fanatic base sated and stable until 2010's Gimme all my answers NOW! series-capping season. Nope. Didn't even try. Instead, Lost has opted to start season 5 by baring its potentially alienating geek soul and challenging its audience even more with gonzo storytelling. Thought the show was confusing before? Try this on for size: Time travel. Quantum physics. Hydrogen bombs. And a Da Vinci Code-meets-Foucault's Pendulum-meets-Weekend at Bernie's conspiracy to save (or destroy) the world, the linchpin of which involves U-Hauling the corpse of John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) back to the Island. When the gloriously strange saga of Lost finally concludes next year, season 5 is likely to be remembered as the one when the series came out of the closet and declared itself. But here's hoping it doesn't lose everyone in the process: So far this season, Lost is averaging 11.3 million viewers, down 3.4 percent from last season, and a far cry from the series-high average of 15.9 million in season 1. But the producers say: Come what may. ''The fear is that Lost just became an AP class, and really, what's one's incentive for taking an AP class?'' says exec producer Damon Lindelof. ''But the show has gotten to that point where it had to let its freak flag fly. It needed to announce, 'You wanna know what the Island is? You wanna know why these people were brought to the Island? You wanna know what their purpose for being there is? Well, it might be a little weirder than you would've hoped.'''

But is it too weird? ''I was a little worried about the start of the season, to be honest,'' says Lilly, battling back a cold and enjoying some late-afternoon Hawaii sun in between takes. ''It might sound terrible to say, but the mythology of this show eludes me. I am all about the characters and the interplay of the relationships and the angst of redemption and retribution — all those good nuggets. So, in my biased view, I've been running around telling the world: 'Be patient! It's just the first half of the season! We'll come back!''' Her costar Matthew Fox has another, more optimistic take. ''It feels very different from what Lost has felt like in the past, but in a really good way,'' says the actor, sporting neatly parted hair and some dangling iPod earbuds. ''There will be many, many answers, lots of things from past seasons that left the audience thinking, 'That's never going to pay off' — but it does, in really cool ways that make you go 'Holy s---!' The season has a real feeling of things coming together, and it builds a groundswell of momentum for the end of the show.''

So, baffling or brilliant? Let the debate begin.

Of course, Lost has always been pretty off its rocker. Ghosts. Locke's legs. Smokey the monster. Those who've hoped Lost would avoid sci-fi answers may have been fooling themselves. ''Honestly,'' says Lindelof, ''the non-genre answer just isn't that interesting.'' And now it's clear the time-travel element of the Island (beyond just the flashbacks/flash-forwards) has been part of the show from the beginning. Among the clues: the never-identified cave skeletons (might they belong to time-tossed castaways?); the name of the company that recruited Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) to the Island, Mittelos, which is an anagram for ''lost time''; the sprinkled-in Stephen Hawking references. ''Whenever the show presents something about the history of the Island — like coming upon the Black Rock slave ship — these are things we are setting up for the endgame of the show,'' says Lindelof. ''This season, it's like the audience is finally opening up a present that was actually bought and wrapped years ago. At least, we hope they think it's a present.''

In other words: The producers have a master plan — and an exit strategy. But that master plan couldn't be unleashed fully until Lindelof and partner Carlton Cuse negotiated a series end date during season 3, a.k.a. The Year Lost Learned a Show About Castaways Stranded on an Island Can Last So Long No Matter How Clever It May Be. "The same way our characters were sort of locked in cages in season 3, when the show went awry,'' says Cuse, ''we felt locked in cages because we didn't know if our mythology had to go two more years or nine.''

Now uncaged, the producers face the challenge of telling their story successfully without unraveling the franchise. Cuse and Lindelof are keenly aware that time-travel yarns have had a spotty record of late (Life on Mars: struggling; Heroes: ugh; Journeyman: anyone? Bueller?) and that even the smartest stuff has the unfortunate side effect of causing serious brain crampage. The producers promise an approach to time travel backed by researchable science (Popular Mechanics even has a Lost blog analyzing it) and grounded in humanity. Cuse and Lindelof allow that the season premiere — in which a fragmented narrative mirrored the Island's erratic skips through time — may not have totally nailed that value, but they believe it was a necessary starting point. ''The complex episodes come early this season,'' says Cuse, ''but they lead to greater rewards downstream once the audience understands the rules of the game for the year.''

Seeing that plan play out has been heartening to Lost's cast, many of whom were left feeling alternately OMG! and WTF? by the season's first scripts. ' 'The first episode was wonderful, [but] it was also a lot to digest,'' says Jorge Garcia, adding that the storytelling of the Hurley-heavy second installment left him baffled enough that ''it totally went over my head that it was a Hurley episode.'' More worrisome to others was the possibility that a sci-fi emphasis might compromise the show's identity, limit its possibilities, and make the drama even less accessible to non-geek-minded viewers. ''I'm mixed about it, to be honest,'' says Daniel Dae Kim, whose presumed-dead Jin was discovered alive and well — and in the Island's not-so-distant past — on the most recent episode. ''One of the things that attracted me initially to this show was how universal the themes were and how different the kinds of stories it could tell. Now, I feel with the sci-fi we're becoming definable in a way that maybe we weren't in the first season. At the same time, I like how the writers are showing allegiance to the true fans. The people who stayed with us are being rewarded with the more complicated and nuanced storytelling that they've been hungering for.'' As for ABC's feelings about Lost's dive down the sci-fi rabbit hole, senior VP of current drama programming Kim Rozenfeld says, ''There were aspects that were certainly unorthodox, but we were comfortable because we knew how they set up the larger story.''

Despite her early season jitters, Lilly says she's committed to the producers' vision. ''You're either along for the ride and part of it, or you're not. And if you don't trust the writers, you might as well get off the boat,'' she says. ''I respect that they do things that could potentially alienate parts of their audience, because that means they are being true to their story and not being manipulated by outside pressure.''

And that story is still capable of addressing very relatable human themes. ''Usually in shows, the cliff-hanger is all about who's shacking up with who,'' says Leung. ''On Lost, the cliff-hanger is about the meaning of existence. What does it mean to be alive?'' Jeremy Davies — whose quirky physicist Daniel Faraday has emerged as a major player of late — credits Lost with allowing him to process the recent deaths of his father and a close friend. ''There have been so many compelling synchronicities between my life and Faraday's story line,'' says the actor. ''I'd be in a lot more trouble, personally, if I didn't have this opportunity to channel these energies within me.''

As for Lindelof and Cuse, they're channeling all their energies squarely onto the Island. ''We feel like the audience will be really clamoring to get back to the Island after these first seven episodes,'' says Lindelof. ''And they'll get a big massive dose of it for pretty much the remainder of the season.'' *****

**** ''Season 5 is about do they or don't they make it back to the Island, and every character has their reasons,'' explains Lilly. *****

***** Despite last year's helicopter kiss-and-whisper between Kate and Sawyer (contents of said whisper will be revealed soon), Lilly believes that the audience is rooting for Kate and Jack. ''But I could be completely wrong!'' she laughs. ''What I've noticed is that the audience tends to root for the coupling that gets the most screen time — and right now, what they're seeing is Kate and Jack.''

Whichever way romance blows on Lost, Fox hopes that it just doesn't...well, blow. He feels the show has sometimes indulged the lovey-dovey stuff for the sake of ratings. ''That's someone going, 'People love romance, so just turn the buttons and dial it up,''' complains Fox. ''Look, I understand that. But it has to be f---ing credible. Our world doesn't lend itself to conventional romance. Yearning? Yes. Desire? Yes. Passion? Yes. And when those things play out in the context of survival s--- that's gotta get done, where people's lives are f---ing at stake — that's cool. But romance? I haven't always bought it for Jack and Kate, and I haven't always bought it for Kate and Sawyer. The show's too intense for that.''

Besides, it's not like pandering to the audience is likely to grow it — not at this point. News flash! Lost — brainy, challenging, locked into an evolving, serialized story — is a tough choo-choo to jump aboard if you're not already up to speed. Ratings are likely to continue to inch down as opposed to up. But the producers aren't sweating it. ''For most showrunners, existence is predicated on 'If I get good ratings, I get to keep doing this,''' says Cuse. ''But we know Lost is ending, no matter what the ratings are. So we're just trying to make sure that we end the story well and we get it executed on film the way we want it.'' However, the storytellers hope that anyone who has ever been a Lost fan will tune in next year as the show moves into payoff mode and begins resolving long-term character arcs. Indeed, compared with this year, season 6 sounds like it could be something of a blast from the season 1 past. Lindelof teases that the sci-fi-heavy season 5 (which includes ****) ''sets up where we need to go in season 6, which will be much more grounded and character-centric than it is this year.''

Whatever form it takes, Fox believes they will go out strong — with or without massive ratings. ''People will remember it the way they want to remember it,'' he says. ''What I will remember is that Lost was one of the most innovative, risk-taking, smartest shows ever. That's how I want to remember it. And I think it deserves that.''

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lost Preview - TV Guide

By Matt Mitovich

When ABC's Lost kicks off its much-anticipated fifth season this Wednesday at 9 pm/ET (with a two-hour premiere), ***. ***** Oh, it's just bad-ass Sayid and his new sidekick ... Hurley?! Jorge Garcia gave us a typically cryptic look at the new adventures of the Oceanic 6. Plus: Who from the island does the big guy miss most? As an actor, how has the Season 5 storyline been different for you?
Jorge Garcia: The story has been different and a little weird, and I'm just "following along in my book," so to say. But there is a confidence having done Hurley for now five seasons. There's a lot more instinct in the sense that I kind of know how Hurley goes now, how he would react to new situations. Are you finding him to be a more active character this season?
Garcia: There's definitely some stuff that picks up. And there are certain things Hurley does this season where I'm still trying to figure out how he gets to this point. That's what I'm most curious about. They like to skip around in the storytelling, you know. So even though we've arrived at this certain point in the future, it's not necessarily continuous storytelling.
Garcia: Right. They're not afraid to skip ahead even more if they want to, and then fill in that blank at a later date. Hurley and Sayid have kind of a "buddy act" going on at the start of the season, don't they?
Garcia: Yeah, that's how it starts. The season picks up right where the last one ended, when Sayid springs him from [the] Santa Rosa [mental hospital]. Then they go off together. Are you having fun doing these different types of scenes with Naveen?
Garcia: It's cool, because we hadn't worked too much together or in such a large chunk like we did this time. Does Hurley do anything for the first time this season?
Garcia: Hmmmm... . There are some first on the wardrobe front. [Laughs] Are you in a James Bond-like suit or something?
Garcia: Um, I can't say exactly what the outfit choices are. But in the first two or three episodes, it felt like a parade of costumes — which is obviously not something I'm used to. And I wasn't happy with all of the outfits, I have to say. [Laughs] You'll see why. Do you think Hurley misses Sawyer?
Garcia: Totally. Especially when the team kind of split up and a group of us set up camp in the Others' village, there was a lot of bonding between Hurley and Sawyer. And I think Hurley was definitely moved when Sawyer jumped out of the helicopter. All eyes were kind of on Hurley...
Garcia: Yeah. [Sawyer's sacrifice] had an effect on him. How quickly does the Oceanic 6 make it back to the island?
Garcia: That's a big focus of this season, the struggle to get back. **** It's obviously not a matter of them simply reuniting and flying somewhere.
Garcia: It's a bit more complicated, yeah. ***** Ben says you all have to go back, and *****. But that's easier said than done, you're saying.
Garcia: There is stuff to figure out because things start getting more complicated off-island. ***** Is the plan still to run all 17 episodes straight through, with no big breaks?
Garcia: Yeah. Last season, they might have skipped a week before the finale and had a clip show day, so they might do that. But for the most part, it should run straight through.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Live blogging 'Lost': Team Darlton break their silence on season 5! - EW

By Michael Ausiello

Follow along as I live blog the most anticipated session of press tour: The Q&A with Lost bosses Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse! As an added bonus, I'll be sprinkling in mild spoilers about this season's third episode, which ABC just screened for us as a precursor to the main event. Let's get to it!

4:01 pm/EST: Team Darlton's in the house taking our questions!
(Episode 3 spoiler: ****)

4:02 pm: We will be seeing a "lot more" of Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert) this season. Also, Nestor does not wear eyeliner on the show, Darlton insists! Stop the presses!!

4:07 pm: When Cane was axed, Darlton immediately stepped in and "secured [Nestor's] services" until the end of Season 6.

4:11 pm: Are they concerned that all the time travel this season will leave viewers, ahem, lost? "Time travel has been in the show's DNA from the beginning," says Lindelof. "The audience is prepared to go on that journey with us."
(Episode 3 spoiler: ***)

4:14 pm: "Sawyer has a lot to do this year," says Cuse. Adds Lindelof: "A lot of the focus was on the Oceanic Six last year... this year we tried to make up for lost time [with Sawyer]. Josh has been doing amazing work."

4:17 pm: "As we get deeper into the season," Cuse teases, "you're going to learn a lot more about the island's history."
(Episode 3 spoiler: ***)

4:20 pm: The purpose of the four-toed statue is revealed: Cuse says it was there simply to illustrate the island's long and rich history.

4:22 pm: "If the first episode of Lost you see is the premiere of season 5," says Lindelof, "you most likely won't understand the majority of it."

4:24 pm: Lost currently has 14 series regulars, Lindelof reveals, adding that the rough economic climate has forced them to "kill off five" this season. (He's kidding! I think!)
(Episode 3 spoiler: Someone -- or something -- called *** plays a pivotal role.)

4:28 pm: ****

4:29 pm: ****

4:30 pm: Darlton chose to spread the last 48 episodes over three seasons, as opposed to just two. "That was our choice," he says. "We calculated how many episodes" it would take to adequately tell the story of Lost.
(Episode 3 spoiler: ***)

4:31 pm: The session is brought to an end after only 25 minutes! Totally bogus! ****

Lost Bosses Solve "True Mystery" - TV Guide

By Matt Mitovich

It's rather impossible to share much of what was discussed at Lost's TCA Winter Press Tour session on Friday, since to do so would delve into the first few episodes — the third of which was screened for reporters just before exec producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof took the stage. Here, though — and to supplement my teasy afternoon Facebook updates — are some Dharma-approved sound bites:

Lost's "True Mystery" Revealed!
Coming off of Richard Alpert's appearance in this season's Episode 3, Lindelof refuted one press person's contention that Nestor Carbonell wears too much eyeliner (especially when projected on the Hilton ballroom's 20-foot screens). "We had the same [observation] you did, but he does not wear any mascara, no eyeliner, nothing." Cuse chimed in to call Carbonell's distinct eyes "the true mystery of Lost."


The Secret to Their (Avoiding) "Suckiness"
Though ABC has gone on record as saying they would of course welcome lots more Lost than currently is planned, the producers stand by the decision to wrap things up after 34 more episodes. "When we got to Season 3, the show had reached a point where we knew it was trending [toward] utter suckiness," said Lindelof. "We had a decision to make — choose an end date."

It's the "Season of Sawyer"
Acknowledging that last season's focus on the Oceanic 6 robbed Sawyer of some screen time, the execs promise a reversal on that unfortunate shift. "Sawyer has a lot to do" as one of the castaways left behind, says Cuse. Adds Lindelof, "Josh [Holloway] has been doing amazing work this year."

Why Lost Probably Won't Find an Emmy this Year
Team Darlton are the first to admit that Emmy voters like tidy, digestible episodes, and that's why Lost finds little love at the awards show. And looking ahead, nothing from this coming season will fit the blue ribbon panel's criteria. "If the first episode of Lost that you ever see is the first episode of Season 5, you will not understand a majority of it."

The Logo Is Loaded
Surveying the newest show logo — as projected onto the ballroom wall — the boys explained that the cityscape within the letters of "Lost" represents how "at least for the first part of this season, you're getting a split between [stories about] the people at home and the people who are on the island." ***


As for Michael....
**** Harold Perrineau is busy starring on the midseason ABC series The Unusuals. "I'm working for the same network so anything can happen," says the actor. "You never know what Carlton and Damon are going to do."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Review: Lost Premiere Fires Up One Trippy New Season (TV Guide)

The first seasons' flashbacks now seem utterly quaint. And the more recent flash-forwards? Relatively simple. As promised, previewed and teased by the producers of Lost ever since Season 4 came to a close, the next cycle of episodes introduce a new storytelling "device" of sorts that might make you want to keep a notepad and pen next to your TV remote.

But enough about that. No, really — that's enough. I can't say more, given the confidentiality request that prefaced the first two Season 5 episodes made available to the press.

Instead, I will simply note that the episodes "Because You Left" and "The Lie" offer compelling twists for both the half-dozen "survivors" of Oceanic flight 815 as well as those who are still on the island (wherever it may be).

The first hour is the stronger of the two, as it sends the mind reeling and uncorks infinite possibilities. Picking up soon after the events of the season finale, "Because You Left" reiterates Ben's claim that Jack et al must return to the island to make things "right" ***, then lets slip a bit of insight — from the perspective of those left behind — as to where the island moved. Alas, just as they figure it out....

Next up, "The Lie" revolves around a major predicament for one of the Oceanic 6, setting the stage for a twist that significantly staggers Ben's plan to "get the band back together." Meanwhile, Sawyer, Juliet and the others are subject to old island problems, new revelations and surprise saviors, with the showstopper being one of Lost's most electric and intense action scenes ever.

Familiar faces return. New faces create new problems ... or perhaps offer solutions (***). **** All told, the foundation is laid for a pivotal penultimate season.

Before I go, a few more teasers to whet your whistle until the new season arrives Wednesday, Jan. 21.

• Within the first minutes, **** turns up in a most unexpected place.

• Jack shaves his strife beard ... in the premiere's second such shaving scene. (And no, you'll never guess the first familiar face to take razor in hand.)

• ****

• Someone gets a nosebleed.

• Kate is haunted by a decision she made.

• ****

• ****

• Every theory I have read about how Desmond might remain in the mix, even though he and Penny were free and clear at the end of the season finale? No one got it right.

• Someone dares call Sawyer an "inbred." That can't end well. And it doesn't.

• Speaking of Sawyer, he remains shirtless for the entire first hour plus the first eight minutes of the second episode. (ABC, you owe me big time for spreading the word on that.)

Doc Jensen Season Five Premiere Review

Yesterday. 9:30 a.m. I was moments away from spending the day at Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth, when a certain EW colleague, whose name rhymes with Shmichael Slausiello, tipped me off that the first two episodes of Lost’s fifth season were now available to lucky media dorks like me for reviewing. Suddenly, the House of Mouse (and really, any other locale that wasn’t my laptop DVD player) was not the happiest place on Earth, but the most hellishly inconvenient. ARRRRGHHH! A long day of standing in life-stealing, long-ass lines became even more criminal and assish as I counted the minutes before I could rip into the most awesome of delayed Christmas presents. (Although I must say, The Pirates of the Carrbbean - a masterpiece of experiential narrative on any other day - was almost compelling enough to distract me from my furious angst. ALMOST.)

Finally, at 10 p.m. last night, with exhausted family passed out, I sat down and broke the seven-month Lost fast with the first two helpings of season 5. Both went down well, one more so than the other. A few thoughts in advance of a more thorough discussion to come, once the episodes air and we're all on the same page.

Lost’s tradition of opening the year with a killer, capture-the-imagination sequence is honored and upheld, though the thing I loved most was how it was brazenly frank (and engagingly funny) about the heady high-concept conceit that will define the season. Almost everything that followed that opening passage was pretty cool, too. ****** The first two episodes will have the audience — and the show’s characters — trying to make sense of shifts in time. They demand active engagement, and I found it to be a lot of fun. Especially the first hour.

Lots of Sawyer in the first two eps. Lots of his naked chest, too. Lots of Hurley, and as for his chest, it is covered...with a very funny T-shirt. Sayid also has mucho screen time in both episodes, though ****. And **** emerges as a huge player in season 5. The eps are dotted with cameos and extended cameos from peripheral but important figures crucial to the Lost mythology and much-loved by the Lost fan community. ***** Once again, all things Ben just rock. *****

In short, it was worth the wait, and certainly the perfect tonic for a day at Disneyland. I can't wait to see if you agree - or disagree - with me when Lost premieres on Jan. 21. In the meantime, tell me: What are you most looking forward to seeing in season 5? What are your burning questions? Let me know...because I'll be able to soon answer them for you, in the most unexpected of ways...

Good to be gabbing Lost with you again, friends. Look for the first official Doc Jensen column next week. Namaste!