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Episode: - „Die Rückkehr, Teil 2“
Carlton Cuse: Previously on Lost.
Damon Lindelof: That's not you, contrary to popular belief.
Carlton Cuse: Previously on Lost.
Damon Lindelof: This is exciting. Hi, I'm Damon Lindelof.
Carlton Cuse: I'm Carlton Cuse.
Damon Lindelof: And this is the first ever audio commentary of a Lost finale. Because usually we're so up against it that there's just no time to do it. And also, we crawl back into our coffins and sleep for a month after we finish them.
Carlton Cuse: But thanks to John Bernstein and the crack DVD team, we are actually able to talk about the finale for the first time ever.
Damon Lindelof: When someone says "crack DVD team," what does that mean? ls it a compliment? Does it mean they're on crack?
Carlton Cuse: No, it means they are exceptional.
Damon Lindelof: l love how Kate can sense these tracks are not Jack and Sawyer's. Really?
Carlton Cuse: She's a tracker.
Damon Lindelof: l don't buy it.
Carlton Cuse: She's an awesome tracker.
Damon Lindelof: This is all the "previously on."
Carlton Cuse: If you're watching this, you've seen these. If you're watching the DVD commentary, I'm guessing you don't need to see the "previously on." Previously on Lost:
Damon Lindelof: In the construction of this "previously on," we had a very bold thing to do, recap the previous episode, but then also recap last year's finale, which we finessed here with the coffin, and then, obviously, as we come out of this recap, we've never done this before, you pick up the show in the second after the recap ends. Since we've been away from it a year, and the episode is essentially about, you know, who is in the coffin? Why does Kate not want to see that person, you know? Why is Jack freaking out, when he's been propagating the lie all year? That's what we sort of snuck in here.
Carlton Cuse: Usually we don't show flash forwards in the "previously on." Usually they're about the island story. So we had to kind of make a transition. And, actually, originally, our intention was to show the entire flash forward from the end of last season. But when we looked at it, it was just way too long and, you know, would have been indulging the audience's patience to an extreme, sit through the whole thing. We decided that we would compress it, take the essential moments, put them in the "previously on," and now, after that flash of black you just saw, now the scene continues. And that was always kind of our idea here, that the audience had to go beyond what we saw at the end of last season. A flash forward ended last season, we saw flash forwards this year, but they all preceded this event. And so now, Kate marching back over to Jack represents the story in this year's finale, moving forward.
Damon Lindelof: What's really cool about this is, obviously, we shot this second half of the scene this year. The actors had to recapture where they were emotionally. We had to get them looking the same, take them to the same location. Obviously, Matthew Fox here is standing in front of a huge green screen. That is not an airport behind him, but a special effect.
Carlton Cuse: It was hard to get that beard to look just as good the second time.
Damon Lindelof: It's amazing that the beard stayed on, following Kate's slap there. Seriously, we could talk about the beard all day.
Carlton Cuse: Well, we should.
Damon Lindelof: l think what the audience wants to hear about is, essentially, this is the first time we hear the name Jeremy Bentham from Kate. You saw it, if you actually go back to your Lost season three DVD, available now if you don't own it, um, essentially you can freeze frame on the obituary, and you can see the name Jeremy Bentham, in the obit. Or part of it, it's partially obscured. l think you can just see the "J" and the "T-H-A-M."
Carlton Cuse: But the idea of this flash-forward story in this episode is we wanted to set up the story line, who was in the coffin? We were trying to come up with a narrative construct that would basically have the audience get that into their mind, and start guessing as the show went along, "Who's in the coffin?" You know, is it Desmond? ls it Ben? You know, is it the dog?
Damon Lindelof: Who is it? Tell us now. Everybody who owns the DVD has seen this episode. If you're listening...
Carlton Cuse: Spoiler, turn the commentary off. We're gonna tell you. And the person is John Locke.
Damon Lindelof: Essentially, you know, obviously that flash forward also had some power behind it, because it puts into perspective exactly what you've seen all season long. When Kate says, "l still have to explain why you're not there to read to him," it answers definitively that little story, where Jack proposes to Kate, starts seeing his father and popping pills, obviously preceded this story. There is sometimes confusion about what happens first in this sequence, we wanted to make it clear all of these flash forwards in the finale are taking place after Jack yelled at Kate.
Carlton Cuse: This set here is really cool. This is actually meant to be sort of this abandoned and semi-destroyed and overgrown greenhouse. Which was actually constructed out in Manoa, outside of Honolulu, and by our crack production team.
Damon Lindelof: More crack. Just a story point here. This is the first time that Locke and Jack are seeing each other all season. They parted ways in the premiere.
Carlton Cuse: Not the best of terms.
Damon Lindelof: It's cool that we actually got through 14 hours of the show, you know, or 13 hours, before they saw each other again. It's just like old times.
Carlton Cuse: Exactly.And we're about to see kind of, in more detail, what they have to say to each other. But, right now, this is the bomb. And this is meant to be enough C4 to blow up a bloody aircraft carrier.
Damon Lindelof: We went down to Hawaii as they were shooting this bomb stuff, and basically, Rob Kyker, who is our genius props dude, had built the first version of the bomb. And, in many cases, it's the job of props to make things look as realistic as possible. And his job was to put enough C4 there to blow up the entire freighter. But the actual amount of C4 it would take to blow up the entire freighter is about half of the size of this bomb. lf you could picture that bomb half its size, we said, "No, no." It's gotta be bigger. He said, "You have no idea what that amount of C4'd do."
Carlton Cuse: Bigger. More wires.
Damon Lindelof: We said, "Bigger."
Carlton Cuse: So now it looks insanely large, with a lot of wires.
Damon Lindelof: And what l love about C4 explosive is, as it's labeled, there's an exclamation point after the word "explosive." Just in case you're like, "Gee, is it explosive?" Yes. lt's explosive!
Carlton Cuse: ls that the only thing you love about C4?
Damon Lindelof: It is the thing l love most. You get to see the exclamation point coming up right here, after Jin says, "Boom." There it is.
Carlton Cuse: The most important part.
Damon Lindelof: "Oh, we can handle C4 explosive. But C4 explosive!"
Carlton Cuse: I'm not sure that's what real C4 says. It needs to be packaged like that?
Damon Lindelof: l can't imagine we came up with the exclamation point, but if we did Rob Kyker is more of a genius than l thought he was.
Carlton Cuse: He could be the inventor of the explosive exclamation point. All right, so here we are. We're rocking into, the beginning of act one. And we have Locke and Jack, ...and they gotta have a talk here in this... This was actually an incredible feat. l mean, we were... The season of Lost was interrupted by a writers' strike, which lasted 100 days. And it actually postponed the filming, obviously, 100 days. When we came back at the end of the writers' strike, we had nothing. Normally we're ahead on a story or a script, but we had actually crashed working on the eighth episode, and put all hands on deck, in order to have a script to be able to shoot, so that our crew could work during the strike. So, when we returned, we were starting from dead scratch. And it was about Valentine's Day, right?
Damon Lindelof: We had a story planned for what were going to be the next eight episodes, but we came back on Valentine's Day, and we were told that we would only be able to do four. We lobbied to do five, because to compress the amount of story we had left... We knew what was gonna happen. We knew there would be a raid on New Otherton, they were gonna move the island, the doctor was gonna get killed. In situating everybody geographically where they needed to be, we needed five hours. We came to writing this finale, part one of There's No Place Like Home, then we came to this part. The first draft of the script was 85 pages long. Which is 30 pages too long.
Carlton Cuse: As we do every day, Damon and l sat down over breakfast in my office, where we're doing this commentary, and we decided we better go through the script, and get from 80 pages, or 85 pages, down to 55, which is our normal script length.
Damon Lindelof: Which means the show would end right... ...here. Right as Kate comes out, that would be the end of season four.
Carlton Cuse: So we went through the entire script, and by the end of that exercise, we had cut one half page, but we had six other scenes that we wanted to lengthen. We realized that we had to go to plan B. Plan B was going to the network and saying, "You know what? You heard the story for this finale, but, you're right, it is ambitious, and impossible for us to tell this in one hour, and will you give us an extra hour to do the show?"
Damon Lindelof: And thankfully, Mark Pedowitz and Steve McPherson said, "Absolutely." And everybody who was already stretched to the very limit, including everybody in Hawaii in our post-production facility, said, "You're gonna do another hour on top of this?" We produced six hours of the show between Valentine's Day and May 29, which is when the show you're now watching aired. l think that's roughly 11 weeks.
Carlton Cuse: Fourteen weeks.
Damon Lindelof: l like to say 11 'cause it sounds more... Who's gonna do the math? This is great. Let's stop talking about ourselves and talk about how great...
Carlton Cuse: We're talking about the creative process of constructing the finale.
Damon Lindelof: This is one of my favorite scenes. What l love about our finales, we love to do big action sequences actually early in the finale. Season three finale, you had the Others storming the beach camp, getting blown up by dynamite, in act one. But you do this big action set piece, and it's almost like you neutralize the bad guy at the beginning of the show, so the audience goes, "Wow, like, what's next?" And, obviously, Ben will put a very nice point on that at the end of this act. We'll talk about it again.
Carlton Cuse: That guy's got the Electric Boogaloo. That's actually a callback to an earlier episode, where actually, you saw our guys get zapped by the Others. ln the season two finale.
Damon Lindelof: We like to make actors lie in grass, shake around. Carlton and l were there, in Hawaii, for that guy shaking around all day.
Carlton Cuse: And this, Anthony Azizi blowing up, so that was pretty cool too.
Damon Lindelof: See you later, Omar.
Carlton Cuse: All right, so... we love doing these action scenes in our finales. And we don't do a ton of action on the show, but we love it, actually. And in this particular case, you know, Jack Bender did an awesome job with our stunt team, coordinating this whole sequence.
Damon Lindelof: In that moment, you can see that Kate is, in fact, helping Ben. The audience is beginning to realize, "Wait a second, have the Others and the 815ers actually teamed up?" And now, the other earmark of a Lost season finale is Sayid does quality leg fighting.
Carlton Cuse: Got him in the face.
Damon Lindelof: Season three, he does a neck break with his legs. Keamy's got leg fighting of his own.
Carlton Cuse: The cool thing is Sayid is half the size of Keamy, but he is a bad man.
Damon Lindelof: Sayid is a bad man?
Carlton Cuse: Sayid is a bad man. He's... you do not want to mess with Sayid. l love when Keamy spits blood out. Just takes that little moment. Ooh.
Damon Lindelof: He's not above hitting in the back...
Carlton Cuse: With a big stick.
Damon Lindelof: Another great leg move. This is kind of sexy, when you think about it.
Carlton Cuse: You know, this is very cool here, 'cause all of a sudden...
Damon Lindelof: We watched the finale with a big group of people. When you reveal that Richard Alpert saved him, everybody went nuts. l never thought we'd reach a point where...
Carlton Cuse: People are cheering Richard.
Damon Lindelof: ...Richard saves the day.
Carlton Cuse: They were applauding, people that work on the show. It's funny, when you watch live, what kind of response you get. Anyway, we were talking a little bit about the whole process of actually making the finale and what went into it. And, you know, it's funny, we ended up with just a very short amount of time to actually write, shoot and finish this. lt really was a testimony to what an incredible collaborative effort television is. l kind of liken it to signing a round of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. l mean, we sang first, when Damon and l wrote the script. Then we sent it down to Hawaii, and then it was really on the shoulders of Jack Bender, Stephen Williams and Jean Higgins, who lead our production team, to actually execute the filming of it. Then it went off to Ra'uf Glasgow, who runs our post-production unit. And those guys were up, like, all night basically trying to do two months worth of post-production on what essentially is a feature film in, like, four days.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, we essentially stopped shooting this thing three weeks before it was on the air, not a lot of time. Here's Michael Emerson crushing a line. So basically, you're just 15 minutes into the show, Ben has said, "That's it." The audience is thinking, "They beat the bad guy. Where do we go from here?" And that really enabled us to focus on character. We thought it was cool to basically put the big action sequence up front.
Carlton Cuse: And, you know, here you're about to see the reveal of Walt. The thing that's powerful and impactful about this is that Walt is literally a lot older in this scene, and as a flash forward, nothing sells the fact we're in the future better than that shot right there, when you see this kid does not resemble that ten-year-old that we saw in the pilot, you know, in any form. He's now a real teenager. It's something we struggled with the course of the show. How do we use Walt, when in fact the actor has grown up and gotten older? When in fact, in island time, each season maybe only lasts an average of, like, you know, or 30 days. So...
Damon Lindelof: People asked, how are you gonna deal with the fact that he's growing older? Our solution season one was to have him be abducted by the Others. And at the end of season two, he looks older, but you don't see enough of him as he goes sailing off with Michael. And then we basically sort of had to bench Walt, you know, until now. You do see him briefly at the beginning of season four, about midway through Meet Kevin Johnson, he looks up at the window, and you see a younger version of Walt. That's supposed to be taking place in 4. And that's an effects shot. Mitch Suskin basically lifted a shot of Malcolm back from season one, and put him in that window.
Carlton Cuse: But here now you actually get to see Walt at his actual age. It really worked well for the scene. We love the poignancy of Walt in this scene, asking about the fate of his father. Hurley has now gotta make a decision. Do l tell him the truth that his father is dead, or do l basically lie? And Hurley decides to kind of perpetuate the lie. This worked out well because we were really intent on sort of building the pressure on all of our Oceanic Six, you know, about this lie that they're trying to tell, the fact that they are trying to do something extremely hard, which is sustain a hugely complex and elaborate lie, and the toll that it is beginning to take on each of them as characters.
Damon Lindelof: And also, you know, Walt mentions Jeremy Bentham. So we are again sort of continuing this ongoing mystery of who that is. you know, when this finale aired, the savvy sort of Lost viewer immediately went on, Lostpedia or Wikipedia or Googled, you know, Jeremy Bentham to sort of try to get a clue as to who that might be. And they got a leg up on the rest of their peers because Jeremy Bentham is a philosopher who is essentially, you know, preceded John Locke. And, you know, was the root of many of Locke's philosophies. Here we come to my favorite crackers.
Carlton Cuse: And, you know, this upcoming scene here now, which Sawyer and Hurley are basically setting up between Locke and Jack, was, for us, really the sort of thematic core scene for the entire finale because this finale really comes down to this one fundamental question: Who's right about the island? ls John Locke right that their fate and destiny is completely intertwined with this place? Or is Jack right, in that he's sort of an empiricist who believes the island is an island. They only have one goal, to get off the island. And the two different approaches that these characters take in response to their beliefs kind of really determines the entire narrative for the rest of this hour.
Damon Lindelof: And you're getting phenomenal performances out of Matthew Fox and Terry O'Quinn because they hadn't worked together since the beginning of the season. In that scene when they worked together, they were surrounded by the entire cast. So here, it's just Jack and Locke, which is sort of textbook old-school Lost, scenes we haven't done since the first season of the show. And what's great about this scene is the big surprise here is that Locke is actually the... you know, the progenitor of the idea of lying about having come to the island. One thing the audience is asking themselves over the course of season four is, you know, why are the Oceanic Six lying? Why is Jack goading them into lying? Why is it such a big deal to him? Then you come to this moment and realize, Locke is the one who seeded that idea in Jack's head. At this point, in Jack's journey, he has no intention whatsoever of lying. He just wants to leave and tell everything that happened. Here you have Locke basically suggesting, if you leave the island, you're gonna be a mess. The audience knows he's right.
Carlton Cuse: Right, and you're planting the seed here. And later on, when Jack looks out the helicopter and sees that the island, in fact, vanishes, he realizes everything Locke says in this scene was actually correct. And whether he's willing to acknowledge it to himself or to anyone else, which he's not, it still has actually taken root, and it leads Jack to basically accept what Locke is proposing in this scene.
Damon Lindelof: Here's a great little Giacchino moment, which is the score he used over Locke saying, "You're gonna have to lie." He uses the same piece of score later when Jack is in the boat... In the raft, and they see the boat coming, and he says, "We're gonna have to lie." He echoes the exact line and Giacchino actually echoed the same piece of music. It became clear that Jack is, in fact, presenting Locke's idea as his own, without crediting him, which makes it heartbreaking when you realize Locke is the guy in the coffin at the end of the show. This is really nice work by both those guys.
Carlton Cuse: And the fundamental question that this scene asks is, how much free will do these characters have? What is their destiny? And that's something which obviously will become increasingly in play in the show in future seasons. But, you know, right now, we're getting to see different characters have different approaches. There's kind of a spectrum from Ben, who has long experienced the island from a leadership standpoint, followed by Locke, who is now going to become the leader of the island, and Jack, who is, you know, again, sort of the empiricist who's not accepting really anything about this notion of him having a destiny and an important future with the island.
Damon Lindelof: And Ben is basically here dismissing Jack and saying, "Go ahead, you don't care about the island. Go home. We don't care." This is actually great foreshadowing or the scene at the end of this same show, when Ben is basically going to be helping Jack, presumably in the future, get back to the island. Love that line from... from Locke there, basically, the way that Terry delivers that. So powerful.
Carlton Cuse: On a completely practical matter, the elevator hidden in plain sight was a very cool thing. And we actually spent a lot of time trying to work out the mechanics and the idea that we didn't go into sort of a secret spot and have an elevator, but it was in the middle. If you knew how to operate it, you could find it. It would actually take you down into the real station, which is underneath.
Damon Lindelof: We were literally trying to convince Terry and Michael to just do the old "escalator behind the couch" gag, where they would crouch, in an effort to sell that they were disappearing. But Jack Bender quite cleverly sort of got in there and had the cameraman just squat on that last shot. You get the sensation you were descending into the earth, when in fact, the elevator does nothing to that effect.
Carlton Cuse: This is a real freighter that we rented to shoot this sequence. So this is all... this stuff is actually on the deck of a boat off the coast of Hawaii.
Damon Lindelof: However, that is a CG version of Harold Perrineau there. So oddly, he was not available that day, so we had to computer generate him.
Carlton Cuse: That is a real Harold Perrineau.
Damon Lindelof: This scene l want to talk about a little because we spent, I'd say, half of our time in the room talking about the logistics of, how are we gonna sell to the audience, this episode, what the hell they are doing to this bomb? What are the rules of the bomb? And here, Michael very concisely explains, "Here's a battery. Battery runs on chemical reaction. lf we can freeze the battery, that will buy us some time. And, you know, if that light over there turns red, we're all gonna go boom." There were different iterations of this.
Carlton Cuse: All I'm gonna say is that it's a testimony to great acting that all three of the guys in this scene so convincingly sell a complete load of bogosity when it comes to this bomb story.
Damon Lindelof: What's great is, the other thing we were really worried about is, how do you keep Jin down there? Theoretically, you know something bad is gonna happen to him because of the episode Ji Yeon. You're like, Jin, get out of there. What are you doing with that pad? We had to sell, in a series of shots, he and Desmond are trying to trace wires. We shot all sorts of material we ended up cutting from the show because we found the more we tried to justify their presence in the bomb room, the sillier it felt. The strategy ended up being get in, get out, get to the blue water and have Faraday start babbling.
Carlton Cuse: Speaking of Faraday, here he comes.
Damon Lindelof: Still wearing the tie, which is great. You never know when you're gonna have a formal event on the island.
Carlton Cuse: Jeremy Davies was just such a revelation. You know, one of the things that's really great writing the show is, you know, there's a very organic quality to it for Damon and me, which is that we really watch what actors do and we respond to that as writers enormously. Jeremy Davies came in, and he took this character of this physicist who had certain issues and mysteries, and he basically completely owned it. And he wore the tie, and he kind of came up with this sort of slightly befuddled but earnest kind of approach to it, and you know, completely won us over. And that character is, l think, one that is, gonna be very important.
Damon Lindelof: ln the future. Quick timeout there just to say L. Scott Caldwell, who plays Rose, you know, that's her only scene in the entire finale, but it's not a Lost finale unless you hear from Bernard and or Rose. l just love that sort of moment of humor and brevity, as she basically puts Miles in his place. And Ken Leung is another actor... We'll talk about Rebecca Mader in a little. The scene is really about her. But, you know, all our freighter folk, we just couldn't be more thrilled with all of them, and we're very excited, in season five, finally getting to the stories we had to bench as a result of the strike.
Carlton Cuse: We had bigger plans to tell the back-stories of these freighter folk. That was the thing that ended up getting pushed because we weren't able to do the full eight hours of the season. So we weren't able to expand out their stories. So we ended up really just throwing a few more hints about them into the finale. Things that would intrigue the audience and keep them engaged and interested in these characters, and we would come back in season five, and you'll now, you know... You'll learn more about Charlotte's relationship with the island. And what are Ken Leung's, you know... what are his powers? And Faraday, why is he here? And kind of more about the physics and sort of time-space conundrums that he has alluded to in some of his comments.
Damon Lindelof: Speaking of time-space conundrums, welcome to the Orchid. The scene you saw with Ben and Locke in the elevator is one of my favorites. And again it's like, when we expanded the show from the one hour version to the two hour version, as we were reading it, we said, "Wouldn't it be great to see them in the elevator going down to get a sense of how far down the station is?" It's a great scene because there's only two lines. And both, you know, Terry and Michael play them so exquisitely.
Carlton Cuse: When we sit down to start a season of Lost, we have what we call mini-camp and spend three weeks with the writers at the end of the preceding season, detailing what we're doing the following season. So at the end of season three, we started talking about season four. And what's really great about this scene is that one thing we decided we would do is make this Orchid orientation video that we would show at Comic-Con...
Damon Lindelof: But it was gonna be the outtakes.
Carlton Cuse: At the end of season three, sort of in the summer between... After season three had ended. And we did. We made this video, and we showed it initially there, then it was posted on ABC.com and other places. And now, we waited... l mean, this was one of those things where we basically patiently waited 14 hours to have a payoff to that moment. And it comes up right here, where now Locke gets to look at the final, or at least most of the final, polished version of the Orchid orientation video.
Damon Lindelof: As is the habit in orientation videos, when they start getting interesting, there's either a splice in the film or the VHS jams. And what's great here is Ben is obviously starting to load up the vault with metallic equipment. And it's actually sort of a perfectly-timed Laurel and Hardy skit, that Jack Bender sort of executed here in the blocking, and Henk Van Eeghen. This show was actually edited by four editors, in an effort to lock the show in a period of time. And it was really exciting for us to sort of bop it... Each editor is working on their own sequences. Henk basically sort of, you know, had the very arduous task of timing, you know, two scenes. The first scene is Locke watching this video. The second scene is whatever it is Ben's up to. There's this great moment where the two scenes come together, right as Halliwax slash Candle slash, you know, whatever name he's using this week, says, "do not put metal in the vault under any circumstances," you get the punchline.
Carlton Cuse: Right. l have to interject, there's a little Easter egg you are witnessing, which is the number painted on the bunny. And that is an homage of ours to our idol, Stephen King who...
Damon Lindelof: Stephen King.
Carlton Cuse: ...if you read his book On Writing, he actually has a reference to a number painted on a bunny as an illustration of writing techniques. And for those listening to this commentary who aspire to write anything, whether it's television, novels or plays, whatever...
Damon Lindelof: Brochures.
Carlton Cuse: Brochures. Read Stephen King's book, On Writing.
Damon Lindelof: On Writing. You're like, "What book did he write on writing?" It's called On Writing, so...
Carlton Cuse: And you will see the bunny reference in there. And so it's kind of ironic we call them Easter eggs, and that one was a bunny.
Damon Lindelof: Speaking of bunnies, if you want to know why Michael Emerson is an Emmy caliber actor, watch the delivery of that with a straight face. "lf you mean time-traveling bunnies, then yes."
Carlton Cuse: This is my favorite moment, right here. Where he nods.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, exactly.
Carlton Cuse: "You know you're not supposed to do that." "Uh-huh." So Emerson... Emerson kills. But, you know, the thing is like, so we watch this scene, and we're convinced that we can do sort of a Odd Couple spin-off. And with Michael Emerson as Felix Unger, and John Locke as Oscar Madison.
Damon Lindelof: Living down in the Orchid. When Ben says, "Can l have my weapon back?" this is actually the beginning of another long con running on the show, at the beginning of episode nine, The Shape of Things to Come, at the beginning of episode nine, The Shape of Things to Come, Ben wakes up in the desert of Tunisia in a parka, with a cut on his shoulder, but he also has this telescoping rod that he uses to...
Carlton Cuse: That's his trademark weapon.
Damon Lindelof: ...that he uses to disable the Bedouins who ride up on horseback. So this is stage one, Ben gets the rod back. Piece by piece, as this finale goes on, he puts on the parka, he gets the cut. So the audience begins to realize, as this is going, "They've already showed us what's gonna happen immediately after he turns that wheel, but we just didn't realize it yet."
Carlton Cuse: We introduced the flash forwards at the end of last season. It really was an incredibly liberating thing because the flash forwards in season four became, in a way, for us, the way the flashbacks functioned in season one. They were incredibly revelatory because, in these first flash forwards, we see what the characters were doing in the future, Kate go on trial. We saw that Naveen had become an assassin working in the employ of Ben.
Damon Lindelof: You mean Sayid 'cause Naveen is just an actor.
Carlton Cuse: I'm so interchangeable.
Damon Lindelof: He made us promise not to talk about what he does in his downtime.
Carlton Cuse: I'm not gonna say that Naveen is not an assassin. But the character of Sayid, we do see is an assassin. And, so, anyway, those... The revelatory natures of the flash forwards made them compelling for us as storytellers this season. The idea we could jump around in time was good. And l think, you know, for us it's like, if you actually listen to yourself tell a story to someone, you don't usually tell a story to someone in linear form. You might start linear but say, "Here's another chapter of the story where l met that person," or, "Here's something l'm doing in the future." We as storytellers, as humans, jump all over narratively. And we felt like...
Damon Lindelof: Like this commentary.
Carlton Cuse: Exactly. So why couldn't we do that in the show? And, in fact, a lot of the things, like Damon was just talking about the parka and the cut, it's much cooler to actually see those things in fractured narrative form, where you saw the net result in episode nine, in 14 you see how it comes about.
Damon Lindelof: When you do it that way, a scene like the one you're watching, you go, "Wait, Sawyer is on the chopper. And l know that Sawyer is not one of the Oceanic Six. And Lapidus isn't one of the Oceanic Six." This moment, where Kate and Sawyer sort of look at each other, is tinged with a sense of dread for you as an audience member. You don't know why, but you know...
Carlton Cuse: There's no Sun, no Aaron.
Damon Lindelof: So it's like... They don't have Desmond yet. So you're starting to figure out, OK, we're almost halfway through this finale, and l still haven't quite figured out how those six people end up together, but something bad is gonna happen to Sawyer.
Carlton Cuse: Although, this was meant to be a really happy, kind of, you know, exciting, fulfilling moment because this feels like, they're on a helicopter, they're flying off the island, gonna get rescued.
Damon Lindelof: In the script, we actually whooshed to Kate's flash forward here, where she goes creeping through the house and finds Claire over Aaron. And we felt that when we watched it in the cut, it took away from that moment of victory. So many dark things are about to happen, we did not want to rob the audience of that victory. So instead, we cut to this dark scene. Now seems to be the perfect opportunity to talk about... About Mr. Martin Keamy, played by Kevin Durand here. And another sort of earmark of the Lost finale is the indestructible bad guy. Last year it was Patchy, who would not die. This year it's Keamy. And we could not be bigger fans of this actor. We saw him in 3:10 to Yuma, opposite Russell Crowe, as a deranged and distressed and threatening maniac,
Carlton Cuse: And we thought, "Hey, why doesn't he come be a threatening, deranged and crazy maniac for us?"
Damon Lindelof: Yes, exactly. Why not? Why keep all the good stuff for the movies?
Carlton Cuse: This is kind of a thing that we do on our show, which is, we write a lot of parts for specific actors. We knew we had this character. We needed the leader of what we called the Wet Team, the guys on the freighter. There were two teams. There was the Science Team, here to sort of investigate the island and locate Benjamin Linus. But then there were also... there was this Wet Team, led by Keamy. And their job was basically, they were the mop-up guys. Basically, if things go wrong, they're gonna come in, they're gonna extract Benjamin Linus by force and kill everybody on the island. Once we realized we had Kevin Durand, we tried to tailor the part specifically to him and, you know, all the great things that he can do as an actor.
Damon Lindelof: Now, Keamy basically, has explained to us the dead man's trigger, which we set up a couple episodes prior to this. And there's something interesting about processing this story beat, which is, is it actually part of the secondary protocol to blow up the boat if he fails in his mission? ls he following Widmore's orders, or has he gone so crazy himself that he has done this? That is a question you should be asking yourself as we roll into season five. This is great. Love Emerson's performance here as Keamy is reminding him of his daughter's death because you're setting up the last line of this act, which is one of my favorite lines that Michael Emerson has ever delivered 'cause it's just so cold.
Carlton Cuse: What's really amazing is that you're gonna see Michael Emerson jump out of this locker here and stab the hell out of Mr. Keamy and have no regrets whatsoever, even if it means everybody on the freighter dies. And yet, l think we feel sympathy for Ben in this episode. It is truly a testament to Michael Emerson's talents as an actor that he can actually kill this guy in revenge for his daughter's death, the collateral damage being everybody on the freighter might blow up. And in fact, they do blow up. But at the same time, we still, l think, sort of feel sorry for him and feel bad that he's, you know, had to endure what he's had to endure, and he makes the ultimate sacrifice for the island by basically turning the proverbial Frozen Donkey Wheel, as we like to refer to it, and sacrifice his ability to come back to the island, or that's what he thinks.
Damon Lindelof: What proverb is a Frozen Donkey Wheel mentioned in? I'm not familiar with that. You said the proverbial Frozen Donkey Wheel. ls that in Romans? Or is it...? ls that in Romans? Or is it...?
Carlton Cuse: Ezekiel, perhaps.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, Ezekiel.
Carlton Cuse: No, l was referring to it because, basically, every year we come up with a codename for basically the secret ending of the episode of the finale.
Damon Lindelof: This is a flash forward into the future. Maybe we should talk about it when it actually happens, when he's actually turning it.
Carlton Cuse: OK, we'll do it then.
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Damon Lindelof: We should probably talk about this scene because Charlotte is about to say something very important, in terms of setup for next year. This is one of the stories that we had to jettison, in season four, which would have made her a more intriguing character. Charlotte, unfortunately, was a casualty of the strike. And when she says, "Would you believe l'm looking for the place l was born," is all you really get, in terms of, OK, this woman found a polar bear in Tunisia. We know Tunisia is important. She was recruited by Widmore, but there's definitely more to the story. This little scene was really all we were able to do to kind of service Charlotte's character. And, you know, Rebecca Mader did such a beautiful job with her, did so much with so little. We're looking forward to what she's got in store next year.
Carlton Cuse: We should have a contest to see who has bluer eyes, Rebecca Mader or Jeff Fahey.
Damon Lindelof: How would one officiate that contest?
Carlton Cuse: l don't know, there's got to be a way. Have random people judge. Basically, they get on the beach, and the socks could vote for who's got the bluer eyes.
Damon Lindelof: We just wrote the premiere for season five. Congratulations, Carlton. Well done. Except Lapidus isn't on the island.
Carlton Cuse: That's true.
Damon Lindelof: And Charlotte is in the year 1114.
Carlton Cuse: They can time travel and...
Damon Lindelof: Oh, wait, what?
Carlton Cuse: l have to say, l feel sorry for these poor socks that are getting on this Zodiac and going out to the boat.
Damon Lindelof: They're fine. They end up being fine, 'cause they're with Faraday.
Carlton Cuse: These guys are OK.
Damon Lindelof: It's the first batch he brought over for pure detonation. And obviously, we were joking about this, but, you know, the extras don't read the scripts in detail. Jean Higgins, our line producer, said...
Carlton Cuse: "Who wants to go to the freighter?"
Damon Lindelof: "Who wants to go on a boat ride?" These actors are thinking, "l want to survive. lf l make it to the freighter, perhaps l will have a job next season." Little did they know they were off to the death camp.
Carlton Cuse: Exactly. It's a hard life being an extra on Lost.
Damon Lindelof: Here's another scene where, basically, you know, Michael is explaining what the rules of the bomb are.
Carlton Cuse: Why? Oh, my God. And there's another insert of that dial. We did a...
Damon Lindelof: They're running out.
Carlton Cuse: l swear to God, if l see another insert of that dial, l probably am going to stroke out.
Damon Lindelof: You shouldn't say that at this point, because you're about nine strokes away from the end of the finale. This is great. l love that moment, "We better get everybody off." Cut to the chopper on the way to the boat. You're like, "Oh, my God. This is just not good."
Carlton Cuse: Yeah. So this scene here was obviously one of our kind of big and favorite moments in the story. And, you know, we, all season long, have been dealing with the... Actually, all show long, we've been dealing with the romantic triangle between Kate, Jack and Sawyer. For us, this was a huge moment in that story. And, you know, we've seen, actually, in the show earlier this year that Jack and Kate got engaged in the future, and now we're basically at a place where we know that that's coming up. We know they're gonna be together in the future. We know Sawyer is not one of the Oceanic Six. Now we are gonna get to see how that transpires. Or at least a part of it.
Damon Lindelof: Most importantly, we know Kate and Jack's future relationship, in fact, he proposes to her, she accepts his proposal, all comes apart because she is doing something for Sawyer and lying to Jack about it. And this scene, this is the last time that Kate and Sawyer see each other before she leaves the island. Whatever he whispers to her is what catalyzes and ultimately destroys her relationship with Jack. As a result of that relationship being destroyed, Jack starts popping pills and seeing his father. So this scene, Sawyer whispering to Kate, is a major and critical plot point.
Carlton Cuse: On a production level, the stuff dumping into the water, that you actually see it splash down, l just, l never can see that enough.
Damon Lindelof: This is awesome. You know, again, you look at this, and you go... Not to toot our own horn. We're tooting the horn of the production crew in Hawaii, but this, all of this was shot over the period of three and a half weeks. Stuff like that that makes you feel like you're in a feature film.
Carlton Cuse: Right. We might not have a choice. Hey.
Carlton Cuse: This is where Sawyer tells Kate that she's got something in her teeth. She's got a little green something there.
Damon Lindelof: "Why are you telling me this?" He said, "l don't want you to get a cavity. Gingivitis could..."
Carlton Cuse: He sucks it out of her mouth.
Damon Lindelof: You're ruining the beauty of this moment.
Carlton Cuse: Well, l think people who watch the DVDs need to know a secret that they don't have to wait until season five to get. Just do it, Freckles.
Damon Lindelof: He says, "Don't forget to rinse with fluoride." And then he jumps out.
Carlton Cuse: Now that was actually, that was no CG. That was a real stunt guy, who jumped twice. Once from about 80 eet, and then the second time, from 101 feet out of a helicopter.
Damon Lindelof: That's Josh Holloway in a pool at the Alaka'i, surfacing. So that's a little movie magic for you.
Carlton Cuse: But, this actually, that shot was an amazing shot. This incredible stunt guy actually jumped over 100 feet from the helicopter into the ocean. Damon Lindelof: And that's a stunt tear that just came out of Kate's eye.
Carlton Cuse: No, that was a real tear.