TCA Press Tour: The final season of 'Lost' is upon us: 'Get ready to scratch your heads, America!' says Damon Lindelof
Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and the cast of "Lost" were only too happy to talk their way around a barrage of reporters' burning questions today at the show's final session at TCA. In other words, we don't have any more clarity about the aftermath of Juliet detonating that bomb than you do. However ...
Cuse reassured the room that, though it will certainly be hotly debated, the series' ending has long been in the works. No writing-as-you-go here. He and Lindeloff said they began planning how it would all go down three years ago when ABC President Steve McPherson set an end date for the show.
"We came up with the final image" way back when and have been adding to it ever since, Cuse said. The end isn't yet written, he said, and while certain "mythological elements" are intact, character resolutions are still being determined.So love it or hate it, the producers are standing by the outcome. "We really have no excuse to say anything other than this is the ending we wanted to do on the terms we wanted to do it," Cuse said. "We've had a lot of time to think about it."
Not that they're not bracing themselves for an outcry. "I don't think it would be 'Lost' if there weren't an ongoing and active debate ... as to whether or not it's a good ending," Lindelof said. To balance out those who will hate it, Lindelof said his mom will love it. "Though she actually doesn't understand the show."
"Not everything will be answered, so there will be people who are upset," Cuse added. But "to explain everything ... would be a mistake. Hopefully it will be a healthy cocktail of answers, character resolution and some surprises."
More immediately, the season premiere on Feb. 2 will unsurprisingly throw everyone for a loop. Emilie de Ravin, whose Claire will be back in a more full-time capacity, said she had to read the first script "about three times before it made any sense -- in a great way! But ..."
"Get ready to scratch your heads, America!" Lindelof said.
Want more? Here's a scooplet for the die-hard: Both Harold Perrineau and Cynthia Watros, who play fallen "Lost" characters Michael and Libby, will be back for the final season. Perrineau, many will remember, was surprised and none too pleased when he learned that Michael would be blown to smithereens at the end of Season 5.
"Finally, all your Libby questions will be answered," Cuse deadpanned. Lindelof followed, "No. They will not."More opining on the end:
Cuse says there's been no pressure to continue the franchise beyond the finale -- which should be a huge relief to "Lost" fans. The end will be the end, he said.
While they continue to film the final season, Evangeline Lily said the set has gotten pretty intense. After it's over, "we are all just going to hibernate because we're exhausted" When it ends, she will "cry like a baby."
Daniel Dae Kim's favorite "Lost" moment was the first season finale, when the raft leaves the island. "To come together and see off that season was pretty memorable."
Lily's favorite was the episode in which Claire gave birth and Boone died. "I don't often cry watching my own show, because I've read the script, but I watched that episode and cried.
Terry O'Quinn will miss the collaboration. "And sitting under the banyan tree and listening to Naveen [Andrews] play banjo."
"I have lots of memories of breathless confrontations in small rooms," Michael Emerson said. "Jacob's cabin and the hatch ... always so dark and scary."
Asked why they think the show hasn't gotten more Emmy love -- the first season won the award for best drama series in 2005 -- Cuse said it's difficult to judge the show on one or two episodes alone, which is the criteria by which many Emmy members make their decisions. "For people who don't watch the series, to watch an episode or two alone and evaluate is a difficult thing," he said. "Would we love to win Emmys? Absolutely. But we're very content with the success of the show." Added Lindelof, "How many shows get to win a drama series Emmy, period?"
At the same time, Cuse said the final season won't require "deep and vast knowledge" to get. Reviewing Season 1, however, is advisable.
Asked whether or not any of the cast could see themselves attending a "Lost" convention in 20 or 30 years, O'Quinn said, "We all hope we have something else to do." But not Holloway! "What are you talking about? I'm retiring," he said. "I'm only gonna do conventions!"
Not present at today's panel: Matthew Fox, who was working. Also, Yunjin Kim, Jeff Fahey, Zuleikha Robinson, Ken Leung, Nestor Carbonell and Andrews.
-- Denise Martin and Joy Press
Photo credit: ABC