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A transcript is a retrospective written record of dialogue, and like a script (a prospective record) may include other scene information such as props or actions. In the case of a transcript of a film or television episode, ideally it is a verbatim record. Because closed-captioning is usually written separately, its text may have errors and does not necessarily reflect the true Canonical transcript.
Transcripts for Lost episodes up to and including "Enter 77" are based on the transcriptions by Lost-TV member Spooky with aid of DVR, and at times, closed captions for clarification. She and Lost-TV have generously granted us permission to share/host these transcripts at Lostpedia. Later transcripts were created by the Lostpedia community, unless stated otherwise below.
Disclaimer: This transcript is intended for educational and promotional purposes only, and may not be reproduced commercially without permission from ABC. The description contained herein represents viewers' secondhand experience of ABC's Lost.
Episode: - "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3"
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, 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.
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.
Damon Lindelof: So here we are, back in the future presumably. My favorite edit in the entire show...
Carlton Cuse: It's not presumably.
Damon Lindelof: We're in the future. Here's my favorite edit. Watch as the window actually starts to roll down. That's two separate shots. We actually matched the window rolling down. We switched takes as it's going down. Henk Van Eeghen again. And the moral of this story is... don't tell Sayid what time it is.
Carlton Cuse: Yeah, no. Especially if it's the wrong time.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, we always wanted a sort of ADR in there of Sayid going, "It's 8:16"
Carlton Cuse: So this was, again, you know, further development of the mystery of Jeremy Bentham. Here is Sayid showing up to talk to Hurley and basically kind of forewarn him that things are not good in the future. Things aren't safe. And Hurley is going to basically bust... Get busted out of here by Sayid. At the end of this scene is one of my favorite lines in the finale, which is the identity of the mysterious, imaginary or unseen player who Hurley is playing chess with.
Damon Lindelof: Yes, exactly. And it has the comedy Ks in it. Checkmate, Mr. Eko.
Carlton Cuse: Exactly.
Damon Lindelof: lt got a big laugh when we watched it. l like Sayid's hair in the future. l don't know what kind of products he's using, but l feel like assassinating people is... it gives him a sort of lustrous... ...shine. He's probably using some conditioner to get all the brains and stuff out, from the multiple executions he's doing. Whatever it is, it's working. What do you mean they said it was suicide? Um, obviously, something really cool about this scene, l love Giacchino's score as Sayid is coming into Santa Rosa, because Sayid still has the gun out, you wonder for just a second, is he coming to kill Hurley? Has he sunk so low? But thank God he's not.
Carlton Cuse: l was wondering if he was gonna come shoot himself in front of Hurley.
Damon Lindelof: That's dark. What's great about this story is, because you're beyond the season three finale, anything can happen to any of these characters. Nobody is safe again. And all we can say is, as you move into season five, is that sense of, "l know nothing's gonna happen to the Oceanic Six. I've seen them get off the island," is gonna go away.
Carlton Cuse: But, of course, the mystery remains, which is, we know things are unsettled for them in the future. Now what happens? Do they get back to the island? How do they get back, if in fact they're going back to the island? Here we are. Check.
Damon Lindelof: Why is Hurley not putting on pants before he leaves?
Carlton Cuse: "Checkmate, Mr. Eko." That's the mystery because, actually, he will have pants on later, but he only has a robe on now. And we decided we would cut out of that scene before we saw Hurley put his pants on.
Damon Lindelof: A great idea. Now, obviously Lapidus has stayed on the constant bearing so that people don't... don't flip out. But the freighter is moving, as we know. So they can't find it. And you know, there's this great line he says, "ln case anybody else wants to jump." And now we get to play this aspect of the triangle. And there's a great tragedy here in what Jack says. The audience knows they're never gonna get to go back for Sawyer. But it's noble that he's saying it, 'cause at this point in the game, he just saw Sawyer and Kate kiss, and he's kind of writing her off again.
Carlton Cuse: Oh, there's the freighter out there. They found it. Not good. Just because they found it does not mean things are good.
Damon Lindelof: This, by the way, is one of the best acts in the finale because you begin to realize that all these story lines actually interconnect. So you've got this guy who's down in the Orchid Station. His life is hanging in the balance. We know what happens if he dies. We know the chopper... every story line is now interconnecting at the freighter. Obviously, that's where this act is gonna end. Here's a place where Michael Giacchino, who we cannot say enough nice things about, our genius composer, sort of had to write a piece of music that essentially starts right after the... you know, the light turns red on Keamy's arm and goes all the way to Sun screaming out Jin's name at the end of the act. And it's absolutely, you know, pulse pounding.
Carlton Cuse: It's very movie-like. l mean, the thing that is a problem for composers in television is that you have very short cues. And there aren't big, sweeping scenes like this where a composer can dig in and write a long three or four minute cue, develop a theme and play it and you know, allow it to kind of build and culminate. That's one thing that is great about Michael. And, you know, we score the show with a live orchestra, and so we actually... one of the great thrills of every finale is we go down to the scoring stage. It's the only time during the year where we have time to actually watch the scoring. It's a culminating and satisfying thing to actually, having written the finale, to then go in and see what Michael, you know, as our collaborator, writes for, you know, his part. When he takes these sort of big moments like this, and decides, "OK, this is what I'm gonna do music wise to make this play."
Damon Lindelof: In the editing of this sequence of the show, in this script, essentially the act-out used to be where Desmond shouts, "Damn it, don't land!" But we felt like we wanted to keep going 'cause there's a little bit of a movie trick that happens here, which is one of the parameters of shooting the show is that we could not land the helicopter on the freighter. We could never actually show that. So we somehow had to get from him telling them not to land to them on the freighter. What were we gonna cut to? So we have this little moment that we crafted literally in the editing room, Michael and Jin continuing to work on the bomb.
Carlton Cuse: If you look, the helicopter is sideways in the shadow, even though the helicopter is actually vertical, and it's basically parallel to the freighter. But it's such a cool shot to actually see the shadow. It is the helicopter's, 'cause the helicopter was hovering. Though there was a continuity gaffe, the helicopter out of position, that shadow was worth leaving in the show.
Damon Lindelof: Now we realize, my God, these guys have landed. We're starting to figure out the Oceanic Six. How it's all gonna come together. The key here, in both the writing and in Jack Bender's brilliant direction, was to keep things moving at such a velocity that the audience doesn't have time to think about the bad decision-making occurring here.
Carlton Cuse: A lot of bad decision-making.
Damon Lindelof: Bad decision number one is Sun is waiting to run after Jin. But because she's got the baby, she's having second thoughts. And here, Kate is basically telling Sun, you know, "I'm gonna go get Jin, you get the baby on the helicopter," which is gonna create, a sort of well of guilt that exists for Kate.
Carlton Cuse: One of the things that's interesting is you think about certain things being effects shots, other things you don't. The problem with... You could park the helicopter on the boat, but the rotors were too large, if the rotor were to rotate on the boat, they would actually hit the top of the freighter, so... When you see the rotors spinning in a lot of these shots, those are CG. So the helicopter itself is actually the real helicopter, but the rotors have been added by our special effects team.
Damon Lindelof: Mitch Suskin, who, to talk about the special effects team very quickly here, these shots you're about to see are effects shots. The rotors winding up, helicopter lifting off, Jack pulling himself onto the helicopter and the explosion itself. Mitch Suskin had literally no time at all to do all these effects shots. Cinema quality effects shots that he had to complete in roughly 25 days.
Carlton Cuse: One thing that actually makes Lost possible is the fact that the technology... See, those are all fake shots. Those rotors are not really spinning in real life. We can actually do these things on a television budget. You know, you would never be able to actually shoot Lost, or could not have shot Lost ten years ago. It wouldn't have been possible to make Hawaii look like different locations. You wouldn't be able to actually stage sequences like this. They would be done practically and be prohibitively expensive. We wouldn't use this boat. We wouldn't execute the gags we put in the script. Now this here, you know, is really also incredible. l mean, Yunjin Kim's incredible performance as Sun here. You know, the important thing in any action sequence like this is to not just have an action sequence, but it has to have emotional resonance. It has to mean something for the characters. So, for us, the entire definition of this sequence was...
Damon Lindelof: Christian Shephard, real quick. Just to interrupt.
Carlton Cuse: He's showing up here to drop a little Christian Shephard. So now when the boat blows up... the power is not in the boat blowing up. lt's Sun's reaction to the boat blowing up. That's what gives it its impact. It's when you see the actual kind of emotional resonance that this event has on her, as she thinks her husband is dead.
Damon Lindelof: When you think about how amazing her performance is, you have to think Yunjin is performing on a sound-stage, in front of a green screen, the freighter is nowhere near her, and Daniel Dae Kim isn't around. She's generating that performance...
Carlton Cuse: Poor Yunjin, she lost her voice. She couldn't even talk after doing all this dialogue here. So, just tremendous, tremendous performance. It's hard to do something like this without it being over the top, and seeming soap opera like. But she really sold it and made it visceral and believable.
Damon Lindelof: This is one of our favorite transitions in the show, coming up, there's such emotional connectivity and understanding. The beginning of Sun's separation from these people, and her propensity to sort of flip over to the dark side. we felt like we were only gonna get Widmore for one scene in this finale, because Alan Dale was actually shooting, was actually on, in Spamalot in London. And we had to go to London in order to get two scenes.
Carlton Cuse: This is actually London.
Damon Lindelof: The worst effects shot in the show.
Carlton Cuse: It looks bright. She's shadowed in the foreground, and the bridge is lit in the background. lt looks like a bad composite. No this is actually in London right here. This is no composite. This is the actual place. And it was actually really cool. We shot this scene and the scene in episode nine, Widmore and Ben talking in Widmore's bedroom. Those two scenes. And actually the little drive-up with the taxicab also. Those were all actually shot in London. But we really felt it was essential to see Charles Widmore in this episode. Charles Widmore is someone who will be significant in the show next season. And, you know, for us, you know, Yunjin basically has this moment here. And we know that she's basically, she blames a couple of people for the death of Jin. And, now it appears that she's basically willing to team up with Charles Widmore for some reason. We don't know yet.
Damon Lindelof: The irony would appear from this scene, that she doesn't blame Charles Widmore, who of course is the person who is responsible for Jin's death, by virtue of bringing a freighter full of people trying to kill everyone on it.
Carlton Cuse: If Jin is dead.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah. There's also somebody else responsible for Jin's death, in Sun's mind, which is the person who killed Keamy, but...
Carlton Cuse: Or Keamy could be responsible for Jin's death.
Damon Lindelof: Many people. But...
Carlton Cuse: Or maybe Kate. Or maybe Jack.
Damon Lindelof: Maybe herself, for not arguing vociferously enough.
Carlton Cuse: Or maybe the dog, for not warning her. That guy in the background behind, see that person with the purse? That's the person responsible, in back of that last shot.
Damon Lindelof: Unbelievable. You heard it here first. A shocking revelation. Person with the purse. Love that transition of, you know, "why did you blow them up?" And now, basically, we're back in the Orchid and playing this great emotional beat between Locke and Ben. Obviously Ben is very busy here, and he's saying that, you know, "When you get to take over John, we'll see how easy it is for you." One of the recurring themes on the show is the idea of the strain of leadership. The idea that you are forced to make decisions on behalf of your people, but almost always those decisions are going to be questioned by those people, and they're not going to like you for them. So, it starts with an explosion, and it is going to evolve in the next scene towards, "I'm now handing the literal and figurative baton over to you."
Carlton Cuse: It's worth noting at this point that the Dharma Initiative, when they built the Orchid Station, were aware that were some big-time electromagnetic properties that existed in this part of the island. They built this station and realized they could, with some of their equipment, harness the powers of these electromagnetic forces, but they didn't really know what they had stumbled upon. What Ben was doing in that previous scene was blowing a hole in the back of the Orchid Station, because there's something actually older and more significant that has to do with the electromagnetism that he's about to go down and look at.
Damon Lindelof: Halliwax said in the film, "there is a pocket of negatively charged exotic matter close to the station."
Carlton Cuse: But they didn't really know where or what. Just to clear up any confusion, when Ben goes down the tunnel, it wasn't like Dharma knew about that tunnel.
Damon Lindelof: "Negatively charged exotic matter" can be the name of your college band, if you so choose.
Carlton Cuse: l thought you were gonna say that Josh looked like negatively charged exotic matter.
Damon Lindelof: What's great is that Sawyer, as he was swimming back, said, "Oh, this shirt is really slowing me down."
Carlton Cuse: And the shoes.
Damon Lindelof: "l better take it off so l can come out of the water like a big beefcake."
Carlton Cuse: l think the mystery of when he took that shirt off, what happened to that shirt, would be a good flashback next season.
Damon Lindelof: A flashback of the shirt?
Carlton Cuse: Yes.
Damon Lindelof: What'd be great, is it has a flashback to sort of the manufacturing mill where it was made, to sort of the manufacturing mill where it was made, and then how the shirt ended up in Sydney, got on Oceanic nd what the shirt is trying to redeem itself for. Then we have flash forwards with the shirt. Speaking of shirts, by the way, here the parka now goes on, and you see that it has the...
Carlton Cuse: See, he models it. He does a full runway turn.
Damon Lindelof: That's true. It has the Halliwax name and the Orchid logo.
Carlton Cuse: What is up with this Halliwax, Candle, what's up with that, Damon?
Damon Lindelof: l would say that for reasons unbeknownst to us, the person who is representing himself as Marvin Candle and Edgar Halliwax, and he has several other aliai or aliases.
Carlton Cuse: l think it's aliases.
Damon Lindelof: We have yet to learn his true name. But, we might be seeing some of him in the future of the show.
Carlton Cuse: l hope so. l like Dr. Candle.
Damon Lindelof: Again, we can't say enough nice things about Michael Emerson, but, you know, this is basically where he's explaining that he can never come back to the island. ls that true? We don't know. But he certainly thinks it is. And he's now telling Locke, that he is now leader of the Others. And he plays this with this sense of finality, and also despair and desperation, but almost a business-like approach of, "I've been fired, you're taking over my job. l'm sorry l've been hard on you." But, the fact Ben is now going to go ahead and execute what he was told to, there is a certain quiet nobility in that. l think our intention in the writing was to get the audience to like Ben again, right before he goes down into the Donkey Wheel chamber.
Carlton Cuse: Even though he's blown up a boatload of people.
Damon Lindelof: The scene that comes after that is obviously an important scene where, where Alpert welcomes Locke into his role of leadership. But now is the right time to start talking about the Frozen Donkey Wheel.
Carlton Cuse: No, l actually have one more comment about this. Originally, our plan was to carry this scene a little bit further forward. So Locke actually spots the Others, and he's now the leader. The scene went to a point where he actually picked out his woman.
Damon Lindelof: Oh, that's right, yes. He says, "You. You will be my woman. l will call you Thora. And we will take off our shirts and swing from vines."
Carlton Cuse: l think the one on the left.
Damon Lindelof: Someone told us that's a stupid idea.
Carlton Cuse: That wasn't what we were doing with the scene.
Damon Lindelof: l like that woman holding the melons next to, Alpert there. "You. You with the melons."
Carlton Cuse: She is the future...
Damon Lindelof: "No, l mean the melons you're holding. You will be my woman, Thora."
Carlton Cuse: We just have to take one moment here to talk about, Richard Alpert, who, obviously has got a very interesting role as being the sort of... He's not exactly the leader of the Others, but he's definitely the keeper of...
Damon Lindelof: He's the Dick Cheney of the Others.
Carlton Cuse: He's got a lot to say about who rules the island. In the snapshot in time, he's got a lot to say about Locke's leadership. In the meantime, Ben, now deposed, is going to actually kind of fulfill his final mission, which is to attempt to move the island here. We were talking before, basically, about this sequence. We actually have names for the sort of ends of each of these episodes. And we do try, when we're writing and producing the show, to keep the stuff secret. There are a lot of people who try to post Lost spoilers, and so we don't publish a lot of the actual execution of these final sequences of the pilots. The finales are really something that we keep just to ourselves. And, oh, by the way, here's just the other fulfillment of this gag. He steps through. That little piece of metal rips the hole in his arm, which we saw in Tunisia.
Damon Lindelof: To expand what you're saying, first year was The Bagel, second was The Challah, the third year we abandoned bread products and went to The Rattlesnake.
Carlton Cuse: The Rattlesnake in the Mailbox.
Damon Lindelof: This year it's confusing, We codenamed the last scene, which is not this scene, but the scene, where basically we reveal the occupant of the coffin, as the Frozen Donkey Wheel. The reason that we did that, if someone actually chanced upon this scene, and saw this shot, or understood that Ben was pushing a Frozen Donkey Wheel, they would think that is what we were referring to, and stop searching.
Carlton Cuse: But also it was like, OK, why was it called the Frozen Donkey Wheel? lt seemed like such a crazy reference. But in fact, unlike challah or bagel or... rattlesnake in the mailbox, it actually appears in the show. There is a frozen donkey wheel. It was very confusing, perplexing.
Damon Lindelof: l am still confused.
Carlton Cuse: This is the Frozen Donkey Wheel, although we refer to the final scene as the Frozen Donkey Wheel, even though this is the Frozen Donkey Wheel.
Damon Lindelof: It is confusing, even to us. That's the key, is to confuse yourself, so under interrogation...
Carlton Cuse: We wouldn't have been able to, if someone had tried to get us to tell what was going at the end of the show, we couldn't have explained it.
Damon Lindelof: Absolutely.
Carlton Cuse: There's the mystery of what's behind the wall? Like back in the Swan. There's some giant gears and stuff that this wheel is turning. Perhaps opening some sort of an aperture.
Damon Lindelof: If you look closely, there's some hieroglyphics right behind Ben. You'll see them again, sort of on that column. For those of you looking for some fun way to spend your Sunday afternoon.
Carlton Cuse: Learn Egyptology.
Damon Lindelof: Yes, exactly.
Carlton Cuse: And l love Giacchino's theme here over Ben. This is Ben's sort of tragic theme. 'Cause we, we wanted to play this as emotional for him. Obviously, the island is going to move and disappear and we're gonna basically hand off to the Oceanic Six at the end of this. But we really wanted to get the sense of Ben's despair here.
Damon Lindelof: A quick shout-out to Bryan Burk, who is a sound master, and spent about three days getting the sounds just right in this sequence. But, you know, we have everybody sort of getting washed out by this effect. And one of my favorite special effects that Mitch did, is this one coming up right here, following the light going down, and you just see this big bloop. Like, what the hell happened to the island?
Carlton Cuse: Just got swallowed, as it were. And then that wave, basically, carries over here.
Damon Lindelof: You see the wave rolling under them.
Carlton Cuse: That's cool. That's a great shot.
Damon Lindelof: And where is the island?
Carlton Cuse: l won't say the word wormhole.
Damon Lindelof: Now that people have bought the DVD, will you reveal where is the island?
Carlton Cuse: Uh... l will not say the word "wormhole."
Damon Lindelof: You won't? ls it two words or one word?
Carlton Cuse: Two words. Wormhole.
Damon Lindelof: l think it's one word.
Carlton Cuse: No. l don't know. John?
[John Bernstein] One word.
Damon Lindelof: We'll go with one word.
Carlton Cuse: We're going with one word. The island definitely moved someplace. And, of course, that will be a fairly interesting question for season five. Where, and perhaps when, did the island go to?
Damon Lindelof: And there is your last fuel quantity gauge shot. This is another thing. When we first called down to Hawaii and said, we're gonna blow up the freighter, move the island. And then once the island is moved, we need the eight people in the helicopter to crash into the water. We want the helicopter to turn end over end, they're all gonna be underwater, and do a sort of daring Desmond resuscitation rescue. Not once did Jack Bender or Jean Higgins say, "Are you crazy?" They said, "We can do that." Lo and behold...
Carlton Cuse: This is great. The silence with just the rotors through the air, the helicopter is out of gas, it makes you feel sick to your stomach.
Damon Lindelof: What are the rotors doing?
Carlton Cuse: Just going... [mimics rotors]
Damon Lindelof: Wow. l love it when you do sound effects. This is great. This is not a special effect.
Carlton Cuse: That's a real helicopter.
Damon Lindelof: This is not a special effect.
Carlton Cuse: That's a real helicopter. And the actors did that five times.
Damon Lindelof: And now, in the original version of the script, we picked it up right here. But we put an act out there with the crash. We wanted the audience to say, "Wait. Desmond."
Carlton Cuse: Am l watching O at the Bellagio?
Damon Lindelof: Wait, Desmond and Lapidus are not members of the Oceanic Six, did they survive the crash? And that is obviously, sort of a story point that is, exacerbated here by seeing Desmond in the straits that he's in.
Carlton Cuse: There was a bit here where Jack did some, synchronized swimming, but, we had to cut that for time.
Damon Lindelof: Yes. And he has all sorts of colorful cloths under there. It's very beautiful. And all done to whale song. But we cut it out, 'cause it felt... ...the word that came back was that it was too lyrical. So we went with a straight-up action sequence instead.
Carlton Cuse: Also, the shark helped rescue Desmond in the script, but we couldn't afford the shark in the actual day we were shooting the sequence.
Damon Lindelof: Would be cool if a shark gave mouth-to-mouth to Desmond.
Carlton Cuse: It lifted Desmond, propelled him, dropped him in the raft.
Damon Lindelof: Then it looked up and said, "l am sick and tired of the bad reputation my kind gets amongst humanity. Go back into the world and tell them what l have done today." And then it winks at Jack, and swims off.
Carlton Cuse: Never again an 80 minute commentary. Never, never again. So we wanted everybody to think Desmond was dead here. That was the idea. Because Desmond is not one of the Oceanic Six, hopefully you're asking, "Oh, my God. ls that how they got rid of Desmond? ls that why he didn't survive? Did he die in the helicopter crash?"
Damon Lindelof: More importantly...
Carlton Cuse: Pray it's not so.
Damon Lindelof: ...Matthew said this year, "If l don't get to kiss lan Cusick, l will not be on the show anymore." So, we felt it would be weird for the audience if he did it. We wrote this scene instead he gives him the kiss of life.
Carlton Cuse: That's good, there are three kisses in this. l like in the short takes, you can see how engaged the baby is in this rescue. That's, fantastic. Aaron is very concerned about Desmond's fate here.
Damon Lindelof: And he's OK. And, you know, obviously, all this stuff inside the raft was shot on a sound-stage. Um... these are effects shots here, with the water behind them. And, this is just a great shot, they're in the middle of nowhere.
Carlton Cuse: That's a real raft in water.
Damon Lindelof: Something cool is about to happen when Kate answers the phone, there's a bit of backwards masking, something we haven't done since season two. If you listen carefully here, then you play it backwards, you will hear a message.
Carlton Cuse: She'll say, "The walrus is Paul."
Damon Lindelof: Yes, exactly.
Carlton Cuse: No, not really.
Damon Lindelof: Someone calling in the middle of the night ain't good.
Carlton Cuse: Candygram. Hello, who's there?
Damon Lindelof: Who is it?
Carlton Cuse: l don't know.
Damon Lindelof: Clicks and buzzes.
Carlton Cuse: Click-like, yes. Um... And this is cool and creepy. One of the things that we really discovered that we loved was how awesome Emilie de Ravin was playing creepy. One of my favorite moments this season is when we see her with Christian Shephard, she has this creepy malevolent smile. And here, too. l mean, like, the way she delivers this message, "Do not bring Aaron back to the island," couldn't be better.
Damon Lindelof: lf you look behind Kate on the poster on the back of the door, that's a big white rabbit. A little Alice in Wonderland shout-out, and a recurrent theme in the show. And, Evie is just great here, because, obviously, she's just had this terrifying dream, but she goes in. Evolving Kate's character this season towards, you know, motherhood, is something that she really took to. l really love her performance, as she kind of just looks down at her sleeping son, although he is not her biological son. And she has this intense love for him that is undercut by this even more intense guilt. And that's gonna be a big theme in next season's show, because when Ben says, 'All of you have to go back," one has to wonder if that is inclusive of Aaron.
Carlton Cuse: Mmm. Do you think that number one on Aaron's blanket has significance?
Damon Lindelof: He's number one in Kate's heart, l think, is one way of looking at it.
Carlton Cuse: Maybe. Maybe not.
Damon Lindelof: lt's not one of our numbers. So, that's refreshing.
Carlton Cuse: That is true. Well, you can only pound those numbers to death so many times.
Damon Lindelof: l love that transition.
Carlton Cuse: Yeah. Baby to baby. So, anyway, we're kind of coming in now to the end. And now, of course, this is...
Damon Lindelof: lf only we were. We're still a good minutes from the end, Carlton.
Carlton Cuse: We're closing in. lt's like you're running a marathon, and you see the Coliseum in the distance. You know, you've had a lot of lactic acid buildup, l can tell during the course of this commentary.
Damon Lindelof: Hurley is the only one who sustained scrapes or bruises, right across his face.
Carlton Cuse: That's cool, l know. lt looks like he got hit with like a piece of the skids of the helicopter or something. That's a good piece of makeup work there. lt's very quality. But, anyway, obviously, you know, Jack is now having to really contemplate what he saw, which was, "Oh, the island really did disappear. What does that mean? Was Locke right?"
Damon Lindelof: This is a joke that we kept telling each other in the editing room, here's this moment of incredible victory, which is, there's this boat, and they're about to get rescued. Having gone from being in the middle of nowhere with no chance of rescue. Jack couldn't be more depressed about it. And, you know, at the end of this act, we will shout out the inside joke for you, but we'll keep it 'til then. Here's where the Giacchino theme reminds us of what Locke said to Jack, and Jack actually kind of...
Carlton Cuse: He's processing it.
Damon Lindelof: Begins to realize Locke was right. We better watch what we say.
Carlton Cuse: Why celebrate the glorious moment of being rescued, when we can kind of be depressed about it instead?
Damon Lindelof: Yeah. But one thing about Jack that, in terms of looking forward, to seasons five and six, is he will always be Jack, and he will always be deep and dark and, you know, conflicted. But, again, there's...
Carlton Cuse: He will decide to become a standup comedian. That will affect his character a lot.
Damon Lindelof: He'll do a set at lmprov.
Carlton Cuse: "Seriously! Are you paying attention to my joke?"
Damon Lindelof: No more 80 minute commentaries ever again. Now, actually, this is...
Carlton Cuse:l was on an island, OK? All right? l was on an island.
Damon Lindelof: This is an interesting scene because, you know, we wrote about nine different versions, all considerably longer than this. We're like...
Carlton Cuse: By "considerably longer," he means, like, pages.
Damon Lindelof: Considerably worse.
Carlton Cuse:ln which Jack outlines every detail of the lie, including their fake back-stories.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, he actually, you know, in an earlier version of the draft, he tells Kate in this scene, "You have to say the baby is yours." But it felt like, in that moment, he's going too far. They haven't been rescued yet. All he needs to do is introduce the idea that they have to lie, and why. And nobody really needs to digest it yet. That's why we do the week-long jump between these two acts.
Carlton Cuse: And if they actually did do the full scene, they would all have died of starvation on the raft before it was finished.
Damon Lindelof: And that would have been the slowest boat in history. ln a finale fraught with sort of peril and depression and death, here is sort of the one moment of great emotional victory...
Carlton Cuse: Happiness. Good God.
Damon Lindelof: which l think nobody guessed at. Nobody thought we would get Desmond and Penny together this soon.
Carlton Cuse: This is one of the Portuguese guys that we saw in the snow hut at the end of season two.
Damon Lindelof: That is one long callback.
Carlton Cuse: That is a real long callback. We cast the guy who didn't look like Fox, so there would be no confusion. Some people thought one of the Portuguese dudes in the hut was Matthew Fox, and it wasn't. So we said let's get the Portuguese dude. We think it's a Portuguese ship, then he's saying, "Ms. Widmore." And l really applaud Jack Bender's amazing direction here, because he managed to just find that perfect point of modulation, which led you to be confused and not sure about what sort of ship this was, and then the slow reveal that, in fact, Penny is actually on this boat, and this build. And basically creating this geographic separation, milking the moment of the two of them finally coming together. This was a huge payoff. And l think for us, we thought, the audience isn't expecting you're gonna get Penny and Desmond together at the end of season four. lt felt like a series culminating moment. We wanted... We try to make the finales feel conclusive. That sounds crazy, so many unanswered questions, but there are so many things we still owe the audience, in terms of answers. This was the conclusive moment, the payoff. The part of the story which makes you feel like, "l've watched season four, and it's led to something fulfilling." And it was their reunion.
Damon Lindelof: The Constant, which is an episode that really sort of set up a lot of the things that are going to happen on the show, but, was so emotionally powerful, especially the performances, between Sonya Walger and, and lan Cusick here. You know, essentially, getting these two back together really felt like it was absolutely essential in the finale. And, you know, to do it any sort of later than this would not be a good payoff for The Constant, in which they have this phone call. The idea that that phone call actually triggered a plot reveal was really important to us. So now...
Carlton Cuse: lt doesn't mean you've seen the last of Penny and Desmond.
Damon Lindelof: Oh no. Not by a long shot.
Carlton Cuse: Here's the big moment.
Damon Lindelof: Here's all the joyful sort of like, "Oh, my God, this is my friend, Penny, What a small world that she's the one who came." Sun is still a little shaken by the fact that Jin's dead.
Carlton Cuse: Hurley's had too much Dharma rum.
Damon Lindelof: Here's Jack. And Jack.
Carlton Cuse: Oh my god.
Damon Lindelof: Buzz... kill.
Carlton Cuse: Buzzkill.
Damon Lindelof: He's just a buzzkill. And here we have one week later. We very rarely do subtitles on the show to explain where you are in time. ln this case, it was incredibly important to tell the audience, there was a week of conversations and planning that went on, and convincing, by the way.
Carlton Cuse: A week of boat travel. Although it is a bit confusing, the island...
Damon Lindelof: Break it down for us.
Carlton Cuse: Here's how you break it down. 815 in reality, crashed, somewhere, like a thousand miles from Fiji. And yet, the wreckage of 815 the fake one that was planted on the bottom of the ocean, was in an entirely different part...
Damon Lindelof: ln the Sunda Trench...
Carlton Cuse: ...over by lndonesia. And that's a long way away. So, they've been driving, from where the island was located, they've been driving west about 3000 miles during the course of this week.
Damon Lindelof: 'cause they know that if they turn up on an island that is viably, too far away from where the actual wreckage was discovered, that no one will believe their story.
Carlton Cuse: Exactly. So they've had to motor over near the fake wreckage of 815 They've actually come ashore on a deserted island.
Damon Lindelof: Right. They said that the island that they were on was Membata, and the island they come to is Sunda.
Carlton Cuse: Right.
Damon Lindelof: By the way, one of my favorite lines here, coming up. A long callback, back to when they met in the stadium. Jack and Desmond get so few scenes together, but, you know, this is just sort of the great show moment.
Carlton Cuse: So, now they basically are coming ashore in Sunda, and now kind of commencing their return to the real world.
Damon Lindelof: This is where all of the pieces come into play. Now, remember, this week that they spent on the freighter, is where they cooked up the lie. What's cool about the Oceanic Six's lie is, they basically piggybacked on whoever put the wreckage of the plane there. Whether it was Ben or Widmore is yet to be determined. They're saying, "Someone made it look like we're dead, and what we're going to do is, we're going to co-opt their lie, be a part of it and say we were actually on that plane and got out of it before it sunk to the ocean floor." That protects them from whoever is the perpetrator of that lie, because to expose their lie would be to expose the lie that the plane is there in the first place. Which is something very, very convoluted and complicated, but when you think about it, is kickass. And Carlton has a hat just like that.
Carlton Cuse: And it can only be explained in an 80 minute commentary.
Damon Lindelof: ls it true, Carlton, that you loaned that guy your hat?
Carlton Cuse: l rented these hats to the production for $,000 a day, actually.
Damon Lindelof: That's awesome. What a bargain.
Carlton Cuse: That's gonna pay my mortgage payments for a while.
Damon Lindelof: One of my favorite...
Carlton Cuse: Everything's favorite for you in this! What don't you like in this finale?
Damon Lindelof: l like the sound transition coming up. This is Michael Giacchino's Oceanic Six theme. Obviously they're coming ashore here. You're basically gonna transition out of this beautiful poignant piano and strings moment, and, and get blasted by the Pixies.
Carlton Cuse: That's a good song.
Damon Lindelof: Which is wicked.
Carlton Cuse: So, anyway, now we're almost at the end, and we now know what the circumstances were to setup the lie, all we owe now is, who's in the bloody coffin.
Damon Lindelof: l just noticed, Jack parked at a meter, and he does not feed the meter.
Carlton Cuse: lt's after eight, Damon.
Damon Lindelof: He's that far gone. He's like, l'm not even gonna read the parking restrictions.
Carlton Cuse: He's past the parking restrictions.
Damon Lindelof: "Hoffs Drawlar," obviously, "flash forward," if you reorganize the letters. And, l don't know if you reorganize the letters in the phrase "funeral parlor," it says, it says "laparoscopic." And this scene is a very exciting scene for us, because...
Carlton Cuse: We get to see Jack use a brick. And he never gets to use a brick. And he is awesome with a brick. Look at that. Look at that technique. Now watch this. Kick that door.
Damon Lindelof: Most people would take at least five bangs on that doorknob.
Carlton Cuse: Know what else is good about this scene, Damon? His beard is a lot better in this scene.
Damon Lindelof: lt has improved vastly.
Carlton Cuse: They spent an entire year working on that beard.
Damon Lindelof: Here's the coffin, let's just bring it in, get a little serious, we're almost home, Carlton.
Carlton Cuse: We were trying to make sure that no one found out who was in the coffin, so we actually, this is it. We shot three actors in this coffin. And...
Damon Lindelof: The only people who knew who was actually gonna be in the coffin, "actually," actually, were Terry, who is, you know, it was gonna be Locke, and obviously Matthew, who had to play the fact he's looking down at Locke, and of course, Michael Emerson. and Jack Bender, the director. But everyone else who was...
Carlton Cuse:And us.
Damon Lindelof: ...on the set that day didn't know, who we were actually gonna end up putting in the show. We were hoping to create confusion as to who was actually in the coffin. Anyway, this is a great reveal of Ben, because he was the leading candidate for most, for the occupant of the coffin, we thought it would be cool to reveal him before we revealed.
Carlton Cuse: A lot of people thought it was Desmond.
Damon Lindelof: Really?
Carlton Cuse:That's what l heard.
Damon Lindelof: Who do you think it is?
Carlton Cuse: l thought it was Vincent, the dog.
Damon Lindelof: That would've been cool.
Carlton Cuse: Not a dog-shaped coffin, though.
Damon Lindelof: We're getting...
Carlton Cuse: Some thought Michael.
Damon Lindelof: You should watch this scene several times, without us babbling, because there's incredibly important information encased here that will come to light in season five, in terms of, you know, Jeremy Bentham, AKA Locke, coming to see Kate, coming to see Jack. We know that he also came to see Walt. He told Jack to come back to the island, this was his fault. All these things are very important.
Carlton Cuse: The message he delivers to Ben, what Jack tells us about his conversation with Locke, and what Ben says to Jack about what their mission must be in the future, obviously these are the things of which season five will be made.
Damon Lindelof: Very exciting. l love future Ben, too. He's so... badass.
Carlton Cuse: He's cool. And now, this is sort of my favorite Jack Bender shot, which is this nice crane up over the coffin to reveal the actual occupant here. lt's really great. l'm a little bit ahead of myself, l know. l'm so anxious for this to be over that...
Damon Lindelof: You and the rest of us. Jeez Louise. Seriously, if you have actually gone through this commentary in one sitting, Carlton will come to your house and do a live commentary for all of the previous finales. Uh... l can't speak for myself.
Carlton Cuse: You need a codeword, like, you know, "red robin," which proves you watched all the way through to the end. lf you know the code phrase "red robin," you've endured 372 minutes of commentary to get to this moment.
Damon Lindelof: lf you walk up to Carlton and hand him a daisy, say, "red robin," wink, and kiss him sweetly on the neck...
Carlton Cuse: No kiss...
Damon Lindelof: He will come to your house...and do a live commentary for you.
Carlton Cuse: Or your laundry.
Damon Lindelof: Or your laundry. Whichever you prefer. He will actually... lf you bring two daisies, he will do a commentary as he does your laundry. He will explain what fabric softener he's using, and why, et cetera.
Carlton Cuse: l think we've gotten to the... Are we at the shot yet?
Damon Lindelof: We're almost at your shot. Here we go.
Carlton Cuse: That had a lot of explaining to do.
Damon Lindelof: This is great despair Matthew plays here. They're both just looking at him, and...
Carlton Cuse: Of course Giacchino's score is phenomenal. Look at how good Locke looks dead. Oh, my God. Terry just... he looks shrunken, you know, the way dead people really do? l'm afraid we're out of time now.
Damon Lindelof: Oh, my God. l could just keep going for, l don't know, another...
Carlton Cuse: Thanks so much.
Damon Lindelof: ...four hours.
Carlton Cuse: ...You one person who's listening. l hope you enjoy the show next year.
Damon Lindelof: We will see you, at your house as Carlton does your laundry.
Carlton Cuse: Godspeed.
Damon Lindelof: Bye.