Here's a flash-forward, featuring Lost producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse talking about the show's fourth season from a few years in the future, after their fans have turned on them and gouged Lindelof's eye out. They showed this hilarious featurette as part of an online conference promoting the show's season-four DVDs, which will include all of the season's flash-forwards in linear form as an extra. The producers also spelled out a bit more of what to expect in season five.
Another DVD featurette we got to see was a conspiracy-theory faux documentary about the Oceanic Six and the unlikelihood of their official story being true. The nature of the plane crash, the place where it allegedly crashed and the island they allegedly reached are all counter to the laws of physics. And then there's the thing where they didn't starve, and Kate's supposed pregnancy.
And then Cuse and Lindelof answered some questions. Lindelof said Lost is made to be watched on DVD because of all the easter eggs, and "they're almost designed for repeat viewings... I sometimes think about how frustrating it would've been to read the Harry Potter books ONE CHAPTER AT A TIME once a week. I'd pretty much kill myself."
I asked if the fourth season will have an obvious break, style-wise, between the pre-strike and post-strike episodes when you watch the whole thing in one of two sittings. Lindelof replied:
Hopefully not... The fact of the matter is that we designed out — at least roughly — the entire sixteen episode season... planting flags as to what would happen where in the grand scheme of things. In that original design, there were a couple of episodes focusing more on the Freighter Folks (Faraday, Miles and Charlotte) that got pushed into this season, but more importantly, things like Jack's appendicitis and Keamy arriving at New Otherton and killing Alex happened SOONER than we had planned due to the collapsed schedule. I think if there's a sense of separation between the first eight episodes (ending with "Meet Kevin Johnson") and the final six hours, it's that the story is really moving at a much higher rate of speed than we're traditionally accustomed to.
And there's good news for those of us who don't want to see the Oceanic Six separated from the rest of the show's cast for an entire season. Lindelof wrote:
We're concerned, too! I think everyone, writers and fans alike, feels the show is at its best when our characters are together... but the fact of the matter is that the story is constantly twisting and turning to keep them apart. Let's face it — Absence makes the heart grow fonder... but there's nothing sweeter than a reunion. All we're willing to say at this point is that if we were to spend the ENTIRE duration of Season Five with the Oceanic Six trying to get back to the island, we are fully aware that the audience would strangle us.
Also, more good news: Cuse says the 17-episode seasons mean there will be no "stall episodes," and the show will just race forward every week.
Meanwhile, Cuse said the show tries to jump the shark all the time. And Lindelof said the fact that the audience was so open to flash-forwards in season four has inspired the producers to get even more bold in season five. "The cool thing about Season Five is that it takes a little while for your brain to fully absorb how the story is unfolding... but hopefully, once it does, you'll realize we're trying something new yet again." Also, there will be flash-backs and flash-forwards, but the show isn't limiting itself to those any more.
Also, the reapearance of Christian Shepherd in season four definitely ties into the empty coffin Jack discovered in season one. And it's "safe to say" we'll be seeing more of Christian in season five. "And what's up with those white tennis shoes he was wearing back in season one?" teased Lindelof. Also, he said Claire may not actually be dead. We'll get more backstory on Walt and Rousseau, but Libby's story may be already over. And we'll see more of the four-toed statue, for sure. The show will be in "answer mode" by the end of season five, and going into season six.
Also, the scene between Jack and Locke, in the greenhouse at the end of the season, is a pivotal one, says Lindelof.
Obviously, the ramifications of Locke telling Jack (once again) that he's not supposed to leave the island... but if he does, he must LIE about everything that happens... is essentially what kicks off the entire story of the Oceanic Six. We think its really cool that it was actually Locke's idea, even though Jack doesn't present it that way. And now that Jack is standing over Locke's coffin, the relationship between these two men becomes really central to the endgame of our story.
Meanwhile, Lindelof says it's liberating that the show isn't trying to hide its fantasy/scifi elements any more — but adds that it'll keep evolving and exploring the questions of science versus faith. He points to The Stand, which starts with an epidemic that kills 99 percent of the world's population and then slowly becomes more mystical until the hand of God appears at the end.