Tube Talk: A Lost goodbye: Lost signs off May 23 after six seasons

By Paula Hendrickson
Contributing Writer

After six seasons of flashbacks, flash-forwards and flash-sideways, Lost is coming to an end this Sunday, May 23. Will the finale answer every question surrounding the series’ complicated mythology? That’s doubtful, considering how many questions remain and how little time is left. Besides, as Jacob’s nameless fake-mother told his bio-mom, answers only lead to more questions.

Whether all of the island’s mysteries will be explained, Lost has kept millions of viewers entertained—and often frustrated—as they ponder the imponderable, think in allegorical terms, search for literary allusions and delve into comparative religion. That’s not exactly what I’d call mindless entertainment.

A few months ago, I profiled several cast members for the February and April issues of Emmy, some of whom shared additional insights I thought might be of interest.

“This show taught me the immense importance of being part of a team,” said Evangeline Lilly (Kate), who described her pre-Lost self as a bit of an isolationist.

“It’s also helped me as a businesswoman—I don’t think people realize how acting is often 50 percent on camera and 50 percent what you do when the cameras aren’t rolling,” Lilly said. “For that, I’m grateful because I have no idea what my future will hold or what I’ll go on to do after the show. Whatever it is, it won’t hurt to have learned both teamwork and business skills. My experience on Lost has definitely been life-changing. It will leave an imprint on my soul for the rest of my life.”

Even after six seasons, most of the cast couldn’t keep track of the show’s plot twists or mythology. Last season, Jorge Garcia (Hurley) had a particularly arduous task. “It was this huge monologue recounting the entire series in one speech,” Garcia said. “It had everything except ‘previously on Lost’ at the beginning of it.” He wasn’t sure it would work, but he trusted the writers, who, in turn, trusted him to keep the recap from sounding tedious. It drew a terrific response, and fans still compliment him on that scene.

Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) asked me where I thought the show was heading. (That was in early March. I guessed the Man-in-black—Kim called him UnLocke—might turn out to be good, simply because everything was pointing to him being evil, and Lost has a history of turning things upside down. Then again, the show may leave us questioning the true nature of Good and Evil.) Kim admitted he didn’t even know how things would wrap up.

“People assume we all have the answers, but we don’t,” Kim said. “I’m as curious as any audience member to get that final script and see [the producers’] take on the entire issue. At every turn, I’ve tried to guess what was going on on the island, but the writers and creators always come up with something more clever than I’d imagined. So, I have every faith in them that when this show ends, it’s going to have that same level of unpredictability.”

Kim said once the finale airs, he’s planning a Lost-a-thon of his own. “I’m looking forward to starting from Season One and watching the DVDs with the knowledge of what happens at the end, and see if it changes my perception of the events in the pervious seasons,” he said.

“As far as the mythology of Lost,” said Terry O’Quinn (Locke/UnLocke), “what works for me is that I don’t get caught up in it. All I’m concerned with is ‘What does my character know?’—and what he knows is a lot less than what many of the fans of the show know. So I don’t carry the baggage. I don’t care where it’s heading, only that the end is satisfying to the people who’ve stayed invested, the people who’ve kept turning the pages in good faith, trusting that at the end of this story they would close the book, breathe a sigh and say, ‘That was good.’”

Programming notes

Saturday, May 22:

→ The two-hour Lost pilot episode will be rebroadcast from 7 to 9 p.m. on ABC.

Sunday, May 23:

→ Special presentation, Lost: The Final Journey, airs from 6 to 8 p.m. on ABC.

Lost SERIES FINALE airs from 8 to 10:30 p.m. on ABC.

→ Jimmy Kimmel Live: Aloha to LOST, airs at 11:05 p.m. (immediately following the local news) on ABC.

From the May 19-25, 2010 issue

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