Caution: Extreme Lost spoilers ahead (especially if you haven’t seen the premiere episode yet).
Well, it’s over. And the Lost season premiere definitely left fans of the show with more questions than answers.
Entertainment Weekly has confirmed the big-secret for this final season. Whereas previous seasons have used flashbacks and flashforward elements of storytelling, this season will be all about parallel worlds.
On last night’s premiere we saw the two worlds:
– The first shows what happened if Oceanic 815 never crashed
– The other keeps continuity with the past five years of Lost having all the characters trapped in the Dharma Initiative past magically uploaded to the Island present of 2007 where all the Jacob stuff is happening.
EW’s Jeff Jensen sat down with producers Damon Lindlof for an extensive interview where some answers about the premiere were revealed. Here are some key highlights.
EW: The whole idea of flash-sideways and the plan to use season 6 to show us a world where Oceanic 815 never crashed — how long has that been in the works? Why did you want to do it?
DAMON LINDELOF: It’s been in play for at least a couple of years. We knew that the ending of the time travel season was going to be an attempt to reboot. And as a result, we [knew] the audience was going to come out of the “do-over moment” thinking we were either going start over or just say it didn’t work and continue on. [We thought] wouldn’t it be great if we did both? That was the origin of the story.
CARLTON CUSE: We thought just doing one [of those options] would inherently not be satisfying. Since the very beginning of the show, characters started crossing through each other’s stories. Part of our desire [in season 6] is to show that there’s still this kind of weave, that these characters still would have impacted each other’s lives even without the event of crashing on the Island. Obviously, the big question of the season is going to be: How do these [two timelines] reconcile? However, for the fans who have not watched the show closely, that’s an intact narrative. You can just watch the flash sideways — they stand alone all by themselves. For the fans who are more deeply embedded in the show, you can watch those flash sideways, compare them to what transpired in the flashbacks and go, “Oh, that’s an interesting difference.”
LINDELOF: Right out of the gate, in the first five minutes of the premiere, you get hit over the head with two things that you’re not expecting. The first is that Desmond is on the plane. The second thing that we do is we drop out of the plane and we go below the water and we see that the Island is submerged. What we’re trying to do there is basically say to you, “God bless the survivors of Oceanic 815, because they’re so self-centered, they thought the only effect [of detonating the bomb] was going to be that their plane never crashes.” But they don’t stop to think, “If we do this in 1977, what else is going to affected by this?” So that their entire lives can be changed radically. In fact, it would appear that they’ve sunken the Island. That’s our way of saying, “Keep your eyes peeled for the differences that you’re not expecting.” Some of these characters were still in Australia, but some weren’t.
s there a relationship between Island reality and sideways reality? Will they run parallel for the remainder of the season? Will they fuse together? Might one fade away?
LINDELOF: For us, the big risk that we’re taking in the final season of the show is basically this very question. [Lindelof then explains the show has replaced the trademark “whoosh!” sound effect marking the segue between Island present story and flashbacks or flash-forwards, thus calling conspicuous attention to the relationship between the Island world and the Sideways world.] This is the critical mystery of the season, which is, “What is the relationship between these two shows?” And we don’t use the phrase “alternate reality,” because to call one of them an “alternate reality” is to infer that one of them isn’t real, or one of them is real and the other is the alternate to being real.
CUSE: But the questions you’re asking are exactly the right questions. What are we to make of the fact that they’re showing us two different timelines? Are they going to resolve? Are they going to connect? Are they going to co-exist in parallel fashion? Are they going to cross? Do they intersect? Does one prove to be viable and the other one not? I think those are all the kind of speculations that are the right speculations to be having at this point in the season.
LINDELOF: But it is going to require patience. We’ve taught the audience how to be patient thus far, so while they’re getting a lot of mythological answers on the island early in the season, this idea of what is the relationship between the two [worlds] is a little bit more of a slow burn.
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