'Lost' producers explain finale during reunion with cast at PaleyFest

By Daniel S Levine,

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s been almost 10 years since Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on a mysterious, remote island. To mark the occasion, Lost bosses Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, along with several members of the cast, reunited for a PaleyFest panel.

ABC’s Lost was really responsible for launching a new era of TV watching, where audiences believed that every single little detail was important to the plot and needed to be analyzed. That feeling stayed right up until the show’s controversial finale. Cuse and Lindelof spent much of the panel talking about that last episode and assured everyone that the characters were not really dead the whole time.

According to E! News, Cuse explained that the final shot of the plane crash with no survivors was added after an ABC executive suggested that a “buffer” between the last moments of the show and a commercial was needed.

“We didn't have a lot of extra footage lying around, but we had footage of the plane wreckage on the beach,” Cuse explained. “We thought, let's put those shots at the end of the show and it will be a little buffer and lull. And when people saw the footage of the plane with no survivors, it exacerbated the problem.” But, he said the characters were dead when they met up in heaven during the church scene.

As for what the finale meant to them, Lindelof said that it was in response to the idea that the island was a purgatory for the survivors of the crash. “And we felt it too that the show had to become sort of meta in this way,” he said. “And so the writers said, 'Obviously, there are all these mysteries. But what if we answered a mystery that was never asked, what's the meaning of life and what happens when you die?’”

According to TheWrap, while many of the stars came back for the panel, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Terry O'Quinn and Dominic Monaghan were not there. Still, Josh Holloway, Ian Somerhalder, Yunjin Kim, Maggie Grace, Henry Ian Cusick, Malcolm David Kelley and Jorge Garcia were there. Paul Scheer was the warm-up act and moderator.

“We debated whether or not we should show you the real finale,” Lindelof joked with the crowd. Cuse added, “Too soon.”

Considering the show was about a mysterious plane crash, Scheer told the audience that questions about the missing Malaysia Airlines plane were off limits. “Let's not ask questions about that, because it won't be in good taste,” he said.

“We felt like Lost was sort of the Big Bang Theory and every question would only beget another question,” Cuse said, summing up the show. “But what we cared about most was the emotional journey of each character.”

Lost originally ran from September 2004 to May 2010. The PaleyFest panel won’t stop us from trying to find the answers to all those questions, though.

image courtesy of Amazon

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