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Kris White Can you kill Jacob? What's up with the compass that was passed between Alpert and Locke? And finally, is the Dharma video from Comic-Con 2008 canon or not? We'll have answers to those serious questions and a few not so serious questions in today's official Lost Audio Podcast.
Kris White Yes everyone, we are finally here at the last official audio podcast for Season 5. We’re joined today again by executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse to rehash our last episode Follow the Leader and give us a few hints on what’s to come in this special 2 hour season finale entitled The Incident which, of course, airs Wednesday May 13th from 9-11pm. Here now are Damon and Carlton.
Carlton Cuse Ah, buenos noches Damon!
Damon Lindelof [Laughs] Buenos noches?
Carlton Cuse Yes
Damon Lindelof Doesn’t that mean good evening, good night?
Carlton Cuse It does, it does.
Damon Lindelof But it’s daytime.
Carlton Cuse Well, it’s not daytime in Spain.
Damon Lindelof Not in 1977.
Carlton Cuse In Spain it’s night right now.
Damon Lindelof That’s a very valid point, so Buenos noches to you, Carlton.
Carlton Cuse What’s going on?!
Damon Lindelof Well, I guess here we are, it’s our final podcast of Season 5.
Carlton Cuse It’s exciting.
Damon Lindelof We made it, somehow, to the finale, without killing each other, or any of our loved ones, or being killed by the audience so far.
Carlton Cuse Yeah, well, wait ‘till the finale airs.
Damon Lindelof Yeah, what do you think the reaction to the finale is gonna be? Let’s just get that out of the way.
Carlton Cuse Umm, I think that, you know, people are gonna like it because there are some good mythological advancements in it, but I think there’s also gonna be a fair share of annoyance that they’re gonna have to wait 8 months to find out what happens after the finale. It has a very, sort of, Season 1 feel to me, like when we blew up in the hatch and people were like, “You’re kidding me! That’s where you’re leaving us?”
Damon Lindelof Yeah, that is always a part of the finale, and I think that umm, several have begun to assume that the show is almost, that there is sort of a reflective quality to it, so that if we’ve been saying that Season 6 is going to be a lot like Season 1, it would seem only fair that this finale going into the finale season of the show is sort of, sort of reminisced about Season 1. We do know that the Jack-gang at the very least is about to go to the Swan site, which is exactly where Season 1 ended, correct?
Carlton Cuse It’s kind of like, you know, in movies, when instead of having the credits at the beginning, they put them at the end of the movie but they’re in reverse order. Right, you know?
Damon Lindelof Oh, interesting.
Carlton Cuse So, feels like we’re kind of, almost spinning back into Season 1. Does that mean that we’ll start Season 6 with the most exciting part of the season?
Damon Lindelof All I have to say is that over the summer, if anybody asks me, “What’s in the hatch?” I’ll know that something has gone horribly haywire!
Carlton Cuse That’s good! Alright.
Damon Lindelof Let’s talk a little bit about last week’s episode, Follow the Leader, that was written by Elizabeth Sarnoff and Paul Zbyszewski, directed by Mr Stephen Williams, not a traditional flashback episode. We sort of were rocketing back between 1977 and 2007, and why was it called Follow the Leader, Carlton, do you think?
Carlton Cuse I think it was called Follow the Leader basically because Locke has really emerged as this kind of very strong and compelling guy, who seems very much in communion with the island, much to the consternation of Ben and err, Richard Alpert, and I think that, what exactly is going on with John Locke? I mean, that’s the question that I have coming out of this episode.
Damon Lindelof Will we get an answer to that in the finale, or at least a… will know a little bit more about his resurrection, and..?
Carlton Cuse I would certainly hope that if he said we’re not going to like, have a nice little party with Jacob, we’re going to kill him…
Damon Lindelof Oh!
Carlton Cuse ...that’s pretty serious, I hope that we get something more about that.
Damon Lindelof I hope so too. And then on the other side it obviously, Jack is again finally, after weeks of mopping floors and cleaning chalk boards, he has finally got his mission now. But he’s having a little bit of a hard time convincing people. It feels like other than Sayid and Faraday’s mother, who probably just feels guilty for shooting her son in the back, he hasn’t really done a very good job of building together... it’s not like 50 people are walking behind him like in the old days.
Carlton Cuse No, exactly. As for Sayid, I mean, he just can’t resist a good bomb adventure.
Damon Lindelof A good excuse to shoot people and to talk about bombs.
Carlton Cuse Yeah, I mean, or blow somebody up, I mean, that’s awesome.
Damon Lindelof That’s true. Umm, “Carlton, who was the President of the United States in 1977?” asks Kris White, on our rehash sheet. Do you remember?
Carlton Cuse Uhh, I wasn’t born yet.
Damon Lindelof Oh, that’s a good answer!
Carlton Cuse So uhh, is it possible to kill Jacob, Damon?
Damon Lindelof I think it was Jimmy Carter, that’s my guess, but I could be wrong. As I recall, Reagan was elected in ’80, but... what was your question?
Carlton Cuse It was Jimmy Carter.
Damon Lindelof It was? But not in this universe.
Carlton Cuse No, in this universe... Bob Dole
Damon Lindelof It was... yeah it was Bob Dole, interesting. We’ll get more into that later.
Carlton Cuse Is it possible to kill Jacob, do you think?
Damon Lindelof Well, that depends on what, exactly, Jacob is. Like, for example, if he were a 60 foot tall beam made entirely out of flames… spoiler alert!
Carlton Cuse Why are we not doing that?! I mean, why didn’t you ever pitch that idea in the writer’s room?
Damon Lindelof I did pitch it, I just don’t think you were in there. I think basically, the original end of Follow the Leader was that Locke said, “Oh, I’m not interested in getting our people back”, and then Ben says, “What are we gonna do?” and he says, “We’re gonna kill Jacob”, and then Ben says, “But he’s 60 feet tall and made of flames”, and then Locke goes, “Oh, scratch that, lets go get our people back”.
Carlton Cuse [Laughs]
Damon Lindelof But everybody thought that it was a much better ending…
Carlton Cuse No, the better ending is all of a sudden they go, they just stop and they look up, and then you just cut to the 60 foot tall Jacob made of flames, and then, boom, LOST.
Damon Lindelof Oh, that’s cool.
Carlton Cuse That would be, come on…
Damon Lindelof And then Locke goes…
Carlton Cuse People are coming back for the finale after that.
Damon Lindelof And then Locke goes, “Somebody get a bucket”.
[They all laugh]
Carlton Cuse That’s AWESOME.
Damon Lindelof ‘Cause that’s why he’s bringing all those people with him, ‘cause he’s gonna need to form a...
Simultaneously: …bucket brigade!
Carlton Cuse Exactly.
Damon Lindelof Which was the original title of the finale.
Carlton Cuse But, you know, look, Follow the Leader is really the first part of the finale. I mean, that’s kind of the ramp, and we saw it as sort of, it’s really, even though The Incident part 1 and part 2 is technically the finale, we sort of see Follow the Leader as the first part of...
Damon Lindelof Yeah, it’s all set up. It’s the penultimate episode. It’s moving people in the right place, and traditionally what we like to do is get our characters as far apart from each other as we possibly can, so Juliet and Sawyer and Kate are on a submarine, on their way to Ann Arbour, you know, Jack and Sayid are...
Carlton Cuse Unless of course you look at the previews for next week’s episode.
Damon Lindelof Yes.
Carlton Cuse They could be back on the island in like, 1937 or 1374...
Damon Lindelof But how do they get back to the island? That’s the operative question, and could it be in a surprising way, Carlton?
Carlton Cuse Magic box?
Damon Lindelof [Laughs] Wow, spoiler alert again!
Carlton Cuse Umm, so this is it, this is the last time we’re gonna be chatting until Comic-Con, but we hope that you guys will come to Comic-Con, as that will also be our final Comic-Con appearance, and uhh…
Damon Lindelof Yes, we’ve got some treats in store, I think.
Carlton Cuse Yes, we are already talking about what we’re doing for Comic-Con and it should be really fun.
Damon Lindelof That is very exciting, so...
Carlton Cuse Alright, let’s do some questions, Kris, you ready for some questions?
Kris White Let’s do it!
Damon Lindelof Yeah. Hey Carlton, we do have one piece of unfinished business before we...
Carlton Cuse Oh yeah...
Damon Lindelof From last week, we were talking about, in Korea, what was the story with Sun and Jin. Kris has basically got some intel. Would you like to share it with us?
Carlton Cuse Well, basically, they dub the show in Korean, and people... they just basically figure that the audience in Korea is smart enough to understand that the Korean characters are actually playing with English speaking characters, and so they don't need to do anything special, they just basically think that the Korean audience is smart enough to understand that even though the entire show is dubbed in Korean the perception of the Korean characters by the English speaking characters is, y'know, is something that's just understood.
Damon Lindelof Are you telling me that Sun and Jin are dubbed?
Carlton Cuse Yes.
Damon Lindelof They are dubbed? Even though they're speaking Korean, another actor is portraying Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim...
Carlton Cuse That's apparently the case.
Damon Lindelof Fascinating. Well, now we have the answer to that question. We can move on. This question is from Jack Aubrey, from Sussex, England. :"Salutations, Mr. Cuse and Mr. Lindelof"...
Carlton Cuse Thank you.
Damon Lindelof "I've been watching Lost from the beginning with my lady friend, and I've noticed an interesting pattern emerge. Whenever John Locke goes to the crash site of the Nigerian drug plane, he is always prevented from climbing those long roots up to the top. In "Deus Ex Machina" he's suddenly and seemingly without a reason lost his ability to walk, so Boone had to go up", and we know what happened there.
Carlton Cuse Yeah.
Damon Lindelof "Then in the episode titled '?', John is still recovering from having his leg crushed in the blast door, so Eko had to climb. And finally in the premiere this year, 'Because You Left', John was climbing up and he gets shot by Ethan. My question is, is there any significance to John Locke constantly being prevented from getting to the top? Is it just coincidence or will something important happen if and when he finally gets up there?"
Carlton Cuse Wow, that's an excellent question, and actually, "Jack and the Bean stock" is one of the biggest inspirations for Lost that we've actually never cited before.
Damon Lindelof Is there a giant up there? A giant, perhaps, made of flames?
Carlton Cuse Giant... There is 60-foot tall flaming man beyond that plane on top of that ledge, and Locke is smart enough to know that, and that's why he does not climb up there.
Damon Lindelof I think that the actual answer is somewhere more along the lines of, it's a motif.
Carlton Cuse It's a motif.
Damon Lindelof And Locke and that drug plane have a dual destiny, and...
Carlton Cuse When you only have limited amount of creative ideas, and you do the same thing three times, it's called a motif.
Damon Lindelof That's right, it's when you run out of ideas, it's called a motif.
Carlton Cuse (laughs)
Damon Lindelof I was gonna go to some place... it's an allegory for Sisyphus, but...
Carlton Cuse (laughs) That's good too...
Damon Lindelof They're not gonna buy it now...
Carlton Cuse They will, they will... It's an allegory for Sisyphus.
Damon Lindelof Alright, we'll be trying. That was an excellent question, well thought-out. Thank you, Jack Aubrey.
Carlton Cuse Thank you. Alright, Damon, here's a question we've been getting a lot, and this is one of those time travel issues, you know...
Damon Lindelof Oh god...
Carlton Cuse Obviously there are many conundrums involving time travel, so let's just get right to the heart of it, and let's address this question. "Hello Darlton, I've been watching 'Follow the Leader' and couldn't help but wonder about Locke's compass. It seems to me that the compass is in this infinite loop, where it's passed between Locke and Richard Alpert. Where did he compass come from? How could it get rustier than when the 50's Locke gave it to the 50's Richard if 2007 Richard gave it to time-skipping Locke hours before 50's Locke started the cycle again? Does the compass eventually degenerate into dust, thus causing a hole in the space-time continuum, or is it that the magic compass will get it's own spin-off next year? Love the show, Cindy from Liberty Lake, Washington."
Damon Lindelof This is a fascinating question, and one we spent way too much hours in the room discussing, and we do not want to remove the shade of mystery for you guys. All we can say first is that what we have done with the compass was absolutely intentional in terms of sort of the broader themes of the show, but more importantly, there are certain things in mathematics and in time travel, like Fermaut's last theorem for example, that are very very difficult to try to explain, they are sort of fascinating puzzles that lack solution, and the compass is one of them. It's purposely perplexing, but also, it has no origin, because if Locke essentially gave it to Alpert, and Alpert gave it to Locke, then where did it come from? And I think the larger question is what is its state of decay, and I think that is an area where we could have called the props department in Hawaii and try to explain what it was we were trying to do, but they would have shot us and basically said "we don't understand, like, does the compass always have to look the same", because the fact of the matter is, Alpert holds on to it for 50 years...
Carlton Cuse Right
Damon Lindelof So at a certain point, it degrades, and then...
Carlton Cuse Even if it is in a mobius loop.
Damon Lindelof It is in a mobious loop. An infinite loop.
Carlton Cuse Yeah.
Damon Lindelof So, if you're asking the question "where did the compass come from?", we put this question to you, "which came first, the chicken or the egg?".
Carlton Cuse The idea that it is in a mobious loop is a very intentional motif that we are executing here, and again I think that one of the challenges of Lost is, for us is that, y'know, we believe in a large quotient of mystery and magic in the world, and it is not our intention to demystify the world of Lost by over-explaining things. And the fact that the compass magically exists between these two characters, we think is just a cool piece of sort of mystery. And magic.
Damon Lindelof And here's another thing. If Jack is somehow successful in carrying out Faraday's mission, he will free the compass.
Carlton Cuse That's true.
Damon Lindelof He could basically... That should have been the end of "Follow the Leader".
Carlton Cuse Yeah.
Damon Lindelof After the Jacob thing, and the flaming guy, we cut to basically Jack, and Kate says, right before she walks off, "Jack, why are you doing this?", and he looks at here and he goes "Because I've gotta free that compass".
Carlton Cuse Right.
Damon Lindelof Here we go, "Hey Damon and Carlton, big fan, can't wait for the finale", says Nick of Boston College, "I have a question about the DHARMA video released last summer", speaking of questions that we've been asked a lot.
Carlton Cuse Yeah.
Damon Lindelof The compass is number one, number two is this one. "Unless I'm mistaken, it's pretty clearly Daniuel Faraday's voice videotaping Pierre Chang. As we know, though, Dan got capped before such a video taping could even happen. I know you don't want to reveal too much about continuity and what can and can't be changed, but can you tell us whether that was intentional or a whoopsie?".
Carlton Cuse Alright, well, we're in total clear-up mode, this is not an evasive podcast, this is an informative podcast, and I like that.
Damon Lindelof Let's get out in front of it.
Carlton Cuse A few things need to be said. Who's the letter writer?
Damon Lindelof It's Nick from Boston College.
Carlton Cuse Nick from Boston College. Go Red Sox. (laughs) Damon is giving me a really annoyed look right now. Okay, so, first off, we conceive our material for Comic-Con a long time ago, and ahead of the regular season, and so, y'know, sometimes we have story intentions and really the vast majority of the time they come to conclusion in the series, but in this case, we had an idea and we were unable to completely follow through on the idea for several different reasons. First one was, we were gonna do an ARG between Comic-Con and into our season.
Damon Lindelof That's an Alternate Reality Game, basically an internet-based game like we've done between seasons before.
Carlton Cuse Right, but before we could execute that, we kinda had a worldwide financial crisis and the money to do that kinda went away, so that altered our plans. Secondly, we don't consider what goes on in Comic-Con canon, I mean, we try to tie it into the show, but the only thing that really is canon is the show for us, so we sorta felt like since we couldn't really get back to that story branch, based on the way the show naturally evolved... I mean, we don't do this thing in abstract, JK Rowling has the great luxury and privilege of being utterly in control of all the characters in her universe, but we do our show in collaboration with 400 other people and for a variety of reasons,which are way too detailed to go into, we didn't... that story branch did not, y'know... kinda fell out of the tree, in other words...
Damon Lindelof Right, and y'know, the fundamental idea was, we knew that our character would all end up in DHARMA times, we knew that a certain branch of them, the Sawyer branch, was gonna be living in DHARMA times for three years before the Oceanic Six came back, so this idea was basically, instead of having Faraday go to Ann Arbor, which is actually what we ended up doing in the show, that he basically was trying to convince Pierre Chang for a certain period of time that he was from the future, we just rejiggered that because we lost all the storytelling that was would happened in the ARG that got basically cancelled, and then, as the teaser of the season premiere, we basically, we sold this idea that Faraday was gonna be in DHARMA times, but this was the new idea.
Carlton Cuse Right.
Damon Lindelof It was both intentional and a whoopsie, Nick.
Carlton Cuse Thank you, though.
Damon Lindelof And... sometimes the fans are disappointed that we say that everything on the show wasn't intentional, but we feel like we get a little bit of leeway when it comes to material that we generate for Comic-Con, and stuff like that.
Carlton Cuse Yeah. And look, the truth is we're not, we don't have like a bible of the show that we're just sitting here, y'know, typing up every week and having margaritas, I mean, we know these mythological milestones that exist, but the journey between them is one that we discover along the way. And in that process of discovery things sometimes change, and that's the way the show gets written.
Damon Lindelof And we also choose to be honest with you, we never showed Faraday, you only hear his voice, so we could have just said "oh, that wasn't Faraday, it was just someone who sounded a lot like him”.
Carlton Cuse Yeah.
Damon Lindelof But no, it was Jeremy Davies.
Carlton Cuse Right, it was his twin brother.
Damon Lindelof (laughs) Alright, next question.
Carlton Cuse Okay. Damon?
Damon Lindelof Yes.
Carlton Cuse This is from Patty Hodgkins, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Damon Lindelof Patty!
Carlton Cuse And Patty, y'know, I hope you go to "The Frontier", that's my favorite restaurant in Albuquerque. "Hey Carlton and Damon, my whole family is addicted to Lost, but I'm concerned we still don't know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys."
Damon Lindelof Wow.
Carlton Cuse "Are we gonna find out soon who we should be cheering for? I would love to know what team I should be backing."
Damon Lindelof Interesting. Why don't we play a game of "good guy bad guy", Carlton?
Carlton Cuse Okay.
Damon Lindelof I'll name a character, and you just say "good guy" or "bad guy". Or "haven't decided", that is also an option for you.
Carlton Cuse Okay, yeah.
Damon Lindelof Okay, so let's start with an easy one: Hurley.
Carlton Cuse Hurley's a good guy.
Damon Lindelof Kate.
Carlton Cuse Kate's a good guy too.
Damon Lindelof Richard Alpert.
Carlton Cuse Haven't decided.
Damon Lindelof Wow. Frank Lapidus.
Carlton Cuse Bad guy.
Damon Lindelof (laughs)
Carlton Cuse No, I like Frank Lapidus, I'm sorry, Frank, Frank's good.
Damon Lindelof Sayid.
Carlton Cuse Kind of a bad guy, maybe.
Damon Lindelof Wow. Interesting.
Carlton Cuse Well, could be, I don't know... I mean, that's, I can see good guy, it depends on the day. I like Sayid but he's done some bad things, Damon.
Damon Lindelof Okay, and finally, flaming 60-foot Jacob.
Carlton Cuse Good guy.
Damon Lindelof Okay. There you go. That should take care of everything for you.
Carlton Cuse So I hope that clears things up for you, Patty. That's awesome. Okay, Damon.
Damon Lindelof I've got another one for you...
Carlton Cuse Oh, is that me or is that me? That was your turn...
Damon Lindelof Yeah, because you somehow got a shoutout in some Albuquerque restaurant, which is no doubt providing you with a kick-back, so...
Carlton Cuse (laughs)
Damon Lindelof "Salut, Damon et Carlton"...
Carlton Cuse I'm just saying, if you want a good breakfast burrito, go to "The Frontier" on central ave, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Damon Lindelof Brunch served on eleven to one, every Saturday. "Salut, Damon et Carlton", which is French for "Hi, Damon and Carlton".
Carlton Cuse (laughs) Oh, good.
Damon Lindelof "Best TV show ever. Last week, you were wondering about how the French version of the show might have addressed the French-talking-thing issue. It has, quite badly, in fact. But there are some questions about the French-talking-thing in your own English version I would really like to ask you from France", and this is from Axel Chaminade in Nice. "Was it because Shannon had some bad French that you shot her?"
Carlton Cuse Yes.
Damon Lindelof "Was it because Charlie said in the first episode "I've never been so happy to hear the French", that you flooded him?"
Carlton Cuse Yes.
Damon Lindelof "Is it possible that you cut off Montand's arm because he had such a strong Quebeqer accent, that we just couldn't hear him without thinking "Oh, Quebeqer actors must be so much easier for them to recruit?"
Carlton Cuse Yes.
Damon Lindelof "And finally, is it possible that because Jacob is French, that he's spending his whole life in a cabin without a shower?"
Carlton Cuse (laughs)
Damon Lindelof And I think the real reason he hasn't taken a shower is he's made of fire. (laughs)
Carlton Cuse (laughs) I mean, that's not something you wanna do if you're made out of fire.
Damon Lindelof (laughs) It is definitely not recommended.
Carlton Cuse But... Yes! Yes! This guy's a genius. We should ship him over.
Damon Lindelof Is it a man or a woman, I don't know. Axel?
Carlton Cuse Axel. I think Axel's a guy.
Damon Lindelof Yeah, well...
Carlton Cuse Thank you, Mr. Chaminade. Or Mr. Nice.
Damon Lindelof Alright, well, we're on fire, literally. Just like... Do you have the final question, Carlton?
Carlton Cuse I do, I do. Okay, um. "Darlton, 'Follow the Leader' was a kick-ass", sorry, "kick-butt episode".
Damon Lindelof Okay.
Carlton Cuse This person, Eric Wolkes from Los Angeles, California, is obviously...
Damon Lindelof I like that he corrected himself.
Carlton Cuse He's not gonna say any bad words...
Damon Lindelof Okay.
Carlton Cuse "Can't wait to experience 'The Incident'. My question - years ago..."
Damon Lindelof Uh oh.
Carlton Cuse "You told us that we didn't have enough information to adequately theorize about how the show ends. When do you think we'll reach that point? Thanks, and I'm already counting down the eight and a half months to the final season opener."
Damon Lindelof That is a great question, actually. I think, personally speaking, by the end of this finale, and by the end of the season premiere of season 6, you will pretty much have all the fundamental building blocks you need to build together a hell of a theory as to what it all means and where the show might potentially end. Our finales are always, we always look at them as part ending the story that we did in the previous season, and part setting up the season to come, so it's a finale and a pilot all wrapped up in one. And then we look at our season premieres in the same way, because we're still wrapping out of the finale, but we're continuing to set up the new year, so there's always a bridge. But I think that we begin... You're gonna get a substantial piece of information in this finale that will help you get a sense of where we might be going.
Carlton Cuse My true hope and belief is that by the end of the season 6 finale, that you should have a good ability to theorize about the show.
Damon Lindelof Yeah.
Carlton Cuse That to me would be the point of which, (laughs) you'll have enough information to adequately theorize about the show. So sometimes between now and the end of the season 6 finale.
Damon Lindelof At the end of the series, probably.
Carlton Cuse The end of the series, yes.
Damon Lindelof As long as we got it by then.
Carlton Cuse Alright, guys, well, thank you so much, hope you guys enjoy the finale, and we'll see you all in Comic-Con. Right, Damon?
Damon Lindelof Yes, and a special thank you to everybody this year. We know that the time travel storytelling can be a very laborious thing, and now more than ever, we appreciate the fact that you are still watching our show...
Carlton Cuse We do, indeed.
Damon Lindelof It is your support that...
Carlton Cuse Is most important to us...
Damon Lindelof Really makes us do these podcasts, because... we sure as hell don't enjoy them.
Carlton Cuse (laughs) I enjoy them.
Damon Lindelof Well, I enjoy them too.
Carlton Cuse Alright, thanks, and thank you to Kris White, for another great year at the headphones over there.
Damon Lindelof At the helm.
Carlton Cuse Okay, bye.
Damon Lindelof Bye.