Damon and Carlton talk to the New York Times

Damon and Carlton

Some highlights of the interview published May 13, 2010:

1) Damon and Carlton are asked the question that comes up in almost every interview — how much of the end did they know when they started?

What’s interesting is that Carlton gives an answer that I don’t think I’ve seen before:

CARLTON CUSE: The literal last scene of the show was something that we concocted very early on in the first season of the show.

I’d read an interview, earlier, where they said that they came up with the ending between the first and the second seasons. So this is new info (for me, at least) that they had thought up the very last scene so early.

Carlton then goes to say something more in line with previous interviews:

But the last episode is an amalgam of ideas that started with our first mythology conversations in the first season when we realized after the pilot came out and the ratings were huge that the show was going to go a long time.

I’m getting very excited now, to see the finale, especially since it sounds like we will be kept in suspense until the very last moment. It’s going to be a long wait, for that moment to come — three-and-a-half hours, if you watch the recap show that will precede the finale, to get to that very last scene.

2) Damon talked at some length about redemption as a theme:

Q. Your show traffics in a lot of big themes — fate versus free will, good versus evil, faith versus reason, how often Sawyer should be shirtless. Ultimately, what were the most important themes for you in this series?

DAMON LINDELOF If there’s one word that we keep coming back to, it’s redemption. It is that idea of everybody has something to be redeemed for and the idea that that redemption doesn’t necessarily come from anywhere else other than internally. But in order to redeem yourself, you can only do it through a community. So the redemption theme started to kind of connect into “live together, die alone,” which is that these people were all lone wolves who were complete strangers on an aircraft, even the ones who were flying together like Sun and Jin. Then let’s bring them together and through their experiences together allow themselves to be redeemed. When the show is firing on all pistons, that’s the kind of storytelling that we’re doing.

I think we’ve always said that the characters of “Lost” are deeply flawed, but when you look at their flashback stories, they’re all victims. Kate was a victim before she killed her stepfather. Sawyer’s parents killed themselves as he was hiding under the bed. Jack’s dad was a drunk who berated him as a child. Sayid was manipulated by the American government into torturing somebody else. John Locke had his kidney stolen. This idea of saying this bad thing happened to me and I’m a victim and it created some bad behavior and now I’m going to take responsibility for that and allow myself to be redeemed by community with other people, that seems to be the theme that we keep coming back to.

This seems to bolster my Oedipus LOST theory, which I’m thinking now may be wrong in the details, but may be right in some overarching kind of way. In that theory Jacob redeemed himself by bringing the LOST-ies to the Island and helping them to redeem themselves, in order to atone for a long-ago crime.

3) Carlton talked about the relationship between Sawyer and Juliet, how it started as a “what if” question, how they were doubtful the idea would work, and how, in the end, it took on a surprising life of its own:

And lo and behold, this thing blossomed forth that no one was expecting, which was there was sort of a mature kind of love between these two characters.

It’s a good interview, well worth reading the whole thing: The Men Who Made ABC’s ‘Lost’ Last

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