‘Lost’: The giant jigsaw puzzle comes together

Season Pass’ next Q&A is with Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof — who co-created the series with J.J. Abrams —  and Carlton Cuse, who came onboard as exec producer after the pilot. This is your opportunity to query the creative team behind the show that helped revive a near-dead ABC in 2004. So ask your questions now.

Lostjungle Damon and Carlton spent the show’s first four seasons layering on the mystery and the mythos about the island, the Flight 815 castaways, the Others, the Dharma Initiative, the four-toed statue, Smokey, Adam and Eve and a few dozen other plot threads. Now in its penultimate season, the scribes are steering the story arc toward revealing the answers and the “aha” moments that the fans have long demanded. And in between, just to keep things interesting, we’re doing a whole lot of time traveling.

Damon and Carlton aren’t about to give away any plot secrets, so don’t even ask, but they would like to riff on questions about their influences and inspirations, the incredibly involved process of producing a mini “Lost” movie each week, favorite character moments or pivotal events in past seasons. Plus, Carlton always appreciates inquiries about his banjo playing. Or you can ask Damon about his poker skills. (I happen to have played poker with him and I believe he cleaned my clock).

Once the duo puts the finishing touches on the season finale later this month, they’ll answer your questions; but they will only answer 10 so make them good ones.

Please follow the usual guidelines:

1) Hit the comment button below and ask your question by March 15.
2) You may ask more than one question but we are looking for quality, not quantity. Asking more will not guarantee that you’ll get an answer. In the spirit of fairness, we try to give plenty of folks a chance.
3) Read through the other comments to make sure you’re not repeating something that’s already been asked.
4) Be clever and have fun.
5) The person who asks the best question will receive a DVD signed by the guys.

Posted by Kathy Lyford with a huge assist from Cynthia Littleton and Brian Cochrane

PLEASE NOTE: Only 50 comments appear here at a time but we have access to the others and we will sort through every question submitted, I promise.

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  16. lojistik says:

    I wouldnt be able to the last part of Lost can someome help me please :(

  17. Kelly says:

    Does your wardrobe department now have to be careful in deciding on outfits for the main characters to stop mass fan speculation of redshirt foreshadowing? ie.Juliet wore a red-shirt in ‘some like it hoth’ should i be buying a box of tissues to dry my eyes?

  18. Nicola says:

    Did Steve survive the flaming arrow attack?

  19. Jaret says:

    One of my pet peeves is why did The Others let the survivors keep Ben FOREVER. They took out the whole DHARMA initiative, you think they could handle a bunch of stranded survivors.

  20. Joseph says:

    Has any character almost died? I know Jack wasn’t supposed to survive the pilot, but along the way were you ever planning to kill someone off but never did it?

  21. Shali Dore says:

    If Widmore and Ben are fighting each other, what is Jacob/Christan Shepherd? Is he god to the island?

  22. Shawn Lebert says:

    I want to personally thank you for the amazing show so far. This proves to all the doubters that you guys did have it planned out from the get-go.
    First question, Christian Shepherd’s rebirth on the island seems quite identical and synonymous to what’s been revealed with John Locke. And it got me thinking, Christian sure knows a lot about this island and its mysterious process. Is this hinting that Christian Shepherd has been on the island before and was always wanting to get back, which could loosely explain a part of his hardcore drinking habits? Maybe he was a doctor on the island?
    Second question, the Smoke Monster has been hidden in mystery since the Pilot episode, giving us little clues here and there, but it’s slowly coming together and its presence from time to time seems critical in certain situations. Is this Smoke Monster only existing to preserve time and what’s supposed to happen on the island? Therefore, killing anything or anyone who conflicts with the events in the supposed timeline?
    You weren’t joking about the zombie season. Thanks guys!

  23. Mikey D says:

    Hey guys. What im really curious to know about is the role that leaders have played in this show and that how now there seems to be quite an overabundance of them. Between jack, locke, ben, widmore, jacob, alpert, and now sawyer, there has never been a clear cut answer as to who is the “leader” of the island. Is this aspect something that we will see play out? Is all we have seen so far the islands process of selecting a leader? On a side note: is jack actually suppose to be the leader of the others, with locke being the leader of Jack (ie Jacob)?

  24. Steve says:

    My question to you is the relationship between Jack and Locke. Since the season 1 opening scene it was obvious that Jack was the main character on this show. As we have gone on though it has been locke who has been given the untimate destiny of trying to save the island. My question to you guys is this: Are Locke’s and Jack fate/destinies quintisentilly linked? Does the Sucess or failure of one depend on the other? Most importantly, did 815 crash for no other reason then to get both Jack and locke to the island(knowing now that they very well seemed to be “flashed” off the plane) with all the other suvivors (sun, hurley, sawyer, etc) just collaterl damage of getting them two there?

  25. Miguel says:

    How is Widmore keeping track of the island’s location in time/space? Is he using Google Earth?

  26. Ian says:

    Where are Cindy and the Others during the time travel flashes?
    Where are Rose, Bernard, and Vincent during the time travel flashes?
    And most importantly, why does Kate need to claim Aaron is her baby? Why couldn’t they just say Claire died in childbirth? That whole plot just doesn’t add up.
    And will we ever find out Libby’s deal, why she was in an asylum, etc?
    So was Charlie’s death pointless, or will Desmond’s vision of a helicopter rescue hold true? And why does Desmond no longer have visions?

  27. Joseph says:

    Will we ever see Juliet’s sister Rachel on the show again? Did Ben lie about curing her cancer?

  28. Joseph says:

    Will Emelie de Ravin who plays Claire appear at all during the rest of season 5?

  29. nick says:

    What’s the deal with Richard? What can we expect from him in season 6?

  30. Darian says:

    Hey Damon&Carlton,
    The best theory of “what is the island” that I have heard back in season one was that the island was garden of eden, with smokey being the flaming sword of the guardian angel. What is the best theory you have heard about the island or the show in general?
    Greets from Croatia
    P.S. Carlon, you are welcome to come back to Croatia anytime, some of our islands are crazier than Lost island.

  31. Rand says:

    Hey guys, apparently many of your fans don’t pay close enough attention to your actual words in interviews. (Sorry.) Though Season 5 has been chiefly about time-travel/correction, I do recall a rather long piece in USA Today almost a year ago. In the article you guys reflect on several fan theories. The final theory, entitled: Darma Chameleon has presciently followed the plotline of this season–almost too well! You guys gave the theory an A, Cuse stating cryptically, “As a matter of fact, we can’t even comment too much because there’s a lot that’s pretty accurate.” Hm… Good enough. Sounds like the riddle of Lost has been solved. But then Lindelof closes the commentary by heralding: “Then in Season 6, we will crush their spirits and prove them wrong. And until then they should enjoy the ride.” (Direct quote.)
    Suffice to say you two are not going to commit a big “reveal” online with this Q&A, but while website buzz is dwelling on time-travel theories, is it fair to say then, that Lost is NOT about time correction? That you two have something bigger or different up your sleeves? Thanks, btw, for making Lost the best reason to stay home in front of the TV since Twin Peaks!

  32. Miguel says:

    I got a question: Boxers or Briefs?
    I wear boxers.

  33. Nicola says:

    Will Locke EVER tell Jack or any of the other losties that he was in a wheelchair prior to the 815 crash? (i know he’s already told Sawyer)

  34. VindalooJim says:

    The Man from Tallahassee.. Come on now, what was all that about? can we forget “the Magic Box” now? I sure hope not, because I can still remember walking around in a daze for an hour after watching that episode for the first time…

  35. Cynthia says:

    In the enhanced episodes, references to the DHARMA initiative are always written out in caps. Is it an acronym? If so, have you ever disclosed what it stands for?
    And No. 2 — what inspired the Dharma moniker — Jack Kerouac? Chuck Lorre?

  36. Daniel Segraves says:

    Will the children (Aaron, Ji Yeon, Charlie), possibly led by a very Locke-ish Walt, be back on the show any time soon? These kids are like magnets for people like me searching for clues to Season six!

  37. Daniel Segraves says:

    Damon and Carlton,
    I have been a huge fan since a friend forced me to watch the first three seasons in three days. Now I’m an addict. Thank you.
    In “LaFleur,” we saw the ominous statue again, plus a bit more to the structure. But then the castaways were taken to the Dharma days, where they seem to be for good.
    Can you say for certain which mythic characters will be explained? For example: Smokey? The Statue? Richard? The Temple?
    I know you said the numbers will not be played out too much, but will we get to see the ancient parts of the island in all their glory?
    A quick theory if you wouldn’t mind discussing it:
    Desmond bringing down Flight 815 was never supposed to happen. As we know, Desmond is a little… independent from Destiny.
    So could the ENTIRE SERIES be time course correcting? Could our Losties be an anomaly that must be erased by the upcoming war Widmore is speaking of?
    A final quick question:
    Could one of your great twists be that time CAN be changed, if done correctly? I know it negates everything Charlie taught us, but I’ve learned NEVER to listen to rules. :-)

  38. Akshay says:

    Damon and Carlton, I’m one of the fans who believes you did have a major outline of the show and where it was headed from the start but is it fair to say that you didn’t originally plan on our Losties travelling through time, so we shouldn’t read much into any paradoxes and take it merely a story telling device to show us the past of the island?
    I ask because even though I understand “whatever happened, happened”, we have still seen a number of things that don’t line up if you fast forward to the future. (Ethan seeing Locke, Rousseau seeing Gin, Sawyer now living with Dharma where he is bound to run into Ben)

  39. MMC says:

    Hi there! I was just curious, with the sighting of the full four-toed statue on one of the last time jumps, will we be learning more of this and events from much deeper in the Island’s past? Thanks!

  40. Chris Vance says:

    Would you consider writing an encyclopedia for the show when all is said and done? With all the deep mysteries surrounding everyone and everything it seems a great way to flesh things out that might not get a full explanation on air.
    Secondly, would you ever consider a Lost movie somewhere down the line or will the show wrap-up the story you want to tell?

  41. Matias says:

    I would just like to thank you guys (along with the rest of the crew of course!) for putting together the greatest TV-show ever. I’m serious. Never before have I watched such an exciting and well written series, with characters you can truly relate to, and with so many amazing actors and actresses. No matter what you guys have planned to happen before the bitter end can change that. Thank you!
    I don’t want to find out anything about the show’s mysteries, future plot-twists or the destinies of the characters. The only thing I’m curious about is, are YOU satisfied with the show, or what it has become? Is it what you had pictured it to be before even the pilot-episode was shot, or have some elements changed quite dramatically? Have there been alot of ideas/directions of the plot you’ve had to scrape?
    Thank you, and good luck with putting together the last season :)
    Enjoy the upcoming summer!

  42. JimK says:

    Damon and Carlton, Namaste. Please tell us you will be showing the Black Rock story aboard the high seas?

  43. Muench says:

    This really isn’t a question, but a request: please promise us that the island mysteries will not be explained using midi-clorians.

  44. Andrew Iglesias says:

    Carlton, I’m a big fan of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. One of the best things about Lost is the casting. You’ve had a lot of great actors come on to play small parts for an episode. With the final season approching, is there any chance that Bruce Campbell can pop up in a future episode? I know he’s off doing Burn Notice, but it would be great to see him show up in a cameo.

  45. simplevincent says:

    Hey dudes
    you’re obviously huge fans of Stephen King…from what I’ve read you two are tackling The Dark Tower series next and I was wondering how the ending to that series informs yours.

  46. rabbitnumber7 says:

    Hi guys,
    As a writer, I would love an answer to these questions from each of you:
    What was the first piece (script, screenplay, article, etc) that you sold?
    When did you know you were able to make it in this business as entertainment writers?
    p.s. I happen to be one of the believers that you really knew what you were doing from the beginning, and not making it up as you go! Thanks for a great show!

  47. Amara says:

    Hi Damon and Carlton,
    I would like to begin by saying thank you for your PTI-esque back and forth on the Red Sox vs. Yankees debate in the latest podcast. Damon, I think you may need to rethink some of your statements now that A-Rod will be out for some time. Carlton must be enjoying this time of year. I’m a Boston fan and a Fenway Park tour guide, so I couldn’t resist!
    Now on to Lost – I believe I’ve heard you say the end of the show will involve a volcano, and you’ve also “joked” that the final season will be a zombie season. Are you pulling a Frozen Donkey Wheel on us? As in, you’re saying something that seems unbelievable but there’s some truth to it?
    The reason I ask is that the Others don’t leave footprints and appear to live eternally. And last night, Richard Alpert walked through that sonic fence like it was nothing. This also ties in to the smoke monster… when it supposedly killed Rousseau’s crew, they came back but different, like their bodies were just being used to serve a purpose for the island.
    So what I’m asking is, 1. Instead of thinking that people are eternally alive, should we be contemplating the opposite – that they are actually dead? And 2. If the end of the show does involve a volcano, would this involve needing to destroy the island itself or all of its inhabitants? Instead of thinking that the Island is a healing place with the capacity for good, should we be contemplating the opposite – that there was some truth to Charlotte’s words and in the end game the Island must be destroyed?
    Not sure if you are at a place where you can even hint at answers to those questions, but I figured it was worth a shot. I at least hope Richard Alpert is explained, if you can answer that piece of information that would be great.
    I find it humorous that in a show with time travel and resurrection that some of the viewers’ explanations for how Alpert got through the sonic fence was the use of a ladder! That is all for now, go Red Sox :)

  48. Dogma9 says:

    1: If the Frozen Donkey wheel was under ground, even BEFORE the well was made, does that make it the OLDEST thing on the island? Or is the Wheel itself flashing with the rest of the 815ers.
    2: Is the Swan important anymore? Everything else from the other seasons seem to link up into future ones but the Swan seems to have been forgotten. Is it still important in the overall story? Will see/learn more about it? Is Marvin Candles warning in Because you left EXACTLY how the Swan was created?(Bad drilling job into limitless energy)
    3: Will Walt and Vincent EVER reunite?
    4: Will Sayid survive till Season 6?(3rd favourite charater)
    5: Will Locke EVER make a decision himself that wasnt motivated by somone ELSE?
    5: Will we get a Ben flashback to his “caught in a net” journey/his Season 1 and 2 time? That would make a sick episode, have it totally focued on the others. Kind of a “the other 48 days” from the OTHERS perspective.

  49. alphasixty says:

    Hey Damon and Carlton. I love the show, but could you please clarify the points made by this message i saw posted in imdb? Thanks!:
    “Solitary” was on last night and I caught some things… Rousseau’s story doesn’t fully match what we saw in “This Place is Death”…
    In Solitary, she says the instruments malfunctioned, the ship slammed into rocks, ran aground and with the hull breached beyond repair, and they made camp. The way she tells the story indicates that they made camp *where* the boat crashed (ie, the island).
    In TPID, we see the team in a life raft making their way to the island, which obviously indicates that it crashed somewhere other then the island.
    In Solitary, as she explains what happened to her team, she says that after two months on the island, they were making their way from the Black Rock…she trails off it saying that “the others–they were the carriers” of whatever killed her team. What she describes is some kind of virus,
    In TPID, they arrive on the island, and *instantly* take off for the radio tower where they’re attacked by the smoke monster. It eats some of her team and infects robert… It wasn’t “two months later” and they weren’t coming from the black rock. What we see here is a plume of smoke dragging people underground–not a virus as described.
    In Solitary, as she’s describing in detail the events, there is no mention of the asian guy that she pulled out of the middle of the ocean who then vanished not once, but *twice*, both times during the specific events that she’s recounting. If Jin was “always there”, why leave it out? Because she thought it sounded crazy? She already acknowledges that her story sounds crazy. Does she leave it out to sound *less* crazy? Hmmm…
    While she’s clearly nut, it’s a stretch to say she’s so crazy that she’s nearly completely wrong regarding the details of how she got to the island and what “infected” her team. If she changed the details because she didn’t want Sayid to think she was crazy re: smoke monster, surely she would have told him the truth when he said a noise outside “could be the monster”…instead she just says “there’s no such thing as monsters”. Practically everything she describes is crazy anyway, so why would she feel the need to change random details and leave out other details?
    I don’t know, people keep acting like the writers planned this all along by not having Jin and her interact because “she’d recognize him.” I think all of these descrepencies kind of prove that they changed key details of her story when they were plotting out S5 in order to make the events fit closer to what they needed (ie, finding Jin in the ocean). And I still think the reason she didn’t mention Jin was because he wasn’t there…and yes, I know no one agrees with me.
    Anyway, thoughts on this? You can get the requisite “she’s crazy and got it wrong” responses out of the way but please also contribute something of worth. I think the differences between the two episodes are worth discussing.

  50. rworkman says:

    I know you must have all kinds of rules and security in place to keep the big secrets of LOST, well secret. I don’t understand why these guys get up at the conventions and ask things like ‘What’s the smoke monster anyway?’ Personally, I want to experience these answers in the context of the show itself, so whatever you do, DON’T tell me what smokie is, okay?
    But I’m interested in the logistics of keeping these secrets and want to pose an ethical question. Hypothetically, if someone were to approach you, who was suffering from a terminal disease or something, a huge fan who wasn’t going to live to see the conclusion of the show. If that person were to approach you ‘make-a-wish’ style, would you spill the beans for them and only them in the spirit of fanboy harmony? Or would you stiff them out of principle?
    Another question: When you bring new writers on board, what is the process of bringing them up to speed on the narratives secrets? Do you sit in a locked room whispering in their ear or something, or is this stuff written down in some secret document?

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