Question: Everybody is talking about what they can't say about Michael Vartan's rumored exit from Alias. My question is, what can you say?

Answer: A lot more than I could a week ago, Steph. Shortly after picking up his first Emmy ever for directing the killer Lost pilot, J.J. Abrams finally broke his silence about the firestorm ignited by Vaughn's alleged forthcoming death, including reports that Vartan's ex, Jennifer Garner, engineered the whole thing in a plot to remove him from the show. And here's the best part: It's a bloody AA exclusive!!!

First off, J.J. hinted that rumors of Vaughn's whacking have been greatly exaggerated: "It ain't over till the fat lady sings," he teased. "You have to see what the story is. And when I said at the beginning of the year that [Vartan] is back this season, I wasn't lying. So, in the way that Alias does things that you might not expect in a way that you might not expect  it's typical of that. The conclusion people are coming to isn't exactly what it is."

And what of tabloid trash that Jen pressured ABC and Alias producers (Abrams included) to dump Vartan? "When you read that no one on the set is allowed to look at her in the eyes, you can't help but laugh at that," he said. "It's so preposterous that it's one of those things that doesn't even warrant a response because it's so silly. When people achieve a certain status, it is inevitable that they are the ones who become the targets. But I think there are very few voices who are saying this. The majority of people who really care about the show and about Vartan are not the people who are indiscriminately attacking Jennifer Garner. The majority of [Alias fans] really do, and rightfully so, appreciate Michael Vartan. And I hope they keep watching. And I would say one thing: Watch carefully, because there are clues as to what's going to happen in the episodes. And if [Vaughn] happens not to be in the episode that you're watching, it doesn't mean he's not part of it." In other words, it may very well be time for everyone to chill the heck out and enjoy the freakin' ride!