The pieces are being moved into place as ABC's Lost tees up its two-hour season finale (Wednesday, starting at 9 pm/ET). While Jack and Sayid pal around with Jughead and submariner Sawyer and his ladies somehow manage an about-face, Ben has been left to join Locke on a journey to meet — and perhaps kill — the mysterious and mighty Jacob.
Michael Emerson, who previously has described the season-ender as "explosive," shared a cryptic look at what exactly it beholds.
TVGuide.com: We have two hours left in the season. Is it going to take Locke, Ben and Richard 119 minutes to get to Jacob?
Michael Emerson: It's going to take a while. I mean, we've been making our way to Jacob for a long, long time. I think we can last a little bit longer.
TVGuide.com: Is it safe to say we will meet him in this finale?
Emerson: Jacob is certainly a character in the final two episodes. [An ABC spokesperson interjects to say, "We can neither confirm nor deny that Jacob will be in the season finale."] There seems to be a suggestion that we're moving in that direction, but what Jacob might be or how he might be revealed, if he ever is, is one of the juicy surprises of future Lost work.
TVGuide.com: Might Ben and Richard try to stage a coup to overthrow Locke?
Emerson: Ben and Richard have always seemed to me to have a somewhat fraught and edgy relationship. I don't think Ben is in a position right now to make aggressive alliances with anybody. Ben is doing well at this point to put one foot in front of the other.
TVGuide.com: But what about "My enemy's enemy is my friend"?
Emerson: Well, there's something to be said for that, and that is a philosophy that Ben has put to good use in the past. But Ben seems to be in as low a place as I have ever seen him. He seems to be shaken and no longer the general that he used to be. He is in fact no longer possibly the chess player that he used to be.
TVGuide.com: To add in yet another metaphor, are you saying he has run out of aces up his sleeve?
Emerson: That may be the case. But he isn't completely out of cards yet. No matter how whipped he is, he continues to be alert to the possibilities of every situation.
TVGuide.com: I was surprised — and I am curious if you were, too — to learn that Jacob can be killed. Or at least Locke believes he can.
Emerson: That was such an interesting statement for John Locke to make. Based on everything I ever knew about Jacob, it seems a sort of unlikely thing to say.
TVGuide.com: Right, this is Jacob we're talking about!
Emerson: Yeah — Jacob seems to be somebody that has gotten along fine for a long, long time, and seems to be impervious to the frailties of the flesh.
TVGuide.com: Ben is asked to make a sacrifice in the season finale. What can you tease about that?
Emerson: Ben has sacrificed his leadership and authority [to Locke], but he's also going to be asked to serve someone else's interests, not his own.
TVGuide.com: In your mind, if Jack were to detonate Jughead and thus keep 815 from crashing, what then? What moment immediately follows that instant? Do we cut to a plane full of mild-mannered people?
Emerson: I think it cannot be that simple, if that were a thing that happened. We're wrestling with these ideas of what can be changed with time travel and what cannot be changed. I don't thing a thing lived can be unlived. In one of the recent episodes, someone alluded to the idea that whether it's past, present or future, it is your life in the order it happens to you. I don't think anything done can be undone. This is an issue the writers and we the actors are wrestling with, and I don't have a good answer. Jack seems to be saying that he can erase the events of the last five seasons ... but I think that's unlikely.
TVGuide.com: Will you be back next season?
Emerson: Well, nothing that happens in the finale suggested to me that Ben's work was done. But like everyone else, he is vulnerable to accidents ... or injury. I'm hopeful that I will be among the actors who appear in Episode 601, but nothing is written in stone at Lost.
Well, nothing except some ancient hieroglyphics.