Jorge Garcia, <EM>Lost</EM> Jorge Garcia, Lost

The genteel man who gave Lost's original castaways their "golf course" this week seeks to start up another diversion, when Hurley makes a most unexpected discovery within the jungle brush. Before actually screening the episode (airing tonight at 10 pm/ET), TVGuide.com caught up with Jorge Garcia to preview the Hurley-centric outing, discuss one of Lost's latest puzzlers and survey the eventual fate of ABC's brain-busting series.

TVGuide.com: I have to tell you, Elizabeth Mitchell is extremely lovely and all and we had a great interview, but it feels good to be talking now with a member of "the old guard."
Garcia: [Laughs heartily] That's funny. It's all good, we're bringing her into the fold....

TVGuide.com: Now, what do you make of Desmond's recent flashback episode?
Jorge Garcia: As to what is Desmond's power, and is Charlie really destined to die? Well, I think they're just flashes. I've heard people talk about him "traveling through time," and I don't know if it really matters whether he's traveling through time or just seeing it all as a flash, because the experience he's feeling is the same, as if this has happened before and this is going to happen now. As to the logistics of, like, what exactly is happening, this may sound a little weird but I think it's independent of the information that he's getting. What I like about it is it kind of harkens back to our more Twilight Zoney episodes, and The Twilight Zone has always been a huge influence on the show. Like in the pilot, when you hear the looping message that had been playing for 16 years....

TVGuide.com: That will always be a classic moment. What do you think about the boys [Lost executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse] wanting to establish an "end point" for the series and having that to aim for?
Garcia: In our gut we always felt that there was a finite time to this show. It's not like there's a new case we can take on every week. We have a through story that has to be told, so I think that's kind of how it has to go. As to when it is [going to end]... negotiating that is going to be interesting, if it actually gets pulled off.

TVGuide.com: What's your current theory on the show and the overall big picture for the castaways?
Garcia: I stopped making theories in Season 1. I just like to sit down and listen to people make theories, see where they're going.

TVGuide.com: Let's talk about your new flashback episode. What kind of car is it that Hurley uncovers on the island? It's not some sort of generic "Dharma-brand," is it?
Garcia: It is a Dharma-brand car.

TVGuide.com: Are you serious? It's not, like, I don't know, a VW bug?
Garcia: It is a VW bus, but in the front, instead of the VW symbol, there's a big Dharma logo.

TVGuide.com: What kind of shape is it in?
Garcia: It's upside down, and there are overgrown weeds in the engine....

TVGuide.com: The discovery of the car, what is it a catalyst for?
Garcia: It gets Hurley thinking back to his relationship with his dad. Also, there's been a lot of suffering and difficulties [on the island] recently, so he figures, "Let's pick something we can work on together and get behind and change our present situation," at least attitude-wise. It's not so much a long-term [project], but more about having a moment.

TVGuide.com: Of course, your dad here is Cheech Marin. Have you ever armchair-cast who would be a good pick to play Hugo's pop?
Garcia: No, I never have. But I thought Cheech was pretty appropriate. It just feels right. When I found out, I was like, "Oh, of course!"

TVGuide.com: What kind of relationship does Hurley have with his dad?
Garcia: In childhood, you're always like, "My dad is the most super person in the world, he's awesome." And then something happens that changes Hurley's dad's presence in his life.... We then see how that affects him as a grown-up, when his dad comes back into his life.

TVGuide.com: What's the outlook for a new love interest for Hurley this season?
Garcia: I don't know yet.... So far, nothing's on the horizon — although I hear there's going to be a new character added. But I don't know. Who knows? It'd be nice to revisit that side of Hurley.

TVGuide.com: It was a cool time for him, when Libby (played by Cynthia Watros) was around. And then it had such a tragic little end.
Garcia: Yeah, it was still so new for him....

TVGuide.com: I was reading somewhere a theory that in one of Hurley's old flashbacks, it's suggested that he may have actually played a role in Locke winding up in a wheelchair.
Garcia: There's a theory regarding the balcony that broke [due to overcrowding at a party], and which Hurley blames himself for, that Locke was part of that....

TVGuide.com: Do you have any predictions for the season finale of Lost?
Garcia: Maybe we will get something like what we thought might be the end of Season 2, some kind of big war with the Others. I think that would be a great finale. We still owe them, so I could see that still possibly being in the works. Remember the moment when Jack said, "What do you think it would take to form an army?" It's kind of like, "Wow, what happened to that?" Why aren’t the [castaways] in the background training in basic self-defense, with weapons and stuff, whatever we have, coconuts and sticks...? You know, like in those textbooks where it shows ancient Greeks and Spartans practicing war in the background, while others are making their urns and pots...? [Laughs]

For more on Lost, plus a look at the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, pick up the Mar. 5 issue of TV Guide. Matt Webb Mitovich further discusses this week's episode in his Trivial Mattr's blog.

Send your comments on this Q&A to online_insider@tvguide.com.