Evangeline Lilly by Mario Perez/ABC, Josh Holloway by Mario Perez/ABC
"Team Darlton" (aka exec producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse) on Thursday afternoon treated the press to a conference call teasing
's April 24 return as well as the now
-hour finale. Before I dive into the full transcript, some nuggets to tide you over:
On the season finale:
"There's No Place Like Home" - which the boys just finished writing this past Monday and are now polishing/starting to shoot - kicks off Thursday, May 15 (at 10 pm/ET), and then continues with Parts 2 and 3, airing May 29, from 9 to 11.
On the fate of the Sawyer/Kate/Jack triangle:
"All we can say is that Sawyer is
one of the Oceanic Six, and Jack and Kate
," notes Lindelof. "Obviously there will be a huge focus in the finale in terms of how that series of events transpires and what ultimately happens to Sawyer, and it's all on the axis of the love triangle. We think that both fans of Sawyer and Kate - otherwise known as the 'Skaters,' I am told - and Jack and Kate, the 'Jaters,' will have a bounty of interesting romance scenes."
On Jack and Juliet:
"We will be revisiting the emotional idea of [their big March 6 kiss] and their relationship in our second episode back, which airs on May 1," says Lindelof.
On buzz that Claire's days are very numbered:
"We don't really want to comment on any particular character's fate," Cuse defers. "Suffice it to say, there are some very compelling events involving Claire that will take place between now and the season finale."
On the prospect of any non-Oceanix Sixer being killed off soon:
"It's always a tricky thing when it comes to talking about death on the show," Cuse told TVGuide.com. "If we were to tease a death, like when Shannon died, it leads everybody to chase it down and spoil it. On the other hand, if we were to say that everybody is safe, that would ruin the dramatic impact of the finale. So, we're excited about what's happening and there are definitely some very large and seismic events that will happen to our castaways between now and the end of the season. By the end of the season, some people's fates will be clear, and others will not be so clear."
On a new between-seasons online experience:
"We loved Find815[.com]," says Cuse, "and hope to do a similar thing where there will be an online prologue that leads into Season 5."
On their plans for Comic-Con:
"Last year we showed the Orchid [orientation] video, which is going to pay off in a big way in the season finale this year," says Lindelof. Similarly: "We would love to give the Comic-Con fans an advance first look at what we have planned for Season 5."
On Jeff Fahey:
Expect to see "a lot more" of the freighter's weathered 'copter pilot as the season wraps up. Fahey, interestingly, was plucked away from working at an orphanage in Kabul, Afghanistan, when
On Seasons 5 and 6:
Since this season delivered just 14 out of 16 planned episodes, the next two rounds will indeed get boosted to 17 episodes each.
On the series' very last scene:
"The last line of dialogue, we have a little bit of wiggle room. But the last scene has definitely been determined," says Lindelof. "There would have to be some major sort of shift in both our mindsets to back off that. That's what we've been working towards for a couple of years now, even before the [May 2010] end date was announced."
On the number of people who know about that final scene:
Outside of "Darlton" and J.J. Abrams? "Not a lot," says Lindelof. "You can sort of count them all on one hand. But if we were to disclose the names of any others, they might be kidnapped and taken off to Central America and tortured." Adds Cuse, "We told Dick Cheney because we were pretty sure nobody would be able to find him and get the secret from him."
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