"It's no shock to say that Season 4 ends with the Oceanic 6 getting off the island," Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof shares with TV Guide. "The real mystery is how, and what they have to sacrifice, and what happens to the people who didn't leave. You get all that this year." Sounds good, we'll take it. But what other intel are producers willing to spill? To find out, we turned to no, not viewers but to Lost cast members themselves for their own burning questions. Warning! The producers' answers could cause a major head rush, if not a full-on Desmond-style time jump.
Jorge Garcia (Hurley): "Is Ben in the coffin?"
Carlton Cuse: Come on, Jorge!
Damon Lindelof: Seriously! [To Cuse] He's just trying to make sure it's not him. It's process of elimination. The next question is, "Is it Michael?" [Laughs]
Cuse: Before the end of the year, you will know who's in the coffin.
Lindelof: And Jorge will definitely know before anyone else.
Yunjin Kim (Sun): "Is Aaron actually one of the Oceanic 6?"
Cuse: We're not officially saying yet. We want the audience to engage in an active debate about who the Oceanic 6 are.
Lindelof: Following [Sayid's] episode, we got several inquiries we weren't anticipating about, 'Is Ben a member of the Oceanic 6?' He could've assumed the identity of somebody on the plane [with] no surviving family members. Who the actual six are is very much in play through the end of the [March 13th] episode. We'll confirm or deny after that.
Josh Holloway (Sawyer): "Is it Jack's turn with Kate?"
Cuse: [Laughs] That doesn't sound very romantic, but I guess we get the underlying meaning. The Jack-Kate situation remains unresolved and probably will be for a while.
Lindelof: We will say we haven't seen the last of Sawyer and Kate this season. Not by a long shot.
Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond): "It's 2004 on the boat. What year is it in Penny's world? What year is it when the Oceanic 6 get home?"
Lindelof: What's fundamentally interesting about all the time-jumping is that we want it to make sense when people watch the show 10 years from now. We don't want it to seem dated. So it's not really about what year it is in the outside world, it's about how many years have elapsed between the time that we're watching on the island and the flash-forwards. That's one of the fun games the audience is playing: "Gee, Aaron looks like he's about 18 months old. What does that mean, and how old was he when they got off the island?"
Cuse: There are some growth issues when you go on or off the island. But I can't say more about that.
Lindelof: You've already said enough.
Evangeline Lilly (Kate): "Did Michael reach the mainland? Go home? Come back to rescue us?"
Cuse: The good news is that Evie will get all of her answers in [the March 20th] episode.
Lindelof: Well, most of them.
Cuse: Those questions form the basis for that episode. Evie should be somewhat happy.
Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet): "Why did Juliet become such a badass? Who trained her — the Others?"
Cuse: I think there was probably some martial arts in New Otherton.
Lindelof: She probably went out shooting with Friendly back in the day, which is why she can handle a firearm so well. But the real inspiration for Juliet being a badass was Elizabeth herself. When she read for the part, she had this huge cast on her arm and was talking about her days of kickboxing....
Cuse: And then she beat Damon up.
Holloway: "Sawyer needs a freakin' haircut! Since I'm living with Hurley, can he cut my hair?"
Lindelof: [Laughs] That episode's a casualty of the strike.
Cuse: But yeah, Josh can have a haircut.
Lindelof: Josh might've forgotten, but this is a recurring request from him. He's like, 'My hair's getting long, can't Kate cut it?' So we did an episode [in Season 2] where Kate cuts his hair. I love how Josh chooses who's going to be his barber at any given time!
Cusick: "Did Jack's flash-forward in the third-season finale take place after the events of Sayid's most-recent episode?"
Cuse and Lindelof: Yes.
Naveen Andrews (Sayid): "Damon spoke once about going back into Sayid's childhood. It didn't sound like bulls--t at the time. Has he abandoned that?"
Lindelof: I love how he phrases it — "It didn't sound like bulls--t at the time" — [implying], "But it certainly seems like bulls--t now." [Laughs] It's certainly something we still want to do. It wouldn't necessarily be an entire flashback based in his childhood, but there may be significant things that happened when Sayid was a kid that we need to reveal.
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