PaleyFest 2014: ‘Lost’ 10th Anniversary Reunion Panel Report
Regarding the fluid nature of the show and it’s characters, Garcia revealed “there was a period of time when the show started that all the writers got together and they created origin stories for people. [Supervising producer] Javier Grillo-Marxuach had told me a basic outline that Hurley was a repo man who just came back from getting a boat. He's just so charming that people just give him the stuff back. Then the numbers showed up and closer to the numbers episode they're like ‘Oh, Hurley wins the lottery.’ and I was like ‘yeah, but what's the Twilight Zone part of my story?’ I didn't get that until I got the script.”
A fan in the audience asked the panel about the infamous outrigger sequence from season five’s “The Little Prince,” in which Sawyer, Juliet and their group flashed into the future where they were pursued (and fired upon) by another group in an outrigger canoe. Lindelof offered this as his reply: “I have to give you some level of satisfaction without answering the question, which is the Lost way. We actually wrote that scene. It was gonna be in the final season and it definitively answered who was on the outrigger in a perfect, very satisfactory way… and all of the writers said ‘this is a cool answer, but what's much cooler is to not answer this question.’”
Lindelof added that “we all looked at each other and said ‘years from now, someone is gonna stand up at a panel and ask us about the outrigger with the offer of sex’ and we will have to say no sir.”
“The scene exists and it's actually on paper,” continued Lindelof. “Years from now, for some excellent charity, we will probably auction it off. But we do know the answer.”
During the panel, Lindelof also noted that he was grateful that “Lost” was on a network. “I think it would have been a different show on cable and not as good.”
Near the end of the panel, Lindelof and Cuse addressed the still controversial ending of “Lost” and how it came to involve the afterlife.
“Lost is a show about people on an island in the middle of nowhere,” noted Cuse. “But really it's metaphorically a show about people that are lost in their lives that are seeking redemption and are looking for meaning and purpose in their lives. So, the more we started talking about the ending it clear it became to us that the ending had to be a spiritual [one] that really talked about these characters' journey and destiny.”
“It was not a single conversation or a single idea,” continued Cuse. “It was a series of long discussions, Damon and I would have breakfast in my office every morning and we would have long discourses about the nature of the show, the characters, about spirituality, about what all of our journeys mean, how all us are here to lift each other up in our lives. We wanted the show to reflect our own personal beliefs and desires and hopes and dreams.”
To that, Lindelof added that “writers have a tendency to get very pretentious when we're amongst ourselves. And we started saying ‘well, obviously there's all these mysteries that are sort of surrounding the show. Wouldn't it be great if in the final episode of Lost we could try to answer a mystery that the show had never asked. And let's just go for – I don't know – what's the meaning of life? and What happens when you die?’”
“We had the idea to Trojan horse a paradoxical time travel story based on the fact that Juliet hits this bomb and perhaps resets a world where Oceanic 815 never crashes,” continued Lindelof. “But in fact it was going to be this afterlife parable. And we all got very, very excited about it and just engaged.”
And with that, the “Lost” reunion panel came to an end.