Lost returns tonight after a four month hiatus in which the creators started discussing the end of the show.
Lost is still one of ABC’s most watched shows, but with season 3 viewers began to drop off. The initial six episodes of season three were very different than the previous two season, focusing on Jack, Sawyer, and Kate being prisoners of the Others and leaving little time for the rest of the group. (And did it seem like a Kate and Sawyer clone showed up to go hunting for Eko with Locke?)
Executive producers Carlton Cuse AND Damon Lindelof discussed setting an end date recently at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena. They feel that by announcing an end date for the show, it will give the fans a better idea of where they are in the story and allow the creative team to write towards an ending.
"It's always been discussed that the show would have a beginning, middle and end.” Said Cuse. “Once we do that [announce an end point] a lot of the anxiety and a lot of these questions, like, ‘We’re not getting answers,’ a lot of those will go away. They really represent an underlying anxiety that this is not going to go well or that we don’t know what we’re doing.
"[Author] J. K. Rowling has announced that there’s going to be seven Harry Potter books, and it gives everyone a feeling of certainty that the story is driving to a conclusion. It’s time for us now to find an end point for the show.”
Cuse compared the show to X-Files, “'The X-Files' was a cautionary tale for us. It was a great show that ran two seasons too long. 'Lost' has a short-half life."
Lindelof said about the ending of the show, “it’s always felt to me like the story is going to last about 100 episodes.”
The hundred episode would come around the beginning of season five, although no ending of the series has yet been announce and in reality it is all up to ABC whether they want to continue the show beyond the current creative team or not. Lindelof said ABC was open to the idea of ending the show, “We were surprised when we went to ABC and started having that conversation. As opposed to them saying, ‘Fine, we’ll bring on new people,’ they said, ‘Well, when do you think it should end?’ And the conversations began.”
Something I’ve enjoyed with the show is how with each season opener, the scope of the island changed in the first few minutes of the episode. Both season openers started in a scene that could have been mistaken for a flashback, and then revealed it was still on the island. Season two revealed the interior of the Hatch and Desmond. Season three revealed the seemingly quaint neighborhood life of the others that was interrupted by the plane crash. But how much larger can the island become before it starts to seem absurd?
I’m still on board with the show and looking forward to the 16 new episodes, but truth be told, I’m new to the Lost show. I only started watching it in January on dvd. Thanks to the season sets of one and two and ABC.com I’ve been able to catch up with the show, I really enjoyed watching blocks of the show. I’m really going to hate waiting a week between episodes.
I do fear the show spinning out of control with mysteries and unexplained phenomenon. I think an ending would be a good idea. It’s worked in comic books quite well. Vertigo is perfected the extended story line with successful comics that have a definitive ending and don’t go on only because sales are high, a practice that has produced some of the best comics of the modern age as shown by the likes of Sandman, Preacher, Transmetropolitan, and Y the Last Man.
Lost has always had similarities to comic books, not only in its serialized story telling, but also with its storytellers. Paul Dini and Jeph Loeb have worked on the show in the past and Brian K. Vaughan (Y the Last Man) has recently joined the writing staff.
All and all, I’m quite excited about the return of Lost and not all together disappointed that there may be an end in sight.
There are several articles about the Lost ending, but the article here in the Chicago Tribune website was most informative.