Lost Producers Respond to, Defend "Divisive" Episode

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They've been known as Team Darlton, but Lost fans have another moniker for producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse after this week's episode:

Team You Suck.

Indeed, no single hour of Lost has upset fans as much as "Across the Sea." It was poorly handled and - if, like me, you don't require specific answers to every question - simply unnecessary.

What do Lindelof and Cuse have to say about all the criticism? Admirably, these are producers that have always done what they wanted to with Lost, never catering to the questions or complaints of viewers. They had a vision and, to hear them talk to TV critic Alan Sepinwall, they're simply sticking to it...

Lindelof, on reaction to the episode : It's never exactly the reaction you're expecting. We knew it would be an episode that would be divisive. We've been talking since the beginning of the season about the idea that the great thing of doing a show on your own terms is you have no excuses, but it's also slightly terrifying that if you're a mystery show, there will inevitably be episodes that answer mysteries.

That has the potential to frighten, terrify, make people hate. This was going to be the season where we said, "Whatever your theory was, our presentation of the endgame of the show may disprove your theory, so we're sorry if you don't like the fact that you don't get the Man in Black's name, but you don't get it." So that's going to piss some people off, and it's their right to be pissed off.

In terms of what the specific reactions are, it's too hard to say 12 hours after the fact, and without seeing where this episode plays in the grand scheme of the series. That's all we can say.

Future Wheel

Cuse, on the focus of the show: We've felt a desire to provide the audience with Jacob and the Man in Black's origin story and make it not the last episode of the show for a very good reason. The show is going to focus on these characters. That's what we believe is more important and that's what we believe the audience wants to see.

Lindelof on general fan backlash: We're going to have to deal the rest of our lives with questions about how Lost ended. We're comfortable with that, and at the end of the day, we have to remind people that we chose to end the show. We did not go on for a couple of more seasons and sort of pad it off to oblivion. And we knew we chose to end the show, that we were going to have to take our lumps. That's fine as long as we're happy with how we ended the show. We're not being obnoxious or cocky, it's just us saying we've done our best.

Cuse, on the timing of the episode: It felt like this was the perfect time to take a time out from the main narrative. And since this was the final big mythological episode that we were going to do, we felt like it was a good placement for it, and now we'll roll into the finale. We make no apologies.

Lindelof, on a motif of island life: The more curious you become about why the island has its properties, inevitably the protector of the island feels the need to engage in some form of mass genocide. It was more our attempt to say that history repeats itself, and this is an ongoing and continuing motif.

Lindelof, on flashing back to season one's Adam and Eve discovery: The idea was to say that this chapter of the series is significant to the story we've been telling you, and that the series is about the survivors of Oceanic 815. To have an episode that they did not appear in at all was never our intention.

So... there you have it. Does this interview change your thoughts on "Across the Sea" at all?

In our view, Cuse and Lindelof come across very well in it. They accept criticism, but they make no apologies for crafting the show as they always wanted to. If viewers had been looking forward to a single episode that revealed all answers and were only sticking around for these resolutions, you gotta admire the producers for essentially saying:

Sucks for you!

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Carlton and Damon, You totally pulled a Tim Kring on this episode and FKD up the story like he FKD up HEROES!!! WHAT THE HELL WAS THIS CRAP!!! you portrayed a dum actress, with a dum story, and dum acting to lose the intensity from the previous episode to show what, to prove what. This episode took away all the hype of Jacob and The Man in Black. All the fascination that they were both island spiritual figures just got SCrewed. They were born on the island only to be raised by a nut job who shows them a light cave. POOR. All this episode did was raise MORE questions, questions that had already been answered or self answered to the point that we can move on. If both Jacob and MIB were born on the island by a foreign lady, how did the fake mother know these both were special, How does jacob get his immortality now, how is MIB dead and then shown ok later on, when does MIB install the donkey wheel after the well he was in got covered. FK this episode totally killed the intensity, it was a waste of time, all i wouldve liked to see was MIB installing the donkey wheel and I would have been satisfied with that.

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lost has been perfect and made us expect much,so an ordinary ending and explanation disappoint us

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I have been a big fan from the firt show. I have gotten my two sisters,two of my people at work and my consultan hooked on this show. We all buy the DVDs and read the blogs and websites. The show has been interesting and thought provking beyond any show I have ever watched. The episodes have been well writen and well acted. The episode about Richard was fantastic, it told the complete story of one of the most mysterious characters in the show,it didn't answer all the questions about Richard but did give a sence of fulfillment about him. Across the sea was (IMHO)poorly wrtten, weak in the overall story line and poorly acted. The fans don't want every question answered, what they want is substance with in the answers they do get. I can't think of any episode that has let us down as much as this one. We have just come to expect more from a show that has given us so much. There will nver be another show like LOST, I will be sorry to see it end.

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Its so simple. If you are a MAN OF SCIENCE, you will be upset. But if you are a man of faith, ACROSS THE SEA was a great episode. I AM A MAN OF FAITH!

Picazo

I liked "Across the Sea." it may not have been the strongest episode of Lost but it provided a good hour. If you din't liked it "Sucks for you!"

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So, Carlton Cuse says the show's focus is the story of Jacob and the Man in Black. Damon Lindelof says the series is about the survivors of Oceanic 815. Which is it, boys? Or are you as at odds with yourselves as Jacob and Smokey are with each other?

Lost Quotes

Find a suitcase. If there's anything you want in this life, pack it in there, because you're never coming back.

Ben [to Jack]

Why there is a dead Pakistani on my couch?

Hurley's mom
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