For about 200 Harvard students and "Lost" fanatics, it was a dream come true. Monday night at Sanders Theatre, "Lost" writer and executive producer (and ’81 Harvard grad) Carlton Cuse hosted a screening of Wednesday night’s episode. He also answered a few questions from titillated fans:
On the stories this season "After the first six episodes, this season we had a lot of people ask us, ’When are we going back to the beach? When are we going to get back to the stories of Charlie and Claire and Hurley?’ Well, we are going back to the beach, but not right away. But by the end of the season, we’re going to find out how Locke got in the wheelchair and how Jack got his tattoos. If you liked the end of season two, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed."
On the flashbacks "All the writers joke a lot that we’re eventually going to run out of ideas and have to have a flashback where Jack loses his car keys. But that’s part of why we’ve brought in new characters. The flashbacks are always meant to at least provide some thematic unity, some overarching unity to the episode, and reflect what the characters are dealing with on the island."
On the clues hidden in the show: "It’s a testament to our fans that only one clue we put in got missed. And it was something we hid so small, a tiny message hidden in a billboard. Other than that, people have figured everything out. I will say that there’s something hidden in tonight’s show. There’s an anagram that’s a clue to what’s coming up."
On Stephen King "Both (show creator) Damon (Lindelof) and I are big Stephen King fans. Damon, in particular, is a big fan of King’s "Dark Tower" series. We admit that we borrow and steal from him as much as we can. Our biggest role model for "Lost" is probably King’s book ’The Stand.’ "
On the island’s mysteries "Sometimes we’re accused of not having our characters talk about the mysteries of the island, but you can’t have them obsess about the monster or black cloud, then that’s all the show is about, and once the mysteries are revealed, there’s nothing left. This is, at its core, a character-driven show. But don’t worry, the monster is still out there and will be back."
On the show’s end "We’ve been quoted as saying that there could be a hundred episodes. I think it could sustain more, but it’s important that there is an end in sight, and there is."