The most recent episode of ABC's Lost—the mythology-heavy "Across the Sea"—was controversial, but stars Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert) and Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond Hume) promise that the show gets back on track in the final three episodes of the sixth and final season.
In particular, Cusick says to expect his character to finally find, well ...
"There is a resolution between Penny and Desmond, definitely," Cusick said in a group interview last week in Burbank, Calif.
For his part, the anguished Richard Alpert will also, um, ...
"The issue of love is sort of at the heart of every one of our characters," Carbonell said. "You've had Penny's, mine was the angst over the loss of my wife. Just about every character, the one central theme is that love is at play in every one of our lives and has ripped us apart in some fashion. I think if that's fully addressed in the finale, and I think a lot of those dynamics will be addressed, that to me is the most satisfying."
Of course they're speaking abstractly about the series finale.
Partly, that's just the way people in Lost talk. But the other part is that they actually haven't read the entire finale script. "We both got up to Act 10 out of 11," Cusick said. "I got Act 11, but you decided not to get it. And in Act 11, there is a secret scene that no one got. Only the people who are in it, but nobody knows who that is. Everyone is keeping very quiet about it."
Does that mean Alpert doesn't make it to the final 10 minutes of Lost? "They just don't like me," Carbonell joked. "No, I'm kidding. Look, they're great, and if I'd asked for it I trust they would have given it to me. But, no, I didn't get Act 11. I didn't ask for it afterwards, because I just really want to watch it with the rest of America, how it really ends. I want to be surprised."
For what it's worth, a resolution comes for Alpert before the end of the two-hour finale. "I was very happy with they way they dealt specifically with my character," Carbonell said. "With what I read, they resolved a lot of the dynamics of the characters. They did a tremendous job, so I'm looking forward to the final resolution."
The actors claim they haven't watched the divisive "Across the Sea" episode, and Cusick didn't even read the script, since he wasn't in it. Carbonell read it but hasn't watched it or checked the fan feedback. The actors are sure the series finale will get people talking too, but not in a frustrated WTF kind of way.
"People will be talking about it for weeks afterwards, and that's what the show has always done," Cusick said. "So in the true spirit of the show, that's what it will do again."
It will get metaphysical, though, so people who hated the "source of all life" mumbo-jumbo should brace themselves. "It's gotten people to talk biblical themes, mythological themes, classical themes of literature, science verses religion," Carbonell said. "I mean, incredible questions."
The finale is much more character-centric than "Across the Sea," though. "I think the finale, without giving anything away, will bring some resolution to a lot of the dynamics between those characters, a lot of those relationships," Carbonell said. "I think that's ultimately what's at the heart of the show, are these relationships."
Some of the answers will be simple. Lost fans sometimes overanalyze the answers they are given, but Cusick says not every mystery is that deep. "I got asked why was Desmond not on the plane at the beginning of season six," Cusick said. "When they said he was on the plane, and he disappeared and you didn't see him again, people were making a big deal out of that. I think he just went to the toilet. Sometimes the answers are as simple as that."
Like it or not, this was the plan of executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse all along. Maybe the details changed along the way, and maybe some became episodes like "Across the Sea," but you've got to roll with it to get to the endgame.
"That's what writers do," Cusick said. "They make it up. Everyone keeps saying, 'Oh, they're making it up,' but isn't that what all writers do? You make it up as you go along. How can you not make it up as you go along? You must have an idea of the scene or image or something roughly about where you're going, [but] you must be flexible and say, 'But this actor's not available and da da da da da.'"
Lost's final episodes air tomorrow and Sunday on ABC.