Thursday, May 13, 2010

Update: TPTB talk about the Outrigger shootout

A while ago, I wrote a post concerning a mysterious event in the Season 5 episode 'The Little Prince'. In that episode, an outrigger canoe manned by Locke, Juliet, Miles, Sawyer, and Charlotte came under fire from another boat, some distance away. They returned fire, and appeared to wound one of the assailants before disappearing in a timeshift. Though the event did not have any massive plot repercussions, the identity of the assailants remains a mystery to this day. Or until yesterday, that is.

During an extended interview with Darlton, Alan Sepinwall brought up the as-yet-unexplained shootings. The following is a SPOILER. I've excerpted the relevant passage from the (very interesting) interview below. But you'll have to open the spoiler box if you want to read it.



AS: Okay, finally, I have to ask, simply because it's been driving me nuts for a year and a half: what's going on with showing the other half of the outrigger shootout?

CC: The outrigger shootout is not something we're bending around in gyrations so we can solve it. In the grand scheme of the show, that is a fairly obscure piece of the show. It is your particular obsession...

DL: ...and you're not alone in it.

CC: You're not alone in it. And yes, it would have been great if we had had the opportunity to close the time loop. But you can't get everything done and keeping the narrative going in a straight line. This is one of those things where we made a very conscious choice to ask, "What are the big questions? And most importantly, what are the paths of these characters? Where do they lead?" And we followed those paths and tried not to trip ourselves up getting too diverted from that. We felt that that's the thing that's ultimately going to make the finale work or not work. We got to the point where we made the finale we wanted to make, that was our approach, and I think it was the only approach we could take. We sat here in my office, had breakfast every day for six years, talked about the show, and we used this gut check methodology, where if we both loved something and thought it was cool, that would go in. We applied that same methodology to the finale, and that was the only way we could do it. We came up with a finale that we thought was cool, that was emotional and one we really liked. That's the best we could do.

DL: When we wrote that scene and somebody started shooting at them, we knew exactly who was shooting at them. That is not a dangling thread that we don't know the answer to. That being said, as we started talking about paying that off this season, it felt like the episode was at the service of closing the time loop, as opposed to what the characters might actually be doing in that scenario. It never felt organic. We decided we would rather take our lumps from the people who couldn't scratch that itch than to produce an episode that was in service of putting people in an outrigger and getting shot at.

AS: You put people in a lot of outriggers this season. It feels, frankly, like you're taunting me.

DL: We can't entirely deny that we're taunting you.

CC: Honestly, though, the logistics of getting all the participants in the outriggers in the configuration that was on the A-side of the time loop was actually really daunting.

DL: Considering half of them had been killed off

CC: It's not like we didn't want to do it. Like Damon says, it was just too much of a narrative deviation to do it.


So that is what it is. Go ahead and comment away on this topic. But don't read the comments if you don't want to be SPOILED.


  1. this is the first time it has actually sunk in for me that they wont be answering most of the questions i thought they would.

  2. I still think we'll see the other side of that scene. They have fibbed before (remember Libby's story anyone? and that was right around the time they were writing that damn episode WITH her in it!) and they are only trying to mislead so as to keep the finale and its events a surprise. They say that the actors will be a problem, but as far I can tell, ALL the actors in the scene are returning for the finale. And so you see.


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