Behind the Secrets of 'Lost'

But people started to expect, that one of our characters was going to die every week. And so the trick I think is to make sure that it doesn't seem like, "Oh, well. We haven't killed someone off for a while we have to do it now." It has got to come out of the story.

Last season, the thing about killing Ana Lucia and Libby was that while it was shocking that Ana Lucia died, for me the stroke of genius was that then Michael turned and he shot Libby, too. And it was just so horrifying and so unexpected. What people forget is that there are these vulnerabilities on this island.

TAPPER: Of the four major characters that have died not one of them has been killed by The Others.

CUSE: Right.

TAPPER: Boone was in an accident.

ABRAMS: Right.

TAPPER: Shannon dies from Ana Lucia, and Michael kills Ana Lucia and Libby.

ABRAMS: Right.

LINDELOF: Right.

CUSE: There's a lot of friendly fire problems.

TAPPER: Right.

TAPPER: We basically don't want anybody to feel safe. One of the rules of conventional television is you watch a show and if you see somebody put a gun to Billy Petersen's head on "CSI" you know he's not going to get killed, he's the star of that show.

By killing characters it really allows the audience to really feel invested in moments of tension and danger because you really don't know on our show whether characters are going to live or die.

TAPPER: It's weird because Shannon had been redeemed. Shannon had become a better person and had found love with Sayid.

ABRAMS: Exactly, yes.

CUSE: Which, therefore, made her death all the more poignant.

LINDELOF: Right.

CUSE: That was clearly intentional. We try to set up characters and then get you to bite on a certain stereotype or a certain kind of judgment that you might make about this character and then try to kind of completely reverse field on that.

Lost Through Post-9/11 Eyes

TAPPER: In no small way it struck me that Jack, an essentially decent person, was put in a situation where he was willing to make compromises for the greater good. How much is it fair to look at "Lost" through post-9/11 eyes?

CUSE: There are definitely similarities. They're in a jungle and anything can come out of that jungle at any time and cause them harm. There's this kind of pervading sense of fear that kind of hangs over the characters in the show. And whenever they are trekking some place you don't know what actually is going to befall them. It's nothing that consciously sit around and talk about. But I think all of us exist and live in a post-9/11 world so it can't help but inform us as writers because we live and feel the same things that everyone else does in a world post-9/11.

LINDELOF: When we were first working on the pilot, the idea that it was going to start with a plane crash and that all throughout the first 10 or so episodes of the show there are just shattered pieces of the plane all around -- people started to process that 9/11 metaphor without it being intentional at all.

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