LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 16: Damon Lindelof attends the red carpet event for the global premiere of Apple's "Pachinko" at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on March 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/FilmMagic)
Movies - TV
Even Damon Lindelof Had A Problem With All Of Those Lost Flashbacks
One of the best features of “Lost” Season 1 was its flashback structure that explored specific characters’ lives, adding context to their current struggles and helping to make them all feel compelling. However, with the two following seasons, there came a sense that the show had already explored all it could with these flashbacks — it turns out that the show writers felt the same way.
ABC wanted to drag the show out for as long as possible after “Lost” became a breakout hit, with these flashbacks becoming a way to stall the series, despite the writers’ desire to work toward an end goal. Showrunner Damon Lindelof shared, “Whenever ABC would be like, ‘Why do you want to end the show?’ we were like, ‘These flashbacks are finite,’ you know?”
Lindelof added that while the first flashback teaches the viewers about the character, the others “feel like you’re just kind of treading water.” This stalling tactic came to a head in Season 3, Episode 9, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” where the flashbacks focused on Jack’s tattoos. The ABC executives finally gave the show an end date and allowed the flashback structure to be changed.
Starting with the Season 3 finale, Lindelof and the writers experimented with the storytelling device, introducing flashforwards and the controversial Season 6 flash-sideways into the structure. Although “Lost” may have been frustrating at times with its use of these different glimpses into time, the Season 3 finale’s introduction of the flashforward left viewers unquestionably in awe.