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"Lost"

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Michael Ausiello
Senior Writer and Columnist, TV Guide and tvguide.com
Thursday, May 25, 2006; 1:00 PM

The much-discussed second season of "Lost" ended last night with a whopper of a twist ending. Did you see the it coming? Were you surprised to learn how Oceanic Flight 815 crashed? Or do you think the Emmy-winning drama has jumped the shark?

Michael Ausiello , senior writer, columnist ( Ausiello Report ) and Lost aficionado/expert for TV Guide and tvguide.com was online Thursday, May 25, at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the finer points of Wednesday night's episode, as well as what to expect for season three.

A transcript follows.

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Michael Ausiello: Holy frakkin' hatch hell! It's been 14 hours since the Lost finale and my jaw is still on the ground. For every question answered (Desmond crashed the plane!), three more popped up (Where were Michael and Walt going? Who were those chess-playin' Eskimos? Where did Libby get that wig?) But make no mistake, I LOVED every minute of it. Now let's get to your questions! (OMG! I'm about to start my first chat and, oddly enough, it's not on TVGuide.com! History is being made and you guys are witnessing it first-hand!)

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Fairfax, Va.: Hey Mike, so what was "The Challah"? Was it the "self-destruct" key scene, or was it that Penny is looking for Desmond? And what do you think: Locke, Eko, and Desmond are all still alive, right?

Michael Ausiello: I'm assuming "The Challah" was two things: The Antarctica (?) station and the subsequent phone call to Penny Widmore.

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Lincoln, Neb.: We found out more about Libby's backstory through her coffee meet-and-greet with Desmond -- her husband, Dave, who has died. Do you have any theories about where this story is going? Why do you think Libby was in Australia in the first place?

Michael Ausiello: Who says Libby was ever in Australia? You're assuming she was actually ON the plane with everyone else. I suspect Libby might somehow be connected to Papa Widmore (aka The O.C.'s Caleb to you). Think about it: Without her "husband's" boat, he never would have deserted Penny.

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Lumber City, Ga.: The finale? Fan-fricken-tastic. So, Charlie, is he evil? In shock? Crazy? How does one go from nearly getting blown up and trying to save your friend's life to carefree kissing by the fire? If it means more screen time for the incredible Dominic Monaghan next season, I'm all for it. Thoughts?

Michael Ausiello: Maybe he's hitting the white powder again? Something's DEFINITELY off there, but I'm not sure what. And was I the only one surprised that Claire planted that wet one on him? Did she forget that this guy took her newborn son for a midnight swim?

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Winchester, U.K.: Are Locke and Eko gone or what?! Not sure -- I mean bright white light and explosion you'd think so but what have the guys at lost said?

Michael Ausiello: Locke and Eko are NOT dead - I'm 99.9999 percent sure of it.

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Oberlin, Ohio: Have Harold Perrineau, Malcolm David Kelly, Terry O'Quinn, and/or Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje left the show for good?

Michael Ausiello: As I said, I'm 99.999999 percent sure Terry and Triple A will return as series regulars. Harold P. was downgraded to a guest star THIS season, so I would imagine Michael will appear sporadically next season (if at all). And considering MDK will probably be taller than his TV dad by September, I think we may have seen the last of Walt. (Or the last of him in his CURRENT form.)

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Washington, D.C.: What do you think the odds are that Libby's husband Dave is also Hurley's "imaginary friend"?

Michael Ausiello: I hadn't thought of that, but I bet you're right. It would certainly corroborate the theory that Libby is/was a *o******** **a*.

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Atlanta, Ga.: How did Penelope know to look for electro-magnetic activity? And were those Desmond's letters to her lying next to the computer in the end scene with the two Russian men?

Michael Ausiello: I'm assuming she got that bit of inside info from her wealthy dad (aka The O.C.'s Caleb to you). And I didn't notice the letters. I was too busy looking at the picture!

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Baltimore, Md.: Hi Michael, I don't have a question, I'm just heeding your call that people send in comments so you're not talking to yourself. Love your columns and podcasts!

Michael Ausiello: Turns out I worried for nothing! It's standing-room only in here! Where were all you people on September 30 when I was doing my book signing?!?!?!?!

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Washington, D.C.: I thought last night's season finale was AWESOME, I am anxiously awaiting September. But, what's up with the fact that Libby didn't get to meet up Desmond? That would have been one heck of a chance (?) second meeting. And, now that we know that Libby has associations with both Desmond and Hurley, don't you think the writers may have jumped the shark by not letting her get some background story. Now that she's dead, her life sure seems mighty interesting.

Michael Ausiello: We will learn more about Libby next season via other characters' flashbacks. And I agree, I find her backstory ridiculously intriguing. It's worth noting that Cynthia Watros' fall pilot did not get picked up, so maybe we'll see more of Libby than was originally intended. Unless, of course, another show snaps her up, which wouldn't surprise me in the least. Cynthia is awesome.

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Annapolis, Md.: Michael, Love reading your weekly columns and Q and A's. You without a doubt have the best insight on the show. Here's my question: Did Desmond die when he engaged the overide? We basically got a double flashback from him last night and one could argue the character arc was complete. However, it appears Penelope is searching for him. I've really enjoyed the character and hope this isn't the last we've seen of him. Keep up the great work!

Michael Ausiello: When I spoke to exec producer Carlton Cuse last week, he specifically wouldn't discuss Desmond's status on the show next season. I honestly have no idea whether he will be back or not, but I agree. It would appear his arc has come full circle.

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Kingwood, Tex.: Are the Others sterile and that is why they have to steal the children?

Michael Ausiello: Would YOU want to have sex with those freaky creepizoids?

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Broken Arrow, Okla.: What did that look between Jack and Kate mean at the end? Were they silently communicating a plan or was it an emotional confession?

Michael Ausiello: It looked tome like they were silently communicating a plan, but it was hard to tell whether Sawyer was in on it or not. And what about the look Michael gave to Jack? Was that just guilt or something else?

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St Louis, Mo.: I read your column daily -- it's great to have a live chat with you! Here are my questions from last night, which was good, but not as great as I expected:

1. That scene from the first episode of season 2 when Desmond was working out, listening to music and living in the hatch -- when did that happen in relation to the day the plane blew up and the day that they blew open the hatch door?

2. Do you really think Michael and Walt are going to sail off into safety? Aren't they going to be recurring cast members next season?

3. Why do you think they needed Hurley to come but then let him go?

4. Do you think "Henry" is "Him"?

Michael Ausiello: I'll answer No. 4. No, I don't think Henry is "Him." I think Caleb, er, Papa Widmore is "Him."

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Kansas City, Mo.: What do you think the foot statue is all about?

Michael Ausiello: Did anyone get a look at not-Henry's feet? Also, I'm pretty sure Smurfs only have four toes, so maybe it was a shout-out to me.

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Denver, Colo.: What is a -o-------- --a-?

Michael Ausiello: Would some please explain to Denver, Colo how this game works.

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Boca Raton, Fla.: Where was Cindy?

Michael Ausiello: We'll find out about Cindy the Flight Attendant next season. The show is also looking to cast two new female roles to fill the void left by M.Rod and C.Wat.

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Los Angeles, Calif.: So it looks like Henry is the leader of the Others?

Michael Ausiello: Henry is the leader of the Others, but, as I said, I don't think he's "Him"

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Toronto, Canada: What can you tell us about next season's casting?

Michael Ausiello: Michael Emerson (aka not-Henry) will be a series regular. And I don't have specific descriptions of the two new female characters they're hiring. Actually, I'm not even sure Damon and Carlton have descriptions yet. And I'm guessing we'll be seeing a lot more of Ms. Penny W.

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Re: stone foot statue: Was it a hobbit's foot?

Michael Ausiello: It was Vanity Smurf.

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Westminster, Md.: Are you saying Henry only has 4 toes? And the statue would then be representing him? Wouldn't that make him "The One" instead of Caleb?

Michael Ausiello: I suppose it would. OK, did anyone get a look at Caleb's feet?

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Kfar Saba, Israel: Hi Mike, love your columns and podcast. I was just wondering about next season, how it going to work with the split season that was talked about? some in September, the rest after New Year's?

The finale was so much fun, had my pulse pumping the whole time.

Michael Ausiello: It's my understanding that we'll get 11 episodes before January and then the next batch of 11 will kick off at the start of February sweeps.

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Rochester, N.Y.: Did you notice the guy who made the call to Penny looked a lot like Jack ... maybe his 'twin'

Michael Ausiello: It would have to be his Russian twin, no?

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Odenton, Md.: Denver, Colorado --

Michael likes to tease us with his giveaways, but he only gives us a letter or too, and puts the rest in asterisks, but you can figure it out.

Michael Ausiello: Thanks Odenton.

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Rockville, Md.: Do you think ABC would be better off airing next season in one fell swoop (like Fox has done with "24" in recent years), as opposed to all the rerun hiatuses? Why or why not?

Michael Ausiello: I think Lost FANS would be better off, but not necessarily ABC. They need to stretch Lost's run out as much as they can to prop up their Wednesday lineup. They really can't afford to go a half-season without it.

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Baltimore, Md.: They were speaking Portuguese, not Russian.

Michael Ausiello: Eh, it's all Greek to me.

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Arlington, Va.: Mike, were you at all tempted to skim through the first hour of the Lost finale to watch American Idol?

Michael Ausiello: Hardly. I watched exactly two minutes of the American Idol finale -- the LAST two. I heard a funny rumor that Prince performed. Like THAT would ever happen.

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Miami, Fla.: Did you know 4 x 8 x 15 x 16 x 23 x 42 = 7418880? That was on the anomaly the Eskimos received!

Michael Ausiello: I suck at math so I'll take your word for it.

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Arlington, Va.: Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there a scene a few episodes ago at the airport before the flight that showed two people in a tense discussion (I can't remember for the life of me who it was), and Libby came and asked if everything was okay? That would have meant she was in Australia. Just my two cents.

Michael Ausiello: OK, well, did we see her board the plane?

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Birmingham, Ala.: What about the comment from Fenry: "We got more than we bargained for with Walt"? What do you think that means?

Michael Ausiello: I think he meant they forgot how quickly kids his age grow up.

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Washington, D.C.: Too many questions to pick just one. Just wanted to let you know how awesome you are!

Michael Ausiello: I suspected as much, but thanks for confirming it.

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Reston, Va.: I think that Lost has jumped the shark on the advertising with the fake "Hanso Commercials" Coca-Cola, Buick and Monster.com ... jeez

Michael Ausiello: I actually can't pay attention to that stuff. The show itself is enough of a head trip for me.

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Libby not on plane: I'm not sure I'm getting where you're going with this: if she was at the airport and then didn't get on the plane how did she end up on the same island a few hours later when the plane crashed. We SAW her on tail-section beach that same day ...

Michael Ausiello: I'm talking out of my a_ _! Is that what you want to hear? Bottom line: Something is off about the Libster.

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Washington, D.C.: After last night's "answers" to things, I've still got some questions: What ever happened to the monster thing that destroyed people (like the pilot?)? What about the Polar Bears? Did everyone involved with producing this show simply forget about what happened in the first season?

Michael Ausiello: I'm thinking those polar bears got indirectly referenced again at the very end when we saw those snowy mountains. I can't imagine that was just a coincidence.

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Green Brook, N.J.: I'm getting this in right now -- Libby's got an evil twin. And I'll throw in some speculation -- that it was the twin meeting with Desmond, after getting Libby put in the psych ward. Libby winding up on the plane is just an example of Island Fate.

Michael Ausiello: If that turns out to be true, can I say I thought of it? Oh, this just in: Last night's two-hour finale averaged 17.6 million viewers. Not bad considering 200 million (yeah, right Ryan) people were watching American Idol.

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Normal, Ill.: To address the problem of the actor portraying Walt, couldn't they just recast him with Emmanuel Lewis (Webster)? That at least would guarantee that he won't grow over the next few seasons ... (I'm going to Hell for that)

Michael Ausiello: Save me a seat.

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The Island: "I'm thinking those polar bears got indirectly referenced again at the very end when we saw those snowy mountains."

Are you saying that the island is somehow a biosphere or something within Antarctica?

Michael Ausiello: It's a thought.

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Mendon, Mass.: Season one focused on "the crash and the survivors", season 2 on "the hatch" and "the button." Please fill in the blank as best you can-- Season three will focus on "----" and "----" ?

Michael Ausiello: Carlton told me that "The Challah" would be the focus of Season 3, so, based on that, I think we're going to learn a lot more about Papa Widmore and his connection to the island. And maybe we'll follow Penny as she gets closer to tracking down Desmond. Or at least Desmond's corpse.

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New York, N.Y.: Might Jack's half-sister be one of the two future female cast members? Are any other Others (M.C. Gainey, April Grace) going to be regulars next year?

Michael Ausiello: We're going to meet some of the other 40-some-odd survivors next season -- you know, the ones we see in the background but never actually meet -- so I imagine that's where those two actresses will come in.

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Boston, Mass.: Now that the button doesn't have to be pressed anymore, will the hatch be gone for good? And, on another note, will we start to see characters (Penny Widmore, in particular) develop outside of the island?

Michael Ausiello: The Hatch (at least as we know it) is probably dead. And I think the introduction of the outside world will play a big role in next season. That's just a hunch.

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Baltimore, Md.: Does Libby's bad wig in Desmond's flashback mean anything?

Michael Ausiello: When I think of bad costume changes, I think of the Others. But that's just me.

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Westfield, Mass.: I'm dying to know why the Others chose to take Jack, Kate and Sawyer. Do you think it's just because they are the biggest troublemakers or is it something more?

Michael Ausiello: I think it's because they realize the tribe is severely weakened without them. Or maybe they're just intrigued by the romantic triangle.

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Shelton, Conn.: Did you notice that the name Widmore Labs was on both Sun's pregnancy test and real Henry's balloon? I think that Widmore was partly responsible for getting button-pushers to the island under the cover of an around the world race. It's no coincidence that both Henry and Desmond arrived on the island by methods of transportation that are used in around the world races.

Michael Ausiello: Yes, I did notice that. Widmore is definitely the parent company of Hanso/Dharma.

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Washington, D.C.: Is Ana Lucia's life as an actress (actor) washed up because of all that legal trouble she's gotten into? She's going to jail, isn't she? Did her legal obligations keep her from her Lost production duties?

Michael Ausiello: I think it's telling that the only post-Lost project she has lined up is a clothing line.

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Hollywood, Fla.: Since everyone on the plane seems to be interconnected somehow -- what do you think about Claire being Jack's mystery sister?

Michael Ausiello: After seeing Brother Justin from Carnivale on the island, nothing would surprise me at this point.

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Michael Ausiello: OK, folks. I have to run. If it's more Lost discussion you crave, we'll have a new podcast posted at TVGuide.com later this afternoon. We're actually recording it in just a few minutes. Thanks so much for being a part of my first ever chat. Who knows? Maybe this will become a regular thing. Stranger things have happened. Have a great Memorial Day weekend! I love you guys for loving me!

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