Lost's Ben: The Finale Will Make You Eat Your Soul

Get our exclusive Q&A with Michael Emerson about the most game-changing finale yet

By Jennifer Godwin May 08, 2009 8:39 PMTags
Lost, Michael Emerson, Naveen AndrewsABC/MARIO PEREZ

Michael Emerson rocks our world.

We just chatted up Lost's Ben Linus about the season-five finale, and according to Emerson, who's been a very reliable source in the past, we're in for just about the two craziest hours of television ever aired!

Find out why he says that Lost's last two hours of the year might truly be the most game-changing finale yet...

As a Lost fan yourself, how shocking did you find this season's finale? Is it more shocking or less that the season-three finale where we learned Jack and Kate got off the Island?
Ours is a show that specializes in big shock endings, but I think season five...None of the other shock endings left me wondering how the show goes on. We have two kinds of huge shocks at the end of this one. Each one alone would be enough to keep an audience eating its own soul for the whole hiatus, but with two, I don't know what you can do with that.

It's like nine months until season six! We're gonna die!
[Laughs] It's going to be a long one. I'm sorry.

It's OK, just come to Comic-Con this summer and talk to us. Now, does Ben still have a plan?
I think Ben has a lot of layers of plans, but I think we're way off the main stem of anything that works for him. I mean, Ben's doing like moment-to-moment scrambling now.

Ben's role was always all-knowing evil overlord of the Island—and pardon me for using the word evil, I know that's debatable—but these days he seems very buffeted by circumstance. Will we see a different persona for him in season six?
Ben has tended to swing like a pendulum from positions of power to positions of questionable circumstance, but I think it's possible that we could have a wholesale change in how Ben ticks next season if the circumstances of the show are as altered [as they would seem to be]. If there's a wholesale set of new problems, Ben's role may shift at the same time. Actually, I'm curious to see. If Ben has a dramatic life in season six, I'll be curious to see what the nature of it is.

Ben tried and failed to kill Penny this season. Will he try again, or is he done with that effort?
I think he has bigger fish to fry. And I think he's still digesting what happened that day.

Getting his ass kicked?
Getting his ass kicked is all in a day's work—in fact, that's a strategy of his—but there's the business of how Penny escaped his wrath. What was the trigger? What was the thing that made that not happen? And what must he be thinking about it? We shall see.

Ben has tried and succeeded to kill Locke once this year. Would he try again, or does he believe Locke is untouchable, which Locke almost seems to believe about himself?
Yes, John Locke is certainly newly expansive and bold. He seems not to have any of his old vulnerabilities. I think Ben would think twice about attacking John Locke on a purely physical plane.

Are you already eating your soul over the finale? Any theories on those two giant shocks?

Lost's two-hour season finale airs next Wednesday at 9 p.m. on ABC. See you there!