The finale of season four ripped several couples apart. Is the Island the love of Ben’s life that he’s been kept apart from? Is he sentimental like that?
He sure doesn’t seem to be a very sentimental character, but you’re right—Ben is separated from everything he loves. He’s lost what was even passing for family, so now he really is, sort of, cut loose. He is adrift.
Is he a man with nothing left to lose?
He has less to lose, but I think…He can afford to be a little more mobile, and possibly more ruthless now, but there is a lot to lose. The fight he’s fighting, the enemy that he is withstanding is a formidable one, and so much hangs in the balance.
You say withstanding, which calls to mind a siege. Would you say the Island or its protectors are under siege?
On some days, there is that quality about it. [Laughs.]
One of the biggest debates that came out of the finale was: “What did Ben mean when he said everyone has to go back?” Do you have any sense of what the rules are for the assertion that everyone has to go back?
My sense is that those who escaped must go back.
I think it’s a scientific condition of the mechanism by which the Island operates. I don’t think it’s an esoteric or spiritual issue, I think it’s science. I think more and more, now, the show has scientific answers.
In the episode “The Shape of Things to Come,” Ben said Locke needed to survive the assault on the Island, and lo and behold, that seems to have been true. Does this mean that Ben and Locke are truly allies at this point?
I think, yes—however unhappily—they are allies.
Is it the connection to the Island that they have in common?
That, and…John Locke has a condition or quality that sets him apart from all other Lostaways. John Locke is special…er. He is more special than the others.
That must be fun for you and Terry O’Quinn to play. You’ve always said you enjoy working together.
We always have, but we haven’t been working together so far this season.
Separated by time and space.
They’re in different places.
Who have you been working with primarily this season—the Oceanic Six?
I’ve been working with characters who are not on the Island.
And up until this season, there’s always been the concept of what the fans call “centric” episodes—the Jack-centric and Ben-centric episodes and so on. Are those a thing of the past as far as the show structure is concerned?
No…but I think the cast of “centric” characters is growing.
Interesting. And speaking of Ben-centric episodes, there’s still a lot of missing time in his story, him versus Widmore, for example, and why they hate each other so much. Do you think we’ll get to that this season, or is that something that belongs in the selesai year?
There’s material about Ben’s childhood that we’re missing, and I think that could be explored this season, possibly.
Last question: What has surprised you in season five so far?
What has surprised me? Oh, I’ll tell you what has surprised me: That Ben seems to have a real plan! You’d think I would be the last one to be surprised by that, but he’s doesn’t miss a beat. It’s kind of interesting—it’s kind of breathtaking, really.