What’s going on with the “flash-sideways?”
Say goodbye to flashbacks and flash-forwards, and hello to this season’s “different kind of storytelling device” the producers cryptically teased for months. “The flash-sideways enable us to return to Season 1’s character-centric episodes,” explains executive producer Damon Lindelof. “They’ll show what [the characters’] lives would have been like if Oceanic 815 had landed and how their lives are different from the lives that we knew before.” In one reality, the bomb sent the islanders back to 2007 after Desmond had blown up the Swan hatch. In the coinciding alternate reality, “We’ll all criss-cross in very different ways,” says Yunjin Kim (Sun). “Certain characters will recognize each other and certain won’t.”
So should we discard all we learned in the previous seasons’ flashbacks?
Pretty much, says executive producer Carlton Cuse. “All that matters now are the flash-sideways stories,” he says. “These stories contain differences that you don’t need to try to reconcile, but loyal fans will find interesting.” For instance, Evangeline Lilly says Kate’s flash-sideways reveals that “instead of being a really tormented fugitive on the run, she’s now a fugitive-on-the-run who gets a kick out of it.” In his Ben-centric March 9 episode, Michael Emerson says, “You’ll see a man who is only faintly recognizable as the Ben we’ve known. What if Ben had been born and lived in unextraordinary circumstances? What might he have been like?” Josh Holloway tells us that Sawyer’s March 16 episode will show Sawyer is “the same guy, but on the other side of the law.” The March 30 Sun/Jin story will reveal “a totally different relationship” for the couple, explains Kim, where “they are no longer living in Seoul and Sun didn’t have to leave Jin at the airport.” And Hurley will no longer be cursed by the numbers. “He went from being the unluckiest guy in the world to the luckiest,” says Jorge Garcia. “He’s rich in good fortune.”