As if Lost’s love triangle wasn’t a big enough point of contention, the show’s executive producers had to go and take sides. For as long as I’ve been involved in the Lost fandom, Jaters have claimed Damon Lindelof as their primary ally in the writer’s room, while Skaters are more aligned with Carlton Cuse.
From the limited research I did this morning, it seems like Damon does say more Jate-related things than Carlton does, such as, “Jack is the guy that she should be with.”
And then Carlton says things like, “It was great. I mean you think about it, you know, in a show, in a television show, to basically go fifty-five hours before these two characters who are in love with each other actually finally culminate and, you know, make love.”
Wow, did you ever think I’d put that quote in this blog? ::Shudders:: Ick.
Also, when asked late last season who their favorite characters were, Damon flat-out said Jack and Carlton flat-out said Sawyer.
So it’s interesting to imagine the Jate vs. Skate debates that go on in the production office. Surely Damon (Jate) wins, because he’s the head writer. Except that surely Carlton (Skate) wins because he’s the official showrunner. Except Damon definitely wins because he’s the co-creator.
Can somebody get J.J. Abrams in here, please?
For the record, we count J.J. as a card-carrying member of Team Jate. I’ve always thought of Mr. Abrams as the clockmaker in the Deist world that is Lost. He set in motion the elements of the series—including the Jack/Kate relationship—and left everyone to it. Along the way, Skate was stumbled upon, but I sincerely believe Jate is what’s in that 23-page outline Damon and J.J. wrote five years ago. Also, J.J. says things like, “You could put, Jack and Kate on a, New York City street, and have them pass each other, at rush hour, on a Wednesday morning. And, they would stop, and turn, slowing to watch each other go by. They know each other within the context, of a universal recognition. They have met before, this life. And, they will meet again, in another.”
Mae and I have always said that when the shit comes down, Carlton and Damon would call J.J. in for a tiebreaker. And we were confident that he’d side with us.
And then Comic-Con happened, and we discovered that maybe we don’t need J.J. to help Damon shanghai Carlton.
At 3:30, a Comic-Con attendee asks Darlton if Jack and Kate are the “One True Pairing” of the show. First of all, I effing have to go to this convention next year. I think I would fit in really well there, and I’ll get a Blackberry for blog purposes…it’ll be great. I also love, in a different clip from Comic-Con, Carlton says, “Death is kind of a relative term,” and someone in the audience loudly goes, “Whaaaa whaaaa,” in the style of Charlie Brown’s teacher. (Wow, that is a really difficult sound to convey in text.)
Anyway, of course Darlton dances around the question and gives no real answer. But the questioner does specify, “But you would want Jack and Kate to get together if you weren’t, like, the writers?”
Carlton’s response? “Personally, I really like those two, but professionally, I have to take the fifth on that.”
Now, sure, Carlton could be utilizing a number of planned strategies, including (A) he really does like Jate personally, but thinks that Skate is better for the show, (B) he’s straight-up lying to confuse people, or (C) he just wanted to quiet the stressed-out Jater in the audience.
I don’t particularly understand option (A). I would think it would be difficult to separate your personal feelings about stuff like that from your professional feelings. But I guess if you are a Jater but you’ve been convinced that the entire Lost viewership is comprised of Skaters, you might do something drastic, but this doesn’t seem very likely.
Ultimately, I don’t think this represents some dramatic change of heart for Carlton Cuse. For starters, he’s always been better at keeping things quiet and/or obscured than Damon has, so Carlton’s OTP tendencies have been much less obvious. But I do think it’s interesting—and heartening—to hear Carlton say something nice (and direct!) about Jate. Having more pro-Jate sentiment behind the scenes is never a bad thing.