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An interview excerpt with Michael Emerson, (Ben Linus), featured in issue #25 of The Official Lost Magazine.
With time travel fitting in prominently now, did you have any idea you were signing up for a sci-fi drama in season two?
Michael Emerson: I didn't, but I'm happy the way it's gone. I'm happy their agenda was so much larger than a castaway soap opera. The way the show looked first season might have been more comfortable or more popular to a lot of people, but I'm glad the writers had these higher ambitions, as confusing and demanding as they can be [smiles].
No longer on the island at the beginning of season five, did it feel like Ben had fallen from grace?
I think the whole season is a fall from grace; a fall from power, or a fall from influence for Ben. It seemed to me Ben used to be a general and now he may not even be a lieutenant. He doesn't have many resources anymore and there isn't really anybody that does anything he says. The power has fallen into other hands, and Ben is starting to be more pliable and does what other people tell him to do. I don't know if that will be forever, though. Ben has a way of hibernating and biding his time until the moment is right.
From Sun blaming Ben for Jin's death, to Ben manipulating her into coming back to the island, what have you enjoyed about their complex arc together?
With Yunjin Kim, how long have I been on the show and never had any scenes with her [laughs]?! I was particularly pleased to see the writers develop the power of one of their female characters. I thought it was exciting and cool for Yunjin that suddenly she becomes this person who has this quest and is willing to use guns, subterfuge, threats, and acts of violence in order to achieve her goals.
Do you believe Ben underestimated Sun?
I don't think Ben really underestimates anyone. Ben is a good estimator. Ben was in one of his 'wise guy' modes and I think he misjudged Sun's resolve.
With the series approaching its final season, what questions do you still want answered?
Well, fewer and fewer actually. I'm leaving questions behind now. I'm starting to care less if everything gets wrapped up neatly. I want a powerful and satisfying ending to the series. I suppose the question everyone wants answered is, "What has really been going on this whole time?" I think it's going to turn out to be something more or less than what meets our eyes. There's some extra dimension from which all of this makes a completely different kind of sense. What that is I don't know. I know it's not a snow globe and suddenly we pull back to see it being watched or manipulated. That's too easy, but perhaps it's a change of perspective where we go "Oh, that's it!" Or it could be "Oh my! All this time it could be…" and fill in the blank. I hope it's big, logical, neat, and surprising, and satisfies in a big way. I hope there's some sort of spiritual feeling about it, too.
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