Interview With Harold Perrineau…

Regarding Last night’s Lost…

A MAJOR spoiler follows…

Viewer are aware Michael went boom last night.  Now, there was question if he would magically survive-I think it is unlikely, as Christian appeared and told him his work was done.  To top it off, both the producers and Harold are addressing Michael as dead.  And Harold seems rather annoyed by it in a way that seems unlikely if he is going to be back next season.  What stood out to me in this interview was the following comment:

TV Guide:: And what did you say to that?
Perrineau: At this point, I’ve been on the island, off the island, back on the island — so I just went, “Oh, ok.” [Laughs] This is their show and they know what they can or cannot write. I thought it was disappointing and a waste to come back, only to get beat up a few times and then killed. I felt like it was sort of pandering to some fans who wanted to see Michael punished because he betrayed people.

TV Guide: Are you referring to when he shot and killed Ana Lucia and Libby in Season 2?
Perrineau: Exactly. I honestly feel like Michael’s death served a really weird bloodlust for the fans.

I am not sure I agree entirely.  Granted, there may be a group of fans who are hoping to see Michael suffer.  I am not one of them…even though I though Michael went more crazy than Locke back in season 2.  But I felt that we should have seen Michael lat longer, simply because he had unfinished business, both with Walt and others from The Island.  He certainly got some closure with Jin and Sun…but I think there was more worth exploring there.  But that has not stopped people from being killed in the past.

TV Guide: Were you disappointed Michael and Walt didn’t reconnect before your character died?
Perrineau: Listen, if I’m being really candid, there are all these questions about how they respond to black people on the show. Sayid gets to meet Nadia again, and Desmond and Penny hook up again, but a little black boy and his father hooking up, that wasn’t interesting? Instead, Walt just winds up being another fatherless child. It plays into a really big, weird stereotype and, being a black person myself, that wasn’t so interesting. [Responds Cuse: “We pride ourselves on having a very racially diverse cast. It’s painful when any actor’s storyline ends on the show. Harold is a fantastic actor whose presence added enormously to Lost.”]

I appreciate Harold’s candor.  I don’t really think the writers are consciously ignoring the Black Guy and His Son.  I don’ think they are a bunch of bigots who look for any excuse to make non-white characters look bad.  To be fair, I do not believe this is what Harold is saying either.  I presume he sees this more as an insensitivity to the representation of black characters on screen.  I feel Cuse’s rebuttal is…well, not sufficient.  It really doesn’t address Harold’s point at all.  I am a real fan of the show, and it’s creative team, but I expect a better answer than that.  I do agree, ultimately, that they are missing a grand character opportunity.  I know they are trying to milk as much drama as they can, but seeing characters succeed in a positive fashion (such as Michael reconcile with his son Walt, and maybe rebuild his relationship to other Lost characters).  While Michael got to be a hero, I think there was more story to tell.

Posted in: Lost, Television

2 thoughts on “Interview With Harold Perrineau… Leave a comment

  1. In actuality, one of the big impediments to further exploration of the Michael-Walt relationship was the the incompatability between the show’s stated timeline (only a few months between the original crash and the Oceanic 6’s rescue) and the growth spurts of Malcolm David Kelley, the actor playing Walt. Walt was about 10 or 11 when he crashed on the island, while Kelley was about 12 or 13 in Season 1, so there was a 2-year difference even at the start. If you watched the finale you saw how much older he looked in Hurley’s flash-forward. That’s why he didn’t even appear in “My Name Is Kevin Johnson” this year.

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