LOS ANGELES – Sex, betrayal and bloodshed were the order of a fateful day for the lost souls of "Lost."
With the season drawing to a close this month, "Lost" put several of its airline-crash castaways in the line of fire and proved it hasn't run out of plot twists — or a willingness to prune its roster.
For those eagerly planning to watch Wednesday's episode of the ABC drama on TiVo or videotape, please don't read any further.
Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez), the tough and vengeful ex-police officer, was felled by a bullet fired by, of all people, Michael (Harold Perrineau), who returned from an unsuccessful effort to free his kidnapped son, Walt.
"I'm sorry," Michael said, then coolly fired at her. Surprised by another castaway, Libby ( Cynthia Watros), Michael shot her as well, then wounded himself.
Ana Lucia may be a goner but we learn that Michael survives. Libby's fate was unclear.
The shootings came as Jack ( Matthew Fox) and Locke ( Terry O'Quinn), acting on information provided by Michael about the island's mysterious and dangerous "others," prepared to stage an attack and rescue Walt.
The episode also included a tryst between Ana Lucia and Sawyer ( Josh Holloway), but it turned out she seduced him just to get his handgun — which ended up being the weapon Michael used against her.
The apparent death of Ana Lucia was reinforced by comments from two of the show's executive producers to TVGuide.com. The decision to make the character a short-timer was reached early and was unrelated to Rodriguez's drunken-driving case in Hawaii, where the series is filmed, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse said.
"A lot of this is going to sound like spin, so all we can give you is our word that this is exactly what happened," Lindelof told TVGuide.com. When Rodriguez auditioned for the role she made it clear she was "sort of a nomadic spirit" and would commit to a limited run, he said.
As befitting the convoluted "Lost," however, there was more to the story.
Another issue was that Watros was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence on the same December night as Rodriguez, but separately.
Rodriguez, 27, was sentenced to jail time and fined $500 after she pleaded guilty last month, serving about 65 hours in an Oahu correctional facility. Watros, 37, was fined and had her license suspended for 90 days after pleading guilty to drunken driving in January.
Lindelof told TVGuide.com that he and Cuse knew that it might seem they were trying to make a point rather than advance the story as intended.
"It's going to look like this is the `Lost' producers' attempt to say, `Don't drive drunk!'" Lindelof said.
But they decided not to alter the plot line because everything that follows this season "all sort of falls from this event," said Cuse.