"The Word 'Coma' Bugs The Hell Out Of Me"
CB: Let's talk about the coma baby arc for a moment. I seem to remember reading that your original idea was to kill everyone on the bus.
RT: That's right.
CB: I like that idea better than what happened. But the network insisted on keeping someone?
RT: Right. In fact, they wanted to keep several people.
CB: So how would the season arc have unfolded if you'd been able to execute your original plan?
RT: Hmm. Yeah, it's hard to remember. The timing gets so fuzzy. But you were talking about plausibility earlier -- certainly that's an example of one where it felt like we pushed it too far. It's the cliché -- you kind of snicker at comas. There were elements of it that I liked; I liked playing Duncan's confusion between the two, I liked the conflict it created between Veronica and Duncan...yeah, I'm not crazy about how it reads on paper. "There's one survivor! And she's in a coma!" Honest to God, the word "coma" bugs the hell out of me. It feels like you should cue the laugh track at that moment. I may have convinced myself that after, in my mind, having done a successful "switched-at-birth" episode, we could make "coma baby" land. I was wrong. But I also don't want to blame everything on the network; they said I had to keep someone, they said there had to be survivors, but they didn't say it had to be Meg. Part of the reason I kept Meg is that I feared if I killed her, the big mystery would feel too much like Season 1 -- "Veronica's friend dies, Veronica seeks justice." You know -- Meg plus six other dead kids equals Lilly. So I made a different choice. But it was hard to keep Veronica involved.