The Star Of Lost Got Stabbed For Real During The Show's Series Finale

Despite what confused non-fans on the internet say, the series finale of "Lost" is actually pretty straightforward. "I'm real. You're real. Everything that's happened to you is real," an afterlife limbo version of Jack's dad, Christian, tells him as the mystery of season 6's "flash-sideways" begins to come together. "All those people in the church, they're all real too," Christian says, explaining that the bulk of the show actually happened years earlier, and now, these characters have found one another in a collective afterlife. It's simple: everything's real, even and perhaps especially death.

This is a heartfelt message that got driven home a bit too hard during filming on "The End," when something else — a prop knife — turned out to be real, too. In an interview with in 2021, episode director Jack Bender and co-star Terry O'Quinn recalled a particularly intense moment on set, in which O'Quinn accidentally got his hands on an actual, usable knife instead of a prop one. During the climactic showdown between O'Quinn's Man in Black (who was using the body of John Locke at the time — okay, that part is complicated) and Matthew Fox's earnest hero Dr. Jack Shephard, there was a moment when one actor came frighteningly close to accidentally injuring the other.

The climactic fight between Jack and the Man in Black got too real

"We had a fake knife and a real knife," Bender told the outlet over a decade after the series finale aired. "The real knife, like whenever you're doing a movie, is dulled down. But it is a real blade so it won't wobble, because all rubber blades do that a little bit." The director helmed 43 episodes from the show's first season to its last and also executive produced, so he no doubt had plenty of experience with how prop weapons were managed on set, as would O'Quinn at that time. Bender noted that "Terry was working with a real knife and the fake knife," using both to make the fight sequence look as real as possible.

From the sounds of it, the real knife was likely used for shots in which it would be more visible, while the rubber prop should've been used for moments of actual impact between the actors. "Terry was well-rehearsed in when he would have the real knife in his hand, even though it was dull, and when he would drop it and right next to him, an inch away was the fake knife," Bender explained. Except, that's not what happened during one nerve-wracking moment late in the shoot, when O'Quinn accidentally grabbed the real knife instead of the prop. The actor recalls getting caught up in the action of the moment, which involved a grappling wrestle and apparently also featured fire hoses on set to simulate a storm.

Terry O'Quinn forgot to grab the prop knife

"I had the real knife out. [Matthew] saw me pull it out and then we wrestled with it," O'Quinn told Incredibly, the actor actually did stab Fox with the real knife before realizing it wasn't the prop, but the actor had a small safety pad on, and it ended up saving him from actual harm. "I plunged [the knife] into Matthew's side," O'Quinn recalled, noting that the actor had a pad beneath his shirt "that was probably about the size of your extended palm," where the stab was planned. Thankfully, O'Quinn apparently had great aim, as he hit that small, padded target and didn't cause Fox any damage.

In the years since the "Lost" finale, we've seen horrifying examples of prop weaponry gone wrong, as when a gun discharge on the set of the still-unreleased film "Rust" left a cinematographer dead. That case has led to charges against actor Alec Baldwin and a conviction for the film's armorer, demonstrating the very real consequences of split-second mistakes on set. At the time, though, Fox and O'Quinn were apparently just relieved to have avoided an injury, and Bender recalls seeing the pair laughing before he even realized what had happened.

"The scene ended with Matt rolling off and next thing I know these guys are f***ing laughing," Bender told the outlet. "I'm going, 'What's going on?' Terry goes, 'I f***ed up.'" The actor said he didn't think he waited for the prop knife exchange in that moment the way he usually did, "because we were caught up in the action. So I stabbed him with a real knife." Depending on which way you look at it, this story is either a miracle or a near-disaster — which makes sense, because that's kind of The Island's whole deal.