Carl Cantarella <firstname.lastname@example.org> asks:
> This has been bugging me a bit every since the great news about
> the fifth season got reported, and I can't help but wonder ....if
> you had been assured of a fifth season going into season four,
> are there many things you would have done differently? Is season
> five a mixed blessing for you, coupled with any regret about
> having had to expedite the arc to end by season four, a year
> ahead of your predetermined five year game plan?
"...coupled with any regret about having had to expedite the arc to
end by season four, a year ahead of your predetermined five year game
This is, again, a misnomer. The arc didn't *end* in year 4, nor
did I end it. Which becomes utterly evident once you see the final
episodes. All I did was to more or less isolate the incidents in year
5 from the preceding year, so we could go into them or not.
What you have to do, which I've noted before, is to step back
for a moment and look at the series as a whole. Every season, we do
basically the same thing: we end on a cliffhanger, then the first 4-5
episodes of the next season resolve the threads and the cliffhanger
from the prior season, and then we're off onto the next thread. They
overlap by about 4-5 episodes.
So what I did was to pull those 4 episodes from the start of
season 5 into season 4, which would otherwise have ended at 418 as the
cliffhanger. So there wasn't really that much crammed into 4, and
everything that was going to be in 5 is still there, with room for
about 3-4 standalones, which will be a nice break.