Fans of the hit television show Lost were treated to some not-so-exclusive details about the highly-anticipated fourth season. The “big” surprise was already revealed a few days ago (on the 25th) but I’ll get to that in a minute. I made my way to the Lost panel in Ballroom 20. This has to be the second biggest ballroom at the Convention Center (all fear the capacity of Hall H). The really annoying moderator told us every five minutes while we waited that there would be no cameras, video or audio recordings during the presentations. I wanted to boot her.
Producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff were in attendance and while the surprises and reveals were limited, this was the best panel I attended yesterday because these guys were so engaging and they really fed off the fans’ excitement. Yes, yesterday. My computer took a complete dump on me last night and I wasn’t able to get to my notes or write anything up. But let’s get right into it. Warning, there will be MAJOR SPOILERS!! so do not continue reading if you haven’t seen the show through Season 3.
Carlton and Damon introduced a clip of a Lost video game due out in February, right when Season 4 is about to start. The video game will include flashbacks, just like the show and for the most part it looks like the game play revolved heavily around events it from Seasons 1 and 2.
The fans seemed to like the videogame (it looks promising) but everyone was really there to get details on season 4. They told the audience they wanted to answer questions but at the same time they didn’t want to demystify the show. So they brought little bell as a “fail safe” and if either of them feel they are giving away too much the other will hit bell to shut the other guy up. Damon gave an example of how things would go when he said, “So if I said the monster was a secur-” BELL.
Damon: “Carlton and I…well, we’re drunk first off…(crowd laughs)…we tend to spout off at the mouth.” They confirmed what everyone already knew which was that there will be 3 more seasons, 16 episodes each and they will all run consecutively without reruns.
Carlton was asked about the collaborative process of the writing team and he said “its collective and conclusive” so that everyone is always on the same page. They both agreed that the process was a marked improvement now that there was a defined end date for the series.
Someone in the audience asked about Michael and if his story line is dead. Carlton made the big reveal I referred to earlier: “Harold Perrineau will be back on the show this coming season”.
When asked about the flash-forward at the end of Season 3 with Jack and Kate back home from the island and if there would be any more flash-forwards Carlton responded, “The answer is … yes. Let’s talk a little more about that.” But Damon put his hand on the bell and the audience started chuckling. Carlton still continued, “The show is going to feature flashbacks and flash forwards.” The audience was stoked.
Carlton then teased, “You will learn a lot more about the Dharma Initiative than you would ever imagine … and even sooner than you think.” David played along and asked, “How soon?”. Carlton: “How about…5:58”. The panel ended at 6:00 p.m. so the “Oh”s and “Ah”s spread throughout the room. David continued the game, “What happens at 5:58?” and Carlton hit the bell. Typical Lost tease.
Somebody asked more about Ben and if he was purposely caught in Russo’s trap in Season 2 and if he killed Henry Gale. They were mum on Henry Gale but they confirmed Ben was deliberately caught and that we would find out more about what Ben was doing at that side of the island next season.
David talked about he felt was a critical mass fan frustration in the third season because there was a lot of tap-dancing around story lines that needed to be resolved but they couldn’t resolve them without an end date for the series.
Carlton went back and confirmed that the last scene in Season 3 with Jack and Kate was not the “end” of the show and that the flash-forwards would include other sequences after that scene. Damon told the audience the only reason they included that scene was by then it was decided when the show would end so they knew they could begin concluding some things.
Someone asked about Michael (Harold Perrineau) again if they could confirm when in Season 4 he would appear. A bell started ringing off stage at this point and who walked onto the stage but Perrineau himself. The crowd went wild. Harold told the audience how much he missed doing the show and the fans.
Damon said something interesting when he told the audience, “Harold’s was the first and only character to leave the show and was part of a grand design to come back.” Carlton hinted that Michael’s return would be one of redemption which only makes sense. Damon: “He is not coming back for a quick pop … he is a series regular again.”
The next person to ask a question asked, “What questions are we NOT asking that we ought to be?” Carlton sent chills through the audience, responding, “Who’s in the coffin?”. Damon rung the bell five times. This panel was turning out to be much like the show, lots and lots of teasing, but still entertaining.
Carlton confirmed when someone asked that the person Hurley sees fall off the building in Season 1 is not Locke. Somebody else asked about Libby who was killed off at the end Season 2 but whose story felt incomplete. Carlton confirmed “It is our intention to get back to that story and we believe it will be very satisfying for you guys”. This received cheers from the crowd.
The next question concerned Russo and if she would have her own flashback episode. Carlton confirmed that it was something they did want to do down the line. Damon went even further when he said, “There are important things in that story that link up with other-” BELL.
The new format of 16 straight episodes without any reruns, they said, makes it so they will have finished episode 14 or 15 by the time the first episode premieres. So, in a sense, they’re playing without a net. Carlton: “If you guys don’t like something early on… we’re screwed.”
Finally, someone asked about the monster and Damon would only say, “What the monster is, who made it – if anyone – will be answered and the answer is, in our mind, a very satisfying one.
That was pretty much the end of it. They did show two clips for the audience. One was mainly of clips from Season 3 and interviews about what’s coming. The people on the freighter who are never revealed in Season 4 but are talked about are apparently some bad news bears. M.C. Gainey (the departed Tom Friendly) was among the interviewed “The Others were scientists. They were humanitarians compared to what’s coming to the island next.”
The hinted at 5:58 clip was another Dharma Initiative segment with the Asian scientists. You might recall the white rabbit Ben carried around in Season 4. Well, there’s another white rabbit in this clip with the number 15 imprinted on the side. Not sure what that’s about but the scientist advises on this clip that while the other scientists were under the assumption that the Dharma Initiative was a botanical science endeavor … that was definitely a lie. Of course, the segment is scratched and incomplete, important information cut out etc.. Towards the end of the clip, an alarm goes off when another white rabbit appears in the room at the same time. The scientist, in a panic, asks his assistant how the other rabbit got in as well. Don’t even ask me what that all means because I’m just as clueless. Well, that about does’er. I tried to get as much in as possible. But be sure there’s more to come.