Some film and television productions come to Comic-Con International to answer fan questions, while others come to put on a show. The cast and crew of “Lost” came and did an exceptional job of both of these things at their panel in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center.
The “Lost” panel began with two videos. The first was a commercial (of sorts) for Lost University [LostUniversity.org]. It promised an institution of higher learning where students could study such things as jungle survival basics as well as the theory of time travel. Amusingly, the college’s mascot is a polar bear.
The second video began with a message informing fans of “Lost” that they would be interested to know about a television show that was on the air in the ’80s. Old-looking video (complete with an ABC logo from the ’80s) of a show called “Mysteries of the Universe” began to unspool. The series seemed to be a mix of “The Outer Limits” and something that would screen on Discovery Channel. The show purported to investigate strange scientific theories and phenomena. At one point, the show apparently ran a five-episode look into a group called the DHARMA Initiative. The video didn’t say what they found, but ABC.com has been kind enough to post the episodes online for curious fans.
The lights came up and “Lost” Executive Producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse bounded onto the stage. The two appeared to be as excited as the fans, and reminisced about all the times they’ve been to Comic-Con, including the first panel where they presented “Lost.” The creators explained that it’s due to the fans that “Lost” has been a success – fans like the ones that had camped overnight outside of the convention hall for just for a seat in the panel. In their honor, Lindelof and Cuse said they were proclaiming today “‘Lost’ Fan Appreciation Day.”
To kick off this special celebration, the two played collection of fan-generated video content they’ve enjoyed over the years; including fans having “Lost” parties, the Muppet Babies reenacting scenes from “Lost,” and a Jack/Sawyer montage inspired by “Brokeback Mountain” that was notably hilarious.
Cuse and Lindelof said the question they’re asked most often is if they’ve always known the way “Lost” would end or if they’re just making things up as they go along. Lindelof and Cuse then presented the final two script pages of what will be the last episode. They locked the two pages in a box and promised to go on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” after the final episode airs to confirm whether those pages are correct.
The floor was then opened for audience questions. The first was, naturally, about what fans can expect from the forthcoming Season Six. Lindelof informed the crowd that many characters viewers haven’t seen since the first season will be back.
One of the next questioners was comedian Paul Scheer from “The Human Giant” show. He praised “Lost” and explained that he made a special piece of art for Cuse and Lindelof. Scheer then unveiled a velvet painting of the two creators with a polar bear. He told them he used velvet because, “You guys make us feel with our eyes and our heads, and velvet’s the same way!” For fans who want to see the art for themselves, check out http://damoncarltonandapolarbear.com
The query that followed was about the character of Faraday – is he really dead or will we see him happily married this season? “Faraday is dead, unless you like zombie weddings,” was the response. However, Lindelof and Cuse did mention that the character will be seen in the new season.
The next person to the microphone asked if there will be flashbacks in Season Six. Cuse and Lindelof said each season is a different chapter of “Lost” in which they like to “do different things.” There was a flashback season, a flash-forward season, and a time travel season – Season Six will be “something new.”
Cuse and Lindelof then talked about a contest they recently ran for a “Lost” theme song. They said they received over a hundred submissions, and the winners were four individuals from San Diego. The creators took the song and cut together an opening for the show that they screened it for the Comic-Con crowd. It was a fun (but ridiculous) ’80s-style rock music opening.
After the main title concluded, a commercial for Oceanic Airlines appeared. The ad encouraged people to fly with Oceanic, as they’d never had an accident in thirty years. This was followed by a commercial for Mr. Cluck’s – Hurley’s restaurant! Hurley talked to the camera and explained how he found the perfect chicken recipe while traveling in Australia. Finally, a clip from “America’s Most Wanted” was shown, and the felon at large was Kate! The show’s host explained that Kate planned to kill her stepfather but accidentally killed a co-worker of his. She was still considered “at large” by the police.
This made fans wonder if the giant “reset” button that occurred at the end of Season Five actually worked, and the “Lost” characters’ lives unfolded as though they’d never crashed on the island.
When the lights came up, Jorge Garcia (Hurley) was standing at the microphone asking the creators that very question!
“If you had a question, you could’ve just called our office,” Lindelof said.
“I did call. You guys never called me back,” Garcia said.
Garcia expressed concern that if the “reset” worked, then the last five seasons never occurred. He indicated this would be a massive “cheat.” Cuse tried to reassure Garcia and said to trust them.
“Yeah, last time I trusted you guys, you said that Nikki and Paulo were gonna be awesome,” said Garcia to loud laughs from the audience.
Michael Emerson, who plays Ben Linus, suddenly appeared next to Garcia and chastised his co-star for asking “stupid questions.” Garcia accused Emerson of being bitter that he didn’t get the Hurley role when he first auditioned.
“Would I stoop so low as to play a character as broad as Hurley?” replied Emerson.
Garcia then asked the panelists to “roll the tape.” A video showed Emerson performing over-the-top audition for the role of Hurley in scenes from the first season of “Lost.” The audience loved it!
When the lights came up, Garcia and Emerson were onstage with the creators, and more fan questions ensued. The panel was asked if there would be any Richard Alpert flashbacks in the new season, or if viewers would at least see how he came to the island. Cuse said that we will see Richard’s backstory. Lindelof added, “It’s quite complicated.”
Another fan bemoaned the loss of Juliet and begged the two producers to bring her back. Lindelof wouldn’t say if Jack’s plan to save everybody had worked, but did admit that Juliet will appear in Season Six.
An interesting question in regards to the scene of Jacob at the beach in Season Five: a fan wanted to know if the name of Jacob’s companion happened to be Esau. Lindelof said that while they use a lot of biblical references in the show, that’s not one of them. “But I like the way you’re thinking,” he added.
Next, Lindelof and Cuse said they were going to bring Nestor Carbonell (who plays Richard Alpert) out to answer some questions, as he was just backstage. They then cut to a video of Carbonell in front of a makeup mirror, looking over eyeliner pencils, which his character is often mocked for using. The actor was about to apply some when he noticed that something was wrong: “This is cobalt! I don’t use cobalt!” Carbonell then realized he was on camera and ran out onstage to join the others.
A few more fans were allowed questions. One asked about the food drop in Season Two, as they were curious where the food came from. The creators said this will be answered; however, they also added that viewers won’t be seeing “a ton” about the DHARMA Initiative in the final season.
Another cast member then surprised Lindelof and Cuse by making an appearance – Josh Holloway (Sawyer). He appeared with a taser gun and demanded to see the last two pages of the final episode. Lindelof refused and was “tasered.” Cuse then complied, opened the box, and gave the pages to Holloway, who then handed them to Emerson, as Holloway forgot his reading glasses.
Emerson read, “Exterior Circus Tent. The apex of the big top collapses in on itself as the tent burns like a fiery cauldron. As the flames lick the night sky, we find Sylar and Parkman standing side-by-side…”
The audience howled at the reference to the main characters of “Heroes.” Emerson read a bit more, stopped, and turned to his two bosses and asked, “What the fuck is this?”
Cuse and Lindelof said they must have put the wrong pages in the box. They then gave fans one more heartfelt thanks, and showed an “In Memoriam” video of friends and loved ones who’ve passed away during the production of “Lost,” including characters like Mr. Eko, Libby, Ana-Lucia, the aforementioned Nikki and Paulo, Leslie Arzt, as well as many others. The video concluded with an extra-long remembrance for Charlie, as played by actor Dominic Monaghan…who then appeared onstage when the lights came up!
Does this mean Charlie comes back in Season Six? Or does it merely mean that Monaghan was shopping for some comics when he heard about the “Lost” panel and decided to show up? As always, “Lost” left fans hungry for more answers.