'Lost': Summary of the 2009 Comic-Con panel
It's one day later, but "Lost" fans are still buzzing about the 2009 Comic-Con panel. While nominally themed as "fan appreciation," Darlton managed to heavily hint that Jack's plan at the end of Season 5 actually worked. How? Read on.
Even though the video of the panel has already leaked to the interwebs, I'm going to give you an overview of everything that went down during the hour-long panel. If you'd like to see video of the event, I'm going to post it at the bottom of this entry. While it's nearly complete, there are a few tidbits crucially missing from the video. Most of them center around videos/montages produced for the panel. Looks like the powers that be asked them to be pulled, which I hope means they'll be on the Season 5 DVDs. I'll describe them as best I can below.
Before I get to the recap, I owe much thanks to everyone at the panel that used Twitter to give updates to the masses. If you're curious as to the live reactions from those there, check out my Twitter page where I transmitted the best from the Con. Among those who gave great insight:
Overview of the panel
Before the producers come onstage, video of a fake ABC show from the 1980's appears onscreen. You can see it here; essentially, it's an expose of the Dharma Initiative. After that, Darlton come out to Europe's "The Final Countdown." Awesome. They announce that the theme of their final appearance at Comic-Con is "fan appreciation," and in that light start off my showing several of their favorite fan-made videos, including these.
The first question from the audience concerns the whole "Are you making this up as you go along?" concern, to which Carlton Cuse pulls out two pages from his leg. He claims they are the final scene of the show, and the two of them lock the pages away in a box pre-placed onstage. They claim they will open it live on TV after the finale ends to prove they had a plan.
The next question concerns their insistence that Season 6 will have a Season 1 feel. By that, they mean 1) the sense of unknown danger on the Island will return, and 2) characters you haven't seen since Season 1 will return. Yay! Arzt is back, he's gonna save my reputation. Hey la, hey la, my Arzt is back!
A Faraday fan is up next, wondering if we'll see her fave character married with kids next year. Darlton cryptically replies that if Jack's plan worked, then there's a good chance of that possibility. Nevertheless, Faraday WILL appear in Season 6. In what context? They ain't saying. They also mention that Season 6 won't have time travel or flash forwards, but "something different." Well, at least that's not completely vague or anything.
This question leads to three videos I'll discuss in full tomorrow, but they relate heavily to the previous question.
Uh huh. Nose bleedy, no?
After those videos, next question is from...Jorge Garcia? OK, now I'm jealous being in Boston and not San Diego. The show takes Hurley's perspective as the voice of the viewer to the extreme here, with Jorge noting that the videos just shown heavily hint that the previous five seasons will be wiped away if Jack was successful. He calls such a move a "cheat." Darlton ask that he trust them, to which Jorge delivers the line of the Con: "Last time I trusted you guys, you said Nikki and Paulo were going to be awesome." Bwahaha.
At this point, Michael Emerson comes on the scene and starts chiding Jorge Garcia, implying that our beloved Hurley is quite the diva on-set. Jorge knows why Michael is being so mean: it's because Emerson auditioned for Hurley but didn't get the part. Emerson tries to brush this off, but lo, there's footage of this audition. And lo, the interwebs already have it posted!
After the video, Jorge and Michael join Darlton onstage. After announcing that Elizabeth Mitchell will be in Season 6 in some fashion (not a surprise, but a nice confirmation all the same), they also confirm that Richard Alpert will be finally getting his flashback ep in the final season. And Richard himself, Nestor Carbonell, is there! The newest full-time cast member is shown on video, looking at himself in the mirror backstage. "Richard Alpert isn't ageless. You are," he says. OK, that's hysterical. He then throws a fit over being handed the wrong eyeliner ("This is cobalt! I asked for onyx!"), and my man-crush on Nestor is now complete.
Once Nestor joins them onstage, a fan asks about the mystery of the pallet drops. Another mystery that will be answered come Season 6, sayeth Darlton. After suggesting the "Dharma" aspect of the show is all but over, they then clear up a mystery I was personally worried about: they say that Jacob always looks like Jacob. By this, they mean that we won't learn later that people that have come in and out of the lives of our characters was in fact Jacob in disguise. Whew. Had this bad feeling that they could ret-con a HUGE chunk of the show by re-displaying old scenes and simply having Person X morph into Jacob.
And that's this years, panel people OH MY GOD JOSH HOLLOWAY IN DA HOWSE! Josh is #1 on my list of actors who want to milk their current character in a spin-off, "Joey"-style. He gets a rock-star greeting after a montage set to Foghat's "Slow Ride," and proceeds to earn more fan cred by physically threatening Darlton to hand over the aforementioned final scene. He "tasers" Damon (calling him J.J. Abrams, heh) and forces Carlton to open the box.
Once Josh has them in his hands, Michael Emerson gets a horrified look on his face. "Oh my God, you don't know how to read, do you?" Emerson starts to read, and it's...a fake final season from the next volume of "Heroes." Awesome. After reading a few lines of dialogue, Emerson looks up and says, "What the #$&* is this?" Brilliant.
Darlton then give heartfelt thanks to the fans for allowing them to produce such a complicated, complex, quality show. Amen, bruthas. After that, there's an "In Memoriam" video, Oscars-style, in which we seen those that have departed. No Juliet or Claire, hmmmmmm. At the end of that, Dominic Monaghan crashes the stage. Guess they weren't messing around about showing characters we haven't see in a while. Onlookers noted the words, "Am I alive?" written on Dom's hand as he greets the panel. End of "Lost" at Comic-Con. Insert "Lost"-esque THUMP here.
They really took "fan appreciation" to heart. Between the showing of fan videos, the playing of the winning entry in the mock "Lost" theme song, and all the well-thought out skits involving some of the show's favorite cast members, the show did an excellent job giving those there a fun time and making those of us at home gnaw the stuffing out of our couch in jealousy.
To make room for "appreciation," they kicked out "information." Obviously they are going to hold their cards as close to their vest as possible, but we only really learned two things definitively: Alpert will get a flashback and Jacob is not a shape-shifter. That's it. Learning about the return of Faraday, Juliet, and several Season 1 characters was nice, but open to massive interpretation. Speaking of massive interpretation....
The quite possibly terrifying beyond all measure
The Oceanic, Mr. Cluck's, and "America's Most Wanted" videos hinted that Season 6 will see some form of alternate timeline. It doesn't literally mean that Hugo will institute a $4.42 value meal in some episode next year, but the show now wants us to start thinking about the fact that Jack Shephard, will a major assist from Juliet Burke, actually pulled off his plan.
But what does that even mean? Does Oceanic 815 actually land? Seems so, what with their perfect safety record. But were these characters actually on it? Was the slate wiped clean, or are we looking at a "Run Lola Run" scenario in which instead of going home, Wayne Janssen suddenly decides to go out to dinner versus going home? Did "Namaste" foreshadow such a timeline, in which The Numbers are heard broadcast over Ajira 316's radio?
Darlton want us to trust them. And trust has been earned. But not complete trust. As tricky and complex as Season 5 was, "alternative timeline" sounds even more complex. Tomorrow, I'll delve deep into the possible implications and permutations of such a move. But for now, enjoy the previously promised footage of the Comic-Con footage!
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