(Regular DHD readers know I don’t do geek. But frequent LA Weekly film reviewer and comic book expert Luke Y Thompson does. He spends all year waiting for Comic-Con and this time he’s covering it for me. Here’s his latest report.)
Caution: may make no sense at all to non-LOST-ies. And there’s way too much backstory for me to give you full context here. Though I got in late to the LOST panel after waiting in line for an hour, I don’t think I missed anything: it began with a fake recruiter from the Dharma Initiative explaining that they’d been trying to find new recruits all convention, but that “the results were abysmal.” He then shows footage of fans answering queations at the Dharama booth like “What would you sacrifice to stay alive?” (Best fan answer: “Carlton Cuse!”). The four best recruits are brought onstage — they look like stereotypical geeks. Recruiter says they’re exactly what he needs, and that he’s taking them backstage to see an exclusive video no-one else can see.
With that done (for the moment), LOST writers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof took questions, giving out appropriate gifts to the people who asked them. A Hurley lookalike gets a big tub of ranch dressing. A fan asking about Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) gets an “I asked a Richard Alpert question and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” shirt. And so forth.
Some of the answers: Did the island move when the Hatch imploded? No. Are Jin and Locke really dead? “Death is a relative term. They’ll still be on the show in some form.”
Cuse’s favorite episode is the time-shifting Desmond episode “The Constant.” Lindelof’s is the Season 1 finale, “back when the show could still be hopeful.”
Will there be a Danielle Rousseau flashback? “You will see definitively this year Rousseau’s story, but to call it flashback would be disingenuous.” Through flashbacks and flash-forwards will continue, Cuse and Lindelof say they have a new way of storytelling planned that will “mix it up.” The rest of the writing staff “knows a lot, but they don’t know everything” about how things will end.
Vincent the dog is still alive, and will probably survive the whole show. Cuse doesn’t think the McFarlane action figure of Jack looks like Matthew Fox. Lindelof argues with him. Fox himself comes out to settle things, to massive cheers.
A little kid asks if Kate will ever see Sawyer again. Fox: “Not if Jack has anything to say about it!” Cuse: “Yes.” Now that the island has moved, what happened to the boat with Faraday and the other survivors? “Things are looking up for Faraday, but not so good for the characters who’ve never spoken a line.”
You’re not gonna know where and when you are when Season 5 starts.
Do they ever write themselves into a corner? Cuse: “We try to write ourselves into a corner every day.”
Richard Alpert is “quite old.” How many toes does he have? “You’re gonna see him barefoot in the very near future.”
With that, the Q&A is interrupted by one of the Dharma “recruits,” screaming about how everyone needs to see the video he just made. Cuse and Lindelof feign surprise, but then let the kid show a secret video of the Asian doctor from the Dharma orientation videos, saying his real name is Pierre Chang, and he’s sending this message from 30 years in the past. To prove it, he says that he knows the president is George W. Bush, and “you share information on something called the Internet.” He mentions that Dharma has been purged, but it is imperative that it be reconstituted. “Time isn’t just of the essence. It IS the essence. Change the past…” The footage ends.