LOST: 2010 PaleyFest Panel Recap (with Spoilers)
Francis Fernandez - February 28, 2010
Millions have been watching Lost and scratching their heads wondering, "When will they start feeding us some answers?!?" Last night, close to 1,900 die-hard fans lined the block at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills for the annual PaleyFest panel to try get some of those answers. The panel included executive producers Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Eddy Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Liz Sarnoff, and Jack Bender and cast members Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert), Zuleihka Robinson (Ilana), Michael Emerson (Ben Linus), and Terry O'Quinn (John Locke).
[There is a section of spoilers at the end of this recap which are clearly marked so you can easily avoid reading them.]
Here are a few non-spoiler items the panel discussed:
- Lindelof and Cuse stated they are currently writing the script for the show's finale. While the script has a solid architecture that was concocted far in advance, there is room left to still write some new material.
- The hardest part about implementing ideas was telling the stories. The creators explained that it would have been easier for characters to establish their history merely by having them tell it while on the island rather than including flashback sequences, which is how they are able to fit so much story into the show. They also mentioned that the writing on the current sixth season reflects much of what was written in season one.
- Terry O'Quinn jokingly said, "No." when the panel was asked if the actors are involved in steering their characters' storylines. They added that writing a story for a TV series was much different than writing a novel because of situations that arise with actors. For instance, the creators had planned a much longer story for Mr. Eko, but Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje did not want to continue, leading to his early demise. Also, if they had a way to keep Walt the same age, there would be more story for him.
- When asked about their personal favorite moments from the show, Cuse stated that his was the raft launch from season one because of the collaborative nature of the moment. Carbonell joked that his favorite moment was finding out who his character really is.
- Carbonell's answer was followed by a discussion about the secretive and evolving nature of the show's characters and how most of the time the actors don't have much to work with concerning their backstories. For instance, when O'Quinn was told that the character he was playing in season five was another character merely impersonating John Locke, he trusted the creators to steer his performance in the right direction by giving the actors just enough information despite them not knowing their full motivations.
- While moderator Paul Scheer mentioned the rumored conversion of Tom Sawyer Island into a Lost Island attraction at Disneyland, the panel very humorously added ideas, such as: a VW Bus ride with Hurley at the wheel; a flashback tunnel; and Lindelof's idea of the Lost experience—putting people in a dark room, spinning them around, and having them punched in the face.
- Because Ben Linus is a character who is constantly hit in the face, he was asked who the show's best hitter is. He followed up by saying that the younger the actor, the more inflamed that actor's performance, and the higher the risk of actually being harmed.
- The show was described as a program with a cable sensibility and network television benefits. Cuse stated that he was thankful that the people at ABC gave the series such a generous budget that allowed an unparalleled vision to be broadcast to a much wider audience than cable-based shows like Mad Men.
- Lindelof and Cuse made it clear that once the show ends, they will not be commenting on the finale. They intend for the audience to interpret things for themselves to give them an enlightened feeling once they determine their own interpretation. For instance when Lindelof was asked about the appearance of an October date on Claire's ultrasound (even though the plane landed in LAX in September), he initially attributed it to a production gaffe. But when Lindelof figured out that the October date was Aaron's expected date of birth, he realized that the person who asked him would have eventually figured it out with a great sense of enlightenment if he kept quiet about it.
SPOILER ALERT: THE REST OF THIS RECAP DEALS WITH INFORMATION ABOUT UPCOMING STORYLINES AND CHARACTER APPEARANCES (OR NON-APPEARANCES). YOU'VE BEEN WARNED. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Sometimes the panelists answered questions directly. Other times the panelists chose not to answer questions by passing while still providing a related spoilery tidbit.
- When discussing Eko and Walt and the effects on the story, Darlton said they are trying to find a way for Walt to return.
- We will find out that Jack is married to someone we have already seen in past episodes.
- During last week's episode when Jacob told Hurley that someone will be coming to the island, he was not lying. Someone is indeed coming.
- Matthew Abaddon's storyline will not be revisited, nor will Ben's childhood sweetheart Annie.
- We will see a continuation in Libby's storyline.
- Charlie will make another season six appearance. (And so will Vincent).
- While avoiding a question about Rose and Bernard's future on the island, they added that while we have already seen a flash sideways with Rose, we may see one with Bernard.
- The panel passed on a question about whether the show will revisit the issue of why the island's women cannot have babies.
- When asked whether Desmond disappeared from the plane or merely moved seats during the season six premiere, we were told we would find out soon.
- Scheer mentioned a question about Ilana's age. While her age was not further discussed, it was mentioned that a connection between Ilana and the seemingly ageless Alpert will be revealed soon.
- In closing, Lindelof stated that if there is one word that can sum up the final three episodes of the series, it is "water." Cuse said that though it may not make much sense at the moment, it eventually will -- once the series wraps up.
Francis Fernandez is an avid film and television fan who wanted to be apart of VH1's World Series of Pop Culture, but had to settle for being a contestant at the Universal Studios theme park version of Fear Factor. He didn't win. His favorite shows include Lost, Arrested Development, and Dance 360--the now canceled timewaster in which "dancers" competed head-to-head around a circle for 360 bucks and an Xbox.