With enough time for a child to be conceived and carried to term between seasons, Lost fans are currently in the midst of what is surely one of the longest waits for answers in television history. Thankfully, writers and executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse made an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday to offer a small idea of what to expect over the coming seasons.
Among the revelations was the announcement that Michael Perrineau will be returning as a regular cast member in his role of Michael, as well as the somewhat predictable news that future seasons will feature more "flash-forwards" similar to the third season finale.
Following ABC's landmark decision to allow Lost to end with dignity over a finite schedule of three 16-episode seasons, Cuse took the opportunity to once again address their gratitude as storytellers:
"Now we know for certain that there are going to be 48 episodes left. We know exactly how much time we have to fill, which is really helping us as storytellers. Three seasons of 16 episodes is also good because, unlike a show like 24 that resets every year, we have all this carry-forward mythology. It's a very hard show to write and keep fresh, so it gives us more time to do our work and keep the show good."
Part of the plan includes the news of Michael's return, which Lindelof said has been the intention all along:
"Harold is actually the first and only actor who's ever left the show [as] part of a design to have them come back. It was excruciating to keep our mouths shut for a season."
Of course, in typical Lost fashion, the specifics of Michaels return were not discussed, with Lindelof suggesting the answers will be revealed early in the 4th season and that it will be "fairly awesome".
As for those flashbacks and flash-forwards, many fans had held the theory that future episodes may feature flash-forwards alone. However, it was revealed Thursday that both will now be integrated into the plots, with episodes taking place along any of three timelines. Intriguingly, Cuse offered another hint, stating that what we saw with Kate and Jack in the end of last season was not the end of the show's timeline.
Very interesting indeed.
Cuse and Lindelof - as they are prone to doing in Lost podcasts - also posed a few questions of their own to get the audience thinking:
- Who's in the coffin?
- Who's on the freighter and what do they want?
- Did anyone other than Kate and Jack leave the island?
- What about the skeletons in season one?
Of course, whether these are simply red herrings or genuine food for thought is yet to be seen, though fans were assured Rousseau will get a flashback episode at some point, Jack and Claire will discover their sibling relationship, the story of Libby will continue and the capture of Ben in season two will be delved into.
Oh, and Comic-Con exclusive Dharma footage - reportedly discovered in Norway and restored for the event - was shown. It featured a rabbit marked with the number 15, another in a cage, the words "love Jacob", a scream and an upside down image of someone riding a bicycle. Make of that what you will... or continue waiting patiently.
In the meantime, I might go deal with my Lost withdrawals by returning to the beginning and watching seasons 1-3 again. There's plenty of time for it.