So there have been hints that we might see some familiar faces showing up in Lost's final season... but nothing could have prepared us for the returning characters the show announced at today's panel. Spoilers ahead!
A whole bunch of season one characters will be back in the final season of Lost, as you'd pretty much expected. (But producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse didn't specify exactly which season-one characters.) More importantly, though, they said we'd be seeing more of Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) in the final season. Although they did say that Faraday is "kinda dead," so if we were going to see Faraday's wedding, it would have to be a "zombie wedding." Also, there won't be flashbacks or time travel next year, but the show will be doing "something different."
We'll see less of the Dharma Initiative in season six, but we may learn who did that mysterious food drop back in season two. And we'll learn the secrets of Richard Alpert at last — including some flashbacks, despite the statement that we're not getting flashbacks this time around.
The panel included the requisite store of funny videos, which we'll post as soon as they turn up online. There was an ad for Oceanic Airlines, which touted its perfect safety record. There was a video of Nestor Carbonell putting on eyeliner backstage — although in the press roundtables afterwards, Carbonell insisted he doesn't wear any, and offered to use makeup wipes if we had any. (His eyes do look incredibly eyelinered up close and in person.) There was a tribute to dead characters, plus some fan videos and mashups, and finally a "Mysteries Of The Unknown" promo for a documentary about the Dharma Initiative.
In the press roundtables after the panel, we got a chance to talk to Josh Holloway, who plays Sawyer, and he said we won't be seeing any more of the heroic leader that Sawyer became in the previous season:
I'm ready to get back to [being the] salty dog so that's good. Now that he's lost Juliet, I think the leader/hero thing is gone. He doesn't give a shit to be anyone's leader any more. He's back to "Everything sucks," and maybe during the season someone can [redeem him again and] bring him back from hell, because he's in Hell.
But wait a second — didn't the producers just say Juliet would be back in the final season? We pressed Holloway to explain the contradiction, and he tried to shrug it off. Then he said:
Maybe she'll be this beautiful angel that appears [to him] and he can have this erotic [vision]. (Laughs)
Additional reporting by Sarah Hope Williams.