Lost season five doesn't begin shooting for another few weeks, so there was no new footage at Comic-Con's Lost panel. But that didn't mean there was a shortage of theatrics. The panel was "sponsored" by the Dharma Initiative, the shadowy science cabal that is connected to many of the island's weirdest mysteries. And the Dharma kerfuffle led to a major spoiler about the future of the show.
In a nutshell, the panel was bookended by a little drama about the Dharma Initiative's recruiting program. A European man named Hans (I think) was there talking about the extensive recruiting program, and he said that they'd hoped to find the best and brightest at Comic-Con. Instead, Dharma found a "truly pathetic" level of ability among the Comic-Con attendees - including producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. The exceptions were six random people, who were brought up on stage and then led away to go to the next level of Dharma initiation.
And then at the end of the panel, one of the Dharma finalists ran back with a video camera of secret recordings he'd made in the Dharma inner sanctum at Comic-Con:
He ran around screaming that people deserved some answers after four years of mystification, and Cuse and Lindelof called security. But security was mysteriously unable to keep the man from playing his tape, which showed scientist Marvin Candle. Candle's real name turns out to be Pierre Chang, and he's an astrophysicist from Ann Arbor. He's been brought to this godforsaken island to study Einstein thingies, and now he knows that he and his colleagues are going to be killed in a purge. He's sending his video forward in time 30 years, to a time when George W. Bush is president and there's something called the internet. And he's imploring people to reconstitute the Dharma Initiative, travel back in time and change history to save him and his colleagues. He says, "TIme is not only of the essence, it IS the essence." Whoah! And then the Dharma Initiative guy got up on stage and said the Initiative was withdrawing sponsorship, and the panel had to end.
Other stuff that Damon and Carlton (and special guest Matthew Fox, who showed up halfway through) said:
- The island did not travel when the hatch imploded, but something did happen.
- We'll see more of Locke and Jin on the show. "Dead is a relative term," and there's still a lot of story to be told about those characters.
- Their favorite episodes are "The Constant" (Carlton) and "Exodus" (Damon). Damon adds that he really liked season four, and he admitted the show has had its "ups and downs."
- They reiterated that getting an end date for the show has really reinvigorated it in terms of giving it energy and purpose.
- We will see Rousseau's story this year, but it won't exactly be a flashback. We're done with flashbacks and flashforwards, but there will be some time-jumping excitement anyway. There will be storytelling on and off the island, and in different periods of time.
- Vincent the Dog is fine and will be in season five - and will survive until the end of the show.
- The Jack/Kate/Sawyer triangle is central to the show, and we'll see more interesting permutations of it over the next two seasons. And Kate will see Sawyer again.
- The nameless extras in the Zodiac boat with Farraday, stranded with the island gone, may be toast, but "things are looking up" for Farraday himself.
- Speaking of Daniel, he has a little notebook that tells him stuff that's happened, and stuff that will happen soon, and it's going to figure prominently in season five.
- Richard Alpert is "quite old," thanks to the island's mystical properties, and we'll see more of his history this year. We'll also see him barefoot in "the near future, pun intended," so we'll find out how many toes he has.