OK, so you saw the news about Harold Perrineau and Cynthia Watros returning to Lost this season, but what about return visits from other original castmember favorites like Maggie Grace as Shannon, Malcolm David Kelley as Walt and our old pilot-eating pal Smokey the smoke monster?
After this morning's press tour panel, reporters chased down Lost executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof and star Josh Holloway, and we got them to answer even more of your burning questions about our favorite epic ABC series. Here's what we learned:
What about Maggie returning as Shannon?
We would love to have Maggie Grace back, but she's very busy—she's got a movie career. We would love to work it out and have her back on the show, and we've talked to her; we're just trying to get that worked out.
When in season six will Harold Perrineau and Cynthia Watros be appearing?
In the latter half of the season.
Do you have plans to bring Charlie back?
Yes, Dominic Monaghan is back for four episodes this season.
Malcolm David Kelley is the big question I have...
Well, Malcolm is very tricky because of the age thing, and it makes it very hard for him. We would love to have him back, but he has aged and looks older than his character. So that's the problem with him, so we're still trying to see if there's a way to work that out.
Will the clips from Comic-Con—the Mr. Cluck's commercial and the Kate crime feature—make sense once we've seen the premiere, or will we have to wait to fit them into the mythology?
I think they will start to make sense after the premiere, but it will take a number of episodes for them to fully make sense.
What about the Helen episode with Katey Sagal?
That comes up in the first third of the season.
Obviously, you can't answer every single question, but some things like the numbers—
No, obviously, if we said nothing about the smoke monster, if we said nothing about the numbers, we would be killed, but we believe that we recognize what the major questions are, and we will be providing some answers to those questions.
Where are you in terms of writing the episodes?
We are in the middle of shooting episode 11, prepping episode 12 and we're writing episode 13.
How quickly does Claire come back?
I can't say.
What is the vibe of the final season?
I'd say it's a lot like the vibe of first season—the actors talk a lot about how they’ve reconnected with each other—there's almost a nostalgic quality. I think the first season of any show, the actors get together, they bond, and then there’s a drift over time. But because the show has an end, the actors have a chance to sort of rebond, much like they did in the first season when they screened the episodes every Wednesday at each other. There's a real sense that the connections between these characters is a huge part of the show: Why did these characters cross [paths with] each other?
Are you worried the show will jump the shark?
I think that the show has jumped the shark at least a dozen times now, and fortunately for us, the storytellers, but unfortunately for a mainstream audience, yes, absolutely there was a time 23 million people were watching Lost, and that time has passed. Every time this show takes a risk, declares itself more overtly, there are going to be people saying, "I wasn't watching a show about time travel. I don't like that show. I don't want to watch that anymore." But we want to tell the story that we're committed to, and hopefully the audience will stick with us. We can't really comment past that.
How will this finale compare to other recent series finales?
I think that The Shield was a phenomenal series finale, and certainly Newhart is one of my favorites, but my all-time favorite series finale is M*A*S*H. I remember watching that with my folks; I remember everyone on our street was watching it. I remember Hawkeye basically saying, "It was a baby, it wasn't a chicken, it was a baby," and how emotional it was when the chopper finally lifted off and Klinger stayed behind; it stayed with me for my life. I feel like to end a show that people do care about and to give the characters incredibly fulfilling resolutions, M*A*S*H is the pinnacle of something we're trying to achieve. That being said, it wasn't a mystery show, so we've got to answer all our mysteries and give the audience a satisfying character conclusion, so I'd like to say for the record that our degree of difficulty is very high.
What happens to Sawyer this season?
They've kept me in the dark since day one; I don't know, and I don't want to know. I'm spoiled now with not having to study much, just get it and go.
What do you want for Sawyer this last season?
Before I thought he should die saving a frog or something crazy like that, but now I feel like maybe he's earned a second chance at life, but it's not a clean slate. He's got some things he needs to rectify that he's done in the past, and hopefully the lessons he's learned on the Island will translate to real life, and he can have a second chance.
Will you continue to live in Hawaii after the show ends or move back to Los Angeles?
I'll do both. I definitely have fallen in love with Hawaii and have a home there, but L.A. is where the work is, so I'll be there.
Are you buying what the producers are selling? Hit the comments with your latest Lost thoughts.
Also, if you missed it this morning, don't miss our liveblog of Lost's panel at press tour, and check back soon for video clips of Kristin's interviews with the stars!