Comic-Con: We Open The Hatch For Our ‘Lost’ Panel Report

By Michael Avila (Note: “Lost” spoilers below)

What the heck is the Man in Black’s name?

We still don’t know the answer to that burning question from “Lost’s” mindblowing finale to Season 5, or to any of the other 1,275 questions we have about the show. But “Lost” fans did learn a few juicy nuggets about the show’s upcoming final season during a raucous panel Saturday at Comic-Con.

Among the details executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof revealed to an at-capacity crowd in Hall H:

Elizabeth Mitchell, who’s starring in the fall debut “Flash Forward,” will be back for Season 6. In what capacity or time period, they wouldn’t say.

According to Lindelof, it all depends on whether Jack’s plan works or not.

The showrunners also said ‘certain characters’ who haven’t been seen since Season 1 will return. Were they hinting at the return of Boon and/or Shannon? Or with “Heroes” hanging on by a thread, will Greg Grunberg’s pilot show up again?

No dice. If Cuse and Lindelof were superheroes, their power would be deflection, because these guys can sidestep questions like a Matador.

Also, Daniel Farraday, who was very much dead last time we saw him, will also be back for the final season. That would seem to be another indicator that Jack’s wacky plan to blow things back to normal last season, actually worked. (Then again, this is “Lost” we’re talking about. So guess at your own peril.)

The Dharma Initiative won’t play as big a role in the final season. However, they did show a clip for a mock-documentary called “Mysteries of the Universe: Dharma Initiative” that will be available on DVD and on the show’s website at some point.

Lindelof said, in response to a question, that Jacob has never appeared to any of the characters on the show, as anyone other than himself. So that shoots a hole in the theory that Claire’s appearances are really Jacob.

Cuse and Lindelof, who walked onstage to “The Final Countdown,” then addressed a common complaint about the show’s famously dense storylines.

“One of the questions we get asked a lot is if we’re just making this up as we go along,” Cuse said.

The two then locked 2 pages they claimed were the show’s final scene, in a black box. Lindelof said they would open the box on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” the night of the finale and prove that they have always had a plan.

Cuse called each season of “Lost” a different book, that is part of a larger series, with a different theme, such as last season’s time travel emphasis. He said they were not ready to reveal the final season’s theme just yet.

But they were ready to welcome some surprise guests.

Jorge Garcia (“Hurley”) thrilled the crowd by walking up to the mic and asked his bosses if the promos mean Jack’s plan worked. If it did, he asked, does that basically wipe away everything from the first 5 seasons?

“You’ll just have to trust us, Jorge,” Cuse said.

Garcia then said the last time they told him that, they assured him Nikki and Paolo were going to be awesome cast additions.

Then Michael Emerson, Ben Linus himself, showed up and chided Garcia for asking too many questions. Garcia says Emerson is so angry because he originally wanted to play Hurley. We then saw a very funny clip showing Emerson’s audition for the part of Hurley.

When asked whether we will get a chance to learn more about the Island’s ageless wonder, Richard Alpert, before the show wraps, Cuse gave a rather cryptic answer.

“I think we would be remiss if we didn’t give you Richard’s backstory before the show ended.”

Right on cue, Nestor Carbonell walked onstage to join the producers and castmastes.

The roof to Hall H nearly blew off when Josh Holloway joined the panel to a monstrous ovation. In full ‘Sawyer’ mode, Holloway pretends to taser Lindelof, takes the key to the black box and opens the box with the purported final scene.

Emerson snatches the script from Holloway and proceeds to read… a scene from “Heroes!”

After a video homage to all the cast members who have left the show, Dominic Monaghan (“Charlie”) walked onstage to take a final curtain call at Comic-Con with his fellow Island-ers.

Let’s hope “Lost” goes out on a similar high note with its farewell season.