Ten years on from its stunning pilot episode, “Lost” and its mysteries still hold the power to render shafted fans blind with fury, and defenders ultra-articulate as to why the finale ended the show on a perfect note. The latter viewpoint definitely won out this past weekend during a PaleyFest reunion panel with the “Lost” cast and creators, but aside from revealing many entertaining behind-the-scenes stories about the show, showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse also explained certain narrative details, and laid to rest a few of the main theories surrounding the show. Spoilers, naturally.
While technically not a full reunion affair, the panel (moderated by Paul Scheer) still featured a number of the show’s key players aside from Lindelof and Cuse: Josh Holloway, Jorge Garcia, Yunjin Kim, Ian Somerhalder, Maggie Grace, Henry Ian Cusick, and Malcolm David Kelley. Over the course of an hour, the group touched on many topics, including their first reactions to the show’s popularity and also the surprise evolution of characters’ iconic traits (Lindelof admitted that there was no script when they cast the show).
However, a major clarification came courtesy of Cuse (via Yahoo TV), who addressed the notion that all of the castaways were dead the entire time. “No. They were not dead the entire time," he said, adding that the theory might have been given extra support from the series’ ending credits showing plane fuselage on the beach. Some viewers thought that this meant all passengers on Oceanic Flight 815 died in the crash and the island was purgatory; Lindelof swooped in to, once again, confirm this was not the case.
"For us, one of the ongoing conversations with the audience and there was a very early perception, was that the island was purgatory,” he said. “[We] were always out there saying, 'It's not purgatory, this is real, we're not going to Sixth Sense you.' "
Some of the castmembers chimed in with theories that they had heard themselves (Garcia related a fan who believed the castaways were all clones), but whether this final confirmation means anything to you depends on the state in which you left “Lost” back in 2010. For those still looking for answers though—or perhaps a bit of fun with the same gang again—check out the full panel below. (And keep your ears peeled for an in-joke from Holloway regarding Vincent the dog and a DUI -- a joke quickly snuffed out and paved over by Cuse).