Last night I was among 1,800 Lost fans, cast and crew at Royce Hall in Los Angeles, where composer Michael Giacchino and his orchestra performed several recognizable themes from iconic moments in series history, followed by a screening of the penultimate episode (“What They Died For”). It was a beautiful, memorable and unique experience. But I am not here to provide a play-by-play, or as a media professional; I’m here to share with you exactly how it felt to be in that theater, as a dedicated fan who has an emotional investment in the show and who has been enjoying and analyzing Lost with every ounce of heart and soul since September 22, 2004.
Cast, Crew & Concert
The mood and energy in the theater last night can only be described as electric anxiety. Fans and those involved behind the scenes of the show were equally excited and nervous about experiencing such a sentimental retrospect together, as well as an entirely new episode. The enthusiasm was palpable, as was the overwhelming gratitude for what ABC, Damon, Carlton, the writers, producers, crew and actors have gifted us with for the past six years.
Damon and Carlton have become household names, so it was no surprise that they were greeted like rock stars when they took the stage to introduce the cast, producers and writing staff. From series regulars to beloved guest stars to those killed off far too early in the series, the talent that walked out on stage was awe-inspiring and fantastic.
With the introduction and appearance of the cast, the applause increased. When they were all standing in line on stage, during a standing ovation, I started to well up with tears of appreciation. It was quite stunning and amazing to see the following actors together for the first time: Sterling Beaumon (Young Ben), L. Scott Caldwell (Rose Nadler), Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert), Francois Chau (Pierre Chang), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond Hume), Jeremy Davies (Daniel Faraday), Kim Dickens (Cassidy Philips), Michael Emerson (Ben Linus), Jorge Garcia (Hugo Reyes), Josh Holloway (James ‘Sawyer’ Ford), Malcolm David Kelley (Walt Lloyd), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin Kwon), Rebecca Mader (Charlotte Lewis), William Mapother (Ethan Rom), Harold Perrineau (Michael Dawnson), Lance Reddick (Matthew Abaddon), Daniel Roebuck (Leslie Arzt), Ian Somerhalder (Boone), Sonya Walger (Penny Widmore) and Titus Welliver (Man in Black).
Following the cast, Damon and Carlton proudly introduced their fellow producers and writers: Jack Bender, Bryan Burk, Jean Higgins, Adam Horowitz, Eddy Kitsis and Liz Sarnoff – all of whom I have deep admiration and respect for because of their unparalleled creativity and vision.
Nestor Carbonell, Michael Emerson, Jorge Garcia, Daniel Dae Kim and Sonya Walger took turns reading touching and entertaining fictional messages from the bottle that was set out to sea in the Season 1 finale. Some of the actors were visibly moved by what they were reading, and Emerson delivered his in character – eliciting great laughter from the crowd.
But the true highlight was listening to and soaking in the breathtaking score of our favorite series. I closed my eyes during the orchestral performance and immediately recalled scenes that are permanently housed in the Lost hall of fame. I was particularly moved and overcome with an emotional outpouring by “Parting Words,” which infamously and perfectly accompanied the raft launch at the end of Season 1. At that moment, I realized how rare it was to be in that venue, one week away from the series finale, sharing it with those who have both created and supported the show for six seasons.
Episode 6.16: “What They Died For” (Spoiler-Free Preview)
As someone who has been strictly spoiler-free since day one, there is no way that I would spoil the experience of watching the second-to-last episode of Lost for fellow fans.
In a purposely veiled and vague summary, I will simply say this…the penultimate episode is easily one of the season’s best, and sets up the finale (“The End”) far better than I could have imagined. For the first time since the question has been posed to me (and it is, daily and often) – I have an idea about how it might all end, or at least the direction they’re headed. And I approve, wholeheartedly. “What They Died For” features a strong dose of what we all love and have missed in this final season of Lost, which is humor. But don’t get me wrong, the pace accelerates and we are very clearly headed for the end of a show, era and experience.
If you also attended Lost Live, or have read spoilers about episode 6.16, PLEASE do us and other fans the courtesy of not placing them in the comments below.