Every promo for Lost‘s final season promises that answers will be revealed.  What they don’t tell you is that the answers are being revealed in official ABC press releases.

I’ve never been a fan of Lost spoilers, but I always assumed reading official press releases and watching video clips released by ABC wouldn’t count as spoilers.  That changed this season.

The guest cast lists from the official ABC press releases are incredibly spoiler heavy.  Fans know in advance what familiar faces will be appearing in the episode, thus ruining the surprise.

Anyone who read the release or watched the opening credits of “Dr. Linus” knew Alan Dale would show up, and since it didn’t happen in the first 59 minutes of the episode, the final reveal of Charles Widmore in his submarine was far less surprising.

Shocking returns from past characters can be great, but not if they’re telegraphed.  Lost needs to take a lesson from 24.  For big comebacks, like the return of Tony Almeida in season 4, 24 wisely left Carlos Bernard‘s name off the opening credits, so when he came in to save Jack Bauer at the very end of the episode, it was a thrilling shock for fans.

Lost could do the same thing.  Sure, we know a lot of the names of former stars coming back, but we have no idea when they’ll pop up.  But anyone who saw the guest cast for “Dr. Linus” knew Widmore and Alex were coming back.  And anyone who’s read the guest cast list for next week’s episode, “Recon,” knows of at least two huge surprises that would’ve been much better left unpublicized (check out the second slide of these official photos if you want to be spoiled).  

I understand that spoilers exist and fans can find out everything they want to know about an episode before it airs, but there’s no reason for ABC to join the spoiler action.  If official press releases and opening credits are no longer safe, then there is no way out, short of hiding in a Hatch all week long and covering the bottom half of your TV screen for the first five minutes of every episode.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.