Beach packed for last of ‘Lost’
• Photo gallery: 'Lost': Sunset on the Beach
BY Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer
Thousands of screaming fans of "Lost" packed Waikíkí Beach yesterday to watch the first hour of the show's final season and catch a glimpse of the actors that have made the ABC mystery a global hit.
The two-hour season premere of "Lost" won't air nationally until Tuesday, so the Sunset on the Beach sneak preview gave fans in Hawai'i, where the show is filmed, a head start on the beginning of the end.
They were not disappointed . They watched "Lost" on a big screen and 14 members of the ensemble cast showed up.
The stars were met at the curb by an estimated 2,500 people, then proceeded to pose for photographs and sign autographs for more than hour. The rest of the 12,000 fans — some of whom had arrived at dawn — waited on the beach for the screening or hung over metal barriers at a red-carpet arrival ceremony.
With cameras held high, they shouted their love as the actors mugged for the amateur paparazzi with smiles and shakas.
"Oh my God, this is crazy out here," said Michael Emerson, who received an Emmy last year for his part as the sinister Benjamin Linus.
The show has won fans ever since its pilot aired in 2004, crashing passengers on a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles on an island with menacing smoke monsters, evil residents and more convoluted plot turns than a maze. This is the show that trumped its penchant for flashbacks with flash forwards, then topped that with time travel.
Every season has ended with a cliffhanger and a handful of unanswered questions. But this sixth and final season had fans buzzing with anticipation over which stories — some of which they have followed since the start — will be resolved.
Or not. Last night's screening was an opening teaser for a wild ride that will last until May.
"It's really kind of exciting now, how the stories are going to meld together," said Jorge Garcia, who plays Hurley.
Garcia wouldn't mind if the show continued, but fellow actor Daniel Dae Kim, who plays Jin, feels that the story arc has lasted "just the right amount of time."
Fans have grown to expect a lot from the creators of "Lost" and Kim said this season shouldn't disappoint anyone.
" 'Lost' has always been known for changing up its narrative styles, season to season and this season will not be an exception," he said. "There is something going on in the way that the stories are unfolding that I think will surprise people."
Evangeline Lilly, who plays Kate, is looking forward to the freedom of life without a long-running series, but the end will be bittersweet.
"I'm feeling like I can't believe it's pretty much over," she said. "It's going to be the end of an era for me. It's going to be the end of a significant part of my life."
Characters who leave "Lost" have come back, even when they're dead. Harold Perrineau, who plays Michael, had a key role in the early seasons before leaving, coming back and then blowing up. He was looking pretty lively at the premiere.
"It's been fantastic to come back," he said. "And for me the first season was really special, so it's great to be back with all these folks. We started this really amazing journey and we kind of get a chance to end it together."
The screening on the beach was a party for the fans.
"I'm a super fan," said Julie Rios, a 25-year-old school teacher from Hale'iwa. "I remember watching the first episode from the first season and thinking how different it was from any other show on television. It was like a movie and it unraveled so slowly."
Bryan Martin, 24, of Honolulu, had not watched "Lost" until three weeks ago but has watched nearly 50 hours of it in a mad, but failed, rush to catch up in time for the premiere.
"I'm not going to understand a thing that's going on and everything will be ruined for me," he said. "But this is never going to happen again."Advertiser Staffers Minette McCabe, Scott Morifuji and Scott Nishi contributed to this report. Reach Mike Gordon at 525-8012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.