It was the last Lost panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego before the final season the show airs early next year, and fans had camped out overnight to make inside the capacity crowd of Hall H.

The panel was billed with executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who in the past have turned the panel into a stunt- and surprise- filled affair. And they didn’t disappoint for this final panel, which began with a clip plugging Lost University, followed by a promo for the retro 1970s-style series running as a web series on the ABC site. And finally, a trailer for the upcoming season.

Cuse and Lindelof then came out and announced this, being the final season panel, would be all about fan appreciation and showed a clip of fan-generated clips featuring audio from the show dubbed over an episode of Muppet Babies, Jack crying over his crashed Xbox 360 on the phone with Microsoft customer support, and a YouTube clip made with Lost action figures. It wrapped with a spoof of Brokeback Mountain, made with clips of the Jack and Sawyer characters.

Lindelof then said the question they are asked most frequently is whether the show is actually all planned out or if they’re just making it up as they go. So he and Cuse each produced a page with part of the final scene on it. Cuse put it in a box, secured it with two padlocks and gave one key to Lindelof and keeping the other for himself.

“The box is going to be taken to an undisclosed location,” Cuse said. “On the night of the finale, we’ll go on Jimmy Kimmel Live and read it, and you’ll all see that is verbatim with the final scene of the show.”

They then announced a secret word that would earn whoever said it while asking a question a special prize. At that point, they went to questions. “We will be as honest and forthcoming as we never were,” said Lindelof.

The producers said the final season will be a bit like closing a loop, going back and evoking some of the feeling of the first. “The biggest moment in the show’s life was when we were able to announce the show’s death,” said Lindelof. “We’re closing a loop in many ways. On the surface of it, you’ll be seeing many characters you haven’t seen since the first season.”

“There was a certain feel (the first season),” said Cuse. “They were running around in the jungle, it was intense and surprising and there was this sort of emotional discovery going on. We have a way we’re going to be doing it in the final season of the show.”

The next question was from a fan who had created a painting on velvet of Lindelof and Cuse with a polar bear, which he unveiled and gave to the producers. He says fans can see it and more on his website,

The producers also said that the character of Faraday will return. Cuse said that each season of the show is like a book in a series — each stands on its own but adds to the whole. They also will not repeat, so the sixth season will be different from any of the others. “The time travel season is over, the flash forward season is over, so we have something different planned.”

They next announced they had asked fans to submit more traditional TV themes for the show, presenting the winner — a rock theme in the style of 1980s shows — set to clips of the show. That was followed by a faux commercial of Jorge Garcia as Hurley, promoting his Mr. Cluck’s fast food chain and its Outback Roasters chicken combo. Then came a clip of reporting on the fugitive Kate Austen, played on the show by Evangeline Lilly.

The next question came from Garcia, who was standing in line in the audience. “That commercial we all just saw — and the other one you made me do — does that means that what Jack did in the finale worked and the plane never crashed? Because that would mean the last five seasons didn’t happen and that would be a real big cheat.”

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

He then asks another question about tying up all the loose ends. “Everything that matters, we’re going to answer,” says Lindelof.

At that point, Michael Emerson approached Garcia and asked “What happened to one questions per person?”

A very funny bit of bickering between them followed, ending with Garcia saying Emerson’s just jealous because he originally tried out for the role of Hurley and didn’t get it. Emerson denies this, and Garcia asks the producers to back him up. That led to a clip of Emerson auditioning for the role.

The producers then answered more questions: Richard Alpert will be back and his back-story will be told in the final season. Also, Elizabeth Mitchell will be appearing in the final season.

Then Bob Stencil, asked a question about the time paradox, his nose started “bleeding” and he drank a Dharma Initiative beer. Lindelof and Cuse then surprised him, by giving him a custom Bob Stencil t-shirt with his face incorporated into the Dharma logo.

Next question was whether actor Nestor Carbonell always wore makeup. They cut to a clip of him backstage applying makeup and throwing a fit over his usual color, onyx, not being available. Carbonell then came out and joined the panel.

More answers: The next season won’t be seeing much of the Dharma Initiative, as the show moves into other territory.

The next questioner said the secret word — “Claire” — and won the prize, which was supposed to be the bird the Claire character tied a note to in the second season. Since the bird wasn’t available, they produced a statue of a bird, with a copy of the note attached to it.

They then went to another clip, which introduced surprise guest Josh Holloway, who plays Sawyer. Holloway produced a “taser,” and used it on Lindelof. He took the key to the lock box and then forced Cuse to open it. He gave the pages to Emerson, who began reading the scene, which was a scene for .

After thanking the fans, they ran a clip commemorating all the characters who have died during the show, ending with Charlie and the brief appearance by actor Dominic Monaghan, wrapping up the final Lost panel.

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