December 17, 2008 at 08:44 PM EST

I’ve resisted commenting on the teases ABC is doling out these days about the new season of Lost, such as this one:

My dilemma about this clip–the second such clip from the season premiere of Lost leaked to fans via the Web–is simply this: I DON’T WANNA KNOW! I’ve been SOOOOO good about keeping myself spoiler free about the upcoming season. I’ve waited eight months. I’ve been very disciplined about not peeking at the places where you can peek to find stuff out. I now want to seal the deal and save for myself an utterly pure, un-predigested experience. So I’m not going to look! You can’t make me! Even if you paid me money and officially make it my job….

Oh, wait.

Yeah, it’s really cool. There’s great economy to it. I love how it gives us a small, forward-moving bit of story that also recaps essential info from last season and sets the stakes for this season–but also evokes emotional character ideas, too. Ben’s sense of mission; Jack’s need for redemption. And I dig the whole idea of Ben now serving as Jack’s tailor. Did he seriously go out and buy him a suit? Why? And, as always, Michael Emerson’s line readings continue to do the show endless favors in terms of imbuing it with mysteries and winky giggles. How do we make sense of that kicker, “Then I guess we’ll never know.” Should we be suspicious? Does Ben know more than what he’s telling, as is usually the case? Or is this some coy wink at the audience? After all, Jack and Ben may persist in cluelessness about what happened to the castaways on the Island following the departure of the Oceanic 6–but we won’t. All signs point to a narrative that toggles between the O6’s efforts to get back to Where’ditgo? Isle and the remaining castaways’ continuing struggle to survive in their weird environs.

The above clip was first released via an official communication from executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof to participants in a Lost alternate reality game which recently had to be downsized/canceled altogether (I’m not sure which, to be honest) due to budget cutbacks attributed to the sucky economy. To make it up to fans who had invested time and energy into the ARG, the producers have been hooking them up with cool content, including first dibs on seeing scenes from the new season and other cool tidbits every Lost fan should know. For example, Cuse and Lindelof revealed that Ben will be seen reading James Joyce’s Ulysses this season, suggesting the book has important resonance for the series. Even more provocative, the producers offered a glimpse at the logo for a new Dharma Initiative station (it looks like a lighthouse; paging Virginia Woolf?) and disclosed some crucial intel about Smokey the Monster: They confirmed the Island’s “security system” PREDATES the Dharma. So for all y’all who have theories that Dharma invented old Smokey–back to your drawing board!

More on Lost early in the New Year, when our weekly Doc Jensen columns resume in January. Until then: TELL ME NOTHING!/EVERYTHING!

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Lost season 4: DVD review
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