On the lookout for a cold-hearted snake (look into his headshot)...

The casting news from Lost is coming fast and furious, even as the fourth season is well underway in terms of filming.

The latest casting news comes from TV Guide, who reports:

The show is on the hunt for Huston, a fortyish authority figure whose charming demeanor belies an ice-cold heart. The new character is also said to be a model employee -- nothing stands in the way of him doing his job... at least not for long.

Now, I've been as excited as you for any and all Lost info that I can get my grubby man hands on, but we're nearing the double digits in terms of new characters this season, so here's the question: when is enough enough?

We don't know the true extent of the roles these new cast members will play. For every Benjamin Linus there could be a one-episode flashback role. So it's hard to truly get worried at the rate at which the Lost cast of characters is growing.  That being said: does the show not remember the issues that were incurred with the huge influx of Tailies during Season 2? Do they not see the issues rampant with the large number of newbies in the new season of Heroes?

Introducing new characters can infuse a show with new blood, new energy, and new narrative possibilities. But it can also dilute the product. After three seasons, it's dangerous to give predominant screen time to new characters. That's not to say one should simply cut off the possibility of new characters: but it's a tricky prospect that can pay dividends in the end only after many, many plot potholes are successfully avoided.

The sheer number of new characters, coupled with the description of said characters, lends one to hypothesize that the nature of the off-shore vessel plays an enormous role in the show's fourth season. Essentially, the show as we know it ended at the end of Season 3: Jack's encounter with Kate in Los Angeles was the jaw-dropping conclusion to the overall Act 1 of Lost, with Seasons 4-6 forming the overall Act 2 that will take the show in a new direction while expanding and imploding everything that's come before it.

I'm willing to give the show the benefit of the doubt, hopefully having learned from its own Season 2 mistakes in order to provide a satisfying, if completely different, Season 4. They've earned our trust to this point, no? I'm willing to take the ride all the way to the end, in which we finally learn answers to the various mysteries of the Island, including one I will hopefully answer for you tomorrow: the identity of Adam and Eve, the skeletons found by Jack early in Season 1.

Are you worried about all the casting notices, or are you excited by the fresh blood on the show? What do you make of all the new characters on this show?

Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude.

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