Big news for 'Lost' fans: Reuters reports that everyone's favorite island-escapin', people-shootin', "Waaaaaaaaaalt!"-screamin' castaway is coming back for the fourth season. Michael, played by Harold Perrineau, has not been seen on the show since the end of season two, when he and his son Walt escaped the island on a boat provided by diabolical leader of the Others, Ben. Walt has been seen in flashes-- usually hallucinations on the part of other characters--that never explained the actor's (Malcolm David Kelley) growth spurt (he was 12 when the show debuted, and is now 15).

The announcement was made by ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson at a gathering of TV critics in Beverly Hills. McPherson initially tried to hold the announcement for a separate conference taking place at ComicCon in San Diego, but he caved in to pressure from the critics. 'Lost' fanatics are currently gathering at the week-long convention to hear a talk from the show's creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who may or may not shed any light on the insane finale they left us with a few weeks ago.

What Michael (and presumably, Walt's) return to the island will mean for the show is anyone's guess, given that nobody seems to have a clue how the show will progress from here. From those who need reminding, May's season finale ended with two of the main characters-- Jack and Kate-- off the island in Los Angeles, and Jack desperately telling Kate they need to return to the island. Maybe Michael and his boat will be how Jack and Kate get off the island in the first place? Or maybe he'll just appear in random hallucinations like Walt did, and we'll never actually get any answers. I for one am just glad that Perrineau, after the insult of spending an entire season running around the jungle screaming "Waaaaaalt!" and then being written off the show, was willing to come back and finish his character's storyline. 'Lost' has enough trouble wrapping up its stories without actor mutiny.

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