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What Michael Emerson Really Thinks About The Ending Of Lost - Exclusive

Before "binge-watching" was a household term, "Lost" was a cultural phenomenon that had viewers glued to their TVs week after week to see what would happen to the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. The hit ABC series followed an ensemble cast of characters — lead by Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) — who crash-landed on a supernatural tropical island that is inhabited by mysterious entities: a "Smoke Monster" that roams the land, a malicious group of inhabitants known as "The Others" who are fronted by the satisfyingly sinister Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson), and a research station used by fringe scientists dubbed the Dharma Initiative to conduct experiments on the island.

For six seasons and a copious amount of water-cooler moments, "Lost" enthralled and confused audiences. But all good things must come to an end, and so the "Lost" finale aired in 2010 — but not before doling out one more unforgettable event that would be discussed for years to come.

The closing scenes of "Lost" depicted Jack dying and reuniting with the other characters in the afterlife — a kind of purgatory where they had to reconnect in order to "move on." For many viewers, it was a disappointing conclusion, to say the least. And that disillusionment is often directed at the cast, with Emerson admitting in a recent interview with Looper that fans still come up to him with comments and questions about the unforgettable ending. It's a conversation for which the member of the cast of "Evil" is always up.

Michael Emerson admits there are 'no easy answers' when it comes to the Lost finale

"People will lead with this," Michael Emerson said of fans who recognize him from "Lost." "They'll say, 'Oh, I love that show, but I didn't like the ending.'" On that, Emerson has his own opinion. "I won't offer to explain it," he said, "but I'm ready if someone wants it. But it may not satisfy them because they were looking for something neater or more conclusive. You know, something that answered all the questions. But I never thought that. I never wanted that. I just wanted it to come somehow full circle spiritually, and not have the ending be a gimmick or a literal purgatory ... it was a purgatory but not in the way people made [it out to be]. It was a lot of things, it was all kinds of things, and that's why the show was both satisfying and frustrating in equal measure, I think. No easy answers. That's it, there's no easy answer."

Emerson, who won an Emmy for portraying Benjamin Linus on "Lost," understands the role — and the show's finale — will forever haunt him and that's okay with him. "It is the standard by which my work continues to be measured or compared to since then," Emerson admitted. "It's a great part, and you can't predict when a show will be that strong, that popular, and get under people's skin in that way. I still talk to more people on the street about 'Lost' than I probably do about 'Evil,' even though 'Evil' is more current. 'Lost' just never goes away."

Season 2 of "Evil," is now streaming on Paramount+, with new episodes airing every Sunday.