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The Lost Finale Was Supposed To Be Very Different

Contains spoilers if you're seven years behind on Lost

The final episode of Lost was supposed to be much more explosive.

Whether or not you thought the ABC series came to a satisfying end with everyone happily disappearing into a portal of hazy light inside a church, that wasn't always the plan. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof revealed that the groundwork was laid for a different conclusion way back in season 3.

The clue was planted in a scene that takes place inside a Dharma classroom, during which the island's potential for volcanic activity is explored. Since it's (eventually) revealed that the island actually serves as a kind of "cork" that keeps all of the negative energy of the world suppressed (BTW: good job, island), Cuse came up with the idea of using the actual volcano on the Hawaiian island where the show was filmed.

"The question was always, 'How do you basically visualize and dramatize the idea that the island itself is all that separates the world from hellfire and damnation?'" Lindelof said. "And the answer was the volcano."

It was all going to come down to a showdown between Jack (Matthew Fox) and the Man in Black (then embodied by Terry O'Quinn). "We were going to have lots of seismic activity," Cuse said. "And ultimately, there was going to be this big fight between the forces of good and the forces of evil, which ended up in the series manifesting as Jack and the Man in Black, in the midst of magma. Magma spewing everywhere!"

Sadly, ABC decided not to spring for the high cost of the sequence, allegedly because it would have been too expensive to resituate the production and transport all of the cast and crew to the volcano. Turns out the cost of building the temple set in season 6 really hurt the budget.

Still, Lindelof said it may have all been a blessing in disguise. "The other thing that happened was that we remembered Revenge of the Sith, and that big, epic battle between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, in the midst of a volcanic planet. We knew whatever we did was going to look Mickey Mouse next to it."

That might be true, but the dialogue couldn't have been worse. And the whole volcano thing wouldn't have come out of nowhere. The producers said they planned to take viewers to the location in the third-to-last episode, "Across the Sea," a major expositional episode that revealed the origin of Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) and his unnamed brother, the Man in Black (Titus Welliver). We would have seen Jacob drag his brother to the top of the volcano and toss him in, creating the smoke monster, which was tweaked on the show.

So we're left with the official, enigmatic conclusion, which turned out to be much happier and much more vague. If the ending still has you perplexed, check out our explanation of the finale. While you're at it, take a look at some storylines that Lost never resolved.