There's no question that Lost has a cult following that rivals that of Battlestar Galactica and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. However, the one thing that even the most diehard Lost fans seem to butt heads over is that controversial ending.
After six seasons and 121 episodes, many viewers were hoping for a conclusion that would ultimately reveal the truth about everything: Why did the island exist? What was with its magical healing powers? How did the Others even get to the island in the first place? Instead, what we got was a "flash-sideways" of the characters' future, in which the characters, now dead, arrive in a heaven-like place, having realized that the island was the most important part of their lives. It's all very mystical — if just a tad confusing.
Since the Lost finale didn't answer all of our questions, it's worth wondering if an alternate ending might have. Turns out that there was a different ending to Lost planned, but it was scrapped in order to save money. In a new Entertainment Weekly interview with showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, the TV writers revealed that they originally had plans to incorporate the island's dormant volcano — discussed during the season 3 episode "The Man Behind the Curtain" — into the show's finale. How? By making it blow up, of course.
"[Based] on moving into this endgame, the island had become unstable and the volcano was going to erupt," Lindelof told Entertainment Weekly. "We were going to have lots of seismic activity, 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!"
So, why didn't Lost make magma rain down on everyone? Because of money. Lindelof told EW that it just wasn't in the budget:
"ABC was like, ‘Guys, we love you, and we’re letting you end the show; we can’t let you bankrupt the network in the process.'"
Okay, fair...though, if we couldn't have our epic volcano explosion, I would settle for a debriefing in which Lindelof and Cuse sat their audience down and explained everything. Not quite as exciting, but would have finally put this thinker of a show to bed.