We have to go back to the ‘Lost’ finale, Kate. WE HAVE TO GO BACK.

So, apparently Lost very nearly had a different finale, you guys, and it might have changed everything

According to a story that came out in this week’s Entertainment Weekly, the action on the island in the finale was originally supposed to take place on a volcano instead of that cave full of light:

The premise that developed over time was that the volcano was a mysterious place that forged the ticking, shape-shifting monster, the billowing black mass known as Smokey. By season 6, the writers had settled on the concept that the island was like a cork that bottled up all sorts of bad stuff, some volatile stew of spiritual dark matter stuff that would rob life of meaning and goodness if unleashed. “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?” says Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof. “And the answer was the volcano.”

Lindelof and Cuse initially envisioned a finale in which Jack (Matthew Fox) and Smokey incarnate (Terry O’Quinn) would brawl over the fate of the island at Lost’s proverbial Mount Doom. “The volcano had been dormant for the duration of the series,” explains Lindelof, “but based on moving into this endgame, the island had become unstable and the volcano was going to erupt. 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!”

And they intended to film the scenes on the Big Island for maximum awesomeness. In fact, in the third to last episode, “Across the Sea,” Jacob was going to hurl The Man in Black into a volcano, causing the transformation into Smokey. Not to mention the fact that they started sprinkling the series with hints that the Island might be a volcano starting in at least season three.

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However, ABC nixed the idea over costs: the transportation expense was going to be too high and the cost of the Temple set went over budget, so Lindelof and Cuse were forced to change the story to involve a giant axial bathtub plug, or whatever, and the rest is TV history.

Here’s the thing about this story: I know that for a lot of people, the sideways timeline was the worst part of the Lost finale, but for me, it was always the mechanics of the Island and the whole concept of the cave of light and the cork. It just seemed … small. I was never bothered by the mystery of the Island; I was always on board with the idea that it was a special place that could potentially destroy the world, and I didn’t need to know the specific “whys” to that. I didn’t need a lot of detailed explanations. However, the way the finale chose to physically manifest this idea, that this armchair-sized rock could contain all of this world-destroying power, never fit the magnitude of the idea. It just wasn’t to scale.

A volcano, however, is a befitting symbol of this destructive, all-consuming force. A volcano after all, is a literal force of both destruction and creation: volcanos are busily creating new land in the Pacific ring of fire, but if the wrong volcano erupts, it could not only destroy entire cities, the entire planet could all be thrust into a volcanic winter. A volcano with all of its power and mystery, it represents the capriciousness of fate. And yes, while I think it’s possible such a grand setting could have ended up looking cheesy, or been seen as derivative of both Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, a volcano would have at least lived up to the big ideas surrounding the magic of the Island, it would have been a satisfying symbol of the Island’s specialness.

Oh well. Maybe when Lost receives its inevitable reboot, the producers can try to make this happen.

Jimmy Kimmel Reveals United Airline’s New Motto:

In Other Late Night News

The Daily Show‘s Hasan Minaj will be headlining the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which is great, but it would have been AMAZING if Trump were actually attending.

Stephen Colbert gives his staff a pizza party every time his show beats The Tonight Show in the ratings, and there have been a lot of pizza parties lately.

Uh-oh, did Saturday Night Live steal that hilarious clown sketch from Tig Notaro? Well, maybe. On the one hand, Louis C.K. is one of Notaro’s producers and good friends, and he’s an outspoken critic of accused joke thief Dane Cook so it’s unlikely he would knowingly swipe her bit. On the other hand, it ain’t the first time Saturday Night Live has been accused of stealing material. Compare the bits for yourself:

In Other TV News

Might NBC shows be pulled from Netflix soon? Comcast is the next company to launch its own streaming service and it might very well mean the end of my son marathoning Parks and Recreation.

Here is just a very nice interview with Peter Capaldi in advance of his last season as The Doctor.

IMPORTANT: An examination of perhaps the worst Family Feud Fast Money performance ever.

Turkey is considering banning dating shows altogether. Obviously this is wrong and oppressive and the sort of thing a repressive government does and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t nod when I read this piece and think to myself, “I don’t blame you, oppressive Turkish government.”


In Development

Casting News



The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: Oh boy, it’s reunion time. 8 p.m., Bravo

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The precinct might be shut down, whatever, the bigger question is IS GINA ALIVE? 7 p.m., Fox

Thelma and Louise: Come for the feminist classic, stay for Brad Pitt’s abs. 7 p.m., Ovation

Late Night: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Richard Gere, Kelly Oxford, the Shins Conan: Chelsea Handler, Scott Eastwood, the Regrettes The Daily Show: The Best of Ronny Chieng Watch What Happens Live: Rachel Dratch, Bob Harper

TUES. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC The Middle
American Housewife
Fresh Off the Boat
Imaginary Mary
Marvel’s Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
NCIS: New Orleans
CW The Flash
D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow
FOX Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Mick
Prison Break
NBC The Voice
Trial & Error
Trial & Error
Chicago Fire

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