"It would be mis-categorizing to think this is the epitome of what Lost is," executive producer Damon Lindelof tells TVGuide.com. "Obviously the island was there before these babies were born, and lots of things were going on before they came there. What those stories are isn't relevant to the story we told, which is the crash of Oceanic 815 and what the ultimate fates of the survivors are."
Okay, but in that case, why so much attention on the dueling brothers? The penultimate episode, which Lindelof screened last week at an event in Los Angeles, still leaves plenty of questions unanswered going into the 2 ½-hour finale (airing Sunday at 9/8c). Lindelof's explanation of what to expect echoes a line Jacob delivered to the Man in Black in the Season 5 finale: "It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress."
"I wish that we could say that the finale is going to be enormously definitive," Lindelof says. "We found that when we told people that we've got definitive answers coming, it's not as definitive as the fans want it to be, therefore there's this ongoing and vociferous debate about what things mean.
"All we can say is: Lost is only ending once," he adds. "There's only one finale. There's not a question mark at the end of the end. There's not a dot, dot, dot. This is our story and it's over. Hopefully there's going to be a lot of interpretation in its wake."
Whatever the ending, Lindelof is grateful to have made it this far, he says.
"This was a pilot where the question asked secondary to 'What is the monster?' was 'How will you sustain this as a TV series?'" he says. "If I had said, 'We'll be fine for 120 episodes, and then we'll end it,' nobody ever would've believed it, including me. I think the show is a blessing and we're really grateful to be here."
How do you think Lost will end? Share your theories in the comments below.