SPOILER ALERT for those who DVR/"videotape" Lost for later playback.... That the producers decided to kill off much-maligned castaways Nikki and Paulo on this week's episode may not have been a shock to fans. But

how the greedy, murderous pair died provided one of the biggest twists - and thrills - of the season. (After being paralyzed by spider bites, the not-so-dynamic duo were buried alive - albeit unwittingly - by Sawyer and Hurley.) "People hated them before they even opened their mouths to say anything significant because it felt like they were crashing the party," exec producer Damon Lindelof acknowledges of the characters who were abruptly introduced last fall. "The easiest thing would have been to just write them out and forget they ever happened, like the cougar on [Season 2] of 24. But that's not Lost. We should at least own up to it." Kiele Sanchez wasn't bothered by the criticism directed at Nikki and reveled in going out with a bang, yet wasn't too crazy about filming the burial scene: "I am horribly claustrophobic - I can't even have a blanket over my face - so I didn't have to do a lot of acting. I was genuinely terrified." - Reporting by Shawna Malcom