All these years later, the Lost series finale remains so controversial that one of the show's co-creators Damon Lindelof notoriously quit Twitter in part because of the hate he continued to receive from disgruntled fans. But now, in anticipation of Sunday's The Leftovers series finale, Lindelof is confident that this time, fans will walk away feeling satisfied.
"A satisfying ending for a show is an intangible. It's the same as eating a great meal where you're basically like, 'I am full and that was good.' You're either satisfied or you're not satisfied and you can't overthink it," Lindelof told TVGuide.com. "Tom [Perotta] and I have been pretty transparent saying if you're watching The Leftovers because you want answers to mysteries — where did all these people go? Why them? — don't watch this show. It's not about that. It's about living in a state of ambiguity and emotional reality of how people are interrelating with one another. On that level, I think the show will be immensely satisfying. But I wouldn't be surprised if there were members of the audience who were not satisfied by the way The Leftovers ends, because you can't please everybody all the time."
That's not to say that The Leftovers finale won't provide any answers — they just won't necessarily be answers regarding the reasons behind the Departure or any of the bigger "mysteries" woven throughout the HBO drama. Instead, fans can expect to gain closure with the characters' emotional journeys, particularly when it comes to the show's central couple, Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) and Nora Durst (Carrie Coon).
"The fight they have, their parting is so abrupt," Coon said. "I feel like if we didn't have resolution to that parting or if we didn't understand how that was ultimately resolved, I think the show would feel less satisfying. And the fact that Damon, albeit in a very complicated, roundabout way, does explore what that parting meant to both of them, I think is what makes the ending something people can hopefully embrace, because there is resolution to that question — the dissolution of their relationship and the coming back together and what that means."
Adds Lindelof: "I feel like it's no big secret that the final season of this show, although it's about a lot of existential big ideas, it's also a love story. And for Kevin Garvey and Nora Durst, who both, in many ways, had their families explode seven years earlier, have found one another and fallen in love. But maintaining that love has been immensely difficult because of the world that they're living in and the idea that they could lose each other at any moment. I would say that the ending of the series and the season are both interested in the same idea which is, can these two people be OK with one another and what would it take for them to find some level of security?
"I think it's an over simplification, but also entirely accurate to say at the end of the day, we wanted to tell a love story."
The Leftovers series finale airs Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.