By People Staff
Updated December 01, 2020 04:19 PM
Credit: Bob D'Amico/ABC

The bad news first: Sawyer (Josh Holloway) will not be shirtless for one moment of Lost’s feverishly anticipated finale.

Now, the good news: Fans wondering how they’ll cope without their weekly fix of ABC’s addictive drama, which concludes Sunday, aren’t alone. Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who’ve guided the series together for six glorious, head-scratching seasons, will also be going through withdrawal. “There’s a part of us that doesn’t want to admit that it’s done,” Lindelof told PEOPLE during an interview at the Lost writers’ offices, where belongings were starting to be packed up. “But better to go out when still care.” The producers address some of the things fans care about most, including what really matters in “The End,” what doesn’t and what’s next. –Shawna Malcom

What were your goals for the finale? Cuse: Bring the character stories to a satisfactory resolution. We’re aware that “Across the Sea,” which revealed the origins of Jacob and the Man in Black was polarizing but, to us, that’s what a mythology episode looks like. And the mythology will never be as satisfying to the audience as character resolution. Lindelof: There’s only one question the show really owes the audience an answer to, which is, “What’s the point of all this? What’s the point of having watched the show for six years?” We feel like the finale answers that. There was a point.

If you won’t cough up spoilers, what will we not see Sunday night?Cuse: The answer to who the guy was that Sayid shot on the golf course in season 4. Lindelof: An explanation for where Taweret came from. Cuse: Mr. Eko Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Lindelof: He’s the one person who said no. Cuse: And we didn’t need Josh to be shirtless in the finale. Lindelof: It was just getting gratuitous anyway.

In your opinion, what’s the worst reaction someone could have to the end of Lost?Lindelof: ‘Meh.’

You’ve said you didn’t give a code name to the final act because it misleadingly inferred there would be a shock. Is there really no twist at the end?Cuse: It’s a straightforward idea but we’ve tried to do it in an engaging way. A lot of series have ended with big, twisty revelations, like it all took place in a snowglobe. Or it was a dream. The audience will not be snowglobed at the end of Lost. We wanted to give a fair, legitimate ending. The island isn’t gonna be an alien spaceship and fly away.

Do you expect viewers who haven’t liked the Sideways to appreciate them more when their connection to the Island timeline is finally revealed?Lindelof: It depends on why don’t like the Sideways. Once “Happily Ever After” introduced the probability that there was more to them, that Desmond and Hurley remember their experiences on the island, we started to see a shift. All we can say if you come into the finale with a degree of faith and trust that we know what we’re doing, then your chances of liking what we do are much higher than if you come into the finale with cynicism and mistrust.

You’re planning to go “radio silent” after the finale. When will you talk about it?Cuse: We haven’t decided. We want the show to speak for itself awhile. The last thing we want is to take from the audience the ability to discuss and argue about what things mean. That’s an important part of the community of Lost.

So what you’re really saying is you want to torture fans a bit longer.Lindelof: We don’t want to torture anybody! Cuse: But we’re not going to suddenly make an appearance and say, “Here are the answers to the 50 top unanswered questions.” That doesn’t feel right, either. Lindelof: What if we did a live tour? Damon and Carlton: Smoke and Mirrors. Cuse: That would be awesome. Finally, the problem of what to do next has been solved!

Bob D’Amico/ABC