The other night at PaleyFest, there was a fan gathering to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the LOST premiere. Interesting side note, the original plan was to screen the LOST pilot but that was scrapped in deference to the Malaysian Air incident, which has become a mystery in its own right. The first season finale was shown instead.

Carlton Cruse, one of the big LOST bosses was there and had this to say when asked if the characters were dead the entire time. "No, no, no. They were not dead the whole time," Cuse said definitively, adding that he believes that some footage they showed at the very end of the series was misleading to many fans. He went on to explain, "At the end of the series finale, [an ABC exec] thought it would be good to have a buffer between when you have the end of the show and when they cut to say, a Clorox commercial," Cuse explained. "We didn't have a lot of extra footage lying around, but we had footage of the plane wreckage on the beach," which they shot when the plane needed to be moved or it would have been washed out to sea. "We thought, let's put those shots at the end of the show and it will be a little buffer and lull. And when people saw the footage of the plane with no survivors, it exacerbated the problem."

This and much more of a far-too-late explanation of the LOST series finale can be read here. As far as I'm concerned, I'm glad I saw the writing on the wall early and bailed on the show in the second season. If you have to explain so much about an ending, clearly it wasn't the ending that would answer all questions LOST fans were promised.