LOST co-creator Damon Lindelof famously departed Twitter amid a never-ending stream of criticism for the ABC mystery’s finale (and perhaps not coincidentally, ahead of HBO’s The Leftovers premiere). The impending third and final run of the HBO rapture drama will inevitably draw comparison, though Lindelof breaks his usual silence to explain a purposefully-vague Leftovers ending, differentiating it from LOST.

The formerly outspoken Lindelof offered a peek into his Leftovers finale mindset via The Hollywood Reporter, in particular that he’d avoid making any decisions in reaction to The controversial LOST finale, which deeply polarized fans in delivering only certain answers to the lingering mysteries. In particular, Lindelof explains that Leftovers’ choice to avoid the promise of answers left him “somewhat liberated,” and less intent on scrutinizing his work:

More than anything else, I want to approach the ending of The Leftovers with confidence. Even if we fall flat on our faces and everybody hates it, it’s better than hedging or trying to be all things to all people or saying we’re going to be one thing and then at the last minute basically cut bait and be another thing. That’s certainly criticism I heard about the Lost finale, that it felt like it changed course. I don’t share that opinion, but it’s a valuable one. People want consistency in the storytelling.

So the advice I’m giving myself is to not treat it like it’s a huge deal. I know there will be a disproportionate amount of emotional energy expended on getting it just right, but if I treat every line of dialogue, every scene, every character move with this incredible preciousness, I’ll end up rewriting it too many times.

Thus far of the final season, we know that the vast majority of cast will return for a final eight episodes, including Scott Glenn’s elevation to series regular, while the story has also been said to relocate to Australia. HBO hasn’t confirmed much, but will the final chapters live up to Lindelof’s hopes, especially after such stellar first seasons?

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