So many things happened on Lost, and the series ended so many Lost rip-offs ago (R.I.P. The Nine and FlashForward and Invasion…), that it’s easy to forget some of its smaller details, like how Nikki, of Nikki and Paulo infamy, was on Hurley’s favorite show-within-a-show, Exposé. Or that there was a volcano on the Island that was going to erupt in the series finale. That’s, of course, not what happened in the still-much-discussed “The End,” but it’s what showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse originally had planned.
In season three’s “The Man Behind the Curtain,” a young Ben Linus learns about the volcano on the Island and how, according to his teacher, it had a “reaction” a “long time ago.” The idea to include a volcano came from Cuse while exploring Hawaii. “We were always looking to cannibalize anything on Hawaii to aid in the visual storytelling of the show,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “We also thought of the island as a character on the show, so we were always looking for things that would give it more personality.”
There was no further thought on how the volcano might be used, “but it was something we banked and thought we could use downstream,” Cuse said. It came up again in season six, when Cuse and Lindelof were thinking ahead to the series finale; the idea they settled on was that the Island was like a cork keeping bad energy from entering the world, and the omnipresent Smoke Monster was “forged” in the volcano, waiting for its moment to escape. Got it?