While he wouldn’t speak to the questions the series left unanswered, Cuse did address whether or not he would change anything about Lost, which came under fire for its divisive ending. His honest answer should come as no shock to fans of the series: Nikki and Paolo, the season three additions played by Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro. Cuse explained that he and co-showrunner Damon Lindelof (who was unable to attend the concert due to filming the series finale of HBO’s The Leftovers in Australia) wanted to bring background figures from the Oceanic crash into the foreground.
“We realized right away that we failed,” said Cuse. “We didn’t like it.”
Their feelings toward the characters were loudly echoed by the show’s fan base, but Cuse and Lindelof were well ahead of them, already planning Nikki and Paolo’s demise in “Exposé,” the controversial episode that buried the two jewel thieves alive. In subsequent years, “Exposé” has become something of a cult favorite among die-hard Lost fans, including Giacchino, who praised the way the show removed the problematic pair. Cuse used that as an example of why he doesn’t even regret Nikki and Paolo’s existence in the grand scheme of things.