Some detail-oriented viewers noticed the two-part show closer on Netflix is 18 minutes shorter than the 104 minute version that aired on ABC six years ago, and a Reddit post explained the nitty-gritty of Netflix’s mistakes.
“I am totally befuddled by all this,” Lindelof said in a statement to EW. “Love it or hate it, the finale that aired is the definitive finale and to alter it in any way defies explanation. Something tells me that this isn’t Netflix’s fault … that it’s an honest mistake and something got miscommunicated — I seem to remember ABC had to make an edit for rerun airings that tightened the show into ‘format’ (42 minutes to accommodate commercials), and somehow that [version] mistakenly got sent to Netflix. This sometimes happened with our finales — we’d ask for extra time and ABC would agree to air, but then we had to do another tighter version for subsequent airings and/or international [markets]. We usually left these (painful) cuts to the discretion of our editors… but as the show lives on in DVD form and on Netflix, there is ZERO reason to have the shorter version out there.”
In the meantime, Netflix has responded on Twitter, insisting that the shortened finale was an honest mistake and explaining the uncut version will be available for streaming soon.
This isn’t Netflix’s first noticeable mistake. “Mommy” director Xavier Dolan tweeted a letter addressed to Netflix UK Monday complaining the company altered the film’s 1:1 aspect ratio for streamers. Netflix soon responded to Dolan’s tweet, and “Mommy” was restored to its correct aspect ratio within hours of his complaint.