If your co-workers turn up on Wednesday mornings bleary-eyed, if your spouse rattles on with theories about the transmutative properties of smoke monsters, if you yourself have been surfing the Internet for connections between the Casimir effect and the empiricism of David Hume blame these guys. Carlton Cuse, 51, and Damon Lindelof, 37 the brain trust behind Lost, ABC's premier drama/mystery/mind game have spent six years making viewers' heads hurt so good. Building on megaproducer J.J. Abrams' original premise of a group of plane-crash survivors on an island, Cuse and Lindelof crafted a sprawling tale of sci-fi and metaphysics. But Lost is, above all, a soulful and funny saga of flawed people seeking redemption, and these storytellers combined their big ideas with some of the most rollicking popcorn entertainment since Star Wars. With the series' May 23 finale, a.k.a. the TV event of the year, the torture finally ends. And the long debate over the ending begins.