While The Leftovers hasn’t been the commercial success that HBO was expecting when they chose to adapt Tom Perotta’s 2011 novel of the same name, it has been a critical darling. The premise of a rapture-esque event know as the “Sudden Departure” eradicating 2% of the population (over 140 million people) set the stage for season one. The season two finale, one of the best hours of television in recent memory, brought us some closure, but spurred even more questions. If you haven’t been tuning in, now is the time, as season three is slated to start in either January or April 2017. If you’ve been watching, join us for a look at the ten most burning questions for the start of the third and final season.
Where will it take place?
Season one of The Leftovers took place in Mapleton, New York. After the penultimate clash between the Guilty Remnant, Kevin Garvey moved his ragtag family to Jarden, Texas. Dubbed “Miracle” due to the fact that none of its residents departed, Kevin and Nora believed they could find a fresh start. The Guilty Remnant infiltrates Miracle at the end of season two, though. Will the now much larger Garvey clan exit Jarden in season three or will they stay for answers? The series isn’t afraid to jump across space and time, so it’s a bit of a mystery where Damian Lindelof will take season three. After all, he did helm Lost. There have been reports that some of the filming for season three will take place in Australia, but it’s unclear if that will be for present or past events.
How did Kevin come back from the dead the second time?
In the eighth episode of season two, “International Assassin,” Kevin drinks Virgil’s potion which sends him to a bizarre hotel of the undead. He emerges at the end of the episode after finally ridding himself of Patti by throwing her child-self into the well (again, Lindelof). It is said that this act absolves him from his link to Patti. So, yes, we can understand him rising from the dead the first time, okay. Then, shortly after coming to in the Jarden woods, he is shot by John. This is where things get murky. He wasn’t in the world of the undead when John shot him in the chest, he was in reality. How did Kevin rise from the dead without the power of Virgil and the elixir?
How will Kevin’s family react to him?
Kevin arrives home in the final episode of season two, “I Live Here Now.” There he finds Jill (his daughter), Laurie (his estranged wife), Matt (the preacher), Mary (the preacher’s wife), Nora (his girlfriend), Tom (his lost son) and Lily (his adopted daughter). How will they react to his presence at the outset of season three?
Will Kevin continue his lying ways?
Throughout the first two seasons, Kevin has lied almost endlessly. While most of his lies surround his sleepwalking and growing psychosis, with Patti presumably out of the picture, will Kevin be upfront and honest about what happened to him? It could be easy to think that all is well and good now, but what Kevin has just experienced (the world of the undead), being honest may make him sound even more out of his mind than ever. There’s also the little problem of his estranged wife and current girlfriend in the picture at the same time that needs to be addressed.
What will we learn about Kevin Garvey Sr.?
Kevin Garvey Sr., Kevin’s father, seems to play a big role in Kevin’s plight. He was the chief of police before his son, and suffered his own bouts of mental illness, so it appears that much of the mystery surrounding the younger Kevin’s turmoil can be potentially be unearthed by a closer look at his father. The last we saw of him was when Kevin was in the hotel of the undead. Somehow his father was able to video chat with him in his suite, and provided the instruction that led Kevin to the well and back to life. It’s not unbelievable to think that Kevin Sr. has visited the undead himself since he too has supposedly banished the voices from his head. Will their paths entwine again? And how so?
What happened to Meg?
Meg, the leader of the Guilty Remnant, almost succeeded in her plan to make Jarden believe that the trio of girls had departed from Miracle. At the end of season two, Meg’s beaten body is found by Kevin and Matt. She keeps with her typical mode of operation by writing, not saying, that they (the GR) made them remember (the departure). Her wounds didn’t seem fatal, though. Will she stay in Jarden or go wreak havoc somewhere else? Meg is the leading villain, and it’s be hard to imagine her turning her ways at the start of season three.
What’s up with Tom?
Throughout season two we saw Tom and his mother Laurie persuade people away from the Guilty Remnant. For some time, he adopted the mantra of “Holy Wayne” and claimed to be able to take pain away from a simple hug. He grew to feel as if he was conning people, and left the operation. Eventually he met up with Meg, and accompanied her down to Jarden. But what did he do in the meantime? There’s also that outlandish remark that Meg made about “getting him pregnant,” to consider.
Where does the Guilty Remnant Go From Here?
Season two ended just like season one in that the Guilty Remnant made its presence known in bombastic proportions. But through Kevin’s eyes after he rises from the undead, we see that the GR is reeling. Perhaps Meg was right and their efforts made Miracle remember the departure, but surely the work of the GR isn’t done. The question is, will they play a major role in season three?
What role do natural disasters play in this world?
In the prologue of season two, an earthquake blocks passage to a cave, leaving one lone, pregnant cavewoman outside of it. She gives birth, but dies shortly after. Another woman comes along to raise the child (not unlike the situation in the present with Lily). Upon the Garvey family’s arrival to Jarden, an earthquake rocks the community as it coincides with the disappearance of the three girls. Another earthquake at the end of season two brings Mary back from her catatonic state. Why are natural disasters so significant in Jarden? And is it just Jarden that is weirdly effected by these anomalies?
How does the world of the undead work?
Kevin Garvey offered us a glimpse into the world of the undead, but there’s still so much we don’t know. Kevin entered by way of black magic, but how do others arrive? Virgil, who shot himself right after giving Kevin the lethal potion, worked at the concierge desk in the hotel of the undead before he too vanished. Is it a form of limbo for souls that are not at rest? That may be the best guess at this point, but that doesn’t explain how some people, like Kevin, are capable of coming back from limbo. Also, how expansive is the world beyond the hotel?
Will we find out more about the departure?
While all of the above have contained spoilers, this one contains spoilers for those who haven’t read the book. The “Sudden Departure” is never explained in the book. There are theories, yes, but we never get a clear cut answer as to why 2% of the population vanished into thin air on October 14th, 2011. Both the book and show follow The Leftovers for a reason, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t constantly wonder why the departure happened? Since it’s Damian Lindelof, my guess would be that we will have more questions than answers after the series finale. But also since it’s Lindelof, we shouldn’t presume anything. Will the departed return? Almost assuredly not. Will the show provide new hints as to where they went? We’ll have to wait and see.