It’s been a fairly odd journey for The Leftovers, both on and off screen. Arriving on a wave of hype – and based on a well-regarded novel of the same name – The Leftovers season 1 proved to be rather divisive, both among critics and audiences. While most praised the acting of the talented ensemble cast, and the off-kilter atmosphere, there just seemed to be something that wasn’t quite clicking about the series. By nearly all accounts, this was rectified in season 2, which transplanted the cast to a new location, and seemed to lend The Leftovers a new creative vigor.
Unfortunately, this nearly unanimous praise didn’t translate into increased viewership, with The Leftovers season 2 posting numbers low enough that most fans were quite worried about HBO canceling the show outright, with no resolution to the many lingering plot threads. Thankfully, HBO ultimately decided to split the difference, renewing The Leftovers for season 3, but making it clear this batch of episodes would be the final one. The Leftovers creative team would also only receive 8 episodes in which to wrap up their story, instead of the standard 10.
Still, any committed fan of The Leftovers would likely agree that a shortened final season is better than no final season. With that in mind, HBO has released a teaser trailer for season 3, and it looks to try and pack as much insanity as possible into such a short time-frame. An apocalyptic flood of seemingly biblical proportions is coming, and not even jetting off to the show’s new Australian setting will be enough to protect Kevin, Nora, and the rest of the cast from its wrath.
While The Leftovers has never spelled out exactly what caused the Sudden Departure event that began the series – and reportedly has no plans to in season 3 – the closest available comparison is obviously the biblical Rapture, in which those worthy are said to be taken to heaven prior to the Earth descending into the end times. Whether there is in fact divine intervention guiding things in The Leftovers is still unclear, but if a Noah-style great flood is coming, it would sure seem to lend credence to the idea that the Sudden Departure was in fact the Rapture.
That said, the idea that the Departure was the biblical Rapture just adds even more questions into the mix. For example, why were all innocent young children and babies not taken skyward? Why was only such a small percentage of the world’s population deemed worthy of escaping the apocalypse to come? No matter how these questions end up getting answered – assuming they even are – all signs so far point to a fascinating, conversation-causing final season of The Leftovers.
The Leftovers season 3 premieres Sunday, April 16, on HBO.