Adapted from a best-selling novel by author Tom Perotta, and co-created by former Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof, HBO’s supernatural drama series The Leftovers arrived last summer with plenty of hype and expectations of greatness.
Ultimately, the show proved a very divisive one, garnering generally favorable critical reviews, but splitting audiences largely down the middle. Some viewers found The Leftovers to be a bold, mostly unique take on what would happen after a worldwide disaster, while others found the series to be emotionally cold and off-putting, and the characters largely unlikable. Despite all that, people still tuned in, leading HBO to order a second season.
Since then, HBO has been slow to reveal much about the The Leftovers’ sophomore year, outside of the fact that most of the supporting cast was being shown the door. Beyond that, we know the series’ main setting is going to be relocated from the fictional town of Mapleton, New York to somewhere in Texas.
Well, thanks to the brand new teaser (see above), we now know that Kevin Garvey and company are heading to the sparsely populated town of Jarden, Texas. What’s so special about Jarden, you may ask? Well, it’s apparently the only town in America to experience zero departures during the mysterious worldwide event that serves as the catalyst for The Leftovers’ tale. As such, it’s become a destination for anyone seeking sanctuary from the terror induced by the loss of their loved ones.
Of course, Jarden may not be the paradise everyone traveling there seems to think it is. A radio broadcast heard during the teaser suggests that Jarden is the home to some type of religious leader that promises salvation and truth to all those who follow him. One might assume this character could function as this new season’s version of “Holy Wayne”, a sort of faith healer who offered to relieve the troubled of their burdens if they could match his high asking price. The Bible’s Book of Revelation famously warns of a false prophet that makes way for the arrival of the Antichrist on Earth, and this new character could very well play a similar role.
Missing in action during this teaser are any of the actual returning cast members, those being lead Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Chris Zylka, Margaret Qualley, Christopher Eccleston, and Carrie Coon. Then again, one could easily posit that they are occupying one or more of the vehicles seen trapped on the road to Jarden.
While some have questioned why this group of characters would suddenly pack up and run away to Texas, it actually makes a certain amount of sense. The actions taken by the Guilty Remnant near the end of season one were quite heinous, and led to a eruption of chaos and violence that threatened to consume Mapleton. That town is clearly on the verge of the point of no return – if not past it already – and with Kevin’s family now reunited it makes sense that he would want to take them to safety. Also, Nora Durst really only has two people left that she cares at all about: her recent lover Kevin, and her brother Reverend Matt, who also happens to be Kevin’s best friend. That circle of characters has close enough ties to logically explain why they would all relocate together.
Will The Leftovers change of cast and scenery lead to a renaissance for the embattled series? Or is it merely a desperate attempt to right the ship? We’ll find out later this year.
The Leftovers season 2 will premiere in 2015, but has no firm air date as of yet.