The Leftovers explored some very rich themes in its first season on HBO, though its relentlessly bleak tone is part of the reason that season 1 earned a rather divisive reception overall. The series, which centers on the people left behind following a mass disappearance that may be tied to divine intervention, is the latest brainchild of Damon Lindelof (Lost) and shares more than a little bit of thematic ground with his earlier ABC series.
Chief among the main story points on The Leftovers is the mystery surrounding this life-changing event that took most of mankind off the map. By the looks of it, season 2 will complicate matters even further for the characters who 'remained behind'.
HBO has released a new trailer (see above) for the upcoming Leftovers season 2, and as was the case with previously-released footage, much of the narrative this time revolves around a seemingly blessed Texas town (where not a single resident 'departed' from Earth). However, once Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) and his family arrive, they soon discover that their safety is again threatened - as their new home is surrounded by darkness and secrecy. For a more in-depth breakdown of what to expect from the show in the episodes ahead, you should read the official Leftovers season 2 synopsis, featured below:
After last season’s elaborate Memorial Day initiative by the Guilty Remnant plunged Mapleton into chaos, season two of THE LEFTOVERS finds many searching for a fresh start. Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) has retired from his post as chief of police of Mapleton and is moving his new family to Texas. With him is Nora Durst (Carrie Coon), who’s discovered new purpose in caring for the baby she found on Kevin’s doorstep and welcomes leaving behind Mapleton and the incredible tragedy she suffered there. Equally eager to leave the town she grew up in and the friends she made there is Kevin’s daughter, Jill (Margaret Qualley).
Upon their arrival in Jarden, Texas, the newly formed Garvey family meet their neighbors, the Murphys: John (Kevin Carroll) and Erika (Regina King) and their teenage twins, Evie (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Michael (Jovan Adepo). Attracted to this special town and hoping for miracles for his whole family, Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston) has moved with his wife, Mary (Janel Moloney), who still suffers from consequences of the terrible car accident on October 14.
Meanwhile, Kevin’s ex-wife, Laurie Garvey (Amy Brenneman), has left the Guilty Remnant and reunited with her son, Tom (Chris Zylka), who may have finally discovered a cause to help replace the pain in his heart. And while Meg (Liv Tyler) remains in the Guilty Remnant, it may not be the same cult she originally joined.
HBO also released a new poster for Leftovers season 2, playing up the idea that the main characters' fresh start could ultimately be their undoing.
Likely, fans of The Leftovers' first season will find a lot to look forward to here, especially since the upcoming episodes promise to expand upon the intriguing premise that's already been established. The addition of new characters like Erika and John Murphy - in addition to the return of the deceased Patti Levin (Ann Dowd) as what appears to be a specter that may exist only in Kevin's mind - ought to go a long way towards keeping the show's premise fresh as it enters its sophomore year.
The Leftovers may have an uphill battle ahead of it, as far as justifying its extension beyond the Tom Perrotta novel on which it is based. Lindelof himself has, of course, faced the ire of fans frustrated at a continuing focus on building mysteries without solving many. Only time will tell if The Leftovers will find a way to avoid falling into that same pothole - though, at this point, there is reason to think that all of the show's changes going into season 2 could yield a positive result for those fans at home hoping for a viewing experience that can match or exceed season 1.
The Leftovers returns on Sunday, October 4th, 2015 at 9pm on HBO.