On Sunday Night, five friends and I buckled up for the first episode of the last season of Damon Lindelof’s The Leftovers. We’d been anticipating this season premiere for the last year, and even more so when we found out its third season, was to be its final season.
To some it didn’t make sense. How was Lindelof going to end to it all? Was he going to end it all in one big combustible and thought-perplexing way? I’m all for an epic mind fuck, but please God/Lindelof/Jack Shepard, let the finale be better than Lost’s.
The number one question we discussed that night, the question that’s haunted everyone since its creation three years ago: He’s going to tell us where the 2% went when they departed, right?
Unlike everyone, I don’t want to know, nor do I care. The story wouldn’t benefit from the explanation, rather it would deter the conversation.
While this is maybe a controversial opinion, hold tight I’ll get to my reasoning. Its not because I don’t like closure (which may be true as told by my inability finish my favorite series), but because sometimes giving us the answers to the questions that haunt us to our core, don’t necessarily give us that giddy feeling of, in all caps, THE END.
What answer would satisfy most viewers? Let’s run it down. Pick your poison from my theories that really shouldn’t be theorized.
A. The Departure was part of “God’s plan.” Could those who departed including Gary Busey, Nora’s cheating husband, Kevin’s bang buddy, Laurie’s unborn baby, be in heaven? In a better place? With this theory it makes it hard to separate Lindelof’s exquisite series from religion and the virtues of being ‘saved.’ GASP, could they be hell?
B. Could the Departed return? As the trailer suggests, Nora is given hope to see her Departed family again, however, what happens next? What would they, “The Returned” bestow upon us 98% who’ve been grieving for them? Would they return to just announce they had the marvelous holiday? With this option comes the need to reveal just about everything, and I mean everything. No nook or cranny would be unturned, and we’d be given an extreme of exposition, for what? Closure. Hard Pass.
C. Kevin, John and the 98% are all in their own hell. Sure, this seems over done. Lost revealed they were all in purgatory or heaven, but it was a half-assed answer to our question after years of wondering, why oh why there was a Polar Bear on the Island. (Lies, they didn't) The Garvey Family and everyone else on Earth who’s left seems to be going through their own personal hell in the aftermath of the Departure, that maybe the reasoning why they’re all so miserable is because they are the Departed.
D. The Departed are Dead. They’re dead. Just dead. Nothing more to say. Maybe the 2% disappeared because global warming is taking a toll on our planet and they simply vaporized.
As pointed out above, none of the answers I’ve thought up seem to explain the magnitude of the sudden disappearance of 2% of the population. No answer would be good enough. No answer would rob us of the feeling of always wondering what happened, the eternal what if. So please Mr. Lindelof, please, let this season and its finale not tell us what happened to the Departed. Let us wonder.