Season two of HBO’s The Leftovers ended almost exactly a year ago by bringing karaoke king Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) back to life—and making it seem like Jarden, Texas was going to be his permanent home, sweet, home. But the first tidbits from the show’s third and final season suggest that might not be true.
Entertainment Weekly has an interview with writer-creator-showrunner Damon Lindelof about what to expect from the eight-episode third season, as well as the first image that’s been released. By now, the show has long since left its source material—Tom Perrotta’s novel—behind in its exploration of new settings and characters, even as Kevin remains its center.
After dropping many, many hints in season two, season three will follow Kevin and a few other as-yet-unrevealed characters to Australia, where Kevin’s long-lost nutball of a father (played by Scott Glenn, seen with Theroux in the above image) will “pull him into a rather unexpected situation.” The choice of Australia is no accident, Lindelof explains:
“Australia is the end of the world geographically and our show is about the end-of-the-world emotionally. And there’s also something about Australian cinema — it’s primal, ancient and spiritual — that felt like it fit The Leftovers, whether it’s Mad Max movies or Walkabout, or Waking Fright or Peter Weir movies.”
Lindelof also said that the trajectory of the season will lead to a “conclusive” ending for the show as a whole, but also noted that The Leftovers will not be revealing all of its secrets.
“It’s a very careful storytelling process because you don’t want to frustrate the audience,” Lindelof says. “It’s one thing to say, ‘I’m giving you this box with a present inside and you’re never going to open it’ — who’s going to accept that gift? We’re constantly trying to modulate and fulfill the promises we’ve made. And it’s not enough to say that all we care about is the characters and not the mythology. But I do think with The Leftovers the word ‘mythology’ doesn’t necessarily apply the way it does to Lost or Westworld or Stranger Things or True Detective. Those shows have clearly defined mythologies. We don’t want to frustrate the audience but The Leftovers plays by its own set of rules and will continue to do so.”
In other words, don’t hold your breath for a big reveal about what happened to everyone who went missing on October 14, 2011. They ain’t gonna do it; Lindelof didn’t name drop iconic Australian missing-persons film Picnic at Hanging Rock in the interview, but he might as well have. The Leftovers is set to return to HBO in April.