‘The Leftovers’: 9 Big Questions Damon Lindelof Needs to Answer in the Season 1 Finale

'The Leftovers': 9 Big Questions Damon Lindelof Needs to Answer in the Season 1 Finale


1) Will Kevin hide the body or tell the truth?

Like many elements of "The Leftovers," this is not as simple a question as it may seem. Kevin Jr. has lost his wife not because he cheated on her, but because he lied to her. Last week’s flashback episode illustrated this point clearly (though not without irony, as Kevin seems to be unaware of Laurie’s temporary pregnancy). So when it comes to whether or not he hides Patti’s dead body, the decision doesn’t just come down to his survival in this world but also the survival of his soul.

If he hides the body, he’s committing to the lie. He can’t tell anyone what happened, and that includes Laurie, who — along with Meg — will be the one asking the most questions. If he lies to Laurie, he may well be giving up on her entirely, as he has no legitimate claim to her well-being after contributing to her psyche’s demise yet again. This may not only be the end of the Garvey family unit, but also the start of a war.

Prediction: Kevin will hide the body. 

READ MORE: Review: ‘The Leftovers’ Season 1 Episode 9, ‘The Garveys at Their Best,’ Takes a ‘Lost’-Esque Flashback

2) Where did the GR get all its money? 

The bodies in the back of the U-Haul are one thing: It seems pretty clear those will be distributed to the appropriate households as "reminders" for family members as to what happened on October 14. (It’s a dick move to the ultimate degree, befitting of an organization with its collective head placed just a few degrees to the back of that area.)

But where did all that money come from? How could they afford each of those $40,000 fake corpses? How could they afford to buy the church from Reverend Matt? How can they afford to do anything, including living day-to-day when none of them have jobs? I mean, they must be spending a grand a week on smokes alone.

Prediction: Nora is funding them with money from her insurance claim (this is most likely not true, but fun to think about).

3) Who is the Guy with the Truck?

He shoots dogs. He gives away his truck. He shows up at murder scenes. He "helps" the Chief of Police, then turns on him in a public meeting. He talks to people who can’t be seen (or aren’t there at all). He is… the Guy with the Truck. Okay, his real name is Dean, but it takes a sharper ear than mine to pick that out among the many nameless encounters between Dean and Kevin Jr. 

But who is he? Why is he so involved with Kevin’s life? After "Cairo," it seemed like he’s been sent by the same people who talk to Kevin Sr., but it feels a little too convenient for that to be true. He could be an undercover member of the GR, who helped orchestrate the murders of Gladys and Patti all while framing the town’s police chief for the crime(s). Patti always knew she’d have to get Kevin out of the way, but could she really go to these lengths?

Prediction: Yes, absolutely she could. But it’s more likely the Guy with the Truck is just another one of the "others," along with Kevin Sr. and the people who drove through town right before the manhole exploded in Episode 9.

4) Is Kevin Jr. crazy, or is it his Dad who’s nuts?

I doubt this one is answered by the end of Season 1. This plot point feels like a through line and one of the series’ biggest questions (that will, someday, be explained). I expect a shift to take place where we’re swayed to believe one Garvey male over the other, but I’d be surprised if something definitive took place Sunday night.

Still, evidence has been given to both sides, and watching a man mentally unravel like Kevin Jr. has for an entire series would make for some original television (if also slightly frustrating). It almost seems like a cop out for Kevin Jr. to be crazy at this point. There are too many unexplained events (he drove his shirts out to the woods and hung them on trees…? doubtful) and too many (far more exciting) twists available (the Guy with the Truck stole his shirts after Laurie told Patti where to put them!) to let young Kev be bonkers. He’s fighting the good fight and should be justly rewarded.

Prediction: Kevin Sr. is crazy, but has been manipulated into believing by the GR.

5) Will Tom finally come home (and will he be alone)? 

Yes and no. Tom is long overdue for a trip back East. He’s been in desperate need of some fatherly advice since Week 1, and now things seem to have reached a tipping point with his family. Can he abandon his new family, though? Surely he won’t be delivering Christine and her baby back to Holy Wayne, so odds are that the patched-together, biracial group will meet the recently torn apart (and very white) Garvey clan. I’m not sure if Christine will survive the trip, though — she’s always felt like an expendable character, and one whose doomed fate seems to be in line with her baby daddy’s.

Prediction: Tom will come back to Mapleton to find a family in upheaval, but he’ll have a baby in tow. 

6) Will Holy Wayne meet his end?

Speaking of said baby daddy, Holy Wayne predicted during "Solace for Tired Feet" that he saw his own death coming and it was happening soon — so when is it? Is he right? Will he make sure he’s right via a self-fulfilled prophecy? Will he be dead before Season 2? His dramatic resources seem to be tapped. Anyone questioning whether or not he’s the real deal should look to Nora’s state of mind and realize he’s not — he’s just someone people wanted to believe in, and used to fulfill their own prophecies. So his death may be one of the kickers for a season ripe for so many.

Prediction: Holy Wayne will die during Sunday’s finale.

7) Did Laurie lose her baby through divine intervention or by choice?

At the end of Episode 9, a debate broke out in the Indiewire offices. What I saw when Laurie took a second glance at her ultrasound was a woman who’d just been baffled by the disappearance of an image that was — just a second earlier — right in front of her eyes. What my colleague Liz Shannon Miller saw was a woman lost in indecision: Laurie wasn’t peering at her suddenly missing child, but determining whether or not she wanted it at all. So did Laurie indeed lose the baby on October 14, or was that just the day she decided she didn’t want it? We may not get a more definite answer to this question this season, but it’s an interesting notion to contemplate — especially given the repercussions if, instead of losing her baby inexplicably, she had rather chosen to abort it.

Prediction: Laurie’s baby is one of the departed, and Kevin is going to find out about it very soon.

8) Who will be the new Patti — Meg or Laurie?

Laurie seems to be next in line for the GR’s top spot. She appeared to be Patti’s closest friend (even when Gladys was still alive) and has seniority over newer members like Meg. But Meg is fierce. She is passionate to the nth degree and while her disregard for the group’s mission statement and policies should relegate her to right-hand-woman status, it may not. Meg may instead fight for a position of authority. She could take advantage of the group’s desire for a fiery leader willing to go to extremes in order to get her point across and take over Patti’s role.

The other scenario is that Meg becomes the only candidate, because Laurie could still be saved. If "The Leftovers" pulls a "True Detective" light-over-dark ending, then Meg may be the default choice for the GR. It may seem like wishful thinking, but predicting where Lindelof will take this show — especially since he’s broken away from the book’s template already — is a fool’s errand (hence my authorship of this article).

Prediction: Laurie becomes tog dog (though anything could happen). 

9) Can the Garvey family be saved?

Like the last, this question comes down to what you want to believe clashing against what time has taught us about "The Leftovers." It’s not the soulless slog many painted it as after only a few episodes. These are flesh and blood people we’re watching every week, and there has been some moments of optimism and even levity carefully spaced through Season 1. Remember when Kevin said "I don’t know how to joke" to Nora when they were met at the court house post-divorce proceedings? Or when the couple starting chuckling on their date and right after they had sex? There are moments of hope tossed into the show — it’s up to us to decide if they’re a promise of more or a cruel joke themselves.

Hope makes the heartbreak all the more painful, and if the Garveys go to war — as they seem ready to do — it will be one of the most hurtful moments on a show with more than its fair share already. In war, there are casualties, and only Kevin seems safe from the reaper. His death would almost be a blessing for a man torn apart by what he thinks he wants and what he craves in the moment. Anything can happen come Sunday, but I for one won’t be expecting any joyful family reunion.

Prediction: No one will die, but the Garveys will be more deeply divided before the finale hour is up.

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Comments

um...

tog dog?

Kitty

Answer to 2 has already been answered. $ comes GR former lives. Obviously Laurie was doing well. They had a great house etc. Now the Garvey’ s live at his dad’s house.

brando

Isn’t the answer to number 7 a resounding… both. The way the end of episode 9 read to me was that the woman at the laundry was sick and tired of her screaming baby and wished it’d just be gone. And it was. Nora was aggravated by her burden of a family and wished they’d just be gone. And they were. In a bind, Laurie wished she wouldn’t have to make that decision at all. And then she didn’t.

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