“The Leftovers” is about to return, but it’s also about to disappear: HBO’s wrenching drama will air its third (and final) season beginning next April. Showrunner Damon Lindelof, previously of “Lost,” has provided Entertainment Weekly with a sense of what we might expect from the last eight episodes — including why they’ll take place in Australia.
“Australia is the end of the world geographically and our show is about the end of the world emotionally,” explains Lindelof. “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.” Though the show isn’t as genre-intensive as some of those examples, a comparison could certainly be made between “The Leftovers” and Weir’s first film, “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” in which a group of schoolgirls go missing without a trace.
Justin Theroux plays the lead in the series, and this final season initially has him head down under to visit his troubled father (Scott Glenn). What happens next is “like ‘The Godfather,'” Lindelof says. “Marlon Brando keeps telling his son Michael, ‘I don’t want this business for you,’ but every time the sh– hits the fan, Michael is in the room. So Senior is mixed up in something and pulls Kevin into it.”
Lindelof is as tight-lipped as you’d expect the mystery-loving former head of “Lost” to be about the specifics of his latest endeavor’s conclusion, of course. “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,” he continues. “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.”
“The Leftovers” returns to HBO in April. In the meantime, read EW’s full piece here.