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The Leftovers Season 3: You Will Finally Discover Where The Departed Went. Kind of. Sort of. Definitely. Maybe? (Review)

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From HBO and Damon Lindelof (Lost) comes the twisted Rapture inspired drama The Leftovers. Based on the novel from Tom Perrotta (Little Children), the TV series has just concluded its third and final season . The series stars Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Kevin Carroll, Margaret Qualley, Chris Zylka, Carrie Coon, Liv Tyler and Christopher Eccleston.

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In a global cataclysm, “The Sudden Departure,” 140 million people disappeared without a trace. Three years later, residents of Mapleton, N.Y., try to maintain equilibrium when the notion of “normal” no longer applies. Intense grief has divided families and turned faith to cynicism, paranoia and madness, leading some of the traumatized to join the Guilty Remnant, a cultlike group. Kevin Garvey, a beleaguered police chief, must keep peace between townspeople and the cult, a task made tougher with concern about his kids. His daughter alternates between apathy and rebellion, and his wayward son befriends a charismatic prophet. 


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Tom Perrotta, the man who wrote the novel in which The Leftovers was adapted from (season 1 covered the entire book and there have been no other novels), was asked by showrunner Damon Lindelof where the people went.. Where did they actually “depart” to? Perrotta had and still has no idea – it was never his plan to reveal what exactly happened because his story was about a family and how people deal with loss. That being said – you will have an answer by the end of season 3 as to where those people went. Sort of. Kind of. You will sort of kind of maybe have an answer as to where the departed went…

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After season 2 changed locations, season 3 changes countries for the most part as our cast venture to Australia in search of answers. If you thought the series was strange already, the final season is off-the-rails batshit crazy. Kevin is being hailed as the new Jesus because he can’t seem to die. He’s been shot, poisoned, drowned and he always comes back. Why is that? Why does everyone think that the departed are about to return on the seven year anniversary of their disappearance? Is Gary Busey coming back?!?! WILL HE LEAD THEM BACK?!!?

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The Leftovers’ final eight episodes were mind boggling on both a good and bad level.. If you wanted every single weird little plot line explained to you… Then you’ll be upset by the time the series comes to a close. When Kevin “dies”, is he going to the afterlife? Is that purgatory? I don’t know… But there is a mysterious figure who reveals himself to be GOD in this final season and he frequents both Kevin’s creepy assassin afterlife world, as well as the real world where he’s asked point blank by Reverend Matt Jamison why he did it. Why did he make 140 million people disappear? “Because I can” he responds, in one of the most eerie, disturbing, ‘what if this is the truth?’ kind of moments….

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Viewers will need to believe what they want – was that really God? If so, why is he a psychopath? But to ask that question would be silly, because tragedies and bizarre things happen daily on our planet and if God is responsible then yeah I guess he would be kind of a dick wouldn’t he? Kevin’s dad is on a mission to send his son to the afterlife in order to learn something that will stop what he thinks will be a global flood on the anniversary of the departed… There’s a ton of wacky theories floating around and some come to fruition while others — kinda just simmer there and while there’s some legit weight to a few of them, the audience is left to fill in the blanks for the overall picture.

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Carrie Coon as Nora steals the final season with her most heart-breaking performance yet. There’s apparently a group of scientists who have made a machine with the potential to SEND people to an alternate world or space where the departed wound up… Nora is investigating this device as both a skeptic and a person still longing for answers as to where her children wound up. Does she go through with it? You will have that answer by the end of the season as well and the results will no doubt be shocking.

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Equal parts frustrating, strange and fascinating, The Leftovers season 3 was one of the most unique and captivating TV dramas ever made. The writing, performances, music choices – everything is perfect… While I can’t promise you that viewers will leave the show 100% satisfied, I will say that answers do come, but I think that audiences will have to deal with those half-truths in their own ways. Nothing is absolutely certain on this series. Was it science? Religion? A bit of both? From what I got out of the finale and last season overall, is that every main character got the answer that they were searching for all series long.

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The Leftovers was a show about the meaning of life and I think that Kevin, Nora, Laurie, Matt and everyone else got their answers… The only problem with that is — I’m not sure every person who has watched the show will get what they were looking for over three strange wonderful seasons.

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