The Sudden Departure Will Probably Never Be Explained On The Leftovers, Admits Showrunner

the leftovers

As if TV viewers needed more reasons to back away from HBO’s The Leftovers

After two somewhat disappointing installments, the freshman dystopian drama hasn’t given viewers any indication that an answer to what caused the Sudden Departure, an event in which 2% of the world’s population inexplicably vanished, is coming soon. And when you consider that one of the two showrunners is Lost creator Damon Lindelof, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Regardless, Lindelof and fellow showrunner Tom Perrotta (whose novel The Leftovers served as the series’ source material) probably aren’t helping the series gain fans by admitting that answers to the biggest questions on the show may never come at all.

During an interview with Vulture, Perrotta talked about changing certain aspects of his novel to give The Leftovers a shot at a green light over at HBO. To give one, protagonist Kevin Garvey went from being the nice-guy mayor of Mapleton to an angry, possibly delusional police chief who shoots dogs in his off hours. However, one “red line” was explaining the Sudden Departure. According to Lindelof, a big reveal will probably never enter into the series’ writing. “If that’s why you’re watching the show, don’t watch the show,” he said.

Unfortunately, for a lot of viewers, a mystery that will never have a resolution likely is not one that’s even worth following at all. I understand what The Leftovers is going for – it wants to tell a story about people struggling to survive and deal with the aftermath of an inexplicable event. To give those people an answer to where their loved ones went during the Sudden Departure robs the show of that central tenet. It still seems odd (though admirable in a way) to me that HBO would agree to let The Leftovers go ahead without ensuring that Lindelof and Perrotta would be willing to provide answers at some point.

What do you think, readers? Should The Leftovers give viewers answers, or is it right to leave the Sudden Departure unexplained and instead focus on the human element of the show?