Classic Lindelof: ‘The Leftovers’ Renewal Comes With a Twist

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Justin Theroux and Ann Dowd in The Leftovers. (photo: Van Redin/HBO)

It’s okay, everyone! You can stop camping outside HBO’s offices in your sweatpants now. After season two garnered low ratings but massive critical praise, The Leftovers was renewed for a third season. HBO’s renewal comes with a bittersweet twist, however, one requested by showrunner Damon Lindelof himself — the third season will be The Leftovers‘ last.

“I feel like there’s more story, but not MUCH more.  And I don’t want to drag it out unnecessarily,” Mr. Lindelof told Hitfix’s Alan Sepinwall, no doubt thinking of Lost. I say n0 doubt because Mr. Lindelof, who co-created and executive-produced ABC’s infamous mind-bender, seems to have split his time since 2010 bringing The Leftovers to life and apologizing for the Lost finale, over and over and over.

But anyone who trudged through the much that was latter day Lost knows the real problem, no matter what the time since has told you, is whoever was in charge of that particular train seemed to have no destination in sight. Just a bunch of weird, uncomfortable stops–polar bears, giant mysterious statues, smoke monsters. Which is why getting the news of The Leftovers‘ series finale this far in advance is probably the best case scenario for the show. Lindelof won’t have to keep throwing new things at the wall–new cults, more disappearances, new allegorical animals–to sustain the narrative. Lindelof knows where he’s going. Hopefully when he gets there, he doesn’t find something he needs to say sorry for.

Classic Lindelof: ‘The Leftovers’ Renewal Comes With a Twist