Noah’s Ark in Miracle?

Season 1 of The Leftovers was filled with animal metaphors and imagery. From dogs to deer, four legged creatures roamed Mapleton and added mystery and intrigue to the story the humans lived out around them. In this week’s episode, Patti Levin certainly had animals on her mind. Out of her mouth we heard “Lucky duck!” and “I was a scaredy cat,” as well as something about “the greatest scapegoat in civilization.”

Here are some of the other animals we’ve already seen make appearances in Season 2:


In the opening moments of Season 2, we are introduced to a snake that threatens a newborn back in ancient times, eventually striking and killing his mother. Have snakes died out over time in this area or will we see the serpents strike again?


Before John left his home to battle Isaac and whatever forces were responsible for Evie’s disappearance, he was seen battling crickets. Are they a plague on his home? Hopefully, he will have more success tracking down what happened to his daughter than he had with the crickets. 


Though we have yet to learn its purpose, we know that Erika Murphy has been keeping a bird in a box in the woods. Is the bird a symbol of some other secret she is hiding? Did her daughter Evie fly away like the bird that was released from that box? 


In a scene that surprised none of the locals, a goat was brought into the restaurant where the Murphy family was dining and slaughtered before the patrons. Another goat was seen being dragged out of the small market where Nora stopped to buy cigarettes and booze. Are the goat sacrifices a sign of Old Testament happenings in Jarden or is there something even more devious at play?


Though a bit of a stretch, Wild Turkey is the specific liquor that Nora buys when she encounters Virgil at the market. It could be merely a coincidence but the writers of this show rarely leave any detail to chance. I am expecting the turkey to have meaning.


The disappearance of Jarden’s water left fish floundering in the open air. We’ve seen dead fish as well as a few still clinging to life in small pools left on the ground. People have been quick to gather up the last drops left from Miracle’s streams. It’s curious they left the fish behind. 


If you looked closely, while Kevin lied in bed with Nora, you could see tattoos of differing types of wings, and one complete butterfly on his back. Butterflies are not common subject matter for tattoos on policemen. Something tells me this butterfly has much greater significance than we currently know.


Though we have yet to see them, owls filled the soundscape in the final moments of this week’s episode. As Jill went to her window, watching Michael scrape the “verified” sticker from his home, owls announced the imminent changes we are sure to see in the coming weeks.


While the owls made their presence known, moths swarmed the single light between the Garvey and Murphy homes. Perhaps symbolic of those who wait impatiently outside the gates of Jarden or perhaps symbolic of a light which has yet to be revealed, there is purpose to the dance of those moths—purpose which in time we will know. 


One of the most jarring images we saw this week was that of a dog dragging its leash behind, the owner nowhere in sight. Patti Levin told a story that featured a similar image. Dogs certainly had a significant role in the first season of The Leftovers. Will they figure in just as importantly this season?

Bucher is active on Twitter and runs his own website.