At the 2015 Television Critics Association summer press tour on Thursday in Los Angeles, details about the upcoming season of The Leftovers trickled out. Co-creators Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta appeared on stage with cast members Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon and new season regular Regina King to take questions from television reporters.
In top-line summary, to kick off Season 2, Kevin and Jill Garvey—along with Nora and the baby she found abandoned on the Garveys’ doorstep—move to Jarden, Texas, a town remarkable for its zero departures. Also in town are Matt and Mary Jamison, looking for a miracle of their own.
According to an on-the-scene report from The Hollywood Reporter, Lindelof stressed that Season 2 is not a reboot but rather “the next chapter.” Lindelof stood by the tone of the first season, reported USA Today. “We always want the show to feel authentic,” he told the crowd. “We wanted to ground the world. [It] may have felt bleak and despairing, but to us it felt honest.” The showrunner maintained his sense of humor, joking at one point about wanting “to tape Season 2 before a live studio audience—we wanted to opt in for a laugh track.”
All jokes aside, Lindelof suggested a more positive current running through the new season, which was announced as premiering Oct. 4. “It was important to us that the characters didn't want to feel that way,” Lindelof said, according to USA Today. “The idea of people wanting to feel better, particularly this family, [they] wouldn't want to stay in the places they were, either geographically or emotionally.”
So—apart from the change in scenery—what else can you expect from the new season? Here are five juicy bits Lindelof and Co. revealed during the panel discussion.
- Patti Levin is dead—but not gone. Fans of actress Ann Dowd, who plays Patti Levin, will be happy to see her return to the show after her character’s suicide, though Lindelof remained tight-lipped on details around her reappearance. “Suffice to say, she’s a huge problem that needs to be solved,” he said, though he eliminated one theory on what form she’ll take, reported TV Line. “We don’t want to use her as a Shakespearean ghost, which is to say she’s someone there just to comment on the action. She’s in the show, but we don’t really want to talk too specifically about how she manifests.”
- There’s a new family in town—led by actress Regina King. According to Deadline, King will play Erika Murphy, “a woman who, along with her husband, has been untouched from any departures in Texas.” Her husband and two kids will be played by Kevin Carroll, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Jovan Adepo, respectively.
- Could another Departure be in the cards? According to The Hollywood Reporter, “A clip played exclusively to the press ahead of the show's panel hinted at a possible second ‘Departing,’ this time affecting the Garvey's new city. When asked about the event, Lindelof did everything but confirm the plot twist, acknowledging that he's ‘sick of keeping secrets.’”
- The Guilty Remnant still exists, but not in Jarden. Via TV Line: “‘The Guilty Remnant isn’t happening in Jarden,’ confirmed co-creator and executive producer Tom Perrotta. ‘But [Jarden] has its own peculiarities that relate to it needing to protect its special identity. The Guilty Remnant do appear at various times and have a residual power. We’re looking at a different form of expression, in the wake of The Departure, in this place.
- While Meg Abbott is still with the Guilty Remnant, Laurie Garvey isn’t. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that “back in Mapleton, Kevin’s ex-wife Laurie [Amy Brenneman] has left the Guilty Remnant and reunited with her son, Tom [Chris Zylka], who may have finally discovered a cause to help replace the pain in his heart. And though Meg [Liv Tyler] remains in the Guilty Remnant, she finds that it may not be the same cult she originally joined. ”
What are you hoping to see in Season 2? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.