Noah’s Ark in Miracle?

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:

Dogs

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?

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‘Orange Sticker’: By the Babylon Motel

‘Orange Sticker’: By the Babylon Motel

"By the rivers of Babylon, we sat down and cried
as we remembered Zion.
We hung our lyres on willow trees. …
How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?"

—Psalm 137

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever."

—Psalm 136

In Edenic Jarden, there's an orange sticker on the houses of those who have been certified as the safe/chosen/spared. Like the Israelites, those who live in Jarden are the Chosen People. But once you get in John Murphy’s pickup truck, cross the mythical bridge out of town and descend through the hostile, murmuring mass of the wannabe citizens of the Miraculous city, it gets…well, we already know Jarden’s not safe, but then there's Babylon. 

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The Cast Breaks Down the Garveys’ Big Move

The Cast Breaks Down the Garveys’ Big Move

The yin to the Season 2 premiere’s yang, the second episode “A Matter of Geography,” documented how the Garvey family went from Mapleton to Miracle. Watching The Leftovers chatted with the show’s cast at the red carpet premiere about the episode’s action, enticing stars Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux and Margaret Qualley weigh in on what’s up with Nora, Kevin, Jill and the Garvey family as a whole.

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The Secrets Garden: Axis Mundi

The Secrets Garden: Axis Mundi

Watching the Season 2 premiere, I see again a major theme returning from Season 1: secrets, secret-keeping and truth-telling.

Police Chief Kevin Garvey and his family spend Season 1 navigating the post-Sudden Departure world. Those “leftover” in idyllic Mapleton must decide whether to face what they are keeping secret from each other and themselves: their losses, their mistakes, their hidden guilt. Kevin is burdened with what he cannot admit or accept about his marriage and children, his fears and his spiraling violence. But we’ve seen in The Leftovers world that what is denied will return; what is buried will be unearthed.

In the Season 2 premiere, we travel to Jarden, Texas, a new Eden—jardin is Spanish for “garden”—in Miracle National Park. No one was taken from here Oct. 14, and now it’s a holy place to which pilgrims travel from around the world, looking for hope and safety.

The episode is titled “Axis Mundi.” By definition, an Axis Mundi is a world-center, where people go to encounter the gods, hear from oracles and find healing and transcendence. But there is spiritual gravity in such place: The Buddha’s Bodhi Tree, the Navajo Canyon de Chelly, Mount Sinai, Jesus’ dying hill in Jerusalem are “thin spaces,” to use the Celtic term, and the energy in thin spaces both energizes the soul and strips away attachment and illusion. Flawed human beings can’t stay in Eden. The earth under Jarden is quaking, as it did with the Adam-less Eve in the episode’s prologue. And things are already disappearing: children—and swimming holes.

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Three Theories About the 9,261 Spared in Jarden, Texas

Three Theories About the 9,261 Spared in Jarden, Texas

Jaren, Texas, is certainly interesting for many reasons, but mostly because of the 9,261 who were spared from the Sudden Departure. Could there be significance in that total number? I thought possibly so I did a little (kinda crazy) math. Here are three theories I landed on about the number 9,261.

9+2+6+1

The sum is 18, and 18 is the numerical value of the Hebrew word for “life” (chai). It is customary in certain Jewish circles to give gifts and donations in multiples of 18 as a blessing for long life. In ancient Rome, the number could symbolize a blood relative. The number has significance outside of Abrahamic traditions as well. In Hinduism, there are 18 chapters in the Bhagavad Gita, which is contained in the Mahabharata, which has 18 books. The Mahabharata tells the story of the Kurukshetra War, a battle between 18 armies. The war itself lasts for 18 days. Could the number mean the town is a source for life, as Judaism would suggest, or for battle as Hinduism might suggest?

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The Leftovers Season 2: 5 Juicy Details (And More!) Revealed

The Leftovers Season 2: 5 Juicy Details (And More!) Revealed

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.

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