The Leftovers Final Season: And the Song of the Episode Is…

Series Finale: “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember” by Otis Redding

I dreamed one day I wanted to be with you / but you were so far away / an airplane couldn’t reach you / but I dreamed that you got the message / but you still wouldn’t come to see me

The opening of the final episode of The Leftovers began with Season 2’s theme “Let the Mystery Be,” by Iris DeMent. And it was worthwhile to keep this in mind throughout the last episode — some answers were provided, some weren’t, and there were things no one will ever know for certain.

The moment that truly struck a chord, however, was when a newly reunited Kevin and Nora, ever the outsiders, slow danced at a party full of people they didn’t know. Otis Redding’s song, recollecting memories both rough and lovely — choosing to stay despite the hardships — was the perfect selection for the scene.

Find more highlighted Season 3 songs below, or head to The Leftovers on Spotify for official Season playlists.


Episode 7: The Leftovers (Main Title Theme) by Max Richter

“The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother)” opened with a nod to Season 1’s opening theme. 

For the first ten episodes of the series, composer Max Richter’s original score accompanied religious illustrations. Season 2 made the switch to family photographs, haunted by the outlines of departed loved ones — and asked us to “let the mystery be.” 

Season 3’s penultimate episode, however, was about Kevin Garvey vs. Kevin Garvey and the Leftovers’ ability to face it’s own music didn’t go unnoticed by critics like Vox’s Caroline Framke

“From the second I heard The Leftovers’ Season 1 theme start to play over this episode’s opening credits — beginning with that infamous, ominous “bwoooooommppp”! — I was both bracing myself for the inevitably intense hour ahead and laughing at the show’s sheer defiance.”

Revisit the Season 1 opening theme on The Leftovers official Spotify playlist—and share your thoughts in the comments below.


 Episode 6: "1-800 Suicide" by Gravediggaz

“Yeah, more graves to dig/ Goodbye/ There’s no need to cry / Cause we all die”

“Certified” left fans unsure of what to think about Laurie’s fate,  and teed-up an unsettling feeling from the very beginning. Vulture’s Sean T. Collins says, “As we’ve discussed before, the opening credit songs this season have a certain predictive value. Struck as I was by the unsparingly blunt ‘suicide, it’s a suicide’ chorus, I still managed to convince myself this was just a reference to Laurie’s long-ago episode. I wanted to believe.”

This song choice is one of the most straightforward and bleak. Listen to the song below and post your thoughts and theories in the comments section.

Find more highlighted Season 3 songs below, or head to The Leftovers on Spotify for official Season playlists.

Watch new episodes of The Leftovers on HBO Sunday nights at 9 pm.


Episode 5: Opening Credits and “Frasier (The Sensuous Lion)” by Sarah Vaughan

I am the only hope
The last defense
of a species on the brink of extinction
The warlocks warned us

The opening credits of Episode 5, “It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World,” didn’t stick out this week because of a well-chosen piece of music. Instead, audiences were met by the beeping of a submarine and the soft French voice of a naval officer. Entertainment Weekly provides a translation to the sailor’s words, a selection of which is above. Many have noticed the nod to the Bible chapter Revelations, but wonder if this is a hint at what’s to come, or simply a man driven mad by the impending anniversary.

Along with the opening credits, viewers were also introduced to the story of Frasier, “the Sensuous Lion” whose own theme song can be found below.

Fear of sea monsters, introductions to “God,” and lion orgies. With only four days until the anniversary to go, nothing feels safe to assume except that it’s only going to get crazier from here. Share your theories and thoughts in the comments below.

Watch new episodes of The Leftovers on HBO Sunday nights at 9 pm.


Episode 4: "Take On Me" by A-ha

“So needless to say / I'm odds and ends / I'll be stumbling away / Slowly learning that life is OK / Say after me / It's no better to be safe than sorry.”

When you think of quintessential breakup songs, A-ha’s poppy, synth-happy hit might not be the first to leap to mind. Yet, as Noel Murray of The New York Times notes in his recap of “G’Day Melbourne”:

“The song of the week is A-ha’s ‘Take on Me,’ heard in a couple of different versions. A possibly relevant connection: The award-winning Take On Me” video is about a man and a woman who find each other even though they’re confined to alternate universes.”

Is it possible Kevin and Nora are the man and woman tip-toeing between dimensions? Or does it speak more to a collective, post-Departure heartache? 

The Leftovers co-creator Damon Lindelof nodded to the visual connections between the song’s opening credits and the music video in a caption-less Instagram post, leaving fans to theorize what this could mean.

A post shared by Damon (@damonlindelof) on

Give it another listen and see what connections you might come up with.

Share your thoughts in the comments below. Find more highlighted Season 3 songs below, or head to The Leftovers on Spotify for official Season playlists.

Watch new episodes of The Leftovers on HBO Sunday nights at 9 pm.


Episode 3: "Personal Jesus" by Richard Cheese

“Reach out and touch faith / your own personal Jesus / someone to hear your prayers / someone who cares.”

The credits have been changing each week on the final season The Leftovers, and it’s leading into Episode 3 that we hear Richard Cheese’s take on the Depeche Mode favorite, “Personal Jesus.” 

The twangy rendition channels the same darkness of Depeche Mode’s original tune while playing directly into Kevin Garvey, Senior’s unflappable devotion in Episode 3, “Crazy Whitefella Thinking.” Senior’s near-fatal journey through Australia’s outback was propelled by his mission to “stop the flood” — a notion he received from a combo of the persistent voices in his head, an encounter with one Tony the chicken and his son’s Messiah-like reputation. 

Can we include Senior in the growing circle of disciples to the possibly holy Kevin Garvey? It may be too early to tell. One thing is for certain, however: Senior is hell-bent on saving this world from the apocalypse.

Grab your didgeridoo and jam along to “Personal Jesus.”

Share your thoughts in the comments below. Find more highlighted Season 3 songs below, or head to The Leftovers on Spotify for official Season playlists.

Stream new episodes of The Leftovers on HBO Sunday nights at 9 pm.


Episode 2: "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)" by Wu-Tang Clan

Nora’s visit to Erika’s home was a unique opportunity to see the normally steely Nora let her guard down. Telling her friend about the tattoo she was planning to get — only to have it replaced with the Wu-Tang Clan symbol — could have fallen into the absurd, but there’s something to Nora’s off-hand comment about thinking looked like a phoenix — a creature representative of death leading to regeneration and fresh starts. 

The pair’s scene ended with a romp on Erika’s trampoline. Unexpected, perhaps. But somehow the perfect follow-up to the women’s heavy discussion — a release occurred. 

Carrie Coon, the actor behind Nora, reflected on the moment, “ One way to move through grief is through physical joy of your body. There’s freedom in the body if you can muster the energy to jump around.” Nora and Erika’s joyful jumping was highlighted by the decision to use the appropriately titled Wu-Tang Clan song “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)” over the sequence.

And jump they did. “Let me say this,” Coon joked, “If somebody is yelling at you to jump higher, laugh, smile, laugh, you’re going to have an accident. You might have a wardrobe malfunction. They were like, ‘Higher Carrie!’ That’s all I’ll say about that, just be careful ladies!” But all was well that ended well, “We had the music playing. It was great fun. I couldn’t believe that was my job.”

Let yourself loose and listen to the song below (just be careful on the trampoline.) 

Share your thoughts in the comments below. Find more highlighted Season 3 songs below, or head to The Leftovers on Spotify for official Season playlists.


Stream new episodes of The Leftovers on HBO Sunday nights at 9 pm.


Episode 1: "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" by Good News Circle

“The world will be at ease / banquets and parties and weddings / just as it was in Noah’s time before the sudden coming of the flood.” 

These are among the first lyrics of “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” by Good News Circle. Folksy and sing-songy, but with a tinge of darkness, the tune accompanies the epic opening scene of the Season 3 premiere.

Executive producer and director Mimi Leder explains the importance of the the music in the season’s first moments:

"How do you convey all the emotions of these characters through pictures? It was quite a challenge. I think the song we chose was very appropriate to helping tell that story."

Listen below, and pay close attention to the lyrics. 

Share your thoughts in the comments below and check out The Leftovers on Spotify for more music from the show.

Stream new episodes of The Leftovers on HBO Sunday nights at 9 pm.