Damon Lindelof and Mimi Leder on The Leftovers’ Season 3 Opening Scene

The very first scene of The Leftovers follows a distraught mother, after her infant, Sam, disappears—along with 140 million others, known thereafter as the Departed. Season 2 leaps back in time for its first few minutes to peer in on a prehistoric protagonist, whose late night trip to the bathroom ultimately saves her and her soon-to-be-born baby from a fatal earthquake—a seismic foreshadowing for Miracle, Texas. Season 3 finds itself somewhere in between the geologic time scale. 

At the Season 3 premiere in Los Angeles, The Leftovers co-creator Damon Lindelof and executive producer Mimi Leder, who also directed the first episode of the final season, offered some insight about the epic opener.

Damon Lindelof (Co-creator, executive producer)
“When a show comes back, the audience has an expectation for a bit of an overture—a prologue to set the table. We wanted to throw something out there that was a little bit unexpected but, more importantly, that set up the themes of the season: ‘What is it about us that wants the world to end? And what do we do when it doesn’t?’”

Mimi Leder (Executive producer, director)
“The cold open was shot in three and a half days, but it took months to plan. The 1840’s costumes, designed by Rudolph Mance, had to be perfect. [The actors] had to play these characters without any dialogue—emotional characters who are the precursors to the Guilty Remnant. We show a family that are the leftovers of their time.”

After you watch, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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