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The Leftovers EP Damon Lindelof Talks 'Ambiguous' Season 2, [Spoiler]'s Inevitable Return

The Leftovers HBO

For fans of The Leftovers, the long wait for Season 2 might bring on the urge to wear white, light up a cigarette and take a vow of silence in protest of the show’s hiatus.

Fortunately, showrunner Damon Lindelof is back at work on the HBO drama, and he’s got big plans for the show’s sophomore run.

Lindelof, who is once again working alongside author Tom Perrotta (whose novel inspired Season 1), says the series will maintain an air of “ambiguous mystery” when Season 2 debuts in 2015.

To tide us over until the show’s return, Lindelof offered TVLine a few nuggets of scoop — including which character might make an unexpected reappearance, how the writing process has changed without Perrotta’s novel and why it’s unlikely we’ll get many answers in upcoming episodes.

TVLINE | How much time will have passed between Seasons 1 and 2?
Some time will, of course, have passed. Anywhere from five seconds to five years. I don’t think we’ll be moving backwards in time — which I’ve done in the past, but not this time.

TVLINE | All of the core characters ended Season 1 in interesting, and perhaps unexpected, places. Will all of those cast members return?
We’re still talking about that. The show can move in unexpected directions, and we’re trying out a number of different ideas. But I definitely think the continuing saga of this family is something that we’re very interested in.

theleftovers2TVLINE | In Kevin’s nightmare toward the end of the season, Patti said they would be “traveling companions.” Can we expect to see more Ann Dowd, in that case?
We try to approach these shows as writers, with our fan hats on. I would want to see more of Ann Dowd, and that character had such an immense impact and power over the first season. I think she’s got more to say. So I’ll just leave it at that.

TVLINE | You’re moving away from Tom Perrotta’s novel in Season 2, correct?
We’re still using Tom Perrotta as a guide. He’s very actively engaged in the creative process on the show. But we pretty much burned through the entire novel in Season 1, so there’s, sadly, nothing left to steal.

TVLINE | What’s it been like to break story without the novel?
We’re just a couple days into talking about Season 2. And obviously, a lot of ideas were starting to fly around as we were working on the first season, but we didn’t know if there was going to be a second season, if there should be a second season or if anyone would want to see a second season. So, right now, it’s a lot of fun to talk about the world at large. The first season was very focused on this one place, but the idea of the show lends itself to a larger, more macro view. Even though it’s ultimately a character-centric story, we’re talking about exploring the premise of the show a little bit more this year.

TVLINE | You’ve previously said that this is not a show about answers. Will that remain the case in Season 2?
It’s very liberating to finally be working on a show that promises no answers. The Leftovers — and ultimately, it’s why I love Tom’s book so much — is about living in a world of ambiguous mystery, which we all live in. We don’t know what happens when we die. Some people decide, “This is what my life is supposed to be, this is what happens when I die. I believe in God, or I don’t believe in God.” But nobody knows for sure. This show really embraces that idea. On Lost, we owed you answers, and you could treat us accordingly. But The Leftovers — we make no guarantees. If you’re looking for answers, The Americans is an excellent show. [Laughs] I would recommend you watch it.

Leftovers fans, what are your hopes for Season 2? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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20 Comments
  1. Bill says:

    The wait is torture. What a great show

  2. DavidJ says:

    Even without any “answers” I still found the first season completely gripping and compelling. And loved the moody, mysterious feel of the whole thing.

    Although I’m a bit worried now about them working without the book as a guide….

  3. Sarahliz says:

    I love it – “It’s great to be working on a show that doesn’t promise any answers”. It’s not like Lindelof would give us answers even if he DID promise them. Do we all have selective memory issues about the end of Lost? Because as I recall it they spent six years telling us they knew all the answers and after it was all over they admitted that from the beginning they had no clue where they were going with it or how they were going to answer the questions they were asking. They had to scramble to figure the whole thing out before the cut off at the end of season 6. This show is really great and everything, but I don’t trust Lindelof as far as I could throw him and as far as I’m concerned this is his last chance because I just can’t take the heartache.

    I get way too attached to these things. Sorry guys.

    • jeff says:

      1.The writers of lost NEVER admitted such a thing.
      2.Every mystery on lost has an answer IF YOU have the attention span to notice them.

      • Jill says:

        On LOST, we never found out why supplies were still being dropped on the island or who was doing it. We never found out why the women on the island couldn’t deliver babies to term. There were other examples. It’s been a while.

  4. lisa says:

    This is, in my opinion, the most underrated tv show on television right now. It’s poignant and brilliantly directed and really has some thought-provoking things to say about life. I wish more people would give it a shot

  5. James says:

    Maybe the simple answers to the ‘Leftovers’ plot is that the Earth was really an extraterrestrial experiment all along or the show is being heavily funded as a promotion tool for the tobacco industry.

  6. Ellinas1978 says:

    You still owe us answers on Lost.

    I’m not one of those people that wants stuff to be wrapped nicely with a bow at the end — LOVE the Sopranos finale. But the finale of Lost was like they suddenly realized they had promised a series finale and had no idea what to do so they wrote whatever came to their mind at the time.

  7. erninlow says:

    As a fan of this show, I am reading the book right now and there are differences so I don’t find it a big deal that they are continuing on. They do have the author for help so he might give them ideas on where he thought the characters would go if the novel continued. I love this show and am excited for a second season!

  8. 007 says:

    UGHHHHHHHH. I need this show NOW! By far, the BEST new series that’s aired this year. What an incredible cast too! Oh, and the score. *goosebumps* Summer 2015 needs to get here quickly!

  9. Donna says:

    I love this show so much.. I hope for Season2 that the Garveys get back together Jill needs her mother an father to take care of her ! Kevin is my celibrity crush without a doubt❤

  10. Anne says:

    I can hardly wait till season 2. One of the best watches on TV. I will probably read the novel to keep me going .

  11. gator says:

    I really like this show. There are no real proven answers to the mystery of life and death. And this show in my opinion fills that mystery. Therefore, until proven otherwise, I personally could watch endless seasons of the leftovers.

  12. Sarah Eylicio says:

    I love this show
    …Awsome!!!

  13. Bruce says:

    I do like this show and part of the allure is the mystery. However I think promising no answers is kind of crappy to fans. Cable subscribers like us help pay these people’s salaries and we deserve a satisfying explanations even if not plausible for some (not all) storylines. So if it gets ridiculous, I’ll simply withdraw my viewership, but as for now bring on Season 2!

  14. Teresa Reynolds says:

    I have to honestly say when the show was introduce to me, I was not all that interested. But now, after seeing all the episodes, I am completely ready for season two. Time to set the DVR because the Leftovers is a great and interesting show to watch.

  15. stenjess says:

    I am a huge fan. Is hard to watch and think about but much of life plays out that way. Where is God in this? The mystery – as it should be. Who is the guy with the chewing tobacco in his cheek???? Evil character.

  16. Shirley says:

    I can’t wait…………arghhhhhh hurry!!!!

  17. The show left us confused which we did not catch all of the beginning!! I can not wait to see more!!!

  18. Marcus Perryman says:

    I thought the show was about a world descending into lawlessness and civil war, without moral authority, i.e. about today’s real world, and I would hope it would pursue this vision, without seeking to provide answers to “what happened?” What’s interesting in this thought-experiment drama is what happens next.