Post Mortems
The Leftovers Season 2

Leftovers' Boss Damon Lindelof Addresses That Patti Twist — Plus: Departure Mystery Solved?

The Leftovers‘ big Season 2 mystery took a WTF?! turn in the closing minutes of Sunday’s episode when we witnessed, via flashback, a barely conscious Kevin stagger out of that dried-up stream with a brick attached to his leg. Did those interminable “visits” from his dead nemesis Patti drive Miracle’s newest resident to attempt suicide? Or did Patti herself somehow manage to drag him to his waterless grave (the same way she pushed him into that stove)?

Series co-creator Damon Lindelof is certainly not about to spoil that cliffhanger for fans, but the EP did speak to TVLine about the episode’s two other perplexing questions: Who — or what — is Patti? And are the MIT students who purchased Nora’s house about to solve the show’s biggest mystery? Read on for Lindelof’s two cents on those Episode 2 humdingers.

TVLINE | The MIT students gave Nora hope that there may be a scientific explanation behind the Sudden Departure. I read that as, “Damon is going to give us an answer to the question he said he’d never answer!”
That was not our intention. [Fellow EP] Tom Perrotta and I have been very [clear] about the fact that the show is never going to answer where these people went, or why them. But we did start to realize that the characters on the show don’t know that we’re saying that. And so, aren’t we cheating by not having some characters on the show say, “Hey, we’re still looking.” Because they would be. You and I are never going to get the answer as long as we’re alive to, “What happens when you die?” The same is true of the Departure. But that doesn’t mean people don’t spend their entire lives investigating what happens or adopting a belief system. So the MIT guys are approaching it from the scientific route of, “We believe that your family disappeared from this table because there is something happening in this room, radiation-wise… ” And even if their data supported that, it’s still not going to answer where they went. It will just answer why them.

TVLINE | What is the deal with Patti? Is she a ghost? Is Kevin just going crazy?
That’s certainly a question that we want the audience asking over the course of the first several episodes. And if this show didn’t have a genre premise, there would be only one reasonable explanation for Patti, which is Kevin is suffering from mental illness. But over the course of the first season, [Kevin’s father] claimed that he could hear voices. And now in Season 2 he says the voices have now gone away because he started doing what they told him to. So it has to be on the table that this voice that Kevin is hearing is real. He would rather be crazy than believe that Patti is communicating from some other supernatural realm, and this season deals with this concern very specifically. But I think the larger issue for Kevin is, “What do I have to do to get rid of this? How do I make it stop? Because I can’t live my life with Patti following me around telling me what to do.”

TVLINE | She seemingly pushed him into that stove, so there’s the assumption that she can materialize…
There’s a suggestion that she has corporeal and physical reality. But I would also argue that, following Fight Club rules — and I don’t want to spoil any other shows that are currently on the air — there is a precedent for characters injuring themselves. So if Kevin is suffering from mental illness [he can] smash his own head into a stove.

What do you make of Kevin’s current predicament? And did you, like me, think (hope?) that the MIT subplot was a sign of big answers to come? Hit 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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16 Comments
  1. lisa says:

    It just really seems like the show is doubling down on the less interesting aspects of what make it so great. I’m more interested in the MIT students doing research on Nora’s house and the possibility that Miracle is special and that the voices Kevin and his father hear are real and mean something hugely significant and Holy Wayne maybe was a really gifted individual etc. It seems that Lindelof and co. aren’t interested in fully committing to having those be a reality in this world and I hope I’m wrong but I don’t want to see them always just remain a possible explanation, but a real one.

  2. brian feig says:

    I’m not sure of anything from this very singular crazy f@#$% show, but I love it.

  3. cindy loo says:

    Agree with Lisa. Most people are attracted to the show because of the departure and the reasons behind it. This LOST aspect with a lot of supernatural stuff is not appealing. It is great seeing Patty but that is distracting from the premise of the show-the BEST part last night was the MIT guys.

    • W3b3 says:

      I think you are incorrect and should look elsewhere for shows like ‘lost’, really? All People I have engaged with and the unexpected buzz about season 2 examines the spirituality aspects, the heavy laws of nature theme and the hardship left post departures in both towns. Miracle is also struggling in its own way. The rebirthing of the bird and the ‘powers’ are also an important fact. I couldn’t care less about the MIT guys I think the WHY will always be important but never understood completely and left for interpretation

      • W3b3 says:

        Apologies mis read your reference on the lost bit. I do not draw any parallels to lost and still feel like you will be waiting a while to get an explanation to the departure.. Maybe season 3 would be a shift to understand why. My gut feel is it was the world resetting itself due a ever deterioting amount of faith or belief (religious or not) and reestablishing light keepers on earth. Humans dominating nature or unbalancing the ecosystem. Anyways pumped about the last episode I’ll shutup

  4. W3b3 says:

    Season 2, and I don’t put this lightly, is one of the greatest pieces of work I have seen this far. Not sure where it will go but the transition from s01 to s02 has been phenomenal.

  5. vegas says:

    The baby shouldn’t be left in his care. He’s a nut.

  6. James says:

    I can’t stand when i read that the show creators won’t reveal where the departed went or why. I don’t care if it takes to the very last show but I want the answers. Not leave it to my imagination, i enjoy my own imagination during the story but hate when shows leave unanswered questions.That said awesome show love the new season so far. One of the best in awhile on tv.

  7. Valentina says:

    I actually have no interest whatsoever in knowing why the departure happended. I think what makes the show great is the human aspect of it, how something so incredible that has no explanation has influenced people and society.
    And I am kind of tired of people saying “just like with Lost, I want to be told about the mythology, understand why”. Maybe it’s just me, but weren’t those revelations such a letdown?
    For me, just like it was with Lost, it’s all about human interactions and not knowing the explanations behind the departure makes the anguish and the hopelessness and the struggle feel much more real and interesting.

  8. Frank de Lie says:

    I am extremely frustrated with the idea that I’m wachting a series off which I understand almost nothing. One moment, you think you’ve got the clue , then you’re completely lost. But that makes it such a strong series. Following the comment of Damon it appears to me that they’ll never give the answer (by analogy with the book) about the why of the ‘departure ‘.

  9. orchalk says:

    Please tell me there are other people who don’t know why they like this show. I can’t put my finger on it. There are no heroes or antiheroes, the genre is lucid and moves around way more than most conventional shows and I’m not sure I am comfortable admitting the attraction stems from primal fears. The whole thing feels like a dream I might once of had or a potential dream waiting to happen.

  10. Jenny says:

    I was so impressed with the conversation between Erika and Nora. What great acting!
    Regina King was phenomenal in True Crime and deserved the Emmy. There is no answer to the Departure, why some people were chosen and some “leftover” because no one knows what happens when we die. This story is about the anguish and heartache of the leftovers and the cult of trying to make sense of the Departure. I was glad to read the creator does believe in God; that gives me comfort.

  11. Toni says:

    This show is my worst nightmare ! I’m one of those people that must solve the puzzle, so when the writers announced that they will not tell us viewers where the Departed went or are, I gave up watching!

    • Chuck says:

      Then you’re an idiot, go back to watching your cookie cutter shows. I feel far more connected to this show, not knowing, along with all the characters in it.