Post Mortems
The Leftovers Season 2

The Leftovers: Damon Lindelof Explains Sunday's Bats$%t Crazy Hour

Roughly 15 minutes into Sunday’s The Leftovers, Virgil offered Kevin the following piece of advice about his guardian angel from hell Patti: “You’ve got to stop thinking in straight lines. Because she surely will not be. She thinks in spirals and helixes and zigzags and circles.”

The wise old man may as well have been referring to the breathtaking, audacious, innovative hour itself, which found Justin Theroux’s deceased leading man on some bizarro purgatory-ish adventure (click here for a full recap of the episode).

Series co-creator Damon Lindelof — who has been in radio silence mode for much of the season — briefly lifted his self-imposed gag order Sunday night, sharing with TVLine the following statement about “International Assassin”:

The Leftovers is a show based on a supernatural premise and although we want the storytelling to feel as grounded as possible, the presence of Patti after her death flirts directly with that premise. We knew when we designed the season that Kevin’s main thrust this year would be ridding himself of Patti and this episode was the culmination of that story. There are those who don’t like it when the show gets “too weird” and they are likely to assume this episode was all in Kevin’s head… an ongoing fever dream catalyzed by whatever Virgil made him drink… A further manifestation of the psychosis Laurie diagnosed.

There are also those who will assign a supernatural interpretation to this episode. “Goddammit, here goes Lindelof with the Purgatory nonsense again… WE GET IT, ASSHOLE!”

It is not our place to explain ourselves nor clarify this debate. The show has to speak for itself on this front. I make no apologies for this as Tom, the writers and I have always been upfront about the storytelling on this show being purposefully ambiguous… The Leftovers isn’t about answers, it’s about the frustration of not getting them and the emotional state that drives our characters to. Like throwing rocks through the windows of people we feel sympathy for or drinking poison.

All that said, our intention here was simple. To try to do something different. And unexpected. And above all, emotional.

And regardless of what people think of the writing and/or storytelling, I hope they can appreciate the incredible performances from Justin and Ann who committed to this fully and fearlessly… I am proud and honored to be the beneficiary of their immense talents.

Oh. And there’s still two episodes to go.”

Now, make your way down to the gallery below as I offer up some of my personal highlights (and a few burning Qs) from tonight’s extraordinary episode.

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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23 Comments
  1. gabriel says:

    It was a brillant episode. 10/10 for sure. Congratulations Lindelof!

  2. David4 says:

    Love him or hate him this could be the best quote in ages!

    “Goddammit, here goes Lindelof with the Purgatory nonsense again… WE GET IT, ASSHOLE!”

  3. Kermit says:

    Best show on television right now. Every Bats$%t crazy scene.

  4. Kermit says:

    [Also, your pop up ads on the mobile site are killing me.]

    • I especially have problems with their pop up ads when I am looking through the site’s photo galleries but yeah they’re annoying all around!

    • ? says:

      Yeah, they’re out of control. I get that advertising pays the bills but this is what drives people to ad blockers. Responsible ads only that don’t impact the browsing experience, please, or I’ll just block them all.

  5. webly3 says:

    Best TV episode of the year. It was phenomenal.

  6. Chris says:

    Damon sounds like he is trying to justify his reasoning behind the episode and even the season. No need to do so. Both have been great this year. I can’t remember the last time I made sure I watched an episode of anything at the actual time it aired and not on DVR. Oh wait, I think I can. It was Lost. Can’t wait for the next few weeks.

  7. Sean says:

    I just watched episode 8 of The Leftovers and this show must be making me unstable. I started crying because there only 2 episodes left this season. Am I losing my mind?

  8. HermioneGranfer says:

    Lindelof needs to stop being defensive and self-hating. The season and this episode were beyond brilliant. Probably the best show on tv right now (Fargo is the only one that’s even in the same league). Lindelof needs to stop apologizing and start taking credit for dare I say a masterpiece in television storytelling

    • jakis says:

      Fargo and Leftovers are my two picks for the best of the year, too. I was just thinking about that and how the Emmys and SAG and whoever else need to pay some attention to these two BRILLIANT shows.

    • Sean says:

      I said it before and I will say it again: When I saw that there are only 2 episodes left this season I cried. Literally. I can’t live without my weekly dose of introspective genuine genius.

  9. I didn’t hate this episode because it was too weird (I didn’t even necessarily hate it), but I hated how one sided it was in the debates that I usually find engaging on this show!

  10. Armando says:

    I think Mary’s not necessarily dead, I think she’s traped on the other side, due to having drinked the water there.

    Also, now we “know” why some birds survive the three days trapped In a box, and some others don’t.

  11. DRB999 says:

    I don’t care what the Damon Lindelof haters say…he’s a brilliant writer…The Leftovers is amazing tv.

  12. Alysiah says:

    Firstly I’m glad Damon isn’t among the departed and has given us a statement ;-) and secondly I hope HBO has begun filming a behind the scenes view of this brilliant work of writing nirvana they have reached; or to the collective group, start gathering your memoir now to share as you are part of TV excellence! The finest part about art is capturing every emotion- and that you’ve done perfectly, amen.
    And yes, Kermit the pop up ads arrgh…

  13. liame says:

    Clap-Bow-Repeat.

  14. N says:

    I loved it!!!! More seasons

  15. Nino says:

    The best show on television right now and it’s only getting better each episode. I hope that Lindelof starts to ease up on himself, screw the haters. :)
    Amazing writing, directing, acting, scoring etc. I’m so sad that there’s only 2 episodes left this season.