The End Draws Near
"Look, death is easy. People just want finality, an end to their grief. But with Departures, there is not end, and if we indicated otherwise, just by saying we were able to communicate with those individuals? It made their loved ones very, very angry because they didn't want closure." — Laurie, "The Leftovers"
"The Leftovers" has never been an easy story to tell, or an easy show to watch. Heck, it wasn't an easy book to read, either. And it's far from a happy story. We all know this, at least all of us who've watched or read it.
But we hope.
I think there's something about the American culture that craves a happy ending. We like resolution. We like people to find meaning and what they're looking for. It's a condition that's reinforced by most of our mainstream shows and movies, which wrap up neatly and in a way that leaves us feeling good.
Damon Lindelof isn't that kind of writer. We saw that with "L.O.S.T." We saw that with "Prometheus." And we're seeing it now with "The Leftovers."
There was a sweetness to to the sad story at times in the first two seasons. Things I held on to. Kevin and Nora's relationship was a beautiful source of refuge, at times, in an otherwise dour story. And when the third season opened, the family was reunited in Miracle and people seemed so happy.
But even in the third season premier, the coda to the episode, indicated that things wouldn't stay as they were. And the following episodes have born that out. Each one has told a powerful story, and each one has left me a bit saddened.
With two episodes left, I know more is coming. The show hasn't tried to hide it at all. Yet we keep coming back. We have to know. And, more importantly, have to experience it.
And somewhere, deep down, even though I know it's folly, I have that hope. Hope that things will work out for these characters who've already suffered so much.