Though HBO dropped this first real teaser for the third and final season of The Leftovers last month, I hadn’t seen it until today. And because today happens to be Friday (the day when my editors are generally more forgiving when I ask to blog irrelevant trash), and because The Leftovers is the best show on television, I’m posting it right now. For you to watch. Even if you saw it two weeks ago.
The 30-second promo is set to the Beach Boys classic “Don’t Worry Baby,” and features shot after show of the show’s central characters (Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Amy Brenneman, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Justin Theroux’s bulge among them) looking up at the sky while feeling something that resembles dread, anxiety, confusion, or a combination of all three—which is The Leftovers in a nutshell.
In the clip’s final seconds, the camera pans up to reveal what everyone’s looking at: a plane skywriting the words “THE END IS NEAR.” This is clever because not only is this a terrifying scenario that absolutely makes sense in this show’s dreary, blood- and tear-soaked tapestry, but because it’s the final season. Get it? The end is near. Haha, why am I both crying and shivering?
If you’re a fan of The Leftovers, this should excite you. If not, what the hell are you doing? Catch up on the first two masterfully depressing seasons before April. If you don’t feel like doing that, allow me to recap those 20 episodes as best I can. Don’t expect much, though, because as much as I love this show (it truly is one of the best I’ve ever seen), describing it to people who’ve never watched is more than a little difficult. OK, here goes nothing:
Season 1 begins three years after The Departure—an unexplained incident during which 2% of the world’s population suddenly disappeared. Vanished! Gone. No one knows why, and everyone’s psyche has been absolutely gutted by it. This season follows the lives of a small New York town as they deal with a new cult of silent smokers called The Guilty Remnant who move in and start trying to recruit members, one of whom is the wife of Justin Theroux.
Shit goes down with the cult’s bad bitch leader (played expertly by Ann Dowd) and the scrappy newbie whose inner monster slowly gets unleashed (Liv Tyler), Justin Theroux jogs a lot (boi-oi-oing) and falls in love with a woman who lost her husband and kids in The Departure, Amy Brenneman has a change of heart, and, I don’t know, there’s some shit involving teens. A bad man/snake oil salesman gets a young girl pregnant, but Justin Theroux’s son feels guilty and takes the baby in. He gives it to his dad. Did I mention he has a new stepmom now? Great. Let’s move on to the second season.
Did you think that last paragraph was a trip? Season 2 will really fuck you up. First of all, they move from New York to Texas? Why? Because of Miracle, which is both a town and an actual miracle. Or is it? Their neighbors seem very very chill, but of course they aren’t! You know who’s chill after The Departure? 0% of the remaining 98%. Fortunately, that lack of chill and undying sense of hopelessness gives both Regina King and Carrie Coon the chance to act their asses off while they figure out why some teen girls disappeared. Next up: there are several episodes of questions, including A. Where did they go? B. Was it another departure? C. What’s up with Justin Theroux’s dogs? and D. Why can’t I stop crying? At this point, we enter another dimension, but perhaps we don’t! Again, it’s hard to remember a show when you have an existential crisis during every episode, but let me tell you something: it’s amazing. Trust me.