Spoiler alert: Reveals detail about season 2 of The Leftovers.

When asked by the TCA press if Season 2 of dystopian-future series The Leftovers would be equally as depressing as Season 1, creator/EP Damon Lindelof joked, “We wanted to tape Season 2 before a live studio audiencem — we wanted to opt in for a laugh track.”

Despite the maudlin mood lurking over the characters in The Leftovers, Season 2 propels leftoversthem forward, moving Kevin Garvey and his GF Nora Durst to a small Texas town where no one has disappeared — its population standing at 9,261. There’s a scene in the trailer for Season 2, which returns to HBO on October 4, where the characters are at dinner and literally say, “What if we just left?” — meaning, get the hell out of this depressing place. Cue jumping-off point for Season 2.

“If Season 1 was about a family falling apart, then Season 2 is about a family coming together,” said Lindelof. Another big reveal coming out of today’s session was that Ann Dowd’s character Patti Levin, the leader of the Guilty Remnant’s Mapleton chapter, “isn’t dead,” Lindelof said.

“When we wrote the script for Episode 8, Patty dispatched herself by a violent means,” he hbologosaid. “The uniform reaction from every member in the cast and HBO was ‘What are you doing here?!’ We said, ‘Believe it or not, she’ll still be on the show.’ We don’t plan to use her as a Shakespearean ghost; someone who comments on the action.”

Joining this season is Regina King, who was on the TCA stage today. She will play Erika Murphy, a woman who, along with her husband, has been untouched from any departures in Texas. The Garveys become friends with the Murphys.

Expounding on the reverse rhythm in The Leftovers Season 2 vs. Season 1, Lindelof said: “We wanted the second season to have a narrative engine. We’re not subbing out plot for character development and emotion. … What would this place be like, this town in Texas? What would happen if there was a departure? In the normal world, if someone goes missing, we say they’re a victim of foul play or they ran away. But in this world, there’s a third possibility. Season 2 explores that idea of sudden loss.”