Having started out in 2014 as a successful adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s 2011 novel, the April 16-debuting third and final season of HBO’s The Leftovers has officially achieved television greatness. Simply put, the eight-episode last run of the series executive produced by Damon Lindelof and Perrotta is a moving and powerful piece of American art that leaves nothing on the table.
Not to reveal spoilers, but the mostly Lindelof co-written final season has an auspicious, cathartic and complex narrative that is both dancing in the fields of the apocalypse and bathed in love and time as another anniversary looms of the pivotal Departure that saw the sudden disappearance of nearly 150 million people worldwide, the event that provided the set-up for the series. Also, of special interest to fans of that other Lindelof-EP’d series, Lost: The Leftovers relocates from Texas to Australia in a geographically enhanced emotional journey and seems to have a conclusion in sight that is quite fulfilling from the seven episodes I’ve seen.
Excellent and sometimes gut-retching performances by Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Liv Tyler, Regina King, Christopher Eccleston, Jovan Adepo, Amy Brenneman, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Scott Glenn and more superb directing from the likes of Mimi Leder and Craig Zobel seemingly set the third season’s coordinates for the ethos of late-period Stanley Kubrick. The cumulative result for the final season pretty much achieves that destination, a tremendous triumph by any measure on the small or big screen.
Last month, Lindelof sent a letter to critics bemoaning binge-watching and asking them “if you were surprised by something that happens on the show (either positively or negatively), it would be cool to maintain that same surprise for the audience.” I agree with the no-spoilers request, but if you haven’t been watching The Leftovers so far (and Season 2 was pretty great, too), ignore Lindeloff and binge while you still can to catch up. If you are a fan of one of the best dramas on TV in this era of Peak TV, get ready because Season 3 will leave you wanting even more – in the best way.
Click on my video review of the final season of The Leftovers above to see more of what I think of the show. Tell us what you think of the show as it comes to its end.
This review first ran on April 6.