Last year, I spoke to a lot of Leftover fans who claimed that the mystery of those who disappeared would be resolved, that it would all work out in the end. This year, I doubt I’ll hear from them as The Leftovers has done away with the mystery of last year and is, instead, switching up to a new mystery where a bunch of religious fanatics use magical thinking to stop people from departing anew.

Mr. Lindelof, I salute you. No one else I’ve heard of trolls as well as you.

Spoilers ahoy!


Damon Lindelof is a terrible writer. Just awful. He doesn’t understand that good writing comes from good world building and he doesn’t understand that on page one of a mystery, the writer should know the end of the mystery, even if the reader/viewer may not know for a couple hundred pages. He has made a good living creating fake mysteries; using the tropes of mysteries to keep a story ticking over, without actually providing any forward motion. Pick your metaphor; a car spinning its’ wheels in the mud or running on a treadmill. There’s the appearance of movement without the actuality of movement.

The Leftovers is a perfect case study of this type of fraudulent behavior. State a premise; add imperfect and easily reversible facts; create the sense of the unknown and unknowing; reverse said facts; create false memories, use dreams and visions to hint at solutions, resolutions and truths, but never confirm them. Do all of this, and you’ll have the dumbest sector of the audience lining up to sing your praises.

With the start of the new season, all the mystery built within the characters of the last season is done away with. Without resolution or completion, the writer has simply picked up sticks and moved to a new town so they can do a new mystery. A better one? Well, we don’t know, ‘cause his track record is such that we may never know.

Advertisement

Apparently, this new mystery revolves around a town which suffered no losses during the day of disappearances when a 10% of the world population vanished. Some in the town believe that their god protect them, but the fire chief is a little more pragmatic about it, evicting people so that the... I’m guessing here... the protective energies of the area continues to benefit them and isn’t diluted by having too many people.

Apparently, this protective environment also heals the sick, which of course is seen as a further drain on the “energies”, which makes the fire chief even more skitish.

Advertisement

There is the suggestion, via some German tourists, that there is a fear that another round of disappearances will happen again. There is, of course, no evidence for this, but with a Lindelof drama, you can’t expect there to be. All you can expect is contrived bullshit.

An example of Lindelof’s MO can be seen in a scene between the fire chief and a supposed psychic. The psychic, “knowing” of the fire chief’s activities, reads his palm and (after guessing his birthday) he makes out that something bad will happen to him. Is the psychic for real or is he trying to convince the fire chief not to burn down his house? That’s the thing; it doesn’t matter. As the story continues to spin its’ wheels, the decision of whether the psychic is real or not can be decided one week and then reconsidered the next.

Advertisement

The kicker, for me, was the theme song. There is a new theme song the refrain of which is “let the mystery be”, which is to say ‘ignore the story, it doesn’t actually matter to the story we’re telling’.

Total and complete bunk.