Was there a TV show last season that was more bleak than The Leftovers? The new HBO drama about a world rocked by a rapture-like event called The Sudden Departure consisted of 10 episodes in which a stellar cast — including Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston, Amy Brenneman, and Carrie Coon — wallowed in utter misery. It was a superb meditation on grief and loss, but it didn't exactly make for lighthearted viewing. (Not even Game Of Thrones has featured a scene of a character being graphically stoned to death. Yet.) So you'll be forgiven for thinking you're watching an advertisement for a completely different show when you take a look at the first trailer for The Leftovers Season 2.
We already knew that the show would be packing up and leaving Mapleton, NY for Jarden, TX. The teaser trailer released this June showed us why so many characters would be hitting the road for this faraway town: "Population: 9,261. Departures: 0," a sign on the outskirts of Jarden reads. What we didn't know was what a dramatic shift in tone this shift in location would bring with it. Of course, it's not all smiles and backyard barbecues. This is still The Leftovers after all, so fairly soon things are devolving into a recognizably bleak mess.
Here's a dozen of the most intriguing moments from the Season 2 trailer:
1. Leaving On A Jet Plane
"Do you wanna get out of here?" Theroux's Kevin Garvey asks his daughter Jill and his lover Nora over a candlelit dinner. Jill is confused. "Out of the restaurant?" "No. Not the restaurant."
2. Welcome To Miracle
It looks like, in the wake of its zero departures, the town of Jarden has been rebranded "Miracle National Park." That's a big name to live up to.
3. The Hermit In The Tower
We're just entering Miracle for the first time and already things seem just a little... off. Why is there a homeless man living in a treehouse on top of a memorial?
4. Meet The Neighbors
It's not long before the Garveys are enjoying birthday celebrations with their new next door neighbors, the Murphys. (Regina King, an Emmy nominee this year for ABC's American Crime, plays matriarch Erika.)
5. Here Comes The Bride?
Adding to the sense that something is rotten in the state of Texas, here's a shot of an unknown woman watering her lawn in a wedding gown.
6. A Bump In The Night
Midway through the trailer, things take a turn for the worse when the Murphys are awoken by what seems like an earthquake, and Erika informs Nora that her daughter is missing. Was she kidnapped? Murdered? ...Or raptured?
7. Caught Wet-Handed
Does this mysterious figure emerging from a lake and leaving a muddy handprint on a car window have anything to do with the Murphy girl's disappearance? (Probably.)
8. The Preacher's Wife
The Garveys aren't the only Mapletonian transplants in Miracle. Disgraced reverend Matt Jamison and his invalid wife Mary have made the move as well. Does Janel Moloney's promotion to series regular for Season 2 mean that Mary, paralyzed in a car accident during the Departure, will start to regain some of her faculties?
9. Like Mother, Like Son
Back in Mapleton, it would appear that Kevin's stepson Tommy, last seen abandoning Holy Wayne's baby on his father's doorstep, has joined his mother Laurie in the Guilty Remnant. The apple truly doesn't fall far from the tree.
It's been all of ninety seconds and Miracle has already devolved into chaos and violence. Way to go, Garveys.
11. I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
Oh, and lest we forget, Armageddon star Liv Tyler is still around doing her creepy silent stare thing as Guilty Remnant devotee Megan Abbott.
12. Don't Look Now
Looks like Kevin's got another ghost friend to keep him company. Ann Dowd is back as a full-fledged series regular for Season 2, despite the fact that her Guilty Remnant leader Patti died a grisly death at her own hand last year, and I can't wait to see her haunting scenes.
Check out the trailer below.
Images: Van Redin, Screengrab (12)/HBO