After a critically mixed first season, HBO's The Leftovers became one of the most acclaimed series on television by taking one particularly huge risk: changing almost everything about the show. Creator Damon Lindelof uprooted his main characters from their fictional New York suburb and moved them to a brand new location in Texas, shedding half of the show's cast in the transition, and adding a whole host of new characters for the audience to get to know. So will Lindelof keep the series intact for its third (and final) season, or will he be changing it up once again? Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, it's the latter: The Leftovers is moving to Australia in Season 3.
THR reports that, "Production will pick up where it left off last season in Austin, Texas, before going down under." So it remains to be seen how much of the season takes place in Jarden — just an episode? a few? half? — before Kevin Garvey & Co. pull up stakes and move to Oz. It also remains to be seen how many of the characters will be making the move with him. Presumably his daughters and girlfriend will be coming with; but what about Matt Jamison and his newly-awakened wife Mary, or his next door neighbors, the Murphys? The additions of cast members Regina King and Kevin Carroll were such a large part of what made Season 2 so incredible, it's hard to imagine the show moving forward without them.
This shake-up may seem like it flies in the face of the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." And yet, if a change in location worked wonders for the show once, surely it can again. It's hard to imagine The Leftovers getting even better in its third season — but it can certainly get weirder. Other than the Sudden Departure itself, Season 1 remained rooted in realism for the most part; Season 2 grew increasingly fantastical, with ghosts, psychics, and resurrected birds all playing a large part of the story… not to mention an entire episode that took place in bizzare purgatory.
As random as the choice of Australia may seem, it's actually a move we all should have seen coming, given that Season 2 of The Leftovers was littered with references to the Land Down Under; although most of them were so subtle they may have passed unnoticed by many. These references include Kevin's father telling his son he was moving to Australia; the homeless man on the pillar asking Michael Murphy to mail a letter addressed to one David Burton in Australia; a newspaper with the headline "Biblical Rains In Sydney"; and an overheard news report of a man emerging from a cave alive after being presumed dead (the same David Burton from the homeless man's letter.)
While Kevin was trapped in purgatory in the memorable Season 2 episode "International Assassin," he caught a glimpse of his father through the television set; Kevin Sr. seemed to be sitting in a cave — presumably in Australia — and somehow communing with his son in the afterlife. Given all of these hints and the seemingly mystical nature of whatever's happening Down Under, it's no surprise that Lindelof will be moving his show there to further explore Australia's mysteries in The Leftovers' final season.
Fans of Lost may be worried about Lindelof wrapping up all of these mysteries before the end; but given that he knows he's working towards a conclusion at the end of Season 3, I'm sure he has something satisfying — and undoubtedly mind-blowing — in store for all of us.
Images: Van Redin/HBO (2)