The day of the departure — that day that has haunted the characters of The Leftovers throughout the entire run of the series — was Oct. 14, 2011. In its riveting Season 3 trailer, The Leftovers warns there are 13 days to go and presumably, it means 13 days to go until the seventh anniversary of the departure. Yet, just because there is such a helpful and ominous countdown being written in the sky doesn't mean that viewers of The Leftovers — or even the characters of The Leftovers — understand what will happen in 13 days. However, with clues from the trailer and some interpretations from the Bible, fans can at least theorize about what will happen in 13 days on The Leftovers, when it returns for its third and final season.
In one of the very first moments in the Season 3 trailer for The Leftovers, there's a shot of a sign that says, "When those days expire then the sanctuary shall be cleansed!" Then Christopher Eccleston's Matt poses this question to his congregation: "What will happen on Oct. 14, just a couple of weeks from now? Probably nothing. But if something does happen on Oct. 14, you've all come to the right place."
While Matt's words are vague, Scott Glenn's Kevin Garvey Sr. spells it out for viewers immediately after that: "On the seventh anniversary of the sudden departure, the rains will come and with them, a great flood." If you still had questions, Margaret Qualley's Jill Garvey says to her father, Justin Theroux's Kevin Jr., "The world is ending."
With these statements combined, it's safe to assume that The Leftovers Season 3 is kicking off during the two weeks leading up to the seventh anniversary of the departure and that skywriting that says, "13 Days To Go" (perhaps courtesy of the Guilty Remnant?) is a countdown until Oct. 14, 2018. But considering that there have already been six anniversaries before now, what makes this one so special? And when I say "special," I mean "totally fear-inducing."
When it comes to figuring out the meaning behind the seventh anniversary of the departure, it helps to turn to Christianity — particularly theories about the rapture. If you're not up on your rapture knowledge, it's kind of hard to find a secular interpretation. But according to Bibleinfo.com, which is run by a Seventh-day Adventist Church, there is a belief that the Second Coming of Jesus will involve a rapture that comes in two stages. "The first will be a secret rapture — or carrying away of the saved to heaven — at the beginning of a seven-year period of tribulation, during which the antichrist will appear. The second phase occurs at the close of this time of tribulation when Jesus will return to Earth in triumph and glory."
The website for the famous Christian evangelist Billy Graham also discusses this "seven years of the tribulation" regarding the rapture, after which, Jesus will come to earth. For the end of its seven-year tribulation, The Leftovers is warning of floods (which is reminiscent of the great flood that Noah built his ark for in the Bible) and the end of days, but the appearance of Jesus? Well, while Kevin insists that he's "not Jesus," The Leftovers has been building a bizarre and fascinating case that Kevin could be a salvation figure. After all, he has the ability to come back from the dead — and sing karaoke in the afterlife, no less.
Once those 13 days pass and the date becomes Oct. 14, perhaps the world as the characters know it in The Leftovers really will come to an end with floods and devastation. Unless, of course, Kevin really is as his father says, "The only man alive who could make it stop." But as that idea of what Kevin is capable of seems to be the crux of the final season, viewers probably won't know what will happen in 13 days until The Leftovers comes to an epic conclusion during the series finale.
As the end of the world is one of the great mysteries of life, so is it the great mystery of The Leftovers.