Theories to Explain The Leftovers


HBO’s The Leftovers may be building to something. It also may be building to nothing. We don’t know. Not since Lost has a show been filled with this much intrigue and so many loose ends.

Since the entire plot of the show is based upon a supernatural premise, anything is possible. Literally anything. Did God the cause of the departure? Is it aliens? Or is it, as the second episode in season two suggests, simply a matter of geography? Any of these suggestions are a real possibility, and none of them would surprise me.

But there’s more happening in season two than just the departures. The departures are old news, as is the white-clad Guilty Remnant. The new locale of Jarden, Texas didn’t have any departures, but that doesn’t mean it’s the the “miracle” it’s been known as. Earthquakes plague Jarden, and have even started to claim the lives of some of its residents. Making matter much worse, Kevin Garvey has arrived in the town, and trouble has a way of following loose cannon Kevin.

Kevin’s sleepwalking hasn’t improved. In fact, it’s gotten worse. It was once a danger to those around him, now it’s a danger to himself. Episode two of season two ended with Kevin at the bottom of the Jarden lake with a cinder block tied to his foot. The earthquake that drained the lake saved him. Did he do it to himself, or does someone else want him dead?

Kevin Garvey isn’t even safe when he’s conscious, as the ghost of Patty (who killed herself after Kevin kidnapped her) is constantly looking over his shoulder. So what are some theories to explain just what the hell is going on in The Leftovers.

Patty is real.

This one is farfetched since we saw her die, but what isn’t farfetched in The Leftovers? Patty never comes around when anyone is with Kevin. She only shows her face when he’s alone. We know she can interact with him since she slammed his head against a stove, giving him a bit gash on his forehead. Revenge is too simple for Patty. She’s going to torment Kevin, which shouldn’t be hard since he’s perpetually hanging on by a thread.

Patty isn’t alive or dead. She’s somewhere in between like Obi-Wan Kenobi after Darth Vader strikes him down. She’s like a twisted guide. I think she put Kevin in the lake knowing that it wasn’t going to kill him. She’s more powerful now than she’s ever been. That’s one theory, or of course there’s the alternative below.

Kevin is trying to kill himself

This is the most grounded of all the theories because it’s very realistic and very believable. Kevin Garvey always thinks he knows what he wants, but he really never has a clue. He and Nora adopted the baby that was dropped on their front step, but he blares dubstep music to drown out its crying. He wanted to leave Mapleton, but he’s miserable as soon as he sees the new house in Jarden. He wants an easy out.

Remember when he flat out told the police officer that he had a body in the back of his truck before he was even asked. He just wants to leave his life, but can’t seem to find an exit.

Kevin’s sleepwalking is connected to the voices that his father hears

Remember that Kevin’s father is connected to supernatural entities. Either that, or he’s just nuts, and I’m more willing to believe the former. Papa Garvey isn’t crazy, he’s just in tune with what is going on in The Leftovers’ universe.

Kevin’s sleepwalking episodes are somehow connected with the voices that guide his father. Perhaps it’s biological. The same beings that wish to commune with his father, also want to intervene into Kevin’s life.

The earthquakes and the disappearances are connected

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Jarden had no departures, this is true, but these earthquakes may just be a different type of plague. Poor Evy was swallowed into the earth when she and friends went for a late night swim. I think of the earthquakes as Jarden’s own version of the departures. What is the cause of these supernatural occurrences? The answer to that stumps me.

Evy’s seizures are somehow connected with the supernatural

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Evy. She seems like a pivotal character, and I think she’ll turn up somehow. Remember that Evy suffers from seizures, and her family talks about it in a specific way. Evy asks “did I go away” after she suffers an episode at her father’s birthday celebration. Part of her is seeing something in those seizures. Perhaps it’s going to take being swallowed by the earth to realize what that is.

There are so many questions that linger in The Leftovers that I hope we start getting at least some answers soon. Lost was notorious for having more questions than answers. Lets hope Damon Lindelof has a better plan for tying up some of these arcs.

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