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Why Damon Lindelof Needs to Walk Away from 'The Leftovers'

By Dustin Rowles | The Leftovers | December 6, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | The Leftovers | December 6, 2015 |

I’d like to show some restraint in my effusiveness for the season finale of The Leftovers, but that episode has me giddier than a tumblr teenager high on meth and a chance encounter with Ansel Elgort.

Bravo Lindelof. Bravo.




Exactly, Chris Pine. Exactly.


Even Beyonce is feeling that finale.


Lindelof and Perotta pulled it off. They tied up all the bows. They answered all our most pressing questions. They hit the motherfucking high note, and ended the season a perfect 10 for 10.

How often do you see that? There’s a handful of perfect movies — Princess Bride, Eternal Sunshine, The Apartment — but a perfect season is incredibly rare, and to do so while playing with questions about faith, death, the supernatural, rebirth and the afterlife, is practically impossible. Kevin Garvey died — twice — and returned from the dead, and on an emotional level, it worked, right down to the karaoke rendition of “Homeward Bound.”

Yes, there are still some dangling threads, some places the series could go — the Guilty Remnant has taken over Miracle, and it’d be interesting to see Evie and Meg find their way through their problems; Tom and Laurie also have some issues to resolve, and Jill has the potential for a good story arc ahead of her. However, the season finale could also easily work as a series finale, and honestly, maybe it should. There’s no place for Patti Levin to come back. Kevin has resolved his issues. Matt and Mary are happy. Miracle is broken. The Murphys are splinted, and yet, baybe Damon Lindelof should take a cue from George Costanza and walk out on a high note.

The show could come back. The show could explore a few more stories and develop some more characters, and I’m sure Lindelof could turn in a great third season. What I cannot imagine is being able to top himself. You can’t beat a perfect season, but you can tarnish a perfect season with a middling follow-up. Why take the risk? Why not go out on top? The mystery behind the Departure is never going to be answered, and Lindelof has nothing left to prove. With this season of The Leftovers, he’s exorcised the Lost finale. Tip your cap and walk away, Lindelof.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ll enthusiastically watch a third season of The Leftovers if it comes back. I’ll even be excited if HBO decides to renew the series, but I’m blissfully content with where this season of The Leftovers has ended. I have no nagging questions or concerns. The series has found a brilliant stopping point, and as good as another season might be, you can’t top perfection.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.