The third and final season of HBO’s The Leftovers approaches, bringing the return of the mysterious town of Jardin Texas and the return of Justin Theroux jogging montages. The show takes viewers on a wild emotional journey alongside its characters as they struggle to make sense of a world in which 2 percent of the world’s population inexplicably vanished. Although creators Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta have stated that the central mystery will never be solved, there are plenty of smaller puzzles along the way that have fallen into place.
Every clue adds up to the bigger picture, one overburdened by heavy emotions and a bit of misery. But because Season 2 is widely considered to be superior to Season 1, the first season might be a bit fuzzy in your mind. Here’s a refresher for the Easter eggs from both seasons to keep in mind going into Season 3.
1. Kevin Senior and His Ghosts
Kevin Garvey Senior, played by Scott Glenn, appears in Season 2 as little more than a cameo. In “International Assassin,” Justin Theroux’s Kevin Garvey briefly sees his father on the television screen in his hotel room. Kevin Senior is in Australia and appears on the video chat not by using wifi but rather, magical fire. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen Season 1, recall that Kevin Senior began as the respected police chief in Mapleton. After the Sudden Departure, he started hearing voices and was presumed insane. As Season 2 presented his son with the same affliction, it remains an ongoing question whether the two Kevins can truly see ghosts or if they are mentally unstable. Since Kevin Senior will have a stronger presence in Season 3, remember that.
2. Dog Shooting Jaunts
Kevin Garvey spends much of Season 1 joining a mysterious gunslinger named Dean on nighttime jaunts to shoot dogs. After the Sudden Departure, many of the local dogs roamed wild. Dean functioned as a devil on Kevin’s shoulder, and although he did not appear in Season 2, he’s currently credited in The Leftovers IMDB page for Season 3. Regardless of whether Dean appears again, dogs play an important role in both the narrative and Kevin’s life. He must quarantine his dog in Season 2 after arriving in Jardin, and dogs roam free once more in the Season 2.
3. National Geographic Magazine From May 1972
In Season 1, Kevin Senior gives Kevin Junior a copy of National Geographic magazine from May 1972 because the voices he hears tells him it’s important. Kevin Junior scoffs it off as a crazy man’s delusions, but the magazine has come up time and again. It’s shown behind Virgil in the seventh episode of Season 2 and it contains an article about lost civilizations, which foreshadows the confounding first ten minutes of Season 2. It’s safe to say references to this specific magazine issue and its contents will continue in Season 3.
4. The Man Kevin Meets on the Bridge in “International Assassin”
If you have time to rewatch just one key Leftovers episode, it should be “International Assassin.” Not only is it one of the most unique and meta hours of television in the modern era, but it’s jam-packed with Easter eggs that reach back to the very beginning of the show. Minor characters like Gladys and Holy Wayne reappear, and even Patti’s good-for-nothing ex has a memorable cameo. After his ordeal in the purgatory hotel, on his way to push the child version of Patti into the well, Kevin encounters a mysterious man with an accent that sounds Australian. He meets him again in the Season 2 finale on his karaoke jaunt. Considering the fact that Season 3 is relocating to Australia, this might be significant.
5. Laurie’s Lighter
In Season 1, Jill gives her mother Laurie a lighter that says “don’t forget me.” Laurie throws it down the drain and later tries and fails to rescue it. It seems to pop up at regular intervals in the show, however, as it might be the same lighter Meg threatened Tommy with in Season 2. Although Laurie is no longer a Guilty Remnant member, smoke and lighters trail her like tangible signifiers of her guilt and conflicted emotional state.
6. Nora’s Psychological State
Nora Durst is the most unpredictable character on The Leftovers. In Season 1’s “Guest,” she rejected a reasonable man who wrote a book about overcoming grief post-Departure, but she surprisingly accepted Holy Wayne’s brand of street-peddled pseudo-magic. In Season 2, she threw a rock through the Murphy’s front window and handcuffed Kevin to a bed after he confessed to seeing dead people. Nora always zigs when you expect her to zag. Just because you’ve been with her for over two seasons now, don’t think you can predict her behavior. No matter how she seems on the outside, there are always ten different things going on in her damaged emotional life.
The Leftovers Season 3 premieres on April 16, 2017.