How The Leftovers Final Scene Changes The Entire Show

Kevin asks Nora to dance in the finale

Spoilers ahead for The Leftovers series finale.

It's been nearly a week since HBO's drama The Leftovers ended, and the fandom hasn't stopped discussing the absolutely wild and emotional series finale. As always, The Leftovers continued to surprise audiences until the very end, with the finale featuring an unexpected time jump. In the future, we see how Nora has not only returned, but is living in secrecy in Australia. And when Kevin shows up on her doorstep, the couple are forced to grapple with the trauma, resentment, and longing they'd held onto for so long. And the whole episode is through Nora's perspective.

This was a purposeful choice by The Leftovers. Co-creator and showrunner Damon Lindelof recently spoke to Deadline about making the finale about Nora (Carrie Coon), and how specifically the final scene reveals that the series lead may have been Ms. Durst all along. He said,

[The thought was] how do we diffuse the male antihero trope and how do we make Kevin not that? The answer became, 'What if this show is just as much about Nora if not more about Nora than it is about Kevin, and that he's in service of her story?' You give the last line to the lead... In many ways, the journey of the show, the most profound loss felt, the person who was struggling most with a variety of coping mechanisms, who was the least likely to adopt a system of belief.. that's Nora Durst.

Even after the series is over, The Leftovers continues to surprise and deliver. While at first glance the series may be focused on Justin Theroux's Kevin Garvey, it turns out that the series is very much about Nora's journey. And what a journey she had.

Nora Durst quickly became one of The Leftovers most fascinating and flawed characters. She lost her two children and husband in The Departure, making her essentially the least lucky person in the world. Throughout all three seasons we see how Nora attempts to cope with this loss. Season 1 showed her paying escorts to shoot her in the chest, while she wore a bulletproof vest, and by the end of Season 3, she decided to go through a terrifying device that would transport her to the same place as The Departed.

Well, it worked, and she came back. The series finale of The Leftovers finally gave concrete answers about The Departure, and it was Nora who delivered the news. After traveling to an alternate reality, it was discovered that while her world lost 2% of the world's population, the other world lost 98%. And her family was the lucky ones who were still together.

So while Kevin may have come back from the dead a few times, Nora ends up being the heart of the finale. And perhaps the entire series.

The third and final season of The Leftovers is currently available on demand and HBO's apps. Be sure to check our summer premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.