Before the Sudden Departure
She meets her husband Doug in high school. ("B.J. and the A.C.")
Sometime before the sudden departure, Nora and her family were all sick in bed together. ("Pilot")
After the Sudden Departure
Nora is a guest speaker during the public commemoration of Heroes Day, which observed the three-year anniversary of the Sudden Departure. She shares a couple memories of her family. One memory was a few months before the Sudden Departure, when she and her husband, Doug, watched their kids build a sandcastle at the beach. She describes the moment as perfect, and felt she didn't deserve anything that "good." The other memory was when her whole family was sick with the flu the winter before the Sudden Departure. She felt like she was going to die. She continues her speech asking for another day like the one where her whole family is sick, but alive and together. Her speech is interrupted by the Guilty Remnant, who have shown up to the memorial event. ("Pilot")
Nora works for the Department of Sudden Departure, where she interviews potential beneficiaries for their Departure Benefits. This process includes filming the interview, during which the beneficiaries are asked more than 150 questions about their departed relatives.
Nora's brother, Matt, stops by to visit and asks for $135,000 so he can keep his church. She refuses to help him unless he agrees to stop publishing his stories. Matt upsets her with by telling her he knows she has the money from her Departure Benefits. Nora, hurt by his comment, tells him the money was for the loss of her family. She questions Matt about the Departure and what happened to her family. He tells her, "It was a test for what comes now." Nora responds to Matt that if it was a test, he might be failing it. She calms down and tells Matt his church, the paper publishing is no longer working or making things better and instead should let these things go. Matt tries to extort Nora for the money by not publishing a story about her husband's affair with the kids' preschool teacher. Upset after learning about Doug's cheating, she tells Matt to leave. ("Two Boats and a Helicopter")
At the Mapleton Christmas Ball, Nora is sitting on the floor in the hallway by her old high school locker. Kevin Garvey Jr. is walking down the hall and stops to ask her, "You all danced out?" She responds with a humorous "Just taking a break before my stunning finale." She notices Kevin carrying the baby Jesus doll and asks him what that is about, he laughs about it and has no answer. She tells him that she is sitting by her old locker. Kevin doesn't remember her in high school, but Nora tells him it was because he is much older than her. She nods in the direction of her husband's locker, telling Kevin it was 10 feet away and still took Doug a year to notice her. Kevin awkwardly tells Nora that he is sorry for what happened to Doug and to her. She tells Kevin that she just found out Doug cheated on her. Kevin replies that he cheated on his wife. Nora asks why, but Kevin has trouble with his conclusion, asking if there is a good answer to that question. She tells him, "I think I just heard it." Nora formally asks if his name is Kevin. He confirms, and asks if her name is Nora, she nods yes. They tell each other, "It was nice to meet you," before Kevin leaves. ("B.J. and the A.C.")
Up until meeting "Holy" Wayne Henry Gilchrest, Jr. in NYC, when he took away her pain, she was the only one to get 100% "yes" answers on the question 121: "In your opinion is ____ in a better place?"
When Nora walks up to Kevin's residence to break up with him, she finds an infant child in a car seat on the Garvey's doorstep. Kevin and Jill return home where Nora is waiting, telling them, "Look what I found." This discovery changes her mind about ending the relationship with Kevin.
Later that evening in the Garvey residence, she admits to hiring prostitutes to kill her, and lying to Jill about having a gun. Two months later, she and Kevin become the adoptive parents of the baby, who they've named Lily. She is offered 2.7 million dollars from MIT for the purchase of her home, four times the amount she had listed it. When Nora asks why, the representatives tell her they believe geography played a role in her family's departure, and want to study her residence to predict a possible recurrence. She accepts their bid. ("Axis Mundi")
Move to Miracle, Texas
On a whim, Kevin asks her to move away from Mapleton, and she agrees. They move to Miracle, Texas, where her brother Matt is now living. Upon learning the rental home that she, Kevin, and Jill had leased for six months was destroyed in a fire, Nora hastily bids for ownership of a new home in an auction event at the Miracle visitor center. She places a three million dollar bid, which wins her the home, just over the amount she had received from the sale of her house. ("Axis Mundi")
The first night in the new home, Nora is awakened by an earthquake. She yells for Kevin, but he is not in bed. She finds Lily safe in her crib. Nora checks on Jill and finds her safe and tells her to go back to bed. She looks for Kevin in the house and discovers the kitchen faucet is leaking. As Nora is fixing the leak, she notices through the kitchen window that John and Michael Murphy are up and are leaving in their truck. Nora calls Kevin's cell phone as she runs outside the front door. She gets his voicemail. Upset, she asks where he is and that his truck is still at the house and for him to call back. When she hangs up, she sees Erika Murphy on standing on her porch. Erika tells her Evie was out with her friends and had not come home and that, "They're gone too." Nora questions Erika with what she means by them being "gone." However, Erika runs into her home and Nora's question is unanswered.
Nora comes back into the house where she immediately collapses on the floor. She regains consciousness, and the sun has come up. Frantic, she unpacks a TV from a moving box and powers it up, but she can't receive a signal. Nora finds her computer and turns it on, but doesn't have a Wi-Fi connection. Frustrated, she calls 911. On the verge of tears, she asks the dispatcher, "Did it happen again?" The dispatcher asks for clarification. Nora tells the dispatcher she can't find her boyfriend, asking again if it had happened. Now in tears, she yells at the dispatcher asking if the people are gone. Kevin walks through the door. She hugs him, relieved he is alive and then leaves him at the front door, grabbing Lily as she heads back upstairs.
Later in the morning, Kevin tells her about waking up in a drained pond, seeing their neighbors John and Michael Murphy show up looking for Evie, and that is phone his missing. Kevin suggests he should call the cops, but Nora advises him against doing that. Local law enforcement shows up and ask Kevin to help in a search and rescue for Evie and the other girls. Nora rides with Kevin to the drained lake.
Nora is in bed when Kevin returns home late from searching for Evie at the lake. She asks him if he found his phone and is relieved when he says yes. Nora tells Kevin she believes he had nothing to do with the girl's disappearance, but can't wake up alone like that again. She brings out a pair of handcuffs she had found in a box that had Kevin's police uniform, and puts one of the cuffs on her wrist. She tells Kevin, "We're in this together right?" He agrees and puts on the other cuff. As they lay down for the night, Nora asks Kevin if they will find the missing girls. He replies, "I don't think so." ("Orange Sticker")
- In the original novel, Nora doesn't have as big a role as in the show, never working for the Department of Sudden Departure. She doesn't hire prostitutes to shoot her, her husband cheating on her has a much bigger effect on her, and she watches episodes of Spongebob Squarepants on loop to help remember her children better. She also isn't the brother of Matt Jamison, though some of their interactions remain the same.