Three years after millions of people – some 2% of the world’s population – vanished into thin air, residents of Mapleton, NY weigh the pros and cons of a “Heroes Day” tribute to the local “Departed.” Attempting to maintain a sense of normalcy in his strained community, police chief Kevin Garvey faces additional challenges at home with his daughter, Jill, who’s lost in a cloud of apathy with her friend Aimee, and son, Tom, who has gravitated to a cult led by the charismatic Holy Wayne. Also of concern is a silent, white-clad group of chain-smoking men and women called the Guilty Remnant, who team up in pairs to stake out people and places around town. As tension in Mapleton escalates, the lives of Laurie, an unexpected member of the Guilty Remnant, and Meg, a recently engaged young woman, converge.
October 14, 2011Edit
A young mother is on the phone at a laundromat, while her baby, Sam, is constantly crying. Once at the car, Sam suddenly disappears, and chaos ensues, with cars crashing, people panicking, and the young mother helplessly screaming for her child.
October 13, 2014Edit
Chief of Police Kevin Garvey is jogging through the streets of Mapleton as a radio broadcast lists the amount of people who have disappeared from each country. Kevin spots a wandering dog, who is suddenly shot down by a gun-toting man, who quickly gets into his van and drives off. After a shower, Kevin watches a congressional hearing in which a scientist presents a report regarding the Departure, and concludes that he does not know what happened.
At the Guilty Remnant compound, Laurie Garvey wakes up in her sleeping bag and smokes a cigarette. She makes her way downstairs for breakfast, which consists of plain porridge, and notices that she was not assigned for an upcoming activity. Not speaking, but rather communicating via writing on a notepad, Laurie demands from her superior, Patti Levin, that she be included. Patti eventually agrees. Later, the members of the Guilty Remnant gather in a circle, and are assigned a Mapleton resident whom they are to follow and watch. Laurie and her partner, Gladys, are given the file of Meg Abbott.
Kevin visits the home of Mrs. Tunny, whose dog, Dudley, was shot earlier in the day. In her front yard, Kevin notices a stuffed deer. Mrs. Tunny confuses Kevin with his father, the former Chief of Police, who is publicly known for going insane. Kevin has a flashback of chasing a nude man during the night. Mrs. Tunny, however, does not care for the dog, and states that he ran away three years ago, when her husband disappears. When leaving the house, Kevin is surprised to see that the stuffed deer is gone. He soon receives a phone call from his deputy, Dennis Luckey, informing him that he is late for the city council meeting, though he was told it would take place later on in the day. Kevin interrupts the meeting, led by Mayor Lucy Warburton, who discusses the following day's Mapleton Heroes Day, in remembrance of the Departed. Kevin warns her that the Guilty Remnant, a mysterious cult, will make an appearance and cause chaos, but Lucy ignores his warnings, and states that people are ready to feel better. Kevin angrily leaves.
At the local high school, the pledge of allegiance is ignored by the students, though many choose to participate in a public prayer for those lost in The Sudden Departure. Jill Garvey attempts to flirt with her classmate, Nick, with her failed attempt being noticed by her friend, Aimee. Later, at a field hockey practice, Jill breaks a classmate's nose after the latter kept violently tackling her. Jill is forced to apologize, but after referring to her classmate as a "cunt," she is banned from a game. After school, as Jill and Aimee smoke a joint, they are approached by Scott and Adam Frost, who invite them to come over for weed and ping-pong. After turning the twins down, they are asked about a house party happening later on that night. After the twins leave, Aimee notes that Adam is clearly interested in Jill.
In his truck, Tom Garvey intercepts a congressman who complains about the extreme secrecy of transportation. Tom retrieves a large sum of money from the congressman, takes his phone, and blindfolds him. During the ride to the compound of Wayne, a known healer, Tom tells the congressman that he will no longer feel burdened after his meeting with Wayne. When asked why he is not in college, Tom has a brief flashback of watching two students jumping off a building and crashing into two cars.
After arriving at Wayne's farm, the congressman is taken to see Wayne in a private room. Tom makes his own to the pool, where a group of Asian teenagers spend their time. He approaches one of the girls, Christine, and hands her a bag of gummy worms, which she enthusiastically accepts, and goes on to question him on the latest happening in a reality television show, ignoring a call from his father, Kevin. As Tom is clearly seen flirting with Christine, he is observed by one of Wayne's people. Following their session, the congressman leaves the room and is visibly happier, informing Tom that much like he promised earlier, he is no longer burdened. Tom, however, is ordered to spend the night at the farm, as Wayne wants to have a chat with him, which concerns Tom. Later that night, Wayne wakes Tom up, and shares with him a recurring dream he has been having, where his son prophetically warns him of an impeding judgement, concluding that "grace period's over."
Back at the Garveys', the two have dinner with Kevin, who asks them not to come to the Heroes Day parade. Aimee asks permission for Jill to take the car to the party that night, and Jill reassures him she will not drink or get arrested. Once at the house party, teenagers are shown to be drinking and smoking uncontrollably. A spin-the-bottle style game is taking place, using a phone app, which instructs the two parties to engage in a sexual or dangerous activity. While Aimee and Nick are paired together for sex, Jill is reluctantly paired with Max, and is instructed to "choke" him. Once alone in a room, the two undress, but Jill refuses to do anything sexual. Instead, Max masturbates, while Jill grabs his throat.
After Max passes out, Jill leaves the party and encounters the Frost twins, who are looking for a flashlight. Searching through the trunk of Kevin's car, the three find the corpse of the dead dog, and decide to bury it. While digging the grave, Scott ponders on what made the dogs go crazy, suggesting that perhaps the shock of seeing people disappear was the cause. They then say goodbye to the dog, as they start filling the grave.
As they leave their house, Meg and her fiancé, Darren, find Laurie and Gladys standing outside their house, watching and smoking. Ignoring them, they drive to a restaurant, where they discuss preparations for the wedding, with Meg being visibly unenthusiastic about the planning. She then notices Laurie and Gladys once again watching her from the street. Darren confronts the two, and successfully gets them to leave. Once they arrive back at their house, the two watchers are there, waiting for them. Meg violently screams at them, slapping Laurie, who does nothing in return. Darren constraints Meg, and leads her back inside.
October 14, 2014Edit
Kevin violently wakes up from a nightmare in which he runs over a deer, only to realize his alarm clock was not plugged in, and that Jill did not return home from the party. Walking downstairs, he finds the kitchen completely destroyed, with scratching marks covering the walls, and the door broken and open. A call from Dennis informs him that he is late for the parade.
As the parade commences, the Guilty Remnant enter their vans and head towards the park, where the parade will end with speeches. Prior to the beginning of the closing remarks, Reverent Matt Jamison vocally protests that the Departure was not the Rapture, was those who disappeared were sinners, and enthusiastically hands out his tabloid papers. Kevin asks him to stop, when he notices that Jill is among the attendees. Kevin is visibly upset with her not returning his car, and as Jill informs him that she buried the dog in his trunk, Mayor Warburton prepares to begin her speech. Following the unveiling of a statue crafted especially for the occasion, Warburton invites to the stage Nora Durst -- a Mapleton resident whose entire family Departed. As Nora recounts her memories with her family, the Guilty Remanent appears from the tree line, carrying posters with single letters that form the message: "STOP WASTING YOUR BREATH."
This public display angers the crowd, who engages in a physical attack again the members of the G.R., who do not fight back. Kevin and his police force separates the two sides, defending the G.R. members from the rest. During the commotion, Kevin defends Laurie from a violent man. Warburton, who ignored Kevin's warnings, looks in dismay. Later that evening, at the Carpe Diem pub, Kevin chats with the young mother whose son, Sam, disappeared three years ago. When asked where he was during the Departure, Kevin has a brief flashback of having sex with an unidentified woman. Instead, he says he was simply at home. He then notices the same dog shooter from yesterday leaving the pub; Kevin, clearly intoxicated, pulls his gun but fails to shoot the driving van.
Kevin once again tries to call Tom, who at that moment dove naked into the pool in Wayne's farm, inaudibly screaming in the water. Kevin makes his way to the Guilty Remnant cul-de-suc community, where he demands to speak to Laurie. After assaulting a member of the G.R., Kevin is told by Patti to leave the premises; however, Kevin begs Laurie to come back home, revealing she is his wife. Kevin is then attacked by the same member from before, and thrown against his car. As Kevin drives off, Meg arrives in a taxi, asking if she could stay there for a couple of nights. Patti breaks her silence, welcomes her to the community, and pairs her up with Laurie. However, she warns Meg they will never speak again.
Driving through the streets of Mapleton, Kevin halts his car when he sees the deer from Mrs. Tunny's yard and his dream. Coming face to face, Kevin asks the deer if he was at his house last night. Suddenly, a pack of wild dogs appear, chase the deer, and eventually catch up with it, mauling it into pieces. The dog shooter appears with a rifle, explaining to Kevin that these are not their dogs anymore. Kevin asks him if he is awake, and the man replies, "You are now." The man starts shooting the dogs, and invites Kevin to join him, which he angrily does.
- Piper Birney as Girls Scout #2
- Peter Berg as Pete
- Sydni Beaudoin as Black Girl
- Catherine Curtin as Mrs. Tunney
- Michael Eric Dyson as Male Pundit
- Jim Ferris as Council Member
- Jack Ferry as Older Cop
- Daniel Flaherty as Max
- Natalie Gold as Sam's Mother
- Frank Harts as Dennis Luckey
- Casey Jordan as Female Pundit
- Bill Heck as Darren Finnerty
- Marceline Hugot as Gladys
- Edward James Hyland as Senator Borge
- Dana Iannuzzi as Latina woman
- Lola Kirke as Hailey
- Adam Lefevre as Mike the Bartender
- Perdo Morillo Jr. as Tattooed Kid
- Andrea Navedo as Field Hockey Coach
- Michael Nostrand as Dr. Denziger
- Jake Robinson as Nick
- Christina Saragaglia as Girl with Piercings
- I.N. Sierros as Doug (Fire Chief)
- Emily Soell as Emily McKay
- Noah Unger as Little boy
- Madison Zamor as Girl Scout #2
- Animals: Kevin encounters a stag three times: as a seemingly taxidermied lawn decoration which disappears, in his dream where he hits it with his car, and just before seeing it torn apart by feral dogs. Kevin also approaches a stray dog which Dean shoots, and later helps Dean shoot the pack of wild dogs who kill the stag.
- Memories: Kevin, Tom, and Laurie all have brief memories revolving around significant moments from their past: Kevin of chasing his naked father and cheating on Laurie at the time of the Departure; Laurie of being involved in a school fight; and Tom watching two students jump off a roof while at college.
- Dreams: Kevin has a dream in which he runs over the stag.
- The Bible: When Wayne quotes his son in a dream, he in turn quotes from Acts of the Apostles 20:31 in the Christian Bible (Jesus's reference to three years refers to the period in which he was preaching before his death); the radio caller in Kevin's dream refers to Corinthians 15.
- Christine questions Tom regarding a recent episode of The Bachelor.
- Tom reads Albert Camus's The Stranger.
- The Looney Toons cartoon "Fast and Furry-ous" (1949) is playing during the house party. This is the very first cartoon featuring the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.
- Jill has posters for the bands Murder by Death and The Evaporators on her door.
- The episode features several cameos:
- Tom Perrotta, who co-wrote the episode as well as writing the novel the series is based on, portrayed Hector, the sculptor of the statue.
- Peter Berg, the director of the episode and an executive producer of the series, portrayed Pete, the guard at the entrance to Wayne's farm.
- Damon Lindelof's mother is seated next to Kevin in the committee meeting. Peter Berg wrote a scene for her on-set, where she played the Head of the Department of Sanitation, complaining to Lucy about cleanup from the parade.
- Ms. McKay, the woman who welcomes Congressman Witten at Wayne's farm, is portrayed by a friend of Peter Berg's parents.
- Tom Perrotta says that when he began writing the novel, he was inspired by the 2008 economic collapse and the idea of losing faith in the future. When prepping the Pilot, director Peter Berg compared the Departure's effect on the public to shocking tragedies like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. During location scouts for the Pilot, Berg brought Damon Lindelof to Newtown. Lindelof says the feel of Newtown at that time became embedded in the show.
- Dudley's address is 319 Walnut Rd.
- The Mapleton zip code is 10513.
- The scene of the Denziger Report hearing playing in Kevin's bedroom initially went on longer, with footage shot of Kevin masturbating to Internet porn while the hearing plays in the background.
- The news crawl on C-SPAN mentions ATFEC for the first time in the series, as well as Heaven's Converts, a cult that will again be mentioned in "Gladys." It says, "ATFEC: Heaven's Converts in twelve states, growing..."
- Meg's address is 12 Evergreen Way, according to the hospital paperwork in her G.R. file.
- There seems to be an issue of National Geographic on the Garveys' coffee table, seen out of focus in the foreground at the beginning of the dinner scene.
- The options on the Get a Room app are: Screw, Hug, Burn, Hickey, Suck, [illegible], Choke, Bite, The Tip, Titty, Fuck, Kiss, Slap.
- An early draft of the script has a more elaborate version of Kevin's dream. In this version, Kevin is listening to a Spanish-language radio station in his car when he seemingly hits something. Upon exiting the car, he is in a desert. Far off, he sees an animal with massive antlers backlit by the moon, with a naked woman riding the creature and a naked man beside it. The man yells to Kevin, in Spanish, "You are the prophet. The deer has chosen." Kevin then notices a large hole in his right palm.
- There are three characters named Doug in this episode: the Mapleton fire chief, the Wayne acolyte who drives Congressman Witten home in lieu of Tom, and Nora's Departed husband. Ironically, the fire chief Doug criticizes Nora's status as a speaker, and has to be reminded that she lost her entire family.
- The name of Hector's statue, as seen in the HBO documentary Making the Leftovers, is "Nothing Gold Can Stay," named after Robert Frost's 1923 poem of the same name.
- The pundits debating one another on the TV in the bar near the end of the episode are portrayed by academic/author/preacher Michael Eric Dyson and criminologist/attorney Casey Jordan, possibly playing versions of themselves.
- Hillary Clinton can be seen on the TV in the bar as Young Mother is talking to Kevin.
- Famous departed:
- Damon Lindelof came up with Patti's line, "You and I won't speak again," on set as they were shooting the scene.
- Tom's primal underwater scream was an idea actor Chris Zylka had on set. It became one of the defining moments in HBO's advertising for the series.
- The deer was inspired by an experience Damon Lindelof had when he was walking on the street with his son in a BabyBjörn and saw a deer in the middle of the street staring at him. After a moment of fear where he felt that the deer was not supposed to be there, he realized that in actuality, humanity was not supposed to be there.
Book to Show Edit
- This episode introduces the following book characters: Kevin Garvey, Laurie Garvey, Jill Garvey, Aimee, Nick Lazarro (last name not mentioned on the show), Tom Garvey, Patti Levin, Wayne Gilchrest, Christine, Adam Frost, Scott Frost, Meg (last name changed from Lomax in the novel to Abbott on the show), Max Connolly (last name not mentioned on the show), Matt Jamison, and Nora Durst.
- The Sudden Departure is as described in the book, including the date October 14. The show adds the number of people and percentage of Earth's population (in the book, it is only stated that millions of people disappeared, 88 of whom were from Mapleton).
- The show begins its main narrative three years after the Departure, as does the book.
- The first season's main setting, Mapleton, comes from the book. The book never specifies what state Mapleton is in, presenting it as an Anytown, USA, but the references to the surrounding geography in the book would be consistent with an upstate NY location as in the show.
- One of the biggest changes from the book is the characterization of Kevin. In the book, he is mayor of Mapleton, a former businessman who recently sold his family business, a chain called Patriot Liquor Megastores, "for a small fortune." The show changes him to a police chief in order to inject more action and avoid the mundanity of constant town meetings. In the book, Ed Rogers is police chief; the show invents the character Lucy Warburton to replace Kevin as mayor. The show also makes Kevin's character much darker, adding the alcoholism and potential mental illness/hallucinations, apparently because the producers were worried the book's "nice-guy mayor" would not be seen as compelling in a TV landscape of dark antiheroes. Likewise, there is no indication in the book that Kevin ever cheated on Laurie. In the book, Kevin is described as having a "physical compulsion" for socializing in order to silence the "gloomy, frightened voice in his head," and spends most of his nights at a bar called the Carpe Diem with his friends Pete Thorne and Steve Wiscziewski, in contrast to the show's more solitary version of the character.
- Kevin's running comes from the book. In the Prologue, he brags to Laurie that he just ran six miles in under an hour.
- The photo mural a woman places on the side of her house in memorial of a departed loved one is reminiscent of the book character Mike Whalen (the former "cleanup hitter and star first baseman" on Kevin's softball team) who memorializes his departed wife in similar fashion: "He and his sons had painted a crude, almost unrecognizable portrait of Nancy on the back wall of their house, and Mike spent most of his nights alone with the mural, commuting with her memory."
- While Dean is an original character invented for the show, his dog-shooting may be inspired by the character Ralph Sorrento in the book, an alcoholic plumber who lost his young daughter. Ralph shot a pack of stray dogs on his front lawn, and refuses to pay the fine. He is confrontational at the Heroes' Day parade, and Kevin worries that Ralph may be fantasizing about suicide by cop. In the book, dog-shooting is apparently depressingly common in Mapleton. While Kevin tells Ralph, "Nobody likes the dogs," and packs of stray dogs are mentioned during Nora's bike rides and when Kevin talks to Police Chief Eric Rogers, the book does not elaborate further on Mapleton's dog problem. Tom Perrotta deleted a chapter from the book which would have dealt with the perspective of pets who witnessed their owners' Departures and went feral, as Scott Frost describes in the show. This chapter would have involved Nora going into the woods to look for her dog. Perrotta told Damon Lindelof about this chapter, and this inspired the feral dogs on the show.
- The Guilty Remnant, and their practices and philosophies, come directly from the book, including the white clothing, the smoking, the vow of silence (and scribbling their communications in notebooks), always traveling in same-sex pairs, and acting as Watchers. The smoking is described by one character as being like a sacrament; the G.R. believes they will not be around long enough to get cancer, as the Bible says there are only seven years of Tribulation after the Rapture.
- Laurie joins the G.R. at the end of the book's Prologue, and remains a member for the rest of the novel.
- Laurie's first appearance faithfully adapts the description of her sleeping situation in Gray House in the book, prior to Meg's arrival and her move to Blue House: "six or seven people" in sleeping bags on a bare floor. In the book, Laurie smoked through college into her twenties, and only stopped when she became pregnant with Tom. As seen in the episode, she savors her first cigarette in the morning, even though it is supposed to be a "mortification of the flesh."
- In Laurie's quick flashback, it appears she attended a private school as a child. The first lines of the novel's Prologue reveal that Laurie's upbringing was strictly secular: "Laurie Garvey hadn't been raised to believe in the Rapture. She hadn't been raised to believe in much of anything, except the foolishness of belief itself."
- In the book, Jill and Aimee are frequently skipping class by the start of the novel, and are high whenever they are at school. They seem to have a healthier academic record on the show, with Jill even partaking in the after-school field hockey team. At this point in the book, they are also going out drinking and getting high on a nightly basis, and Kevin has almost completely given up keeping tabs on them, whereas in the show, Jill attending the party at Dorfman's seems to be an uncommon occurrence. Aimee has also been living with Kevin and Jill for several months as of the start of the book, whereas in the show, her "crashing" dinner is an occasion worth commenting on at this stage. Jill has shaved her head prior to the events of the book, something the show's version of the character never does.
- The Denziger Commission was likely inspired by the reference in the book's Prologue to the "nonpartisan government panel" investigating the Depature.
- The Chef Anomaly likely refers to a sentence from the chapter "Special Someone": "According to the Food Network, the small world of superstar chefs had been disproportionately hard hit" by the Departure.
- The reference in the C-SPAN news ticker to "6 US troops killed by Yemen roadside bomb" refers to the fictional U.S. troop escalation in a Yemen war mentioned in the chapter "Dirtbags." At the time the book was published and the TV show aired, U.S. involvement in Yemen was restricted to remote drone strikes, and training and providing intelligence to Yemeni troops, with no ground troops involved in active combat.
- Laurie brushing her teeth without a mirror is a detail from the book (the G.R. prohibits mirrors). In the book, tooth brushing is symbolic of what Laurie has lost: brushing her teeth alone with a manual brush makes her pine for the days when she and Kevin stood side by side in front of dual sinks with electric toothbrushes.
- The slogans, "We are living reminders," and, "We don't smoke for enjoyment. We smoke to proclaim our faith," are mantras that are drilled into the members in the book. Another mantra, from the G.R.'s Christmas Day slideshow in the book, can be glimpsed on the whiteboard in the common room (about halfway down, written in red): "We will wait and watch and prove ourselves worthy."
- The symbolic absence of any photos stands in contrast to the book, where members are permitted a Memory Book containing photos and other memorabilia from their previous life.
- The G.R.'s daily oatmeal breakfast is a detail from the book (dinner is soup).
- The G.R.'s daily schedule is seen on a white board, including hours devoted to "Sustenance"; this is likewise the word used for mealtimes in the G.R.'s daily regime in the book (although the show's regime leaves out the "Hour of Self-Accusation" mentioned in the book).
- In the book, Patti's title is Director of the Mapleton Chapter. She appears twice, in both instances when Laurie and Meg are summoned to her office (which is in a separate house in the complex from Laurie's; Laurie initially lives in Gray House, the women's dorm, whereas Patti's office is in Main House). She is much more hands-on in the show. While her characterization on the show is close to the book, Patti speaks openly in both of her appearances in the book (Laurie understands that she and Meg may only speak in response to a direct question from Patti, although this formality is quickly discarded). On the show, Patti maintains a vow of silence like the others.
- The TV in Patti's office (with the sound on!) is a luxury that would likely be unwelcome in the G.R. of the book, where the primary means of disseminating information is slideshows.
- Tom witnessing a double-suicide at college is an invention of the show. In the book, colleges nationwide ended for the semester after October 14. When Tom returned to Syracuse U. in the spring, he suffered from depression and grief, and stopped attending classes altogether before attending an early speaking engagement by Wayne and subsequently becoming part of the grassroots Healing Hugs movement.
- Heroes' Day being a federal day of remembrance differs from the book, where it appears to be an invention of Mapleton (with the longer name "Heroes' Day of Remembrance and Reflection"). Likewise, the new federal agencies that have been commissioned (the DSD, ATFEC) are inventions of the show. The book does not address the national or international response to the Departure in any detail, preferring to focus on the local.
- Greenway Park is seen on the map behind Lucy as the endpoint of the parade, as in the book.
- In the book, the G.R. have been around for about two years, whereas in the show Kevin says they didn't exist a year ago. Kevin says there are fifty G.R. members and they bought an entire cul de sac. In the book, there are at least sixty G.R. members living in an eight-house compound on Ginkgo Street which was deeded to them by a wealthy developer who now lives there as an ordinary member.
- The mention of the G.R. walking onto the field at homecoming is similar to a reference in the book to the G.R. lying down on the turf during a high school football game until they were removed by angry players and spectators.
- Wayne's ranch is in Oregon in the book; the show moves it to Nevada. The complex is similar to that described in the book chapter "Special Someone," including the "gun-toting guards" and Wayne's penchant for teenage Asian girls lounging by the pool. In the book, Wayne has six "spiritual brides": Christine, Iris, Cindy, Mei, Lam, and the only non-Asian "bride," Anna Ford. In the show, seven Asian girls are seen by the pool, including Christine. In the book, Tom only visits Wayne's ranch once after Wayne moves there from his former Rochester headquarters, as part of an "inner circle" "gala three-day celebration" of what would have been the eleventh birthday of Wayne's Departed son Henry. In the book, Tom never speaks to Christine before being assigned as her "babysitter," having only seen her from a distance. In the book, Tom is extremely uncomfortable with the "spiritual bride" arrangement during his one visit to the ranch, but he seems much more accepting of it on the show. Tom and Christine's flirtatious dynamic comes from the book, where they find a joking ease with one another once they are on the run together.
- Tom ignoring Kevin's calls is consistent with the book, where Kevin has not heard from Tom since an e-mail Tom sent over the summer.
- The G.R. sitting in a circle passing around folders profiling the people they intend to shadow is a detail from the sixth chapter, "Vow of Silence."
- As in the book, the Frost brothers drive a Prius. Adam and Scott pulling up to Jill and Aimee and trying to get them to come get stoned and play ping pong comes from the second chapter, "A Whole Class of Jills." In the novel, the Frosts are described as having dreadlocks and constantly listening to Bob Marley. The show reverses the roles, with Adam as the brother with a crush on Jill, whereas in the book it is Scott. In the book, this scene occurs when the girls are on their way to school, and Aimee decides to go with the Frosts and play hooky, while Jill declines.
- Kevin and Jill's dynamic is similar to that described in the book (their interactions are described as "exasperated" and "half-serious"). However, their argument over the parade is the exit opposite of the book, where Kevin spends weeks trying to convince Jill to march for her Departed friend Jen Sussman, and she asks him why it matters so much to him. As in the show (when she asks the opposite question, why he does not want her to go), Kevin is unable to provide an answer. In keeping with the show being the inverse of the book, Jill attends the parade against her father's wishes, whereas in the book she never shows up.
- As in the book, Aimee expresses sympathy for Kevin's plight and does her best to ease tensions between Kevin and Jill.
- The show's Meg is slightly older than the characterization in the book, where she is described as being in her mid-twenties.
- In the book, it is explained that while the G.R. would ideally like to "watch" everyone, they target specific people for two reasons: either because the person is "ripe for recruitment," or because a G.R. member made a Formal Request for increased surveillance of a former loved one or acquaintance. Meg presumably falls into the former category in the show. In the book, it does not appear that the G.R. ever gave Meg any special attention before she joined, or even knew who she was. She is a member by the time she first appears in the book, but the backstory she tells Laurie in the chapter "Vow of Silence" is similar to what is seen in the show: she delayed her wedding three years ago due to the Departure (she lost her mother), and she and her fiancee only recently decided to try again. She describes making the arrangements: "It felt like I wasn't even there, like it was all happening to someone else, someone I didn't even know." When she asks for another postponement, her fiancee finally gives her the ultimatum that they are either going to get married or break up, and she leaves him and joins the G.R.
- Although Meg's fiancee never appears in the book, she calls him Gary when telling Laurie about him. His name is changed to Darren on the show. His personality on the show is as described in the book: a likable, understanding guy.
- The game played by Jill's friends is called Get a Room in the book, and comes from the chapter of the same name, which is the seventh chapter of the book. In the book, they simply use a spinner from an old game of Twister. The person who spins hooks up with whomever the arrow lands on, and if the group likes the chemistry, they vote on whether the pair should Get a Room (albeit with some heterocentric caveats to these rules; the show's version of the party seems more open-minded, given the two boys Jill sees in the bathroom). As on the show, the rules require players who Get a Room to strip to their underwear, but after that they can do whatever they want. Director/Executive Producer Peter Berg came up with the idea of having there be an iPhone app, and of adding a sadomasochistic element. In the book, the game was initially played at Mark Sollers's house where the gameplay was raucous and unpredictable with up to thirty players, but has moved to the home of a kid named Dmitri by the start of the book and is down to a core of eight regular players, with the same outcomes pretty much every night. In the book, Aimee unrepentantly goes out of her way to get Nick every night, unlike the show, where she at least puts on a show of considering Jill's feelings when Nick lands on Aimee. In the book, Jill did have one night where she and Nick ended up together and she believes they really connected, but he subsequently fell in love with Aimee; on the show, both Jill and Aimee appear to be relatively unacquainted with Nick. There is no indication in the book that the Frosts ever attended the "Get a Room" games. "Get a Room," and Jill's up-and-down unrequited infatuation with Nick, are much bigger parts of her character arc in the book than in the show, where neither the game nor Nick are mentioned again after this episode.
- Jill ending up in a room with Max comes from the chapter "Get a Room," where she ends up with him most nights and views it as a comfortable dynamic, since they have accepted that they are not sexually compatible, and can lie together in the dark like an old married couple. In the book, their conversation is much friendlier than the show. Likewise, Max asking Jill if he can jerk off comes from the book, but in the book it represents a level of intimacy with one another, whereas the show plays the moment as sadly pathetic (and adds the choking element). The detail that they are in Dorfman's little sister's room comes from the book, where they are in Dmitri's little sister's room. In the book, it is not clear if some or all of Dmitri's family Departed (his mother and two sisters are simply described as having been "'away' for as long as Jill had known him, and no one expected them back anytime soon"); the show unambiguously conveys that Dorfman's sister Departed.
- Meg's profanity-laced tirade against Laurie and Gladys is reminiscent of Melissa Hulbert lashing out at two G.R. Watchers who have been stalking her, as Kevin is taking her home from the Carpe Diem in the chapter of the same name (the fourth chapter of the book). Kevin tries to intercede, as Darren does in the show. In the book, Melissa ends up spitting on a Watcher, rather than slapping her as Meg does on the show.
- In the book, Jill leaves a sleeping Max to clean up Dmitri's house while waiting for Aimee. Demonstrating the book's more emotionally abusive version of Aimee as compared to the show, Aimee comes downstairs and throws out a pair of underwear she stole from Jill, declaring, "I am such a slut," and assuring Jill that Jill does not want them back. The show adds Jill's encounter with the Frosts and the dead dog instead.
- Wayne's characterization differs from the book, where he is described as a blue-collar white American from upstate NY (Brookdale, near Rochester), referred to as "the Bruce Springsteen of cult leaders." In addition to making him black and British, the show presents him as more enigmatic and threatening.
- In the book, Christine just shows up at Tom's door in San Francisco and tells him he is her "new babysitter"; Wayne and Tom never have a conversation about it.
- In the book, Wayne warns his followers of dark times ahead, after one of his "brides" defects and gives an interview to 60 Minutes. In contrast to the book, where the ensuing scandal was inevitably obvious, Wayne's prediction of "bad shit" coming is presented as more prescient on the show.
- Wayne dreaming of his son comes from the book. In the book, a dream of his son causes him to hug his wife for the first time in weeks after the Departure, setting him on the initial path to realizing his "powers" and beginning to preach. He also later claims to be having a series of "visionary dreams" revealing piecemeal the details of his mission from God to "fix the world." However, Wayne believing that there is some special significance to the three-year anniversary of the Departure is an invention of the show. Damon Lindelof said this line was included in response to HBO asking for a story reason why the show begins three years after the Departure, and this plot point was subsequently ignored for the rest of the show.
- The parade sequence adapts the first chapter on the novel, "Heroes' Day." In contrast to the show, the book's Kevin believes the parade is an important step to help people stop dwelling on the Departure and move on (a point of view assumed by Lucy on the show). His fear about the G.R. showing up does come from the book; however, in the book, Kevin has been trying to work with and accommodate the G.R. to dial back tensions after an incident under the prior mayor involving a G.R. member being shot by the police during a botched search warrant execution on their compound.
- As in the book chapter, various local organizations take part in the parade, and locals carry signs and wear shirts bearing the names and likenesses of Departed loved ones.
- Kevin's encounter with Matt comes from this chapter, as does the creepy memorial statue (which in the book is produced by a high school art teacher), Nora's speech, and the G.R.'s emergence from the woods during Nora's speech (including Laurie) with the message, "STOP WASTING YOUR BREATH."
- Matt's newsletter in the book, "OCTOBER 14TH WAS NOT THE RAPTURE!!!" receives the more mellow title, "The Wrong Ones Were Taken." In the book, the edition he is handing out is about the bisexual college years of Departed pediatrician Dr. Hillary Edgers. The show makes Matt a little more sympathetic by refocusing his attentions on child abuse. Matt's reference to Kevin's father (who is never mentioned in the book) is an addition of the show.
- The Barefoot People, hippies with bullseyes painted on their foreheads, come from the book, where they are seen primarily in San Francisco and Boston, and do not seem to have much of a Mapleton presence.
- In the book, the Monument to the Departed seems to have already been standing in Greenway Park prior to Heroes' Day. There is no unveiling mentioned on Heroes' Day, only a wreath-laying.
- In the book, the G.R. merely arrives during Nora's speech, displays its message, then disappears back into the woods. Although people are angry, there is no riot. Kevin remains on stage, and later regrets not getting up and approaching Laurie, whom he has not seen in a couple of months.
- The book chapter "Special Someone" references experts on TV "debating the validity of conflicting religious and scientific explanations for what was either a miracle or a tragedy," a dynamic adapted in this episode on the TV in the bar.
- Some of the celebrity Departures come from the book: Jennifer Lopez, Shaquille O'Neal, and the Pope. Anthony Bourdain's inclusion also calls to mind the world of superstar chefs being disproportionately impacted in the book.
- Meg joins the G.R., as in the book.
- Patti breaks her vow of silence to welcome Meg. Likewise, in the book, the G.R. is a bit more lax about the vow of silence when it comes to indoctrinating new recruits (in particular, instituting a policy called the Unburdening, a fifteen-minute period after lights-out when a trainee and trainer are permitted to speak about any fears the trainee has).
- Max Richter's recurring theme, "The Departed," first heard when Young Mother realizes Sam has disappeared, is a variation on Richter's composition "The Twins (Prague)" from his 2002 album Memoryhouse.
- "Why Can't He be You" by Patsy Cline (Tom's car radio as the Congressman arrives)
- "Vladimir's Blues" by Max Richter, from his 2004 album The Blue Notebook (Laurie brushing her teeth; Kevin elbows the photo)
- "I Can't Find the Time" by Willie Nelson (Tom talks to Congressman Witten in the car)
- "De Profundis" by Max Richter (Congressman Witten meets Wayne)
- "Do or Die" by Flux Pavilion featuring Childish Gambino (played in the Frost Brothers' car as they try to pick up Aimee and Jill)
- "My Lover's Prayer" by Otis Redding (Kevin prepares meatloaf)
- "FML" by deadmau5 (the first party scene at Dorfman's)
- "After Dinner" by Greencastle Homer (Meg and Darren at the restaurant)
- "Stripe Rhythm" by Two Fingers (Jill spins to "choke" Max)
- "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green (Darren's car singalong)
- "Darkest Eyes" by Colleen Green (Jill exits the party)
- "Retrograde" by James Blake (montage of the G.R. getting in their cars as the parade begins)
- "Sweet Love for Planet Earth" by Fuck Buttons (riot breaks out between the G.R. and Mapleton residents)
- "Andante/Reflection (End Title)" by Max Richter from the film Vals Im Bashir (the riot continues in slow motion)
- "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" by the Kingston Trio (playing in the bar as Kevin talks to Young Mother)
- "Dona Nobis Pacem 1" by Max Richter (ending montage, beginning with Meg's arrival at the G.R.)
- "Are You Satisfied?" by Reignwolf (end credits)
- Dusty Bob, the radio announcer, says Alysse disappeared "three years ago today," although this scene takes place on October 13.
- Although the hockey players' T-shirts have "Mapleton High School" logos, the scoreboard on the field says "Westlake High School," reflecting the real-world filming location.
- Meg's last name is listed as Solomon on the paperwork in her G.R. file. It will be revealed in "Penguin One, Us Zero" that her surname is Abbott.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Audio Commentary, Pilot
- ↑ A Conversation with the Author (interview conducted by Laura Wilson, executive producer, Macmillan Audio)
- ↑ https://uproxx.com/sepinwall/damon-lindelof-i-was-really-depressed-writing-leftovers-season-1/
- ↑ https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-et-st-leftovers-damon-lindelof-20151003-story.html
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 http://scripts.tv-calling.com/script/hbo-the-leftovers-1x01/
- ↑ I Remember: A Season One Conversation with Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta (DVD/Blu Ray feature)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 https://www.fastcompany.com/3032298/damon-lindelof-and-tom-perrotta-explore-rapture-mad-dogs-and-unsolved-misery-in-the-leftover
- ↑ https://uproxx.com/sepinwall/the-leftovers-creators-damon-lindelof-tom-perrotta-on-their-dark-mysterious-hbo-series/
- ↑ https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/drone-war/data/yemen-reported-us-covert-actions-2001-2011