‘The Leftovers’ (Season 1 Finale): “The Prodigal Son Returns”



Was The Leftovers worth it? I’ve been pondering this question for the back half of Season 1. I’ve mentioned the ups and downs of the season quite a bit and how a superb episode would sometimes be followed by a subpar episode that made everything unfocused. Mostly, however, I’ve been thinking a lot about the people (friends and critics) who have given up on the show because of the grotesque violence — the way the camera unflinchingly remained on Gladys’ beat and bloodied face or Patti’s fate in the woods. Outside of the violence is hopelessness, despair, and depression — not exactly things to cheer you up on a Sunday night — so the question is: Was the season good enough to justify sticking around and wading through the darkness? The finale makes a case for it.

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