What's Going On With That Leftovers Premiere Ending?

Photo: Van Redin/HBO.
The Leftovers season 3 premiere had just as many twists and turns as fans would expect. Meg’s Guilty Remnant chapter was (seemingly) taken out by a drone strike. Kevin (Justin Theroux) has a disturbing hobby of asphyxiating himself with a plastic bag and duct tape. Matt (Christopher Eccleston) is writing The Gospel of Kevin Garvey with help from John (Kevin Carroll) and Michael (Jovan Adepo). Yet, after all that, “The Book Of Kevin’s” biggest surprise came in the final two minutes.
The episode closes by following an obscured older woman who’s taking doves (or less likely, pigeons) from a birdhouse and putting them in organized cages on her bike. Most of the birds hold mysterious messages, which she takes and throws into a huge bucket. The bucket is nearly filled to the top with scraps of paper, signifying just how many doves the woman has dealt with already.
We then watch the woman hop on her bike and drive the doves across vast green fields, eventually stopping at a community church garden. Since we can’t see her face through all of this, it’s clear we’ll recognize her when her identity is finally revealed.
Our suspicions are confirmed when a nun with an Australian accent asks the mystery lady, “Sarah, does the name Kevin mean anything to you?” The camera pans around to the braided woman’s face; she’s none other than Nora Durst (Carrie Coon), now about 10 years older than she is in the “present day” Leftovers.
“No,” she tells the nun, definitely lying.
The surprising moment caused a fan meltdown on Twitter with countless people asking what exactly is going on. Since this is The Leftovers, nothing is obvious yet, but we can theorize what the drama’s endgame is with this “Book Of Kevin” closer.
The previews for the Leftovers’s finale season hinted Kevin and Nora are headed to Australia as both the show and possibly the world as they know it nears an end. It’s been hinted throughout the series that the answer to the post-Departure madness hides in Oz, and it seems the couple is about to jet off to the country to search for it. Since it looks like the world is still spinning about 10 years into the future — meaning it’s nearly two decades after the Great Departure — it’s possible Kevin and Nora found the answers they wanted. The only problem is, something apparently ruined the pair’s relationship along the way.
Although Nora’s current occupation is meant to be an enigma, it does directly echo the opener of “Book Of Kevin,” which showed a 19th century preacher attempting to figure out the exact date of the Rapture with similar birds. Leftovers creator Damon Lindelof confirmed to Vulture the scene is a fictionalized version of 1800s Christian sect the Millerites, who had a large presence Down Under. While those doves’ messages allegedly held the End Times dates, Nora’s birds carry run-of-the-mill messages with phrases like “Be happy,” and the word “Spread.”
Thankfully, viewers will actually understand what’s going on with Nora-slash-Sarah by the series finale, which is coincidentally titled, “The Book Of Nora.” EP Lindelof confirms as much, telling TVLine.com, “I can say without spoiling anything that, yes, we will be resolving that mysterious ending of episode 1. It’s not just hanging out there to never be resolved. We will be giving it a greater and broader context later in the season.”
Well, at least we know there's only seven weeks left until we find out if the Book Of Nora has a happy ending.

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