The town of Jarden, Texas didn't even know about the mass departure of October 14th until they heard about it on the news. When they found that they didn't lose any of their 9000+ population, the government came in and did its own investigation. When the town was officially cleared as the only place of over 5000 to not have any Departures, Jarden quickly turned into a kind of pilgrimage stop for people hoping to find some clue about the event, or even some way to stay safe if the event happened again.
The Complete Second Season starts off several months after the show's First Season, and while it still follows Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) and his immediate family, it also introduces viewers to quite a few new characters as well.
Kevin, his daughter Jill (Margaret Qualley), his girlfriend, Nora Durst (Carrie Coon) and their newly adopted daughter, Lily, have just moved into Jarden and next door to the Murphy family. John (Kevin Carroll) is a local firefighter, while his wife Erika (Regina King, Southland) works in the urgent care facility. Their twin teenage children, Michael (Jovan Adepo) and Evangeline (Jasmin Savoy Brown) seem well-rounded and helpful members of the community. Michael puts a lot of time in at a local church, while Evie spends a lot of time with two other girls her own age. Unfortunately, we don't get a lot of insight into Evie's character as she and those same two friends disappear without a trace. While a search party is immediately mounted, everyone quickly starts wondering if there has been another Sudden Disappearance and has Jarden not as safe as everyone had thought.
Of course, the Garvey family has its own set of problems. After Kevin witnessed the death of Patti (Ann Dowd), the head of the local Guilty Remnant chapter, he now sees and hears her all the time. Of course, given his father's mental history, Kevin wonders if he is going crazy or if he might actually be seeing some kind of strange ghost. After all, she seems to know things that Kevin himself didn't know. Meanwhile, Nora has brought the Garveys to the small town because she sees it as a safe haven, but when Evie and her friends disappear, she starts to wonder if her presence is somehow a key factor in people vanishing, since she did lose three immediate family members on October 14th.
Nora's brother, Matt (Christopher Eccleston) also moved to Jarden several months prior to help at the same church that Michael attends. To his amazement, his wife, Mary (Janel Moloney), who has been in a vegetative state since an accident, actually wakes up during their first night in the town, but no one seems to believe him, and some people actually seem to take offense at the idea of an actual miracle happening in the town.
While the main focus of the season is the inhabitants of Jarden and the area around it, characters like Kevin's ex-wife, Laurie (Amy Brenneman, Reign) and her son, Tom (Chris Zylka) are still big players this season. It seems that Laurie has been sneaking Tom into various Guilty Remnant houses and using him to find members with waffling beliefs and pull them out in the hopes of reforming them. While the pair seem to be getting people out slowly, Tom finds that it is taking a psychological toll on him. Also, while she isn't in the season until late, Liv Tyler returns as Meg Abbott and the former recruit has risen into the ranks to be the newest head of the same house that both Patti and Laurie once belonged to.
A lot of the same themes from the first season are prominent in The Leftovers: The Complete Second Season, especially one about people trying to make sense of an event that they have no control over, but one interesting aspect to this particular city is Jarden itself. The location and people add a different angle to everything. The people of the town feel blessed that they have been spared, but find themselves somewhat irritated by the fact that they let their town be turned into a tourist attraction. Meanwhile, the national park that surrounds the town is itself surrounded by a fence that keeps out the many people trying to visit the location. Because of the many people wanting to visit, the entering and leaving of the town is highly regulated and only residents are allowed in or out at will. As you might imagine, this can become a problem for the Garveys as they are new to the town and aren't always recognized by the park guards.
The Leftovers: The Complete Second Season continues the same feel of the first season. There are a lot of events that happen that aren't really explained and a lot of elements that seem to come out of nowhere. By the end of the season, many of the plotlines do come together, but there is still a lot of "WTF" moments that simply feel like they are strange for the sake of being strange. While this release doesn't come with any special features (and it's not like they would give any additional explanations anyway), it is still an interesting journey for anyone who enjoyed the first season. I am curious to see where the show goes next, especially since the series took such a drastic change in direction between Season One and Season Two.