Damon Lindelof’s series launched its third and final season on HBO Sunday. Starring Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon, the show is a kind of end-of-days saga about what happens after the mysterious disappearance of 2 percent of the world’s population. The vanishings, called the “Sudden Departure,” appear to be similar to the rapture predicted in the Bible when good people, living and dead, rise to heaven just before the world is destroyed.
Religious zealots tend to embrace the idea of the rapture because they believe it means the destruction of sin and sinners while they take their place with the Lord.
“With all apocalyptic thinking, if it’s not happening fast enough we are going to bring it about, which I think explains the election in America,” Lindelof said during a masterclass that was part of the Series Mania TV festival in Paris, Variety reported.
“If you are unhappy with the way things are going, you may want to elect an agent of destruction. I think it’s very interesting that Trump doesn’t identify as particularly religious, [but] so many evangelicals got behind him.”
Lindelof said he doesn’t believe we’re actually heading for the end of days — yet. But he does think every generation fears the world will end when they are living.
“Are we closer to the apocalypse now than we were a year ago? I don’t think so,” he told Inverse. “One of the things we tried to say in the third season of the show is that every generation of humans thought the world might end while they were alive. That’s kind of narcissistic and interesting.”
Lindelof said the final season of the series was written against the backdrop of the presidential campaign.
“We were all feeling cocky and confident that Hillary Clinton was going to become the president of the United States, and that would be a step away from the apocalypse,” he said. “But that idea in ‘The Leftovers’ is that the ‘Sudden Departure’ forced everyone to reevaluate the world they lived in and suddenly understand that things were not as stable as they seemed. They were surprised, and unpleasantly so. I think all of us experienced that sensation on the evening of November 8.”