Finally, some answers! The Leftovers came to an end after three emotional, captivating, and strange seasons on Sunday night, and many fans were surprised to find the show actually gave them the answer to its central mystery: What happened to the 2 percent of the population that departed?
SPOILER ALERT: Obviously, I'm going to be talking about The Leftovers series finale here, so don't read on if you haven't seen it yet.
It turns out, all those people didn't die after all — they were living their own parallel universe version of the show.
In the series finale, which largely takes place 10 years into the future after the main action of Season 3, Nora Durst reveals to her on-again-off-again boyfriend Kevin Garvey she actually got to travel to the place where all of the people who departed at the start of Season 1 went to.
According to Nora, the radiation device she had signed on to use actually worked in sending her over to a parallel universe populated by the 2 percent of the population that suddenly disappeared. Apparently, all the people that left the world we've been watching for three seasons were living on in a world where 98 percent of the population had vanished.
Nora explains the tragic discovery to Kevin:
Here, we lost some of them, but over there they lost all of us.
Yeah... We all saw the chaos and grief that happened when just 2 percent of the population departed; just imagine what might have happened in a world where 98 percent of the population disappeared.
But despite being reunited with her husband and two children after seven years of grief over their departure, Nora decides to leave the other world. She sees her husband has remarried and comes to the realization she is no longer a part of their lives as she once was. She's "a ghost" in this other world, as she puts it.
So, Nora makes the journey back. She says she finds the man who made the radiation device and convinces him to make another one, and returns to our world, but avoids Kevin because she thinks he won't believe her.
But of course, Kevin's seen crazier stuff than that in the past few years, and the two tearfully reunite in an Australian cabin.