‘Silicon Valley’ Review: ‘The Keenan Vortex’ Shows Why These Guys Might Never Really Be Happy

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Well, it almost happened. For a minute, the Pied Piper crew finally seemed to be happy. Champagne was flowing, spirits were high and it looked like this group finally had the financial and creative freedom to fulfill the dreams that their occasionally fearful leader has had all season.

And then, as it always seems to in the world of “Silicon Valley,” the fluffy clouds lifted. It’s another weekly example of how the show continues to dangle a happy future in front of its characters, only to pull it away and show them that the way they wanted to find happiness was an illusion all along (or a virtual reality, if you will).

READ MORE: ‘Silicon Valley’ Review: Richard and Jared Tap Into Their Darker Sides As the Show’s Wheels Spin

In a bit of karmic retribution, at the end of “The Keenan Vortex,” it’s Erlich who ends up the most distraught, even when at the outset, he seemed most primed to find happiness merely by staying put. Still recuperating from his physical and emotional humiliation at the hands of last week’s pickup basketball game at Oracle Arena, Ehrlich still finds himself settling into his new gig at Bream/Hall.

As fortunes rapidly turn on the show, Erlich finds out that his new prize acquisition, Keenan Feldspar, has landed a deal of his own while clearing his head in Fiji. (One of the tiny daggers in the “Silicon Valley” arsenal is showing that life-changing decisions often happen at the whims of a high roller with half of his attention elsewhere.) It’s a new level of partnership that effectively links Ehrlich’s and Keenan’s futures at Bream/Hall.

“Silicon Valley”

John P. Johnson

When Erlich goes back to the Incubator to tell the rest of the guys the news, Dinesh’s reaction gets right to the heart of what makes Erlich a fascinating and frustrating character at the same time. What Erlich shoves in everyone’s faces essentially amounts to the right of first refusal, with no guaranteed money attached. Here’s a man ostensibly concerned with making money who, when push comes to shove, is just as quick to jump at a chance to improve his perception as he is one that would beef up his bank account.

It’s the same issue that we now see plague Jack Barker, newly ascendant to the Hooli throne and plotting his grand entrance as king of the castle. Hyper-focused on the theatrics of his entrance at Hoolicon, Jack is blindsided by a server malfunction that has left at least one person dead. (We don’t properly appreciate how icily Stephen Tobolowsky can deliver lines drenched in cynicism like, “Thoughts and prayers, obviously.”) No longer trapped in a basement office in exile, Jack still can’t get out from the shadow of his former boss and nemesis: Gavin Belson.

READ MORE: ‘Silicon Valley’: How Post-Election-Night Improv Led to Season 4’s Greatest Moment So Far

Oddly, Gavin’s unexpected return in this episode might be the show’s biggest vindication of the character so far, even if it’s only in a flashback. For all of his self-absorbed faults, Gavin knew the power of perception. Even if it meant bringing in an endangered animal to do so, he recognized the Jobsian potential to perceived value for a product that may or may not even exist.

As the Pied Piper boys find out, Jack and Gavin (or Jian-Yang, for that matter) aren’t the only people in town who are trading on ideas that aren’t fully operational. When Keenan entered the world of the show two weeks ago, it seemed too good to be true, to have such an effective Erlich replacement the week that the world found out that T.J. Miller would be leaving the cast. Haley Joel Osment immediately brought an air of positivity to a season marked by setbacks and frustrated potential. That this new character would also come with an industry-changing, stomach-churning technology like this VR rig seemed like a seasons-long answer to a financial and philosophical problem.

Up next: a fiery Palapa sendoff and the moment we knew Erlich was doomed


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‘Alias’ Secrets Revealed: Talk of a Reunion, Where Jennifer Garner’s Red Hair Came From, and Why No Spin-Off

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No Jennifer Garner, no “Alias.”

That’s the general consensus among the writers who led the charge during the five-season run of “Alias.” Josh Appelbaum, who served as a co-executive producer on the show, said, “it would be amazing to do it. The right idea would have to come. We’ve all talked to J.J. [Abrams] about it.”

But, between that or an “Alias” spinoff, one thing is key: Garner would have to be there in the iconic role of Sydney Bristow. “It felt that if it wasn’t Jen, it wasn’t ‘Alias.'”

Appelbaum was one of several “Alias” writers on stage Saturday at the ATX Television Festival to recount the show’s history.

The panel kicked off with the unlikely story of how Sydney sported bright red hair at the start of “Alias.” Apparently executive producer Abrams (who didn’t make it out to Austin) knew he wanted her to have that hair, but it wasn’t easy.

READ MORE: J.J. Abrams Producing Space Series ‘Glare’ With HBO

Sarah Caplan, who produced the show’s first four seasons, recounted how the show went through three red hair wigs but still couldn’t find the right one. Then one day, Abrams, Caplan and other crewmembers were scouting locations at UCLA when a student walked by with “badly dyed hair,” she recalled. “It was red at the bottom and blonde on top.”

Caplan said she went up to the girl and asked if she could snip a piece of her hair. It wasn’t going to be that easy, however. “She looked at me and goes, ‘No! I’ve grown this hair, it has been with me for 14 years.’ I say, ‘I only want a little piece, we’ll pay you for it!’ She’s very smart. Finally she agrees we can buy a little bit of the hair.”

The problem: Caplan didn’t have much cash on hand. “I rustle $39 from various members of the crew. I gave her the money and was allowed to take a tiny little sample and that’s how it became her hair.”

Ken Olin admitted that “Alias” was a bit convoluted and complicated over the years, but that it was Abrams’ passion to write whatever he wanted and not be constrained by preconceived notions.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock (2014101g)Alias: Season 1 - Victor Garber, Jennifer Garner'Alias: Season 1' TV Series - 2001

“Alias”

Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock

“I thought it was the best pilot I had ever seen,” Olin said. “It was so sure of what it wanted to be, with an incredible sense of humor, an incredible cast, it was so exciting and fantastic. I never read a movie like this, let alone TV.”

Caplan admitted that the Rambaldi storyline – including the “Rambaldi device,” which she called a “spinning tomato” – even confused her over time. “I didn’t know that this would follow me for several years,” she said. “I could not explain it now.”

“Alias” aired from 2001 to 2006, and premiering so soon after 9/11 impacted the show, Olin said. “We were filming on 9/11,” he said. “It was so devastating. It was a cosmic shift in the way all of us live. And there we were, doing a show. I was doing an episode that ended with Sydney in a hood, holding a bomb.”

The writers also reminisced over the time Abrams yelled at them over Sydney being chased into a cornfield as guys shoot at her (“Nobody hits her? What the hell, is this magic corn?”); how Abrams’ obsession with the British version of “The Office” led to Ricky Gervais’ guest spot; how guest star Quentin Tarantino kept accidentally hitting Garner; and how the show had to switch out its post-Super Bowl episode in Season 2 because it was too dark.

READ MORE: Full ATX Television Festival Coverage

The episode that wound up there, which reset the show’s storyline, became an inspiration to the writers, Olin said. “At any moment we could turn the show on its head, and we followed that path.”

Appelbaum also revealed that the show had to cut a big finale storyline at the end of Season 3 because the idea got leaked online. (In the original plan, Sydney was stuck on a mountain with Jack and Vaughn, and after an accident, as they’re dangling on the side, she has to choose which one’s rope to cut.)

When the idea leaked, “we got called back from break to re-do the finale,” remembered Monica Owusu-Breen.

Why did the show have to end after Season 5? “A lot of things go into that,” she said. “Jennifer was a huge star, and now in her 30s, she really wanted a family. It was practical things. After five years her contract was up. It seemed right. We had burned through so much story.”

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‘Battlestar Galactica’ Reunion: Edward James Olmos Says Series was Better Crafted than ‘Blade Runner’ and 7 More Highlights

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It’s only been eight years since “Battlestar Galactica” ended, but based on fans’ fervor at the reunion, one would think it had been light years since the cast last gathered. A full Paramount Theater in Austin, TX greeted creator Ronald D. Moore and stars, Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, and Michael Trucco for the ATX TV Festival’s closing night panel.

That being said, the cast was feeling nostalgic, and many references were made to how much has changed in the world since they were shooting the iconic sci-fi series. Blockbuster video rentals, internet cafes, and online message boards all played a big part of the memories, and below we’ve collected seven of the most notable anecdotes.

READ MORE: ‘Snowfall’ Premiere: John Singleton on The Rise of Crack During His Youth and Exposing ‘Terrifying’ CIA Operations

“Not even ‘Blade Runner’ was this well crafted.”

Edward James Olmos made his love for the series clear early and often. McDonnell cited how only Olmos would actively promote “Battlestar” on his own time, telling people to watch it whenever he got the chance, and Olmos brought the crowd to its feet at the end of the night — literally — as led a chant of the fan favorite line, “So say we all!”

And to think: When first offered the role, he turned it down.

“I think what got us all was the writing,” Olmos said, after noting how he said “no” to Admiral William Adama before reading the script. “It was brilliant from the first page.”

After accepting, Olmos guided the series toward one of his old films: “Blade Runner.”

“I had a strong understanding of the world, but I got it through ‘Blade Runner,'” Olmos said, adding that he wanted the producers to go after “that understanding” for “Battlestar.”

And for Olmos, his TV opus surpassed the aesthetic design of one of film’s most visually stunning works.

“Not even ‘Blade Runner’ was this well crafted,” he said. “Because the story was so deep.”

READ MORE: ‘The Leftovers’ Creators Discuss Finale Reactions and Give a Few More Unexpected Answers

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sci-Fi Channel/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886263bq)James Callis, Tricia HelferBattlestar Galactica - 2003Director: Michael RymerSci-Fi ChannelUSATelevision

Everyone auditioned a lot.

A common theme of the night was the secretive process of the show’s producers, led by Ronald D. Moore. Sackhoff got the ball rolling by noting how hard it was for her to land the part. Not only was she in her early 20s at the time, going out for a role meant for a 35-year-old, but she kept getting called in and kept being asked to change certain things.

“I think I auditioned six or seven times,” Sackhoff said. “I cut my hair in the process. I took off my stilettos because I guess Starbuck doesn’t wear them.”

Sackhoff then remembered being told to watch the original series by her father, going down to to the “internet cafe,” paying “my $11.99 for one hour,” and logging into a chat room to see what people thought of the character she was up to play.

“And I learned in that moment: Fuck ’em,” Sackhoff said.

While Starbuck may have been more scrutinized than other characters, she wasn’t alone in the lengthy audition process.

“I auditioned so many times for this show,” Callis said. “Why don’t they make it as difficult to become the president?”

Helfer also said she went on “many, many, many auditions,” and Park was upset she didn’t land the role she originally wanted.

“When I was told I got Boomer, I was pissed,” Park said. “I was like, ‘Who the F is Boomer?'”

READ MORE: ‘Fargo’: Noah Hawley Explains the Season 3 Connections to Past Seasons, ‘The Leftovers,’ and ‘The Big Lebowski’

Continue reading for the biggest mistake of the series, favorite scenes, and more.


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Ted Sarandos, Jerry Seinfeld, and 10 Ways Netflix Blew Up the Entertainment Business

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In the last five years, Netflix Chef Content Officer Ted Sarandos has blown up old television and movie models. And judging from the audience that packed Fox’s Zanuck Theatre on the first day of this year’s Produced By Conference, the industry is coming around to his way of thinking.

With his new star, Jerry Seinfeld, as a brilliant interrogator (he moved his series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” from Sony’s Crackle to Netflix for its 10th season), the executive was applauded several times as Seinfeld asked pointed questions.

Bob Einstein and Jerry Seinfeld, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee"

Bob Einstein and Jerry Seinfeld, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”

Crackle

A one-time “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” Sunday-night binge-watcher and Superstar Video staffer in Phoenix, Arizona, Sarandos is now the biggest content creator in Hollywood as Netflix now boasts 100 million subscribers worldwide. And he easily won over the room.

Here’s how he did it.

1. Match little movies to their audience

On Netflix, which is available in 190 countries, the audience and demographic is so huge and wide that it’s easy for the streaming site to match audiences for obscure foreign movies with avid cinephiles, said Sarandos: “We want to put things that are relevant in front of the right audience.”

2. Let American comedy and politics travel 

The numbers told Netflix that, contrary to the old Hollywood maxim that comedy doesn’t play overseas, each time Adam Sandler movies appeared on the site they immediately went to number one in every country, no matter how poorly they had bombed at the domestic box office. That’s why Netflix made a lucrative original movie deal with Sandler.

In the case of Season One of “House of Cards,” which cost $100 million, the Washington D.C. political intrigue drama series played well all over the world, said Sarandos, because “it’s a Shakespearean drama about sex, power, and greed.”

3. Don’t worry about opening weekends or China

Netflix doesn’t have to worry about opening well on a given weekend, or gearing the subject matter so it will play well in China. “That narrows what it can be about,” Sarandos said, “and limits what you can do.” (Three countries don’t have Netflix: China, Syria, and North Korea.)

brad pitt marchine

Brad Pitt in “War Machine”

That makes him free to make movies the studios wouldn’t back, like Martin Scorsese gangster drama “The Irishman” with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, or political satires from Bong Joon Ho (“Okja,” starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal) and David Michôd (“War Machine,” starring Brad Pitt). “War Machine” rocketed to their most-watched movie in 190 countries when it first came out, a bigger initial audience than “World War Z” when it first hit the Netflix pay TV window.

4.  Don’t worry about advertising demos

Take away the need to sell ads, and you lose TV’s narrow demographics and give television the ability to be whatever it wants to be, whenever someone wants it. And skipping pilots and ordering full series (“like a movie,” said Sarandos) makes it possible for the whole season to be available at once. That’s what distinguishes Netflix from other TV.

5. Don’t give notes

When Seinfeld complained about having to listen to 70 people’s notes on a TV series, Sarandos said not only is Netflix is too small for that, but also when they decide to move forward with something they only act as a sounding board when the creatives need it. Said Sarandos: “Our art is picking the right stories and storytellers, and giving them the environment to do their best work.” (Huge applause.)

At this point, Seinfeld suggested that the entire room was about to rush the stage. “Our teams are involved in the process only on an invited basis,” said Sarandos.


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‘Fargo’ Creator Noah Hawley On Whether There Will Be a Season 4

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No one likes to think about their favorite shows ending, even their creators. But when FX Networks President John Landgraf said “there may never be another ‘Fargo,'” during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, speculation began to run rampant.

Creator Noah Hawley, during his first public appearance since the interview, was asked about that statement during a “Fargo” panel at the ATX TV Festival in the creator’s hometown of Austin, Texas.

“Am I sure there’s going to be a fourth season of ‘Fargo’?” Hawley said. “Here’s the thing: I wasn’t sure there was going to be a second season, and I wasn’t sure there was going to be a third season until I had an idea I really liked.

“I have a network that said to me at the end of Season 1, ‘You know, if you want to leave it there, it’s been a successful experiment, and we would be OK with that,'” he said. “But then we had a story and made that. Fifteen months later that aired, and it took me a while to come up with a story for the third year, and 18 months later we’ve got a third year.”

READ MORE: Why Do Machines Hate Carrie Coon on ‘Fargo’ and ‘The Leftovers’?

Hawley gave his best guess: “If an idea comes, we would do another. [But] I’m certainly aware of the danger of overstaying your welcome and the danger of repeating yourself. […] I feel like there’s a zeitgeist for an idea, and there’s just a certain amount of story that you can tell in that vain.”

Hawley’s statement is in line with what we’ve come to expect from auteur-driven television: It’s not a yes, it’s not a no. He’s just thinking about it.

Noah Hawley and Damon Lindelof'Fargo' TV show FYC event, Panel, Los Angeles, USA - 11 May 2017

Networks like FX and HBO have made it a habit to respect their talent’s wishes as best they can, with FX allowing Louis C.K. to take long breaks from “Louie” (including the possibly permanent hiatus it’s in now) and HBO waiting for Larry David to decide when “Curb Your Enthusiasm” comes back, and waiting patiently for Nic Pizzolatto to put together “True Detective” Season 3 (with the help of David Milch, perhaps).

Similarly, as Hawley noted, the three seasons of “Fargo” haven’t been released regularly. There’s a bit of extra space afforded to the production in order to help ensure high quality. Season 1 debuted in April 2014; Season 2 in October 2015, and Season 3 in April 2017. That means if there is a Season 4, it’s likely a long way off.

READ MORE: ‘Fargo’ and ‘The Leftovers’ Collide as Damon Lindelof Interviews Noah Hawley, Ewan McGregor and Carrie Coon

That extended release timeline factors in how much Hawley has on his plate. In addition to his “Fargo” duties (as showrunner, executive producer, and writer), he created and ran another TV show in 2017 — the well-received FX drama, “Legion.” He’s been toying with adapting Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle” as an FX limited series, and he’s on the hook to executive produce two more book adaptations for the network.

Hawley is also adapting his latest novel — “Before the Fall,” which was published just last year — into a feature film, and he has other feature projects in development as well.

While we don’t know what all this means definitively, Hawley was clear he didn’t see his interest in crime stories drying up any time soon.

“The flexibility and the range of riffing around a crime story — how you can try to understand the meaning of the universe, in a way — I love telling stories in this vain. I just haven’t thought of another one yet,” he said.

“Watch next week,” Hawley said of the upcoming season finale. “It might be the last. It might not be.”

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Bill Maher (Eventually) Apologizes For Use of Racial Slur on HBO’s ‘Real Time’

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With his reputation — and potentially his job — in the balance, tonight Bill Maher initially ducked around the expected apology for using a racial slur on last week’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Barely addressing the controversy in his traditional opening monologue, Maher faced the studio audience and HBO viewers by saying, “Thank you for letting a sinner in your midst” before turning the conversation to “someone worse than me — Donald Trump.”

READ MORE: Bill Maher Used the N-Word on ‘Real Time’ Last Night, and People Applauded — Watch

The comedian then proceeded to go hard on Trump in the aftermath of Thursday’s Comey hearings in his opening remarks. “Is he too stupid to be President?” Maher asked his audience.

However, this was followed by a sit-down interview with author Michael Eric Dyson, in which Maher immediately made this request: “I want you to school me — I did a bad thing.”

The academic then proceeded to speak honestly to Maher about the current state of racial politics, though he was quite sympathetic to Maher as a person. “People don’t think Bill Maher is a racist — what they thought was if even Bill Maher can capitulate to a level of unconscious white privilege, then the rest of us are in a serious spot,” Dyson said.

“Comedians are a special kind of monkey,” was Maher’s follow-up. “We’re a trained thing that tries to get a laugh. That’s what we do, that’s what we’re always thinking.”

“The reason I’m here is… because I think the Bill Maher I know has been on the front line protecting, arguing, standing up for people. You made a mistake, you’ve acknowledged that mistake,” Dyson added.

“We need you, as an ally,” Dyson said at the end of the interview.

Friday night’s episode guest list also included former Congressman David Jolly, CNN analyst David Gregory and activist Symone Sanders. Meanwhile, the mid-episode guest was Ice Cube, who was ready to address his perspective on the controversy during the show’s usual one-on-one discussion.

“What made you think it was cool to say that?” Cube asked Maher. “I accept your apology, but I still think we need to get to the root of the psyche, because I think there are a lot of guys out there who cross the line who are a little too familiar, or think they’re a little too familiar… It’s a word that has been used against us — it’s like a knife. It can be used as a weapon, or it can be used as a tool. And it’s been used as a weapon against us by white people and we’re not going to let that happen again by nobody because it’s not cool… That’s our word now, and you can’t have it back.”

“Some things just ain’t funny,” Cube added. “I like your show but I think this is a teachable moment, not just for you but for everyone watching.”

READ MORE: CNN Cancels Reza Aslan’s ‘Believer’ — And That Might Be A Warning to The Network’s Other Hosts

This episode comes in the immediate wake of the announcement earlier Friday afternoon that former CNN host Reza Aslan was fired from the network after comments he made on Twitter about President Trump.

Maher’s current deal with HBO runs through 2018. We will update this post with video as soon as HBO makes it available.

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Donald Trump vs. ‘The Wire’: David Simon Explains Why He Believes the President is Guilty

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James Comey’s testimony inspired a ton of reactions on Twitter from television’s top showrunners yesterday. David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and the upcoming HBO porn series “The Deuce,” was one such voice. “No one is a named suspect until they are implicated to the point where you are required to say so,” Simon tweeted. “For Comey to declare POTUS a suspect prematurely is to impair an ongoing probe in an incompetent fashion. His not doing so is not exculpatory or accusing.”

READ MORE: James Comey Testimony: The 6 Images That Made It the Best TV Movie of the Summer

But Simon hardly stopped there. The showrunner has been an outspoken critic of Trump throughout election season and the first months of his Presidency, and he spent much of yesterday explaining how he knows President Trump is guilty of complying with Russian interference in a heated Twitter thread.

Before starting production on “The Wire,” Simon spent a year shadowing real detectives and learned that the truth is often found in what people don’t say. Applying that mentality to Trump makes it very clear what our President is guilty of.

“Note what isn’t discussed Trump and Comey,” Simon said. “At no point does Trump make any concerted effort to discern whether or not Russia did in fact attempt to interfere in the election. Indeed, he notes that the claim has created a cloud over his governance — so he can scarcely say that it isn’t of real concern to him.”

Simon’s ultimate conclusion: “Trump already knows that there is some fixed amount of Russian interference on his behalf, and possibly, collusion as well.”

The entire Twitter thread is well worth your time today. You can read the entire thing by clicking on the embed below.

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‘The Leftovers’ Creators Discuss Finale Reactions and Give a Few More Unexpected Answers

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In the days that have followed “The Leftovers” finale, the creative team behind it has been offering quite a few answers. We’ve learned that Grace (Lindsay Duncan) went to jail, but Senior (Scott Glenn) did not. We found out the reason Laurie didn’t kill herself. We even know the one question that won’t be answered.

But how have the creators felt about the reaction to the finale?

“I’m just really relieved no one asked me if they were dead the whole time,” Damon Lindelof said, speaking at the ATX Festival on Thursday afternoon.

Lindelof has a history with ambiguous answers, but he — along with fellow co-creator Tom Perrotta and director/producer Mimi Leder — gave quite a few definitive ones during the hour-long panel. Led by Variety TV Critic Mo Ryan, the trio revealed a few secrets about the finale as well as the series that preceded it. Below are the highlights.

READ MORE: ‘The Leftovers’: 7 Unambiguous, Post-Finale Facts from Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, and the Creators

Mimi Leder on "The Leftovers" set Season 3 Series Finale

Reactions to the Reactions

Aside from Lindelof’s “Lost” joke, the group expressed deep sincerity for both the writing done by critics and viewers throughout the series’ run, but especially following the finale.

“It humbled me, and it made me cry a lot,” Leder said. “It’s a joy to read everything that’s being written.”

“The show has been a lot about faith and religion, and I think the finale put that into action,” Perrotta said. “It asked the viewers and the characters to believe in a story.”

“Everyone who believes Nora’s story just joined a religion,” he added, smiling.

“I think it does feel epic,” Lindelof said, crediting Leder’s direction and Carrie Coon’s performance for bringing a simple story to dramatic life. “On the page, it says Nora climbs the hill and frees the goat, but you and Carrie made it so much more. And the goat is OK.”

READ MORE: ‘The Leftovers’: Damon Lindelof on the ‘Tremendous’ Debate Over the Finale’s Biggest Twist — ‘Everybody Was Depressed’

But What About That Story?

Though most of the conversation focused on the series from a broader perspective, the first audience question focused on belief and whether or not we’re meant to trust Nora’s final story.

“It was the most important moment in the whole series,” Leder said, noting how they did a few takes, but Coon and Justin Theroux really nailed it from the start.

Perrotta got a little more specific in discussing Kevin’s reaction to Nora’s shocking tale.

“Any story that allows her to come out of her isolation and be with him is OK by him,” Perrotta said. “It’s not so much a matter of truth as just pragmatics.”

The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 4 Nora Carrie Coon gif

Nora as a guilty remnant

The same audience member asked the creators to talk about the moment directly preceding Nora’s story: when she took out a cigarette, aimed to light up, and then put it away.

Though it could be explained practically by Kevin’s heart condition (and Nora not wanting to hurt him), Lindelof agreed that the simple act was meant to be a powerful indicator of Nora’s vulnerability. By smoking, she was accepting her self-ascribed fate as a lone individual; one who was going to stay that way. By putting it away, she was opening up the door to Kevin, if he happened to believe her.

Lindelof, noting an article he read online, said he was struck by the idea that Nora wasn’t part of the Guilty Remnant, but was a guilty remnant herself. She was leftover and remained torn up about it — all the way through her final story.

And there were GR markers in the scene: She was talking, yes, but she also wore white and pulled out a pack of cigarettes, Lindelof said. “Her decision to stop smoking is her decision to come out of the Guilty Remnant.”

Continue reading for an ideal explanation of the Guilty Remnant and thoughts on more seasons…


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