The Leftovers is a show that continuously manages to surprise the audience, whether it is to elicit emotion or simply move the story along in an engaging way. Damon Lindelof, king of trolling a television audience in new and creative ways and to the fullest extent, really outdid himself this time though. At the beginning of Season 3, fans were keeping an eye out for a new credits sequence. Since the theme song had switched from the dour tableau of Season 1’s theme to the more upbeat yet slightly mocking “Let The Mystery Be” credits in Season 2, this was to be expected. But most were disappointed as there was no opening credits at all for the first episode, and everyone would have to wait and see what Lindelof could possibly have up his sleeve for the final season.
Suffice to say, he delivered in a big way. The second episode of the show’s third season not only opened with new credits, it opened with perfect new credits. Perfect Strangers credits that is. While the opening credits imagery stayed the same from last season, the song is now the Perfect Strangers theme song and the fact that Lindelof actually went there — while not entirely unexpected because he’s him — caught everyone watching off guard and elicited a lot of laughter and exclamations when people realized what was going on.
The theme song change wasn’t just a lark, as any long time fans know, and the decision to hold off until the second episode of the season set everybody up for the more dramatic in-episode payoff to the long-running Perfect Strangers throughline of the show. The credits update made everyone laugh, and Perfect Strangers‘ Mark Linn-Baker put forth a performance that put many through the emotional ringer (with an assist from Carrie Coon, of course). Not everybody was caught off guard though, as a YouTube video that was uploaded before this episode was even out in the world proves.
Props to that fan, who probably wasn’t reading Lindelof’s mind when they guessed it would happen but was just wishing that something this perfect would actually come to fruition. When it comes to the blatant trolling of committed fans, Damon Lindelof is the undisputed best.