The Leftovers – Lily is the key of everything

Hi everyone! Every time I start a “The Leftovers” rewatch I think there won’t be anything new for me to find out and to freak out about, and every time I’m wrong. Every time I start watching it again I find new secrets, details that make the story even more mysterious and beautiful.

This time I have tried to focus my attention on Wayne and Lily‘s characters. In every episode of Season Two we tend to focus on Kevin and his whole “Patti-Hotel” situation, and that’s right, that’s the main storyline. What I found surprising in my seventh rewatch (I know…) is the super important role of these two characters, that seem to be secondary and less important for the whole duration of both seasons. They almost seem to be waiting to become a huge and important part of the future storyline. If we try to focus on Lily more closely, we can clearly see that her role is anything but secondary in Season Two, but in fact she could be the key to all those mysteries we can’t explain yet. To fully understand this character’s nature we have to go back to Wayne.


Wayne’s character is introduced in Season One. We don’t know much about him: we know his name, Wayne Henry Gilchrest, and his power of healing people through hugs. What makes his story even more mysterious is his predilection for Asian girls. Indeed, right in the middle of Season One, we find out that Christine isn’t the only Asian girl to be pregnant with Wayne’s child: when Tom is told to leave money in a mailbox, he finds out that it’s intended for another boy just like him, whose job is to protect another pregnant Asian girl.

We can’t be sure about the existence of other couples of boys and Asian pregnant girls, but we may reasonably think that Wayne got a lot of girls pregnant and entrusted them to other boys like Tom. Since the beginning of Season One everyone is wondering “why only Asian girls?”. At this point of the story I think that this is the wrong question. It’s Wayne’s way to mislead us, making us focus our attention on the girls, rather than on the boys. In one of his speeches, Tom says he had met Wayne one last time after finding himself alone with the baby. It was then that Wayne told him “where to bring the baby and whom to entrust her to”. So, knowing that Lily will become Kevin’s adoptive child, we can assume that this was Wayne’s plan from the very beginning, and that his actual targets were the boys themselves and their families, rather than the girls. Choosing only Asian girls as mothers of his babies was a perfect way to mislead Tom and the other boys, in order that they couldn’t possibly understand that in fact he was aiming at them and their families. He made the girls’ ethnicity the common denominator in order to fool us all and make us believe they were special, distractng our attention from the boys. The reason behind all this is still unclear, but we can get there watching all the little hints the creators left for us:

  1. Christine and the other asian girl called their babies “the bridge, the one.

    This makes us think that Lily and the other babies are important and have a very specific role in the storyline. We are told that the Orphan’s Well in Miracle is the Axis Mundi (the connection between the earth and the sky), and we know for sure that it leads from the world of the living to the world of the dead.  The “bridge” thus becomes a very important symbol, crucial for a full understanding of the story. A bridge indeed, the one connecting Miracle to Jarden, is the target of the Guilty Remnant: they want to break down the only barrier that prevents people to reach Miracle and feel safe in the only place on earth where no one had disappeared on October 14th.

    And this is also the exact same bridge where Lily gets stolen from Nora by the girl with the snake tattoo (a clear reference to Season Two Episode One, where a big snake tries to steal the baby from the cave woman).

  2. In Season Two Episode Six, Kevin confesses to Nora that he has visions of Patti, and he admits he started seeing her right after Lily’s arrival.

    “It started happening right after we found Lily”
  3. In Episode Ten Mary Jamison is finally awake and conscious. In “International Assassin” it’s clear that she is in the mysterious hotel, as if her consciousness were temporarily belonging to the other side (we know for sure it is possibile to go back from that dimension). In this scene, we can clearly see that she wakes up as Lily touches her for the first time.What if Lily is really “the bridge” between the world of the living and the world of the dead? What if she’s meant to be a liaison between the living and the dead? If this were the case, Wayne’s mission would have been this since the beginning: to give his gifted babies to people with crucial families, like Kevin, who lives in proximity of an Axis Mundi and travels to the other side, first of all to get rid of Patti and then to connect to his real self again. And what if there were other Axis Mundi in the world? Wayne might have sent each of his babies to each special place on earth, so that they could help the chosen ones like Kevin to accomplish their mission. In this case, Christine and the other girls leaving their babies would be part of Wayne’s plan from the very beginning, in order that they could be given to the right families. 

    The real meaning of this mission is still unclear, but we’ll surely find out in Season Three. So far we can certantily stop condisering Lily a secondary character, for she really might be the key to all mysteries

  • Katie

    Super interesting. The only thing I would add is that I think Wayne doesn’t have a plan. He is following something that prompts him, shows him. He himself doesn’t have a master plan and probably doesn’t even know what is fully happening. But he is sensitive to something or someone guiding him….like Kevin’s Father, the bald man who helped Kevin attack Patti and kill her because it’s part of Kevin’s path to have to get rid of Patti via Virgil and the other side (Axis Mundi). None of the humans know what is going on….but like LOST, there so much interconnectivity it is mind boggling. And there is something unseen guiding these events and actions. Wayne is sensitive to that.