Three years after the disappearance of 2% of the global population, a group of people from New York struggle to continue their lives, while they cope with the tragedy of the unexplained nature of the event.
Three years after millions of people--some 2% of the world's population--vanished into thin air, residents of Mapleton, NY weigh the pros and cons of a 'Heroes Day' tribute to the local 'Departed.' Attempting to maintain a sense of normalcy in his strained community, police chief Kevin Garvey faces additional challenges at home.
In the wake of a series of disturbing encounters, Kevin pays a visit to a therapist. Tom finds himself in a precarious situation with Christine, a favorite of Wayne's. A frustrated Meg is asked to part with pieces of her past. Jill and Aimee tail Nora Durst, who became a local celebrity when her entire family disappeared in the Departure.
In the face of dwindling church attendance and threats on his life, the Rev. Matt Jamison continues to preach his gospel: that many who disappeared in the Departure were sinners and not saints. Matt's campaign is detoured when he learns he may lose the church to foreclosure, forcing him to launch a desperate, last-minute plan to come up with the cash to keep it.
A holiday display goes wanting, sending Kevin scurrying to find out who is responsible. Tom and Christine run into trouble at a hospital and on the road. Kevin retrieves a surprise detainee from a neighboring police station, and receives some unexpected visitors at home. The Guilty Remnant puts their stamp on the holiday season.
Laurie's resolve is put to the test in the wake of a brutal hate crime. After his latest initiatives to maintain peace in Mapleton fall short, Kevin turns down an outside offer to rid the town of its problems. Matt brings his pulpit to the street. Meg takes on a new role.
Nora takes care of some unfinished business in Mapleton before heading to New York for the Second Annual DROP conference (Departure Related Occupations and Practices). Agitated that her ID has been pinched, Nora, wearing a 'Guest' badge, scours the convention for her imposter, and ends up getting detoured by an amorous salesman, a best-selling author, and a rogue attendee.
After learning his father has escaped the psychiatric hospital, Kevin orders an APB to track him down. Jill attempts to break an endurance record. Holed up in Indiana, a disillusioned Tom makes an unsettling discovery.
Kevin fears he's losing touch with reality after finding himself, inexplicably, in a difficult situation involving Patti Levin, a leader of the Guilty Remnant. Meg loses control during another encounter with Matt; Jill confronts Aimee about her relationship with Kevin; Nora stands up to Laurie, and finds her privacy invaded.
Kevin tries to suppress his bad habits while tracking down a marauding deer in Mapleton. Laurie receives some not-unexpected news amidst a rising sense of foreboding. Tom connects with his past, against his better judgment. Nora has a job interview; Kevin Senior receives an honor.
An unexpected ally helps Kevin get out of a jam near the town of Cairo. Meanwhile, an elaborate Memorial Day initiative by the Guilty Remnant plunges the town of Mapleton into chaos. Holy Wayne grants a final wish; Tom copes with his new reality; Nora makes a life-changing decision.