'Departure' Season Two: How Christopher Plummer's Character Has Been Written Off

Christopher Plummer died on February 5, 2021, at the age of 91, leaving behind seven decades of work in TV and film.

The actor's final role onscreen is in Canadian drama Departure, in which he played lead Howard Lawson, who is the senior manager of the Transport Safety and Investigations Bureau (TSIB) and works alongside Kendra Malley (Archie Panjabi).

Plummer had finished filming all of his scenes for the show's second season prior to his death, according to TVLine, and in the show he remains in one location the entire time.

When filming first began in September 2020, Toronto City News reported that the actor had decided to shoot his scenes from his own home in Connecticut because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, Plummer told the publication of filming from his and wife Elaine Taylor's house: "I don't have to go anywhere or lift a finger. I'm thrilled."

Christopher Plummer in Departure
Christopher Plummer as Howard Lawson in "Departure" season one. Ben Mark Holzberg/Shaftesbury/Greenpoint Productions/Peacock

How was Christopher Plummer's absence from the set of Departure season two explained?

In season one, Plummer's Howard was arrested following his and British Global Air CEO Ethan Moreau's involvement in the disappearance of a passenger plane over the Atlantic Ocean.

Following this turn of events, showrunners used the aftermath of Howard's actions as a way to explain his absence from the TSIB's investigation into a high-speed train crash in season two.

The second season's first episode sees Kendra speak to Howard on the phone, where he reveals he has been put under house arrest and can't travel because of an ankle bracelet he is wearing.

Howard remains at his home for the entirety of the six-part second season, appearing briefly throughout the course of the show to discuss the investigation with Kendra.

How was Christopher Plummer's character written off in Departure season two?

During the finale, Howard reveals that he has an illness that he had been keeping a secret from Kendra, who asks him why he hadn't told her before.

In a moving final scene between the two characters, Howard said: "When you're close to the end, things you thought were important turn out to be not important in the least, in the end all that matters are the people that you'd care for, the lives you affected."

Howard adds that Kendra was the "closest to a family [he] ever had" and he apologizes for betraying her trust in the first season.

Kendra then reflects on how her success as an investigator in the TSIB is thanks to his mentorship, before saying goodbye to him for the final time.

Departure season one and two is available to stream now on Peacock.