She is mature beyond her years, creative and brooding with an overactive mind. She is somewhat of a loner who prefers reading, writing, and observing the world around her. Leah makes a concerning connection with an author twenty years her senior and an illegal, not to mention damaging, relationship develops between them.
Leah attends the East Bay Academy of Art in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an only child and lives with her parents, Kurt and Maryann Rilke. In the second grade, Leah was bitten by a snake in her backyard, leading to a lifetime fear of garden hoses because she didn't realize it was a snake. After a particularly bad breakup, Leah's grades start sliding downhill and she withdraws into herself. Her parents send her to the retreat hoping to get their little girl back.
Throughout the Series
En route to the Dawn of Eve retreat in Hawaii, nine teenage girls, including Leah, are stranded on a remote island when their plane crashes.
Flashbacks show Leah's life before the crash: she had a romantic and sexual relationship with Jeffrey, a novelist in his 30s; when Jeffrey discovered that Leah had lied about being 18 years old, he immediately broke off the relationship, leaving Leah distraught.
In flashforwards, sometime after being rescued from the island, Leah is being debriefed by FBI investigators Daniel Faber and Dean Young. She tells them that while everyone else was asleep, Jeanette's phone started ringing from her grave. Leah used it to call Jeffrey, but was too anxious to say anything before the phone died.
Leah tells the others about Jeanette's phone, but does not tell them she called Jeffrey.
Leah, with Rachel and Nora, swims out to the plane wreckage in an attempt to find more supplies. Rachel and Leah make numerous dives in an attempt to retrieve the plane's flight recorder; Rachel nearly drowns Leah by holding her underwater. They eventually retrieve the flight recorder and the girls argue over whether to open it; they eventually vote to open it, and listen to the recording of the pilot calling for help as the plane crashes.
Back at camp, Fatin and Leah reconcile and burn Leah's copy of Jeffrey's book. That night, the girls go to bury Jeanette's body deeper, but discover it missing.
In flashbacks, Leah's friend Ian tries to kiss her during a camping trip, but she storms off when he criticizes Jeffrey's treatment of her; later, she accuses Ian of telling Jeffrey she was under 18. Leah is later hit by a car after attending a party; at the hospital her parents express their worries about her depression.
In flashforwards, Faber talks with Leah in her room; he criticizes her tendency to obsessiveness and paranoia and eventually has her sedated.
Leah tries to swim away from the island; Rachel dives in and saves her from drowning. That night, Leah discovers Nora talking to Gretchen's team— she is the surviving informant. Leah pretends to not remember what she saw the next day.
In flashforwards, Leah reads a note from Shelby: "You were right."
Unable to prove to the others that Nora knew they were stranded intentionally, Leah tries to get information about Nora from Rachel. Rachel snaps at Leah, but later Rachel and Leah reconcile and find a crate of party supplies in the sea.
In flashforwards, Leah promises to help Raf escape and persuades him to confide in her. Afterward, she confronts Faber and offers to help get information from Raf if whoever is in charge will help her in return; Gretchen accepts her offer. Young and Faber promise to allow Leah to phone Jeffrey if she can get Raf to tell her what happened later that night. He tells her the events of the day, but before he can finish, she whispers, "They're listening".
Leah begins experiencing hallucinations of Ben Folds.
She is smart, irritable, witty, cuddly and determined. Leah is imaginative and analytic, sometimes to a fault. Leah can become obsessed and accusatory which she tries to manage for the sake of her and those around her. Guilt consumes her because of her obsessive tendencies. Leah does not do well being gaslight, and often takes it on those gaslighting her.
Amazon's Character Description
Mature beyond her years, creative and brooding with an overactive mind, Leah is somewhat of a loner who prefers reading, writing, and observing the world around her. Leah makes an unexpected connection with a famous author twenty years her senior, and a risqué relationship develops between them .
Leah is 5’9 with striking blue eyes and medium brown hair. She has a small scar on her eyebrow. In many of her scenes before the island, she is seen wearing a small brown leather hamsa bracelet.
Ian Murnen is her best friend back home. They have been friends for more than six years and attend school together, and he seems to notice when Leah begins to form an attachment to Jeffrey. Ian has a crush on Leah and kisses her when they go camping together. Leah kisses him back, but begins to cry and gets upset and leaves when Ian speaks ill of Jeffrey. She later accuses Ian of being the one to send Jeffrey her birth certificate and demands that he call him and tell him that he won't say anything. Ian doesn't because it wasn't him.
Despite their falling out it is Ian that Leah calls, when given the chance to get a message to the outside world from the bunker. He starts investigating the Dawn of Eve retreat which leads him to Gretchen's son Devon and eventually goes to the FBI.
Jeffrey Galanis's (The groomer nonce) book was an assigned reading in one of Leah's classes, and she later met the author when he gave a talk at her school. She offered to drive him back to his hotel room when her teacher and Ian couldn't do so, and she ended up inviting him to get food with her so they could hang out more. Leah put her phone number in his flip phone and they began texting. She, however, did not save his phone number in her phone but did memorize it. Later, he sent her a drunken text say how he thought about kissing her. Leah lied and said that she would be turning 18 in two weeks. Leah went to Jeffrey's hotel room and the two had sex. They were together until he found out she lied about her age after receiving a copy of her birth certificate in the mail. This led to him gaslighting her into thinking it was all her fault and she mislead him, despite the fact he came onto her before she lied about her age, and he met her in a high school. Leah took the breakup really hard and begins to withdraw into herself.
Fatin and Leah both attend the East Bay Academy of Art. On the island, Leah is disturbed by Fatin calling out Jeffrey’s predatory behaviour and pushes her, causing her leg to bleed. In anger, Fatin runs her bloody hands down Leah's face and warns her not to touch her again. When Fatin storms out of camp, Leah tells the other girls that they shouldn't go after her. The next morning, Fatin is still missing and they have to go looking for her. Some of the others suggest turning back to the beach after they can't find her, but Leah insists that they have to find her, likely due to some guilt over not going after her and arguing with her previously . Leah is very excited to see Fatin when they finally find her. They later make up on the beach when Fatin gives her a hug, despite Fatin's reservations about friendships with girls. Fatin hugs Leah when they see the plane fly over the beach. Fatin comforts Leah after she attempts to drown herself, and holds her while she cries because she misses her mom. Fatin convinces Leah to take some medicine to calm down.
In season 2, Leah goes through a rough time and Fatin gets frustrated with her, even threatening to kill her in a heated moment, but they quickly get back on good terms. During a performance that Leah was putting on for the rest of the girls, she goes to Fatin and gently cups her face, singing the words "Home is whenever I'm with you", to which she only smiles.
After having a conversation with a hallucination of her childhood crush on a rock in the middle of the ocean, which she was shaken out of by hearing Fatin scream, Leah comes back to the rest of the girls. Fatin tells her to sit down, begins drying her hair with her jacket, and looks at her very affectionately. After Leah asks why Fatin is looking at her like that, she tells Leah that she’s the strongest person she’s ever known. Leah, tired and overwhelmed, smiles ever so slighty and leans forward, closes her eyes and rests her head on Fatin’s chest. Fatin puts her arm around her.
Later, when Fatin isn’t looking, Leah gives her heart eyes.
Fatin is the first person Leah reunites with in the bunker and they hug fiercely.
Leah nearly falls off of a cliff going for the mirror that Rachel dropped while climbing the mountain and the girls struggle to pull her up until Nora helps them. Leah accompanies Rachel and Nora to the plane wreckage and Rachel encourages her to help her get the dive box, even though Leah is exhausted. Rachel is hurt that Leah called her a psychopath. They seem to form a truce after Leah helps pull Rachel out of the quicksand. When Leah goes running out into the ocean, Rachel faces her fears and jumps into the water and pulls her back to shore.
In season 2, Rachel and Leah bond over both being in a very dark place. They work together, using manual labour to keep their thought at bay, ad even make musical instruments together to perform for the girls.
Shelby and Leah do not have a particularly close relationship, but they aren't enemies. Leah looks disappointed in Shelby when she expresses that she believes the gay way of life is a sin. Leah accuses Shelby of being in on whatever is going on on the island, leading Shelby to reveal that she has dentures. At the facility, Shelby demands to see Leah before she talks to Daniel and Young. Shelby and Leah hug where Shelby slips a piece of paper into her shirt reading "you were right."
Nora and Leah have a friendly relationship. Nora comforts Leah after Rachel yells at her about the phone explaining that Rachel didn't mean to. Nora later offers Leah a notebook so she can journal and get her thoughts out. Leah catches Nora late at night speaking to the camera in the tree and Leah puts together that Nora is the one who knows what's going on, but Nora brings Leah back to the campsite for her to fall back asleep and the next morning stays with Leah trying to figure out if she remembers. Leah does remember what happened the night before, but doesn't make it clear to Nora. Later in the day, Leah leaves the group to "use the restroom", but she was really searching for the camera Nora was talking to the night before. Nora follows, and eventually leads Leah into a ditch where Leah falls in. Leah begins to demand that Nora tells her what is going on, but Nora says that the only thing she needs to know is that she's not going to hurt her and that she's safe. Nora leaves Leah, and Leah then yells for her to come back, but Nora never does. Leah climbs out of the ditch and returns back to the beach where the rest of the group is and yells at Nora which catches everyone's attention. Before either of them are able to say something, Martha yells that there's a shark, which switches Nora's attention to her sister who's in the water.
During their sixth day on the island, Martha shows off her healed ankle to Leah, and the conversation soon carries over to Martha asking Leah what being in love feels like. Martha admits to Leah that Fatin read her some parts of Jeffrey's book, and with this Leah assumes Martha's reaction about it to be the same as Fatin's. Martha quickly objects and states that she thought the whole thing was super romantic. Leah then tells her that love is "misery, doubt, and a shit-ton of self-loathing."
Jeanette and Leah both wake up floating in the ocean near the plane wreck. Leah pulls an unconscious Jeanette with her toward the island, saving her from drowning. Leah falls asleep after they arrive on the island, but wakes up to Jeanette over her. Jeanette hugs her and apologizes. Leah sings "Raise a glass” by Pink when they bury Jeanette, prompting the other girls to join in.
- Leah: "Which brings us to the real question, doesn't it? What was so fucking great about the lives we left behind?"
- -- in Day One
- Leah (to Agents Faber and Young): "Remember this when you see the others and you try to figure us out... There is no crazy. There is only damage."
- -- in Day One
- Leah: I’m not, like, a Stanford-bound, Wheaties-box, Olympic-level diver, but I do go after things. If they’re risky, impossible, stupid, or like an absolute recipe for disaster, I’ll... I’ll go after it for sure."
- -- in Day Two
- Leah: "You’re a psychopath."
Rachel: "You should never tell a psychopath they’re a psychopath. It upsets them. "
- -- in Day Three
Leah: I'm ready to bring a game. I have no idea what kind
-- in Day Three
- Leah: "I'm not fucking crazy! I know screaming that did not help my case... but I swear I'm not fucking crazy."
- -- in Day Seven
- Leah: "I'm gonna ask a question and it may not be helpful."
- Dot: "Okay, good. Yeah, definitely do that."
- -- in Day Fifteen
- Fatin (regarding her toothbrush): "It's dying!"
- Leah: "I have never related so much to a toothbrush."
- -- in Day Fifteen
Notes & Trivia
- She has a brown dog and used to have a pet goldfish.
- In 8th grade, Leah convinced her parents to sign her up for a weekend surf clinic in Half Moon Bay. She wasn't interested in surfing-- she just wanted to seem more appealing to her middle-school crush, Brandon P., a surfer boy who loved acoustic guitar and frequently brought his board to school. Leah retained only two pieces of information that weekend: (a) that waves breaking sideways signal riptide conditions, and (b) that in surfer slang, "men in gray suits" means sharks. 
- Leah has been carrying a quarter that Jeff used to scratch off an instant lotto ticket that they bought together. 
- Leah has never seen any group challenges on any reality TV shows ever. She's only marathoned vintage reality TV series with Ian after he found a box set of them in his aunt's storage unit. 
- Leah learned how to swim in Lake Tahoe at a family reunion 
- Leah's more of a crossword puzzle person. She judges people who do Sudoku. 
- Leah's pre-Jeff GPA: 3.7889. Leah's post-Jeff GPA: 2.967 and sinking. Hearts and grades suffer together. 
- Usually, if a goldfish frequently jumps out of its tank, it's because there's something unsuitable about the water -- either it's too dirty or too warm. But not in Leah's case. Young Leah cleaned the tank religiously and kept the water at the recommended 70 degrees. So, either the fish had an adventurous spirit... or maybe it really did have some kind of subconscious death wish. 
- Her previous crushes include singer Ben Folds, Paul her neighbour, Avishar, Jiro, Amanda, Lana Del Rey, Brandon P and Brandon T.
- Field Note #017
- Field Note #041
- Field Note #045
- Field Note #61
- Field Note #65
- Field Note #71
- Field Note #110