Summary: Nora and Kevin arrive in Australia. Nora goes to meet with the doctors in charge of the machine. She passes their tests except the last one so they don't accept her. Kevin imagines Evie's face on an innocent woman and confronts her. He calls Laurie who shows Kevin his mistake. Kevin returns home to Nora and tries to talk to her but they both end up in a fight and go their separate ways. Kevin Sr. finds Kevin.
The Good: I enjoyed this episode quite a bit as I seem to do with every single instalment on this show.
The standout storyline here was definitely Kevin imagining Evie's face onto someone else. This story was effective because we genuinely didn't know if Evie was there or not since we technically didn't see her die with the rest of the GR. And Kevin is usually a trustworthy source so it let me believe at times that Evie may actually be there. However I really like the twist that Kevin is imagining her as a result of his own issues with Nora and his family. It fits the character and created a really moving scene when Kevin realized that he had imagined Evie's existence. I also liked how Laurie pretty much read right into Kevin and why he imagined Evie. It definitely feels like she was bang on about why Kevin went to Australia and how he wants to escape. We know from the first two episodes that Kevin and Nora are both broken and we get further exploration of that here.
Now on Nora's side, her story isn't as moving or exciting but it still delivers. We can really see that Nora may have actually considered going into the machine because, like Kevin, she wants to escape her life and she isn't happy. The scenes with the doctors were also quite interesting as we got to learn more about the machine and also got some answers regarding the man who killed himself in the previous episode.
These two storylines ended up culminating in a very good ending scene. We get to see the steps it takes to get to that huge fight scene in the episode from the airport to the hotel and it makes it feel real that Kevin and Nora would end up splitting up. We see lots of conflict begin with a simple thing: a lack of communication. Nora doesn't tell Kevin much of anything and hides the smuggling of money from him, Kevin never told Nora about his afterlife experience and more occur to sow the seeds of their break up. That way by the end of the episode, the split feels earned and not forced. It also helps that the scene was beautifully shot and the music score was brilliant, though I did have some problems with it (see: The Bad).
I liked a few other small things too. I enjoyed being able to see more between John and Laurie. I was also happy with seeing the man who desperately needed to go to Antarctica. It adds more realism to the world to show us that there are more people than just Kevin Sr. with crazy ideas to save the world.
The Bad: There were a few flaws though that bring down the score of this episode. First of all, I didn't feel the emotion I should have felt when Kevin and Nora broke up. I think I have to blame this on the fact that we didn't see them together and happy for long enough. Honestly the story where Nora ran away from Kevin in the previous season really hurts their break up scene here because we have learned that these 2 aren't exactly a great couple. By showing us so much conflict and not enough happiness between these 2, it makes a split seem inevitable. Because of this, when the happened it felt more like "this was a long time coming" instead of "oh no this is tragic", which is what I think they were going for. I'm not saying the scene was poor, as it definitely did affect me but I just think it wasn't as powerful as it should be. When compared to the other emotional scenes like Grace's story in the last episode, this scene honestly falls short.
The timeline inconsistencies continue to annoy in this episode. We learn that Kevin never told Nora about his trip to the afterlife. Why? Why would he tell Matt instead of Nora who he swore to tell everything to? We desperately needed some context here. It also came as a surprise to me that Nora doesn't know about Kevin's experiences which it really shouldn't have been.
The Unknown: Just a couple odd questions.
Is the Antarctica guy possibly legit? Unlikely.
Why did Nora fail the test? What is the right answer to the question? Is there no right answer? The other guy who was turned down said the opposite of what Nora did. It's left me rather confused and I hope to get some clarity in the final few episodes.
Will Kevin and Nora eventually get back together? Or are they done for good now?
Best Moment: I will honestly say Kevin realizing Evie isn't Evie was the best moment. I just thought the last scene was a little underwhelming because of the massive standards set by this show.
Character of the Episode: I'll say Kevin for his Evie storyline which was excellent. Justin Theroux killed it in the role as always.
Conclusion: This was another very strong episode. Though there were some bad things, I think the good stuff definitely outweighed it and still made this good television. But this is a little disappointing as it feels like this should have been great television but it didn't quite reach that level. But overall, this episode is another win for The Leftovers.