Ever since I started writing episode-by-episode reviews in 2017, I always wanted to take the effort to create a massive post covering my thoughts on an entire TV show. After completing my reviews on “The Leftovers” back in September 2017, I decided that this show would be the first that I covered with an extremely lengthy blog post. Now, over a year later, I’m finally getting around to it. I plan to do more massive reviews like this one in the future for shows that I have finished watching, and I hope there won’t be such a large gap like this one between my final episode review and the series review of a particular show. I expect that you will get 3 series reviews from me in the next year covering “Game of Thrones”, “Person of Interest” and “13 Reasons Why”.
My review will be divided into two parts. The first part will be a spoiler-free section covering my thoughts on the series as a whole without delving into specifics. Afterwards, I will focus on each season of the show individually, giving spoiler-filled thoughts about what I liked and what I didn’t like. If you haven’t seen the show before, don’t read past the large SPOILERS text included below.
Note: I will not have an overall score for the series or each season like I do for the individual episodes. Furthermore, the average scores that I’ve given each season are just that: averages. They may not accurately reflect my overall feelings about a season of television. Now, on to the review!
Summary: Created by Damon Lindelof (Lost), “The Leftovers” came to our TV screens in 2014 on HBO with one 10 episode season. Shortly after, it was renewed for a second 10 episode season which was followed by a final 8 episode season. The show originated from a 336-page novel written by Tom Perrota that was published in 2011. The novel was adapted into the first season of the show, whereas season 2 and 3 featured original and new content. The show stars Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Chris Zylka, Margaret Qualley, Ann Dowd, Liv Tyler, Scott Glenn, John Carroll and Regina King.
The story of “The Leftovers” surrounded an event called The Departure where 2% of the world’s population suddenly vanished without any given reason. The show examines the 98% who were left behind and the different ways that the grief of these characters manifested over time. The show specifically takes place in small-town Mapleton and focuses on the Garvey family.
The show’s ratings were strong in its first season, averaging over 1.5 million viewers per episode, without a single episode having ratings of under 1 million. After that, the ratings took a relatively sharp decline in season 2, with over the season 2 premiere being watched by 50% fewer people than the season 1 finale. The average ratings for season 2 plummeted down to 0.70 million viewers. The show wouldn’t cross over 1 million viewers in an episode again until the series finale.
Despite its falling ratings, the show received more and more praise from critics as it went on. The show featured a very average score of 65% on metacritic in its first season, which grew to 80% in season 2 and an impressive 98% in season 3, which was named the #1 best TV season in 2017. Rotten Tomatoes sees a similar increase from season 1 (82%, 7.67/10) to season 2 (93%, 8.81/10) and finally season 3 (99%, 9.36/10).
Despite its critical acclaim, “The Leftovers” never performed well for awards, having only won a handful of major awards. The show was only nominated for one Emmy in its third season which it did not win. Much like “The Wire”, “The Leftovers” has already began its legacy as one of the most well known snubs from award shows.
I was late to watch “The Leftovers”. I didn’t start watching the show until the third season had already concluded, by which point the wide praise from the show had began circulating online. Following this, I started watching the show and was quickly impressed. A few weeks later I had gotten to the end, by which point the show had impressively made a lasting impact on me after just 28 episodes. As I mentioned above, this show is what motivated me to become a regular writer, and my reviews for this show are the oldest reviews on this site.
The Good: This show always stood out for its ambitious style of storytelling which differed greatly from most other shows. This series focused entirely on its characters and relied very, very little on actual plot. When you look at the show from a plot perspective, nothing much happens through its entire run. A synopsis of the show would be boring to most people. That is because the real meat of this story comes from its characters and the journeys they take to fill in the holes that have been left inside of them after The Departure. All great shows understand that the key to crafting a compelling drama lies in its characters, but I have never seen a show which commits so intensely to its characters and succeeds. It’s a very impressive feat.
When talking about great character dramas, it’s hard to leave “Lost” out of the conversation. That show was a staple for all character dramas, and its concept of focusing an episode around a central storyline which covers the story of a single character was revolutionary for TV dramas. “The Leftovers” adapted this method of storytelling frequently and it led to some truly spectacular hours of television which were mesmerizing to get through. Furthermore, “The Leftovers” doubled down on these episodes, crafting a sense of “tunnel-vision” as entire episodes would sometimes focus on just one single character’s journey, ignoring all other aspects of the show. These episodes provided some of the most memorable television you will ever see and served like 1-hour short stories more than they did a part of a larger story. It is vital for a TV episode to stand alone and be enjoyable as a single hour of television rather than a piece of a larger story. This show toyed with this idea in season 1 as there were 2 or 3 episodes with this tunnel vision. But it wasn't until season 2 that the show started to understand how good this method of storytelling was. After that, nearly every episode would have this refined focus on a single character which allowed for an epic experience in every single episode from the season 2 premiere all the way until the series finale. For those who have not watched this show, seeing this tunnel-vision for the first time will be a visceral experience leaving you emotionally exhausted by the end.
One of the most fascinating aspects of this show is its ability to leave questions unanswered without leaving the audience unsatisfied. Leaving unanswered questions can be a real slap in the face to fans and often leaves people cheated. Just look at the backlash that “Lost” received after its season finale. And while this show does mimic “Lost” by not answering its questions, it’s done correctly this time. In this case, the show never promised any answers for its mysteries and I think it is all the better for not providing a concrete answer. One of the show’s biggest themes comes from whether you choose to believe in the supernatural or the rational. The show often provides seemingly indisputable evidence that the supernatural is firmly involved in these characters lives. But there is always the more rational answer: it’s all in somebody’s head. The most fascinating thing this show does is that it never gives you a concrete answer on what you should believe. Was there truly something supernatural happening? Does it all somehow make logical sense? You are left to fill in the answers yourself, which is very unique and powerful storytelling. Furthermore, the show impressively adapts a literary convention to make this exploration possible: an unreliable narrator. I have seen TV shows which are written in such a way that they remind me of a novel (Breaking Bad, The Wire), but I have never seen a TV show pull off the impossible and actually adapt a complex literary concept with the exact same feeling as a novel. It’s the same feeling that people must have felt when “The Lord of the Rings” was impossibly adapted into three terrific films.
I’ve talked about the show’s reliance on character as one of its strong points, but it can only really work if the characters are compelling and complex enough to warrant such an in-depth exploration. Thankfully, the characters in this show are wonderful with many layers which get uncovered as the show goes on. And better yet, the characters actually change as the show goes on, undergoing proper transformations, learning lessons and making cathartic discoveries about themselves and the lives they have been living. The main character Kevin is one of the show’s most fascinating characters due to these reasons, and it’s a joy to watch him grow as the series progresses. His story is focused on the idea if he is losing his mind or not, and it’s wonderful to watch because we can never be sure that Kevin actually is sane. The most impressive part of this story is that we learn about Kevin while he learns about himself, which allows for an insane level of emotional investment. The other central characters like Nora, Matt and Laurie all go through similarly effective storylines and each one is gripping.
As good as the storytelling is, it isn’t my favourite element of the show. The best thing about this show is the fact that it sticks the landing with an outstanding conclusion. It’s very easy for a series conclusion to be disappointing (Dexter), predictable (Breaking Bad) or messy (Lost) which all detract a certain amount of excitement from everything. While it doesn’t always equate to being bad (Breaking Bad had a killer final season), it leaves me with the feeling that the ending could have been so much more. Nearly every TV show has fallen into this trap while ending its run, and for good reason. It’s hard to provide a conclusion which is satisfying in every way. But despite this difficulty, “The Leftovers” set out to do the impossible once more by providing an ending that satisfies in every single way. And somehow the show pulled it off to near perfection. So many storylines were wrapped up beautifully with a hell of an emotional impact but there were a number of delightful surprised which ensured that I never had any idea how the show would wrap up. It was powerful and unpredictable, and then it ended with a series finale which perfectly captured everything I loved about the show, ending on a rousingly high note. It will be hard to discover a series with a finale as perfect as this one and I am yet to find a series finale that provided a better final note than the season 3 finale of “The Leftovers”.
The show also gets the little things right which enhances an already rich experience. The soundtrack is touching, powerful and memorable. The musical pieces that are played in this show complement the emotions in a scene so well that when you hear the violins swelling up for iconic tracks in later seasons, you automatically prepare yourself emotionally for a powerful scene. And every single time, “The Leftovers” will deliver something powerful, with the music aiding the overall effect of the scene. I also have to mention how good this show became at finding memorable songs to play over scenes. I often find myself remembering “The Leftovers” while listening to songs like “Where’s My Mind” and “Nothing Else Matters” which were among the great songs used in the show. Another thing that adds immeasurable value to this show is the acting. The acting in this series had me in awe at times because every single character was played to perfection. It is beyond me why Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon never won any Emmys for their performances in this show, because they are stunningly good and blow me away frequently. The emotions in this show are enriched so much by the compelling performances which make all of the characters feel that much more real and relatable. The last aspect of the show I want to look at is the cinematography and direction. In terms of visuals, this show can come off as uninspiring and bland as it doesn’t look as visually spectacular as shows like “Better Call Saul”, “Game of Thrones” or “Westworld”. However, that isn’t to say that the show lacks a complex sense of direction. There are many moments of subtle symbolism included throughout the series, especially in season 1 which adds on to the novel-like feeling the show can create at times. Furthermore, I think the bland nature of the cinematography isn’t a show of incompetence but is actually a stroke of genius. During conversation scenes, the camera is often focused completely on its characters and that allows every line of dialogue to have the maximal effect on viewers and also allows the actors to put in their best possible performance.
The Bad: The biggest issue with this show will be getting into it at first. Where some popular shows like “Breaking Bad”, “Game of Thrones”, “Lost” and “The Walking Dead” make a terrific impression in their first few episodes, “The Leftovers” doesn’t really attempt this. The show is slow at first and really tests your patience. Even though I really, really loved episode 3, none of the other first 5 episodes were particularly good and they failed to truly hook me. It wasn’t until the end of season 1 that I finally realized how good this show was, and after that it just got better. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that the first season can be a real slog at time and tested my commitment a number of times.
The other major issue stems from its final season. While I think the last season is easily the best season of the show, there is a big flaw in it. That flaw is that several important characters get next to nothing to do in this entire season. With the season’s shortened length, sacrifices had to be made and unfortunately that means that some of the show’s most exciting characters are shafted to the background with minimal screentime which is hugely disappointing and a waste of some terrific characters.
Conclusion: So, should you watch this show? I think the comparison in the sizes of The Good and The Bad pretty much speaks for itself in this case. “The Leftovers” may be tough to get into but it is certainly worth it in the long run. Seasons 2 and 3 are some of the bets seasons of television I have ever seen and are essential viewing. This show is up there with “The Wire” as an underappreciated great, so absolutely go check it out. Now, onto the spoilers section.
Now, to get into the nitty-gritty...
The Good: What is most striking about season 1 is how unusual the whole season felt. There was a ridiculous amount of symbolism present in most episodes and entire scenes could be devoted to this, with the presence of things like the deer and the blinking red light. These scenes, mixed with the questionable state of Kevin’s sanity provided an almost dream-like feeling to the show, which made watching it so strangely special. Some sequences, including the crashed truck of human dolls and the sudden blackouts Kevin would have only exacerbated these confused dream-like feelings that made the show so difficult to watch. Looking back on the season, I’m certain that it’s these odd moments that are responsible for the much weaker review scores that season 1 received from all critics, including myself. Yet, the show’s biggest weakness was also one of its strengths. I believe that these scenes are actually what made the show succeed in the first place. A lot of praise directed to this show focuses on its sense of “magic” that it creates by its vicarious methods of storytelling. Most people would claim that this started in season 2, but I disagree. This has always been present in the show since the very first episode, but it was inconsistent and became more notable in later seasons when it was used better. This bold style of storytelling was started as early as season 1, and I think this season deserves a lot of credit for that.
The thing that got me hooked on this show wasn’t its confusingly vague storytelling. Rather, it was the inclusion of character-centric episodes that explored the effects that the Great Departure had on its characters. The two episodes that guaranteed that I would stick around for the duration of the show were “Three Boats and a Helicopter” and “Guest”. Both episodes honed in on a specific character who we didn’t know very well and took them on an adventure that allowed us to get to know them, sympathize with them, and get engaged in what these characters would be doing for the rest of the show. These two characters were Matt and Nora, who I immediately knew I loved after their respective episodes. Both Matt and Nora would end the series as my favourite characters and I’m beyond glad that the show had the courage to present them to us in such a bold manner. What’s more impressive is how these two episodes would be the framework for “The Leftovers”’s success in its later seasons. Almost all episodes in seasons 2 and 3 succeeded because of what was established in these two episodes, but more on that in the section for season 2.
Outside of those two excellent episodes, the season wouldn’t hit its stride until the penultimate episode, “The Garveys at their Best”, which helped rectify a big issue that I had with the season up until that point. The issue was that I wasn’t particularly invested in the struggles of the Garvey family since I felt I didn’t know them as well as I should have. After a powerful episode that made me care more for these 4 characters than anything presented before, the season killed it with an emotional finale which capitalized on everything that was built up prior to it. There are moments in this episode that still stick with me, like Kevin’s emotional scenes with Matt, his terrifying dream and Nora’s final message. It’s incredible how I went from not really caring that much about Kevin’s dilemma to being completely invested after just a single episode, and that allowed the season to end on an extremely high note and for me, that cemented the season as a great one.
The Bad: Even though I love this season in retrospect due to how impressive 4 of the episodes were, I can’t ignore the fact that there were still 6 other episodes in this season. Now, most of these episodes weren’t bad, but they had a distinct lack of focus that the other 4 episodes didn’t have. The issue was the fact that these episodes had to divide time with 4 different stories: Kevin’s dilemma, the Guilty Remnant, Jill’s teenager life and Tommy’s involvement with Holy Wayne. The big problem was that I wasn’t invested in these stories for a very long time and that resulted in there being a number of moments when I was simply bored, confused, or unresponsive to the emotions that were on display. After its first few episodes, I knew that “The Leftovers” could deliver hard-hitting emotions and I ended up being confused as to why the show refused to give the same treatment to the Garvey family that it gave to Matt and Nora. I feel like if “The Garveys at their Best” could have been shown earlier in the season, the season could have been even better to watch with less clunkiness before the season finale.
I think that Jill and Tommy’s storylines hold up very poorly on your first watch and in retrospect. The way that Jill and the other teenagers are handled is laughably poor as they feel more like walking teenager tropes than actual characters. Though I must admit, the Frost brothers were pretty funny. Tommy’s story is weaker in a different way from Jill’s. While Jill’s is fundamentally poor, I found Tommy’s weak story to be a result of Chris Zylka’s acting. Tommy was alone for the entirety of his storyline, so we desperately needed a more capable actor to convey the emotions he must have felt. While Zylka did a fine job, there needed to be somebody exceptional playing Tommy to make up for the fact that Tommy’s story is separated from the others in such a big way.
Best Episodes: Here is where I list the fantastic episodes that still stick with me now that I’m done with the show.
E03 Two Boats and a Helicopter: It’s truly incredible how much this episode puts us in Matt’s shoes throughout the episode. It’s almost like reading a book directly from his POV, which is really impressive. It created a self-contained story with hills and valleys, genuine emotion and a heartbreaking conclusion that hits hard due to how much we understand Matt’s character. An evocative episode that remains one of the show’s finest.
E06 Guest: I fell in love with the character of Nora in this episode. Carrie Coon did a wonderful job bringing this character to life with all of her pain and witty dialogue. It was fascinating to learn more about Nora in this episode and we get to see how horribly detached from reality she is as the episode goes on. This made the scene with Wayne a joy to watch as she comes face to face with everything she feels in an outstanding moment that is acted to perfection.
E09 The Garveys at their Best: The episode I waited the entire season for. It’s impressive how this episode made the Garvey family drama so much more poignant and meaningful. This one episode got me invested in four different characters and their relationships with each other which is no mean feat.
E10 The Prodigal Son Remembers: A cathartic and memorable conclusion to the first season, the season one finale remains a near-perfect note to conclude this first season. The episode bounced from powerful scene to powerful scene in a way that made this episode feel immensely satisfying as a conclusion to this season.
Worst Episodes: Here is where I list those select episodes that I still remember with anger and hate. Amazingly, no episodes this season pissed me off, but there were a few clear weak links.
E04 BJ and the AC: This one is an odd episode. It committed overly much to being symbolic, so much so that it felt cheesy at times. The episode was also hurt by the fact that it came before I cared about any of the Garvey family drama, meaning I had a very limited emotional connection.
E05 Gladys: This one was far from a bad episode, but it was weaker. It suffered for similar reasons to episode 4. It wasn’t very memorable and it came before I actually cared about the Garveys as a whole.
Conclusion: This season worked very well as a whole. It was emotional and memorable with four spectacular episodes that each aided me into getting invested in the show. But the season was flawed in its storytelling and characters, flaws that wouldn’t be fixed until the next season.
As a whole, I think the average score of 69 is fitting for this season, as it accurately shows how the season hit genuine greatness a lot, but was too flawed to crack the 70 mark. I’m happy with the ratings I’ve given each of the episodes and I stand by them pretty firmly even after the show is done. This was certainly a good season.
The Good: Season 2 of “The Leftovers” was a huge improvement over season 1. The first season was restricted because it had to adapt the story from a novel, but season 2 did not have these same limitations. This allowed the team behind the show to get creative and tell their own story, and that resulted in a season which was immersive, emotional and memorable.
The “magic” of this show which I mentioned earlier was mastered in this season. It happened in the first episode of season 2, which demonstrated to us how the complex storytelling of this show could provide something surprisingly engaging. Of course I’m talking about that powerful first scene which had no relevance to the main story whatsoever, yet it worked so well. Shockingly enough, not even the second scene addressed the characters in Mapleton who we had come to love. It’s unexpectedly incredible to see a TV show open up its sophomore season in a completely different place from season 1, because of how risky it is. It would be so easy to jump the shark whilst doing something like this, but “The Leftovers” never did. It was a risk, but the intriguing storytelling and expert writing allowed this first episode to successfully introduce a totally new setting with totally new characters. “Axis Mundi” is not one of the very best episodes of the show, but I can’t give enough praise for what this episode accomplished: it widened the story in a way that didn’t detract from the main story. So many stories get lost when they try to widen the storyline because they lose sight of what initially made the story so good. “Game of Thrones” is a prime example of this, both the books and the TV show. But “The Leftovers” was clever enough to use its tunnel-vision approach to introduce its new setting and then address the main characters afterwards. Because of this, the momentum of the story was never halted while Kevin and Nora got to discover Miracle and the Murphys on their own. By the time we touched in with them, we already knew about Miracle and the Murphys, so the show could easily go ahead and tell its story without worrying about any of the difficult details.
And the story that they told delivered in a big way. The show learned from its first season and committed to telling its story in a way that had proven successful. Every episode in this season used that tunnel-vision that made “Two Boats and a Helicopter” and “Guest” so good, and that ended up creating many spectacular episodes in this season. Every character’s individual journey was powerful, memorable and well-written. The best part is how all of the season’s best scenes were spread out throughout the entire season, making nearly every episode feel special. That made this season feel consistent, unlike season 1. Season 2 had committed to the kind of story that the show wanted to tell, it had committed to the tone it wanted to hold and it committed to the characters it wanted to explore. This commitment allowed for the season to reach greater heights for all of the stories that were being told.
The individual storylines in this show were really damn good. The highlight was Kevin’s story and his conflict with Patti, who may or may not have been real. Season 1 had done a similar story of Kevin thinking he is going insane, but it never explored the ideas of insanity and how it feels like Kevin’s season 2 storyline did. The season did a terrific job of showing how awful having a personal ghost would be as Kevin not only convinced himself that he was losing it, but ended up alienating others by result this. Kevin’s deteriorating mental state had taken away everything from him and he was willing to risk everything to get a chance to fix himself, even his own life. What made Kevin’s struggle so visceral to watch was that we, like him, had no clue if Patti was actually there or if she was just a fragment of his mind. There was evidence for both sides, and fascinatingly it was never confirmed if she was real or not. I think this was an excellent decision to leave the question unanswered because it allows the rewatch to be just as poignant as the first watch because we still don’t know if Kevin was going crazy or not. Not even after “International Assassin”, the best episode of the show which featured Kevin visiting what may have been the afterlife. What a stellar episode that was. I don’t think I gave it justice in my review, but this episode was a really strong culmination of Kevin’s story with Patti. The most fascinating thing about the whole experience was how Kevin went to the afterlife for an entire episode, yet we still couldn’t be sure that his experience was completely real, as it could still possibly have been some kind of drug trip that Virgil put him into. The whole episode contains this whimsical feeling because of this uncertainty and it makes for one hell of an experience. It’s the perfect centrepiece for Kevin’s storyline, and the final scenes with Patti were a perfect ending to her character arc.
Another standout was the story of the Murphy family. We were just introduced to these characters, but we got to know them remarkably well and it led to a heartbreaking story of a family that just wasn’t meant to be. The central part of this storyline was the disappearance of Evie which caused a ripple effect across the remaining three members of the family. The stories of John and Erika were really sad, especially Erika’s as we got to learn how she blamed herself for Evie’s disappearance while also contrasting with Nora’s story, which (unsurprisingly) was also really good. The family’s struggles all came together in the season finale though, with the terrific reveal that Evie was still alive, allowing for incredibly powerful scenes for both John and Erika as they realized that their family was dead.
The other stories in the season were pretty good as well. I don’t really have much to say about Matt’s story other than the fact that it ruled. Again. Matt is a terrific character, and I think his overarching story throughout all three seasons is one of the best. Laurie and Tommy didn’t have a huge role to play in this season, but their storyline was enjoyable whenever it was on-screen. One unexpected standout character was Meg. I’m not a big fan of Liv Tyler, but the role of Meg was absolutely perfect for her and her voice and look allowed for a creepy, mysterious and charismatic villain to be introduced at the end of the season.
The season finale delivered in a big way, just like last season. It was an extra long episode yet it somehow flew by as it delivered a number outstanding moments one after the other. The conclusions for every story were damn good. I already mentioned the end of the Murphy storyline, but I’ll say it again because it was remarkably powerful for a set of side characters. Kevin’s story conclusion was outstanding as it worked as a sort of redux of season 1’s conclusion where Kevin finally overcame his own problems so he could survive with his family. Matt’s story ended pleasantly as Mary came back and Matt could stop atoning for a crime he never committed. The return of the Guilty Remnant was an exciting plot that carried the season finale, leading to the hope of Miracle being shattered by the villains in a depressing sequence.
The Bad: I can’t think of any major issues that hurt this season. It really was an exquisite stretch of ten episodes. The biggest problem for me was that we never touched on Mapleton in this season. So many side characters ended up being ignored for the entirety of this season. Even some major characters were shafted to the background like Laurie and Tommy.
Best Episodes: Plenty of episodes were incredible this season. I had to leave some off this list so I wouldn’t just list everything.
E05 No Room at the Inn: Matt’s centric episodes are so good because he is a really compelling guy to follow. Matt is the embodiment of a good man, so it’s easy to root for him to come out on top in these episodes which put him through the wringer. These Matt episodes are so good and investing me into the story being told.
E06 Lens: Even though I didn’t like the ending scene very much, I can’t deny that this was an extraordinary character exploration for both Nora and Erika. Their personal confrontation at the end of the episode was so good. The decision to focus the cameras purely on their faces from such a closed distance was a stroke of genius as it allowed us to completely invest with what the characters were experiencing.
E08 International Assassin: This is a special experience. You can never be certain that what you’re watching is real, and it’s all so fantastical and strange. The episode is a wonder to uncover and is delightful, confusing, emotional, hilarious and intense. It’s a near-perfect experience that embodies what I love about TV.
E10 I Live Here Now: a chaotic and emotional finale. This season ended with an episode that culminated everything in a memorable way. This is how to close out a season in a way that leaves a lasting impact.
Worst Episodes: I got nothing. Every episode in this season was above average.
Conclusion: Season 2 is remarkable. It improves every single aspect of season 1, polishes it, and adds an extra bit of TV magic to make a special season of television. The average score adds up to a 73, which I think is a good interpretation of how consistent this season was. It was a rarity to get an episode that didn’t go above and beyond, and a few episodes ended up going even further than that. This season was always a joy to go through and it will go down as one of the great TV seasons.
The Good: I thought that “The Leftovers” would have a tough time topping what was presented in season 2, but that didn’t happen. Season 3 smashed it out of the park and is one of my all-time favourite TV seasons. While it never hit the highs of season 2 (“International Assassin” is special), season 3 consistently delivered fantastic episodes one after the other providing closure for its characters in meaningful ways. Even the lesser episodes were few in number (only 2 were scored under 70!) and can’t be called bad because they still did a number of things really well.
The character-centric episodes were on display once again this season, and I think they had an even bigger impact this time around. The stories that were told in each episode had even more power and meaning to them because a number of them were used to close out character arcs. That is the advantage that this season has over season 2. The beginning and the conclusion will always be more satisfying than what comes in the middle from a storytelling perspective. Now that the show is well into its rhythm, and is also in its final stretch, the story is more polished, more memorable and a lot more powerful. Every character who receives a centric episode has a brilliant story to tell.
But I thought season 3 was stronger than season 2 even though both seasons accomplished the same thing regarding character centric episodes. Why? The answer lies in the way that season 3’s storylines tied better into the season’s overall theme than in season 2. From the opening moments of season 3 we are presented with the main idea which drives every single character in the season. A woman in the 1900s waits year after year for the return of Christ and ensnares her family into this, but it never happens. She ends up looking foolish and loses everything in the process. The scene is really powerful and emphasizes the inevitable loneliness and disappointment caused by having faith. Most TV shows like to paint faith and religion in a positive light, so it’s pretty surprising to see “The Leftovers” be so downright negative in what people believe in. It’s so genius because disappointment is such a real emotion to examine, and it’s something that every viewer can relate to. That nearly every character’s story is affected by this theme in some way is really impressive and it allows the season to still feel connected despite the fact that most of these episodes take place at different places and character stories don’t interact very often.
Every main character’s arc was stellar. Matt had a fantastic conclusion to his trilogy of episodes. His episodes have shown that this man is purely devoted to the lord and keeps his faith even through the toughest situations. It’s been a powerful story which is also played as darkly comedic at times. Now we get the conclusion which is thematically perfect and fits in line with what happened in those previous episodes. The dark humour is better than ever and it adds more to the story than ever as the ridiculous Frasier religion contrasts perfectly with Matt’s faith as it subtly shows that there isn’t much different from these people’s beliefs and Matt’s. Matt’s story is a slow realization that everything he has believed in has been for nothing. It starts with the mockery being made of his new book and it ends with a tremendous scene where Matt gets to speak with “God” who tells him he did everything for himself and that he was never listening. When combined with Matt’s cancer reveal, it’s a shockingly bleak ending for his character to realize that everything he has done has been for naught. But somehow this show once again proved its mastery of our emotions by turning this into a somewhat happy ending with Matt finally moving forward from his faith. The whole story is written with such elegance that it ends up being one hell of an emotional rollercoaster that hits with maximum impact on every drop.
The other character stories were similarly effective to Matt’s. Kevin Sr. goes through a very similar arc. Evidently he has lost it in Australia and firmly believes he has to save the world. He puts himself on a pedestal above everybody else and thinks of himself as the most important person in the world going into the anniversary. But by the end, nothing happened. He wasn’t important, he didn’t need to do anything, and just like Matt, he had wasted his life believing something ridiculous. It’s fantastic to see how these two wildly different storylines get connected by theme at the end. Laurie has an excellent story as well, one that ties into the theme in a mature and different way. Laurie has always been the pragmatic member of the group, and judging by the theme of the season, it seems that she is going to be in the right. That’s what the show initially suggests, but the direction the story goes is much more impressive. Sure she doesn’t waste her life with any of this religious crap, but it doesn’t lead her to happiness and success. She is still lost in the world, alone and broken, and without the recourse of faith to lean into, she breaks even more than Matt and Kevin Sr. does, which heartbreakingly leads to her contemplating suicide, though she doesn’t go through with it (see: The Bad). What’s most fascinating about this approach is that it also paints pragmatism in a negative light. Both science and faith have been deemed equally terrible by the addition of Laurie’s story and it leaves us confused. Well what are you supposed to do to cope? The fact that we don’t ever get a clear answer and are left to interpret this is exemplary of why “The Leftovers” is such a magical show with so many layers of storytelling. This season conveyed the depth of its story better than either of the two seasons before and that makes this a truly special experience.
I’ve saved the best stories for last. Kevin and Nora were undoubtedly the best parts of this season and their story felt refreshing and emotional. It was unexpected to see so much focus on these two characters and their relationship with each other, especially since four(!) entire episodes were apparently devoted to their romance. But I don’t mean that in a bad way. In just 8 episodes, these two captivated me in a way I never expected them to. The first two episodes of the season showed how alone and hurt they still were despite them being together. “G’Day Melbourne” had them finally fight each other and let their emotions out. While the scene didn’t affect me as much as I had hoped, it was still written very well and ended their relationship in a way that was consistent with the story being told. The rest of the season would be about both of them going to their respective escapes, only to back out and seek each other out in the end. Kevin goes back to the afterlife yet it fails to fulfill him like he had hoped. He backs out. Nora tries to go see her children again yet it fails to fulfill her like she had hoped. She backs out. The parallels here are terrific and they convey the characters in brilliant ways, showing us their fears about moving forward that ultimately convince them to go back to each other. It’s really strong storytelling because fear is an emotion that everyone understands and can sympathize with. It makes us root for them to escape the hell they are living in and lets us cheer when they get reunited.
The finale was one of the most extraordinary episodes of the show. After three seasons filled with mystery, emotion and potentially supernatural elements, the show opted to close out its run with an episode focused on the romance between Kevin and Nora. And despite how lame that sounds, the episode was fantastic. The reunion between Kevin and Nora was very sweet and fit the themes of the show so well. The ending scene is one that has stuck with me, showing Nora and Kevin quietly smiling at each other after finally coming together again. Of course there was also Nora’s story which was a fascinating unresolved mystery that added more to the mystique of the show while remaining consistent with its characters. The idea of us having to draw our own conclusion instead of being given one has been used frequently throughout the series, and it’s fitting that the show ended the same way.
One thing that was most impressive was how the show continued to craft new and original horror stories about how the Departure affected people. After 2 seasons there had already been a ton of exploration of how the Departure has affected the 98% who remain, so I didn’t expect to get so many stories in this third season. But we ended up getting some of the weirdest, strongest and most powerful stories, told by Grace, Mark Linn Baker (I absolutely love that he was in this show) and the man who blew up the submarine.
The Bad: As I mentioned in the spoiler-free section, the end of the series suffered from not having enough time to provide compelling stories for the supporting cast. John and Erika had remarkably emotional storylines in the previous season, yet they are only in a couple of important scenes this season with a massively reduced presence. Jill and Tommy are nearly non-existent in this season. It’s a shame that the show didn’t get enough time to tell compelling stories for the whole cast.
I’m not a fan of timeskips. They come off as a lazy way to make characters develop without showing the change they went through on screen. Because of this, timeskips can feel very jarring and tough to believe. This season’s timeskip suffered from some of that. Laurie and John’s relationship felt so random and some of the developments (Mary falling out of love with Matt, Nora having to give up Lily) would have been much more impactful if we got to actually see them happen instead of being told that they happened.
Best Episodes: Again, there is plenty to choose from here. Yes, I listed more than half the episodes in the season. It was that good.
E03: Crazy Whitefella Thinking: Kevin Sr. is a character we hardly knew before this episode. But the show was bold enough to have us spend an entire hour with him and it worked so well. His story was a perfect blend of entertaining, funny, ridiculous and sad and it culminated in one of the show’s very best monologues with Grace telling the story of her kids. This was “The Leftovers” at its weird and heartbreaking best.
E05 It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World: And again, this was “The Leftovers” at its weird and heartbreaking best. This episode told a story with a number of fascinating layers to delve into once you are finished. It’s a perfect emotional conclusion for Matt’s series-long character arc and also manages to tell its own story while closing out Matt’s. This one was a definite highlight.
E06 Certified: What a tragic episode. This one wasn’t particularly action-packed or exciting. It was simply real. The character work and the writing was incredible in this episode and it made for one of the most subtly heartfelt episodes of television ever created. Show this to anyone with no context and it’s one of the dullest hours of television they will sit through. But for everyone invested in this story, this has to be one of the most emotional episodes that the show ever put out.
E07 The Most Powerful Man in the World (And His Identical Twin Brother): The unofficial sequel to “International Assassin”. While it doesn’t top the original (there was next to no chance of that happening), this episode managed to stand out on its own by telling a very compelling story about Kevin’s life through his experience in this afterlife dimension. It was unpredictable, creative, memorable and emotional. What more could you ask for?
E08 The Book of Nora: A near-perfect series finale. I’ve talked about it enough earlier, but I can’t sing enough praise for this episode. It was a bold, emotional and satisfying conclusion that perfectly captured the heart of the show. It will be hard to find a series finale better than this one.
Worst Episodes: Once again, nothing particularly bad here. But there was one episode that I thought lagged behind the quality of the others.
E01 The Book of Kevin: This one suffered from the timeskip issues and the fact that it had to reintroduce everyone. Because of that, it couldn’t tell as good of a story as the other 7 episodes in this season.
Conclusion: This season was downright mesmerizing. It’s insane how powerful this season is and the fact that I can confidently say it was better than season 2, another outstanding season, is a major feat. I think this is a genuine contender for best TV season of all time, and it is a season that deserves to be remembered for a long time. The average score for this season was a 75, which is absolutely ridiculous. While I don’t think the overall season is quite that good, it’s still one of the most breathtaking experiences you will ever get from television.
And that’s the end of the post! This was one hell of an effort to write and I had to keep pushing back the deadline due to this simply becoming longer and longer. George R.R. Martin, I now understand why “The Winds of Winter” is taking so long. Well, I partially understand. Speaking of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, my next series review will be of “Game of Thrones” coming sometime after the final season airs this April. But for now, I need a bit of a break from these massive series reviews.
Summary: Nora and Matt say their goodbyes and Nora goes into the machine, but may have had second thoughts. It's unclear. Several years later, Kevin meets Nora in Australia and claims that he hardly knew her and asks her to a dance. Nora demands the truth and Kevin tells her that he has come to Australia ever since she was gone to look for her and he finally found her. Nora tells him that she went through the machine to the other world but changed her mind and came back upon seeing that her kids have moved on.
The Good: This was a spectacular finale. The storytelling in this season has been absolutely stellar, and the show has earned the right to end of on whatever note it pleases, so long as it has that same stellar storytelling. This finale may have been extremely unconventional, but it had tons of the aforementioned stellar storytelling, making for a tremendously satisfying finale, which ends the series on the perfect high note.
The episode opened up on a high note too. We got to see what happened to Nora after we last saw her and Matt back in "Certified" and I thought it was well done. We got a little more intrigue with the machine and then we finally got to see it and how it worked, which was pretty nice. But better than that was the amazing final scene between Matt and Nora. I seriously thought it may have been the best thing in the episode because it was just so emotionally powerful and satisfying in every single way. Nothing can feel more real than Matt's final speech saying how he's afraid of his future and if he's going to die. It was the perfect swan song for his character and made the news of his death very poignant. Additionally, I loved the mad libs obituary for Nora, it was a wonderful lighthearted character moment to conclude the relationship between Matt and Nora.
I was initially worried that the opening 10 minutes may overshadow the rest of the episode but thankfully that wasn't the case, and the rest of this episode was just as powerful and enjoyable. This entire episode centered around the Kevin and Nora getting back together, and the slow-paced storytelling made the entire plot feel so much for satisfying than it had any right to be. The Kevin/Nora story hasn't been bad throughout the show, but it certainly wasn't one of the series' highlights until now. Everything came together beautifully in this episode to make me buy into their relationship; the music, acting, symbolism, storytelling, dialogue and more delivered on the highest possible level.
Each characters' stories were also tremendously powerful moments. Kevin explaining how he had to search all of Australia during his vacation year after year because he just couldn't believe Nora was gone was incredibly emotional. There were so many different feelings during the duration of that speech which made it something truly special. I went from feeling sad about what Kevin was doing, hopeful for his relationship and genuinely happy hearing his excitement at finally seeing Nora. This scene actually broke the trend that showing is better than telling, because seeing Kevin say his story here was absolutely incredible. Also, for once the lack of the brilliant music score actually aided the scene a ton and helped us really feel for Kevin. And of course Justin Theroux absolutely killed it in the scene and in the entire episode as a whole. He has played Kevin so well that it's clear that something is off when we see Kevin for the first time in this episode because the subtle touches of Kevin's character that we have grown accustomed to are different.
On the other hand, Nora's story delivered just as poignant of a viewing experience. The best aspect is that we don't know if she's telling the truth and there are hints placed throughout the episode which suggest both possibilities. I will lean towards Nora lying, but the storytelling is strong enough for it to also work the other way too. But then again it doesn't matter if Nora was lying or telling the truth. What matters is that Kevin believes it and that she believes it. This show has never been about providing concrete answers, but always about what the characters believe in and I'm thrilled that this final episode continued the trend and brought it up to a new level. I'm so happy that Nora's story led to such a brilliant story being told.
The ending scene was also spectacular and ended on a perfect visual with the birds returning. I wouldn't pick any other way to conclude this series.
The Bad: Nothing.
The Unknown: Was Nora lying or not?
I'm sure the goat and the necklaces made for some kind of symbolism but it went over my head. What did it mean?
Best Moment: It's a toss up between Matt, Kevin and Nora's stories. In the end I will lean towards Nora's.
Character of the Episode: Nora.
Conclusion: What a spectacular finale. This finale totally captured the essence of the show and delivered something really special to send it off.
As for the season overall, it was incredible. There were a few small problems, but overall the emotions and storytelling reached a new level this season. Every episode regularly delivered huge emotional impact and each episode felt memorable in its own way. This is absolutely one of the best seasons of television I have ever seen if not the best, capped off with what I think is the best series finale of all time.
Summary: Kevin returns to the afterlife world and contacts Evie and one of Grace's kids quickly. However, he is two people, the president and his identical twin brother, an assassin. He has to call Christopher Sunday but is constantly road blocked as he is the president and expected to agree to a plan to blow up the entire world on the day of the anniversary. He is able to contact Christopher Sunday as the assassin but is told there will be no flood. Kevin follows through with blowing up the afterlife and returns to the real world where the flood never happened.
The Good: This was another outstanding episode, my favourite of the season so far which is saying quite a lot.
It was wonderful to go back to the afterlife. The last 2 episodes that the afterlife was featured were spectacular and this episode continued to explore what made the afterlife so fascinating earlier. Though of course it couldn't meet the sheer splendour of "International Assassin", it still featured all of the uniqueness that made that episode so wonderful while also adding some unique twists to make it its own thing. The greatest of these twists I think was the idea to have 2 different Kevins in the world which allowed for wonderful storytelling in addition to a uniquely engaging plot line.
Speaking of the plot line, I really enjoyed following it as much, if not more, than in "International Assassin". It was gripping to see Kevin trying to desperately contact Christopher Sunday and it was very fun to see him constantly switching between 2 different versions of himself. Additionally, the mystery of what the Deathcon plan was and why assassin Kevin was needed was intriguing and added another layer of interest to the episode. It also gave us a memorable final visual when the afterlife world was destroyed by the missile assault.
I also really liked the storytelling and thematic exploration behind Patti's plot to destroy the afterlife world. It's very true that this entire season has been about waiting for something to happen when nothing does happen, and I'm happy to see that this episode played a pivotal role in continuing that theme. It's an interesting take to see somebody making something happen just because people want something - anything - to happen.
The ending also did a good job of continuing that theory when Kevin Sr. has to face the fact that the flood didn't happen. It was a good examination of what happens when your entire purpose in life is stripped away. All Kevin Sr. can afford to say is "now what", since his entire purpose is gone and he has nothing left. Now he will need to find something else to help him move on, as his faith hasn't led him anywhere in the end.
The best part of the episode was definitely when Kevin met Kevin though (see: Best Moment). It was great to see Justin Theroux steal the show playing 2 different versions of himself and their interactions were great as we could see how they were the same and yet slightly different; 2 versions of the same man. Patti's presence also added to the scene and Ann Dowd was spectacular as always and I was overjoyed to see her return for an episode. It was also great to see Dean, Meg and Evie again in their brief roles.
The penis scanner was hilarious. There were always a lot of allusions to Justin Theroux's largeness and it was toyed in a brilliant way in this episode.
The Bad: The only thing would be that this wasn't as good as "International Assassin". That doesn't take away anything from the genius of this episode though.
The Unknown: So was David Burton a fake then? He does appear again but he says that God was a pick-up line so maybe he really wasn't God. I loved the titular reference to the scene where David told Matt that Jesus had an identical twin brother.
Evie didn't seem to be aware that she was dead unlike Christopher Sunday. How does that work? Is it because she is in denial that she died? So she projected the idea that her family was killed in a drone strike instead of her?
Best Moment: Kevin reading the storybook was incredible. It reminded me of the scene from "The Prodigal Son Returns" when Kevin had to read the bible verse to eulogize Patti. It was a great scene that let Kevin learn more about himself and how he needs to fix his ways and to reconcile with Nora. But is it too late now? Who knows, but Kevin must realize he needs to find her again t repair his screw-up. The scene highlighted this wel and the acting by both Kevins was something really special.
Character of the Episode: Kevin of course. Justin Theroux absolutely killed it in this episode.
Conclusion: What a brilliant episode. It wasn't quite on the same level as "International Assassin" but that's a really high standard and this came damn close. This created its own unique story, gave it an emotional connection, explored the season's themes in a new way and provided a spectacular bang for the series' penultimate episode. It really doesn't get much better than this.
Summary: A day before the anniversary, Laurie goes to see Nora in Australia with Matt. She is still looking into the people of the machine and decides to go into it herself. Matt stays with her as Laurie goes to meet Kevin and the others. She agrees to let John and Kevin Sr. do what they want with Kevin and says goodbye. She goes scuba diving and possibly commits suicide.
The Good: This was more outstanding stuff from the show with several emotional moments as expected.
The opening scene was very good at getting us into Laurie's mindset for the episode. It's been a while since she has been a primary focal point so it was very important to get us to understand her character and sympathize with her. The opening scene accomplishes this by showing us how the Departure affected her and nearly drove her to suicide. Additionally, we also got some closure to a storyline which has been going since the first minute of this show. It was really great to see Sam's mom return and I'm glad that we got to see another heartfelt scene, this time from her. I also enjoyed how the scene ties in with Laurie's arc as it shows how broken and lost she was after the Departure. And hearing all these stories about other people's problems couldn't have possibly helped in any way.
The rest of the episode held up more than well too. Laurie's overall story was very powerful and just as enjoyable as any of the other character stories this season. The whole topic of this episode was suicide, and we got a magnificent story about Laurie and how she was ultimately driven to a possible suicide once she realizes she has no purpose left in the world. But of course the most satisfying aspect of this was how Laurie was resigned to giving her life away but she still has some possible reasons to keep fighting in John and her kids. That's why I say possible suicide because her final conversation with her kids could very well have changed her mind. We may find out what Laurie's fate is in the next episode, or we may never find out. Either way it's still a beautiful storyline, which is the most important part of this, though there is still a significant flaw (see: The Bad).
I appreciated the format of this episode too. With just 3 episodes left, it would be expected that the show picks up the pace and delivers more excitement. But The Leftovers has shown tremendous restraint and instead of going overboard, it has delivered an episode just filled with conversations and is honestly the better for it. Each of these conversations though slow, delivered a purpose and made for compelling storylines and several emotional scenes. Laurie's scenes with Nora helped build up the suicide themes, brought some early closure to Matt and Nora's storylines and also gave Laurie a proper reason to start saying her goodbyes. And that's what all the other conversations equated to: heartfelt goodbyes, with the highlight being the excellent scene between Laurie and Kevin (see: Best Moment).
But the Kevin/Laurie scene wasn't the only great thing in this episode. Another highlight was the amazing beach ball speech from Nora. It was powerful and also helped show Nora's grief and displeasure with what she has been doing as her job, and of course tied in beautifully with Laurie too. And it also was a lovely visual seeing Matt staying with Nora afterwards, having given up his faith for his family at last. The previous scenes between these three characters were good as well. We got some quality interactions revealing lots about the characters and there was some nice foreshadowing with the scuba diving and also some good comedy. Other impactful scenes include: Laurie and John talking about what they are doing, Kevin Sr. explaining his goals, the Bible scene where everyone picks an apostle, and of course the beautiful ending phone call between Laurie and her kids.
There were a few small things I liked too. We got an answer for what submarine guy was doing: saving the world from Godzilla coming from an underwater volcano. Honestly with this show being what it is, nothing would seem more fitting with the show's themes. I also got a good laugh from Kevin Sr. taking care of the cop by knocking him out with a shovel. I wonder what his future will be if he survives past the anniversary.
The Bad: There was one critical flaw in this though preventing this from being next level excellent. And that problem is that either way we go, Laurie's fate isn't satisfying. If she is truly dead, then she won't have that perfect suicide because she talked to her kids before going underwater. And also Laurie has been a character who is the most hopeful in the series. She has always come back from the brink, but if she ultimately ends up dying, there is a certain depressing quality of her fate. But of course if she's alive it would feel like a cop-out and this episode would feel kind of pointless and not as satisfying. It's a lose-lose situation.
The Unknown: Is Laurie dead? We may never know.
Is Nora going to go into the machine? Will she die too? Will we even see her again?
Is Kevin going to die again? All these questions seem to be about characters dying now. Will he make contact with Grace's kids and Evie in the afterlife?
Is Kevin Sr.'s flood on the way? A storm was rolling in when Laurie went scuba diving.
Best Moment: Kevin and Laurie's scene was very poignant. John and Laurie haven't seen the same development as Kevin and Laurie so I'm happy that the latter was given the primary focus. The scene was very emotional and it was great to see the 2 of them reminiscing and laughing and sharing truths about things they never told each other. The most powerful of which being Laurie talking about her unborn baby. But the real tearjerker was the ending when Laurie gives Kevin the "Don't forget me" lighter which she has treasured so much. Now it's Kevin who wouldn't want to forget her. Very good and emotional storytelling.
Character of the Episode: Laurie for her wonderful arc. Though Nora was a show-stealer too as always.
Conclusion: A wonderful episode which is one of the most powerful so far. This could have been something special, but unfortunately the one flaw is keeping it from ascending too high. But other than that, this was superb as expected from this brilliant show.
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.
Summary: Kevin Sr. is in Australia trying to learn aboriginal songs to stop an apocalyptic flood that he believes is coming on the 14th. He goes to visit Christopher Sunday who has the final song he needs but he accidentally kills him and is left abandoned in the wilderness. He makes it to the house of Grace, who finds him unconscious. Grace admits to Kevin Sr. that she killed a police chief named Kevin because she found a page of Kevin's book which was in Kevin Sr.'s hand. She thinks she is crazy but Kevin Sr. tells her she just had the wrong Kevin.
The Good: This was another bold and ambitious episode from a show which is becoming known for taking risks. And like all the other risks that The Leftovers has taken, this one paid off in spades, providing yet another amazing episode.
This episode reminded me of the Matt episodes from season 1 and 2 where we see a character try to accomplish something but get screwed over consistently. This episode did the same thing to Kevin Sr. but with a bit of a notable change: the addition of a lot of humour. Several scenes which were played out in this episode were packed with humour to provide laughs as we watch terrible things happen to Kevin Sr.
Kevin Sr. was also great in this episode. Scott Glenn was great as well and brought a good desperation to the role. Though Kevin Sr.'s quest seems ridiculous to us, what is important is that he believes in its importance and is dedicated to his faith. In this way he is no different from Matt following signs which makes him likeable even if we are very unsure if his mission will actually succeed. And like with Matt, we feel sympathies when Kevin Sr. is treated terribly by the world and is left in a brutal situation all alone in Australia. Things like the snake, the man throwing Kevin Sr. out of the ambulance and the destruction of the tapes elicit our sympathy for Kevin Sr. on his journey.
Speaking of the tapes, I think they did a great job of humanizing Kevin Sr. on his mission. Even though the tape was essential for his mission, it still held a special spot in his heart because it was a reminder of his family. And so the loss of the tape was essentially Kevin Sr. losing everything dear to him, making it a much more poignant moment.
I like the contrast between Kevin Sr.'s mission and the opening scene of the season. I knew that there would be some parallels throughout the season and we have some already. I wonder if Kevin Sr. will end up facing the same disappointment as the woman from the season opening scene after the 14th. Or well technically in Australia the 15th.
Lastly, I really loved the final scenes with Grace at her ranch. It was comical seeing Kevin Sr. pass out over and over again, and it was also nice to get answers quickly about the mysterious final scene in the previous episode. It's nice to see answers being dished out as quickly as the questions in this season and it leads to a lot of satisfaction in the long run. But the best thing about the final stretch in this episode was definitely grace telling her story to Kevin Sr. (see: Best Moment). The scene was a wonderful monologue which managed to top another great monologue in this episode which was Kevin Sr. telling his story to Christopher Sunday.
The Bad: Nothing as such. However I do feel that some people won't be happy to spend an entire episode with a side character like Kevin Sr. with only a handful of episodes left this season.
The Unknown: A bunch of questions again. I wonder how many will be answered next episode this time?
Will there be an actual flood? Or is Kevin Sr. actually crazy? Is there something genuine that Kevin Sr. has to do or is he just a confused man looking for a purpose?
It seems that the God's Tongue drug actually connected Kevin Sr. to the afterlife. What else does it do? How is it created?
What was with the man who killed himself? What did he mean when he asked that question about killing a baby to cure cancer? he said he wasn't taken. Could he have been referring to the machine that Nora was looking into in the last episode?
Why are the people near Grace's house building a boat? They seemed confused by the idea of a flood.
Best Moment: Grace telling her story to Kevin Sr. was devastating and emotional. It's impressive that after three seasons The Leftovers can still provide totally new departure stories that really affect us. This time we get to hear the heartfelt story that Grace lost her kids after the departure because she didn't even think to look for them and then she ultimately killed an innocent man by thinking that he would come back. It's a sad look at how assumptions can completely change lives.
Character of the Episode: Kevin Sr. of course.
Conclusion: Another excellent episode of The Leftovers. Though this one may be more polarizing as it's a bottle episode focused on a side character, it still provided the same emotions that the show has excelled in providing and I loved it. This season is doing a great job so far and it has earned my faith that the show will end on a high note. If anything, the emotional scenes have only gotten better since last season.
Summary: The pillar man in Miracle had a heart attack and died but his wife is trying to pass it off as a departure. Nora doesn't buy it and proves that he died and didn't depart. Nora's job takes her to St Louis where she meets Mark Linn-Baker who says he found a way to transport people to the place where the departed went in Australia. Nora plans to expose him as a fraud and heads to Australia with Kevin. Before leaving, she goes to see Lily who has now been taken by Christine.
The Good: I really enjoyed this episode and it was a major improvement over the last one.
I really liked the exploration of the pillar man's death. It felt very real that someone would die and that people would want to pass it off as a departure, so the storyline fit right in with the world. But more than that, it allowed for some excellent development of Nora's character, who received a heck of a lot in this episode. But to start, this storyline demonstrated how hardened Nora has become and demonstrates how she is entirely against people running frauds for attention. She herself received lot of attention after her tragedy and doesn't feel that others should get this same attention over nothing. These views are also totally at odds with Matt's. Matt, who has now lost Mary, has still managed to keep his intense faith and just keeps trying to serve that. But more than that, he sides with the pillar man's wife because Matt wants somebody who was devoted to something to be rewarded in the way that he wasn't. It's great storytelling and the fundamental difference between the two characters were on display through an electric conversation early in the episode.
I also really liked that the most pressing questions we had last episode (minus the ending) were answered. Those questions being the ones about Nora and Erika. I'll start by talking about Nora's cast. It was a small detail in the previous episode but became a big one here as it really highlighted a lot of Nora's pain which comes from the attention she is given regarding her lost family. The scene with Erika was a real highlight (see: Best Moment) and gave off a fantastic emotional response and made us feel lots of sympathy for Nora. The cast, a small detail in "The Book of Kevin" has provided the most poignant scene in this season thus far.
Another fantastic storyline in this episode was the Lily story. We got our answer for what happened to Lily and it's honestly quite heartbreaking and makes a lot of Nora's pain easy to understand. She had her child but had to give it away because it wasn't hers and the child's real mom wanted her back. And Nora, who knows the pain of losing her child, sympathetically gave Lily back to her real mother. But the story is more than that. Lily gave Nora hope in the world and she was literally the very thing that made Nora reconsider going for a fresh start instead of giving up on life. And now that she's gone Nora feels empty, just like before. It makes her admission to Tommy that she wished he never left Lily for her that much more powerful as it shows that she is a broken woman who wished she never tried to fix herself.
This leads me to my next point, which is Kevin and Nora's relationship in this episode. They both seem to be happy together but it's clear that as individuals none of them have gotten over their pain. Though I didn't get a chance to mention it in my review of "The Book of Kevin", Kevin is also just as broken and upset as Nora. These 2 episode make it clear that these 2 haven't let go of their baggage and are barely keeping themselves together in this world. And now they are both heading out to Australia, a much-needed escape from their current lives. And I'm very excited to see what's going to happen in Australia.
The Mark Linn-Baker storyline was excellent as well. I loved the use of the Perfect Strangers theme in the opening of the episode, which was funny and unique. As for Mark himself, he had a very good scene with Nora. I'm glad that he wasn't just used as a flashy plot device to get Nora to learn about this program to send people to where the departed went. He received some character development and even got our sympathies when we learned that he went through something similar to Nora.
The Bad: Though it was good to see Erika again, her scene did leave me with some questions that took away a little from the episode. Where does she live? Why is she staying separate from her family? Have Nora and her made up now? Are they friends? What is their relationship? It seems that the timeskip has caused these problematic questions and it would have been more clear had we seen what happened to Erika during the timeskip.
I also remain confused by John's claims that Evie is still alive. Erika says they buried her so surely John should know that she is actually gone if he got the chance to bury her.
The Unknown: Though we got some answers, we also got a lot more questions to deal with.
Surely Matt's nosebleed wasn't just a coincidence. I suspect that his cancer has returned.
Was there any significance in pillar man's stuff? I remember he went to the hotel wit Virgil's help so is there any significance with that plot point?
Does Mark Linn-Baker's machine actually work or is Nora right in assuming it's just an incinerator? Is Nora interested in using the machine herself to be with her kids? Or is she just that against frauds that she is willing to go to Australia to expose it as a fraud?
What was the significance of the many things that didn't work for Nora? I'm sure there is some kind of symbolism there but I just can't figure it out.
What is going to happen in Australia? Apparently it will leave Nora all alone. Could it be that she takes the machine and what we saw in the future was Nora in a world where the departed are and that Kevin is going to find her? It's definitely an option. Perhaps Nora will be alone because her family has moved on without her.
The ending sequence was very interesting. So many questions. What time frame does that take place in? Is it in he future? Why is Kevin Sr. there and why is he on crutches? Was that police chief some other form of Kevin? How did the girls know about Kevin and his ability to resurrect? Was the police chief Kevin in the future somehow? Even though they look different their mannerisms were similar. Could the ending scene be depicting Kevin's future n this episode in contrast to last episode depicting Nora's? So many questions with that scene.
Best Moment: The Nora and Erika scene was wonderfully emotional. It was powerful to hear Nora talk about why she had her cast. She went to get tattoos of her kids names because she loved them, but she was reminded of their departure and had it covered up. And yet the thing that was covering it up only reminded her of it so she broke her arm to get a cast to cover it. It's really sad stuff but it feels very real as it examines the lengths people will go to, in order to escape their pain. There was also a wonderful connection to the pains of losing a loved one as Erika tells Nora that he feels he pain still because she lacks closure, whereas Erika managed to get her closure.
Character of the Episode: Nora was the focal character and Carrie Coon was stunning in the role as always. She gets it for this episode.
Conclusion: This episode had a lot of different storylines all connected together by the central character Nora. This approach to the episode worked insanely well and allowed us to sympathize a ton with Nora. In addition it provided a lot of the thematic exploration that this show has become known to explore. A wonderful episode that proves that last episode's weak elements were just from the sudden timeskip and that everything from here until the finale will be the same storytelling that we can expect from The Leftovers.
Summary: A drone sends a missile to the GR in the Miracle Visitors Centre and kills all of them. A timeskip goes 3 years into the future where everything in Jarden is under control again. Tommy and Kevin are both working as cops. Jill is gone to college. Mary had a boy. John is working as a psychic with help rom is wife Laurie. Matt has written a book about Kevin which Kevin is pissed off about. At the end of the scene there is a flash-forward to an older Nora who goes by the name Sarah.
The Good: There was a lot to like about this and several scenes felt like classic The Leftovers.
First of all, The Leftovers once again wowed us by opening the season with a scene showing something completely different. Like last season's cavewoman sequence, this one didn't impact the plot as a whole but presented a theme for the season and also showed us an engaging story in the span of a few minutes. This time around the focus was on a woman and her family awaiting the end of the world via flood, but it never comes to pass. This explores the idea of devoting yourself to faith and giving everything for it, but to no avail. This will likely be explored a lot this season as the 7th anniversary of the departure is coming up and we will probably get to see the world bracing for something to happen, and yet the most likely outcome will be that nothing happens. And I'm very excited to see this story get told even if it does feel a little telegraphed early on.
I liked the change in pace from the timeskip, but not the whole thing (see: The Bad) as it will surely allow for the show to reinvent itself once more. It was good to see the changes in Jarden after the disaster from "I Live Here Now". If we are going to stay in Jarden this season too, it is good to see some change come to the town so it still feels like a fresh new setting.
Dean's return was very welcome and enjoyable. It's good to get some closure on an unresolved storyline from season 1. We got some confirmation that there was nothing wrong with the dogs and that Dean was just crazy all along as expected. I loved the conversation between Dean and Kevin too. We initially take him a bit seriously since it hasn't been confirmed that he's crazy yet, and the tension amps up slowly as Dean prepares to make his big reveal... the reveal that dogs are take human form. It's so ridiculous and makes for a great laugh as the viewers realized we were fooled into thinking that this man is actually sane.
I enjoyed a lot of the other developments too. John becoming a psychic was a nice bit of irony after his beliefs in season 2, but it does fit his character after he literally witnessed Kevin coming back to life. I'm not sure how I feel about him being with Laurie (see: The Bad) but I do think their operation together makes a lot of sense. It also shows how easy it could be to be a psychic and to con people, making it more possible that the psychics we have seen before weren't genuine. I also liked the idea behind Matt making a book about Kevin. It fits what we know about his character to want to write a book about what Kevin experienced, and it also sets up an easy conflict with Kevin who will obviously be against being treated as the second coming of Jesus.
The Bad: This episode seems to have suffered from the shortened season and there were quite a few things that didn't deliver.
I didn't like the destruction of the GR. It's not made clear who sent the order to destroy them, which made me a little confused when Kevin and Tommy were talking about it. It also removes the emotional effect this would have on someone like John since we don't know what he knows about the death of his daughter, and instead he seems to be hanging onto an implausible thread that Evie may still be alive. I also didn't like that an entire storyline was just destroyed in the opening moments of this episode. Meg's story became a huge focus in the previous few episodes and it feels a little cheap to just end thestory so suddenly.
The timeskip also caused a lot of flaws. We don't know what happened to Erika, John and Michael after they realized Evie was dead, which should have been the main focus because of the emotions it would explore. We also don't know what happened to Erika which takes away from her split with John since we don't actually get to see it happen. I also would have liked to see more on Michael and why he chose to stay with his father instead of going to wherever his mother went. It's also odd to see John and Laurie together and we can't care about their relationship since we don't know why they are together or what they see in each other.
The final flaw I had was also with the timeskip: we didn't get to see what characters were told information. For example it is implied that Matt knows about Kevin's return to life but we aren't told who else knows about this. Kevin resurrecting is a big deal and so we should know which characters are aware that he came back to life. It seemed that Laurie didn't know Kevin came back, but it's still not clear. This lack of information does take away from a lot of the character dialogue scenes.
The Unknown: We got quite a few questions as always, though there were less in this premiere than usual.
What will happen on the 7th anniversary? It seems likely that nothing will happen but it's possible that I'm wrong about that.
What happened to Lily?
Why does Nora have a cast?
Where is Kevin Sr. and what is he doing in Australia?
What did Matt put in Kevin's book?
That ending scene was huge. What did we see there? Was that Nora in the future? Why is she living alone in the countryside? What happened between her and Kevin? Was there another departure? Did it happen on the 7th anniversary.
Do dogpeople really exist? With this show you never know...
Best Moment: I will go with the standout opening sequence. Wonderful storytelling and themes.
Character of the Episode: I will go with Dean for returning and closing his storyline.
Conclusion: This was a decent premiere, but it had some rare flaws that we aren't used to seeing in The Leftovers. However, I do think that these flaws only happened because the season was shortened to 8 episode instead of 10, and that if there was more time we may have gotten more clarity on what happened before the timeskip.
Summary: Kevin remembers that he saw Evie and the other girls fake their departure. John discovers that the handprint is Kevin's. Kevin talks to John and John shoots him. Mary wakes up. Meg brings the trailer containing the girls onto the bridge to Miracle with a bomb threat. Erika and John see their daughter alive. No bomb goes off and a ton of GR members reveal themselves and enter Miracle along with the outsiders from the camp. Kevin is back in the hotel and sings Homeward Bound to leave. He returns home where his entire family is waiting for him.
The Good: This was a phenomenal finale, just like the first season's, and there were so many scenes to love here.
The opening sequence was very strong and gave us some insight on exactly how Evie and the other girls left and what their mentality was. It also served to confirm to us that Evie has been a member o the GR for quite some time as she was communicating with her friends through writing. This also provided an answer for some of the odd shots from "Axis Mundi" where the girls ran naked and drove home in total silence. They were readying to leave their families for the GR.
There were a ton of small character scenes that absolutely delivered in this episode too. Erika and John, Mary and Matt, Jill and Laurie and of course John and Kevin were all highlights and I will go in depth with the more interesting ones.
Erika and John's relationship falls apart in this episode, which felt like a long time coming after we learned about Erika's conflict back in "Lens". It was emotional to finally see what Evie's gift was and it really fit spectacularly well with the story that she would give him the cricket which was such a major plot point for John back in "Axis Mundi". Erika telling John about his inability to let things go felt like a long time coming and John rebuffing Erika mirrored Kevin with Laurie back in "The Garveys at their Best".
Mary waking up again was another great scene that pays off the build up in this season. It's a satisfying conclusion for Matt's arc as we get it confirmed that he wasn't imagining Mary waking up and that it actually happened. Their reunion was very poignant as expected and Christopher Eccleston does a great job of portraying an extremely likeable man to make us glad that things finally worked out for him.
John and Kevin's scenes were also standouts. The first was great because it portrayed John as a broken man who just wants some answers and there was a great deal of tension building up to the conversation and even throughout the conversation. Kevin suggesting that Evie didn't love John was cold but after the episode, it seems like a very real possibility because of what we learn, and John is forced to deal with that truth throughout the episode. It makes their reunion in the medical room just as powerful as we get to see two broken people trying to keep their lives together interacting as actual friends and feeling sympathy for each other.
The bridge scenes were also extremely powerful. It was dramatic to see Meg bring Evie and the girls onto the bridge and it was very emotional to see both John and then Erika see their daughter alive. The use of music and lack of dialogue only added to the emotion and overall effect of the scenes making them all the more painful. The fact that the bomb threat was a fake out was a pleasant surprise and also mirrored what Meg did in the school bus back in "Ten Thirteen". For Meg it's all about creating reminders by suggesting a dramatic explosion but there never seems to be an actual explosion. The final sequence with the GR members going over the bridge into Miracle was very strong and provided a very powerful sequence.
Michael's speech in the church was incredible (see: Best Moment). There was so much emotion to that scene and it wonderfully bought in a seemingly filler story we heard several times before and turned it into a very important story and thematic point, delivering emotional impact and driving home the overall story of this whole season, that a place like Miracle is no safer from feelings of loss and pain than anywhere else.
It was great to see a return to the hotel. It was smart to have this scene as it not only provided a spectacular karaoke scene, but it also confirmed some mysteries going into season 3. By seeing it again, we are confirmed that the afterlife is real and not a hallucination. Also, we get to see the man from the bridge again, who I believe is David Burton who was mentioned in the past. I may be wrong though and perhaps this man is some sort of god in the world as he seems to be self-aware of where he is unlike anyone else.
But aside from the mystery elements, this return worked so well because it created a wonderful story for Kevin. It seems that upon arriving in the hotel everyone has to choose their occupation and we see a clear difference with Kevin choosing to be a cop which is what he truly is on the inside. It signifies that to go home he has to be himself and accept who he is instead of going grand and becoming an international assassin. The actual karaoke scene was incredible and very emotional as Kevin sings about how he desperately wants to go back to his family. It was definitely a highlight of the episode and was very close to being the best moment too.
The story paid off wonderfully in the last scene as Kevin gets to see everyone important in his life all together and waiting for him. It was a wonderful happy ending just like in season 1. Speaking of the season 1 finale, this episode felt very similar to that. The overtaking of Miracle felt very similar to the destruction of Mapleton and we got even more scenes that were mirrored. The hopeful ending, Kevin's want to go back to his family and Kevin crying while doing something simplistic felt very familiar too. But this isn't bad. Why? Because somehow the show presented something very similar to what it was before and yet made it feel different and new and I thought this episode was actually more well done than last season's stellar finale.
how intense was that scene where the GR sang the "Miracle" song in the Visitor's Centre to Kevin? I got chills.
The Bad: Nora, Laurie and Tommy's storylines didn't feel like they properly paid off in the end. They had rather tame closing arcs that didn't really resolve anything about them. Sure Nora was desperate to keep her child and Tommy did ultimately help Nora and Laurie got to speak to Jill but it didn't feel like the spectacular closure we deserved. This is a forgivable flaw though as there was a lot of ground that needed to be covered with this episode.
The Unknown: Only a few questions, this episode wrapped up a lot of loose ends.
How long was Evie a GR member for before she left?
Who is the man who Kevin keeps encountering in the afterlife?
Did Michael and Erika end up going back to meet John in his house or has he alienated them now?
Best Moment: Michael in the church was spectacular. His story highlighted the themes of this season so well and packed one hell of a punch. It was an easy way to show Evie's displeasure in her life and how John's inability to move on and to continue to ruin other people's lives has now destroyed his family. I suppose he and Kevin had a lot more in common than we thought as both of them ended up destroying their families.
Character of the Episode: Tough choice once again as so many different characters shone in this episode. I'm going with John for impacting the story in a lot of ways, even when he wasn't actually in some of the scenes. His character arc ended up closing out in such an impressive and organized manner that it was impossible not to be satisfied.
Conclusion: Season 2 concluded on a perfect note. This episode delivered what I had hoped for and then some, making it one of the most satisfying and easily enjoyable episodes of the show so far.
Regarding the season as a whole, it was absolutely spectacular television that will be very hard to top. Like in season 1, emotion and feelings were the primary force of this season which is why I think it succeeds so well because emotion is the key to next level television. This season provided an emotional response with every single episode this season and quite literally every episode this season was a winner. It's telling that the lowest score I gave to an episode this season was a 68. This is must-watch television, and this season has cemented The Leftovers as an all-time great TV show.
Summary: Earlier in time, Meg visits Isaac in Miracle with hopes of learning what her mother wanted to tell her before she died. She meets Evie. Back in the present, Meg visits Tommy and scares him out of hugging people's pain away. Tommy and Laurie have a fight and Tommy runs to the GR to meet Meg again. Meg is planning to do something in Miracle and Tommy wants to help. He is taken to her camp and after some investigating he finds Evie and the other girls hidden away in GR clothes.
The Good: Leave it to The Leftovers to introduce a totally new story arc and danger just one episode away from the finale. And they did so in a very strong episode in a season that has been full of them.
Meg takes the focus in this episode and we receive a ton of development an motivation for her. The opening scene as a whole lets us know everything we need to know about Meg. Her mother tells her that she is relentless and that when she has a goal she will see it done. That ties in to her current antics as she clearly has something violent and memorable planned for the people in Miracle. My theory is that she will blow up the bridge into Miracle, cutting off the town from the outside world but I could be wrong (see: The Unknown). Since we know Meg is ruthless, we know that she won't give up until the job is done and with that shocking reveal at the episode's end, we know that she has planned this for a while.
How big was that ending scene? We got an answer for where Evie and the girls went and it was not what I think anyone was expecting. This sets us up for a heartbreaking reunion next episode and I'm very excited to see how the Murphy family reacts to this and whatever Evie is going to do for Meg's plan.
Back to Meg for a bit, the story of her trying to get over the loss of her mom was classic The Leftovers. This show is still about loss at its heart and it was great to see some more of the show's signature grief without the show going into absolute misery. The psychic story felt very real and I love that Isaac said that her mom wanted to talk about walnuts, it really highlights the idea that you can't ever get proper closure after losing someone. Meg meeting Evie after was another great scene with Evie trying her best to awkwardly help Meg feel better. It was more excellent examination of loss.
Tommy's scenes were enjoyable as well despite one problem (see: The Bad). It's clear that he's hurting from everything that happened to him and he doesn't want to help others anymore. His situation is relatable and it's understandable that Tommy would go to Meg with hopes of feeling better. But now it seems like Tommy may need to stop whatever Meg is planning for the next episode.
The Bad: Like "The Garveys at their Best" in the last season, the penultimate episode departs from the main story to catch us up with other things. While that episode provided us some much needed character development, this didn't quite do the same so it may be a frustrating episode for some people. Especially since last episode we saw Kevin rise from the dead; it would have been nice to see the follow up from that.
I wasn't a huge fan of the follow-up with Tommy and Meg. She raped him and that should have been a bigger deal than it was treated as. I am willing to overlook it somewhat because the focus of this episode was enjoyable, but I definitely think there should have been more scenes with Tommy and Meg addressing their situation. It felt strange to have all these romantic scenes instead of proper character scenes.
The Unknown: What is Meg planning and why is she doing it? What does she want to accomplish? I suppose she wants to violently make the people o Miracle remember.
What did Meg mean when she said she wanted to make Tommy pregnant?
Best Moment: I loved the Meg and Matt scene. It was a great reunion and really hinted at what Meg is going to do and gave a sense of foreboding to the residents of Miracle. Now I'm wondering if Matt is going to have to do something to stop her. Aside from the foreboding, the scene also did highlight Matt's goodwill as he joyfully reunited with a former acquaintance.
Character of the Episode: Meg for introducing herself as a big new threat in just a single episode.
Conclusion: This was another really strong episode that included some big set up for the finale. This was a little bit short on emotional scenes compared to other episodes this season and it had one notable flaw, but I still think the storytelling was as brilliant as always.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.