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.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.