Written by MJ Rawls
Miracles. Unexplained phenomena. Humans cling to explanations that seem the most irrational when extravagant things occur and shake the very foundation to which they live to the core. The Leftovers TV series, which is making its final rounds in a short third season, which was already in a rabbit hole of mystery and intrigue, seems to do that again…with time jumps. That sound familiar? Well, if you watched a little show called Lost, then you would be more than acquainted with the Damon Lindelof style of storytelling. I find it to be of no coincidence that this episode premiered on Easter Sunday.
The Departure is still the foundation of the show and where The Leftovers makes the most impact is character development, particularly how the characters cope with such a extraordinary event. This episode starts with a look to the past back in 1844, where a family gives up all they have to join a church that professes that a great flood is coming. As the short clip goes on, a woman who holds onto the small semblance of faith that this will happen loses her family and subjects herself to ridicule as the flood never occurs. Faith in itself is a powerful thing where belief can be so strong that you want to will things into existence. However, when things don’t come to fruition, it can be lonely.
We get a brief glimpse of the government bombing the Jarden Visitor Center, which eliminates the Guilty Remnant, we presume. It seems like things can be “normal” as they can be as we fast-forward three years later. Kevin (Justin Theroux) is back to being chief of police in Miracle and Tommy (Chris Zylka) is now a cop himself, almost like a team-up. Nora (Carrie Coon) headed back working for the DSD. Laurie (Amy Brenneman) and John (Kevin Carroll) are together and running a medium-esque service so crooked it would make Ms. Cleo blush. A little weird that Kevin and Laurie live right next door to each other. When Jill (Margaret Qualley) comes home from college, there is a sense of normal, as much as you can draw from the small town of Miracle. It even comes to the tune of Jill making a joke about never seeing Kevin again because the world is ending. With the seventh anniversary of the Departure coming, business is booming for Reverend Matt (Christopher Eccleston), whose devotion is destroying his marriage. Yup, as normal as we can get.
There’s something with Kevin in two instances in the episode that should be of interest. Dean’s (Michael Gaston) reappearance is weird, considering that he starts stating conspiracy theories to him about senators who might be masquerading as K9s. He later tries to kill Kevin in a spontaneous fit of aggression, to which we see that something is going to happen in Miracle as we get closer to the anniversary. Kevin also tries to kill himself and willingly gives himself to a baptism in poisoned water. Going back to the second season, there were many situations where Kevin should have taken the big dirt nap. We know that Matt can get carried away, but he has started to create a book recalling Kevin’s life with all the extraordinary circumstances. With the proclamation that Kevin cannot die in Miracle, will Kevin be the center of the next Departure? It gets even more curious looking at the last episode title, “The Book of Nora.” How are these related?
How about the last scene? Again, we are given another look into a time jump where a nun asks a very old Nora if she knows Kevin, to which she replies, “No.” It would not be The Leftovers if we did not have more questions than answers. What happened to Lily? Why does future Nora not know Kevin? What’s going on with Kevin and his Lazarus complex? The Leftovers is a show that makes you question things well beyond the premiere of the new episode.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
THE LEFTOVERS AIRS SUNDAYS AT 9 ON HBO