Thursday, June 8, 2017

What I’m Watching: The Leftovers (Series Finale)

The Leftovers: Season 3, Episode 8 “The Book of Nora”

I wasn’t happy at the start of this episode. I didn’t like the fact that events seem to be playing out in an only half-imagined world where things didn’t quite make sense. It also addressed what we had seen at the start of the season with a woman who looked just like Nora named Sarah in Australia as a complete lie since obviously this person does know exactly who Kevin is. After Kevin spun a story about barely knowing who Nora was, claiming that they never actually met, they did have a good moment together while dancing at the wedding that Kevin tricked Nora into coming to. When he showed up, completely out of character and back as the Kevin we know, swearing and all, to yell at her for abandoning him, everything became much clearer in a way that tied it all together. It’s brave for a series finale to feature only two characters, but this show has always made tremendous use of its music and of intimate, immensely meaningful conversations to truly drive its points home. The idea that Nora traveled to a world where everyone who disappeared remained and everyone else wasn’t there is incredibly interesting, and her discovery that they were so much happier with so much less says a lot about what satisfaction and fulfillment mean in a world where bad things do happen. Her decision to come back and isolate herself from anything as a punishment of sort was moving, and I love that Kevin used his two weeks of vacation every year to trek through Australia showing Nora’s picture to everyone he saw in the hopes of finding her. We didn’t get any answers about how or why this happened, but this was a truly powerful and compelling note on which to end. I still contend that season one was awe-inspiring and leagues better than both seasons two and three, but this show will still leave a mark as a whole for truly capturing the art of devastation.

Series finale: B+
Series grade: B+
Season MVP: Amy Brenneman as Laurie
Season grade: B
Series MVP: Carrie Coon as Nora
Best Season: Season 1
Best Episode: “The Garveys at Their Best

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