Whoever thought a show about a rapture would be one of the best shows on television today? Season 1 was great but Season 2 was on another level, featuring great characters, amazing storytelling, and enough beautiful imagery that made you forget that you were watching a TV show. It has been over a year since the Season 2 finale and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out with the show coming to an end. Might as well end on a high I suppose.
Synopsis: Three years after Miracle, Texas was overrun by the Guilty Remnant, Kevin Garvey has returned to his role as chief of police. Although he seems to have moved past the incredible events surrounding his “resurrection,” the Seventh Anniversary of the Sudden Departure is just two weeks away and many believe another apocalyptic event may come with it. (HBO)
Writers: Damon Lindeloff and Patrick Sommervile
Director: Mimi Leder
Running Time: 60mins
Before they addressed the cliffhanger from the Season 2 finale, we went back in time to see how people from 1844 dealt with a previous rapture. People were generally more religious back then so this was seen as more of a positive where the righteous would be saved. This would also serve as a lesson on how the Guilty Remnant was founded by a woman who wasn’t chosen.
The last episode ended with the GR seemingly overrunning Miracle and holding up in the Visitors Centre. We got some resolution with this pretty quickly as Evie Murphy exited the building only to be greeted by a missile that not only killed her but also all 94 people inside before blowing up the building. The story moved on three years later from there but I assume we’ll go back there at some point.
As mentioned, it is now three years later and Kevin is now the chief of police. The town is much different than it used to be, looking a little more desolate. It was a special time as they were 2 weeks away from the seventh anniversary of the past rapture. Many had prophesied, including Matt, that something big was going to happen then and that it was going to happen in Miracle, leading many to flock there in anticipation. Kevin was feeling uneasy about the sudden influx of more people so he asked Matt to tone things down but we’ll see how long that will last.
With the three year gap, several characters were in different places. Tom was a deputy in town. Jill left for school but was visiting here. John had moved on from Erika and was now married to Laurie and giving phony psychic readings together. John had some sort of a religious epiphany after what had happened three year earlier after Evie appeared to have died in the blast but he couldn’t accept that she died because she had left and came back before so he thought she could do it again. Matt’s devotion had gotten so out of control that Mary was planning on taking their child and permanently moving back to Mapleton.
It wouldn’t be The Leftovers without some weird things happening and this episode was no different. If you watched the first season, then you’ll remember that since the rapture, dogs began to act strangely. In the same season, Kevin also met a mysterious hunter named Dean (Michael Gaston). He did not appear in Season 2 but he reappeared here and was much different than when we saw him last. He came to Miracle to warn Kevin that the dogs were taking over people’s bodies, providing only a peanut butter sandwich as evidence. Kevin thought he was crazy and Dean thought he had changed. He came back later and was killed after attacking Kevin and Tom which was then followed by a dog coming out of nowhere and disposing of Dean’s evidence.
At this point, everyone had forgotten about what has happened to Kevin. He had previously managed to skirt death on multiple occasions (including in this episode), always coming out unscathed. We learned that Matt was keeping track of his exploits, recording everything that happened to Kevin since the beginning, unbeknownst to him. To him he was writing a new gospel of sorts, with help from Michael, based on Kevin’s life thus comparing his journey to Jesus’. He wasn’t exactly infallible and also wasn’t happy when he learned what was happening, forcing Matt to give him his only hand-written copy which he then burned.
The episode ended with what appeared to be a flash forward. It had been announced that the Season would eventually move to Australia so here we saw a much older Nora, now named Sarah, appearing to be in Australia, handling her flock of messenger doves. A considerable amount of time had passed, obviously, since she claimed to not know a man named Kevin anymore. How this came to be remains to be seen and I assume will be.
Overall, this was a great first episode, doing an excellent job at setting the scene for the final season and featuring an amazing performance by Justin Theroux. I’m just glad the show is back and I can’t wait to see what happens next.