The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 2: Don’t Be Ridiculous Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: In her official capacity as fraud investigator for the Department of Sudden Departure (D.S.D.), Nora travels to St. Louis to investigate a possible scam that involves convincing the family members of The Departed there’s a way to see their loved ones again. (HBO)

Writers: Tha Lonely Donkey Kong and Specialist Contagious

Director: Keith Gordon

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 59mins

The first thing that most will notice is that the show’s opening theme has changed, it has changed every season so this one was no different. Ever since this show has started, certain episodes have focused almost exclusively on one character. These episodes have often been some of the best of the series and this one was no different. Although the best episode so far was the one from the first season that focused on Matt and his story, this one comes close. As suggested by the synopsis, this episode focused on Nora having a bad couple of days while also setting the stage for the highly publicized move to Australia.

This episode started off with the man who lived on top of the pillar in downtown Miracle, mysteriously falling to his death. The people claimed that he had departed, prompting Nora to investigate. We obviously know that he didn’t depart and Nora didn’t believe it either, figuring out that his wife had brought his body into the church and asked Matt to give him a proper Christian burial. To conclude her investigation, she had to document the body. Despite knowing the truth, others worshipped him which baffled Nora. She wanted to tell them the truth but Kevin didn’t want her to rile up the people so close to the 14th.

Even with a new family, Nora still missed her old family who all departed. She was then given hope when she received a phone call from a strange man offering her the opportunity to see her family again. She was skeptical, of course, but she didn’t want to completely dismiss it. She met the man in St. Louis, not before having a series of unlucky incidents, and she learned that if someone was blasted with the same kind of radiation that was present at the initial departure sites, then they can be transported to wherever the departed went. Her skepticism didn’t go away and questioned the man’s commitment as she found it to be dangerous, obviously. The man also gave her a cellphone for them to contact her with the next steps and a  thumb drive with testimonials from people who have had this experimental procedure done to them and they did not seem crazy. Still with her family on her mind, she drives to a city called Eminence to see Lily and also runs into Christine before getting scared away and heading home.

Before she got home, she needed someone to talk to so she stopped to spend time with Erika. They talked about her recently removed cast and why it was broken in the first place. Nora admitted that she broke it on purpose because she had a tattoo of her kids’ names that reminded her that they had departed. She also explained how she had it covered by another tattoo. Erika bought a trampoline to help her unwind so the two bounced together and Nora temporarily forgot about her problems and was happy. She also ran into Tom who had gotten wind of her meeting with Christine. Christine was worried about her safety but Nora just wanted to see Lily. She was upset at Tom that Lily didn’t know her anymore, wishing he hadn’t left Lily for her but he backhandedly told her that he left her for Kevin because he didn’t know Nora existed.

To stick it to the people worshipping the man from earlier, she placed an enlarged image of his corpse in front of a messianic painting of him and enraging his wife. The look on her face while walking away was stone cold. When she got home, she interrupted Kevin with a bag over his head (just like he did in the previous episode), he claimed that he always tore them off and did it to feel something. She said it was okay and that was the end of it (but it’s not). Kevin told Nora he wanted a baby with her and she laughed in his face. She questioned the timing and then got a phone call from the mysterious group from earlier saying that she had to meet them in Australia with $20,000. Kevin asked her if he could go with her.

In Australia, we meet the chief of police in some city who also happens to be named Kevin. The only difference between them was that he was not a very nice guy. When he got home, he found four women on horseback who were apparently looking for a chief of police named Kevin (they are obviously looking for the other Kevin). The other women claim that it’s not him but their leader believed otherwise. They then dunked his head underwater but he drowns, meaning that he’s not who they’re looking for. Kevin Sr. comes out of the nearby house wondering what’s going on.

Overall, this was a great episode, featuring an amazing performance by Carrie Coon, depicting Nora’s longing for her family and also her pain and frustration. Her saga is not over yet and I am curious to see where it goes. Because of the great writing, you feel for these characters and it was easy to feel with her here and also Kevin. This episode set up the Australian part of this final season but also presents some important questions like who were those women and how do they know about Kevin and how does Kevin Sr. figure into all of this.

Score: 9.5/10

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