If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: With the clock ticking towards the anniversary of the Departure and emboldened by a vision that is either divine prophecy or utter insanity, Kevin Garvey, Sr. wanders the Australian Outback in an effort to save the world from apocalypse. (HBO)
Writers: Damon Lindelof and Tom Spezialy
Director: Mimi Leder
Running Time: 58mins
Again with the opening theme change, maybe this will be a continuing trend with the song reflecting the themes of the episode? Who knows but I’m kind of liking it so far.
As mentioned last week, the character specific episodes have been some of the best of this series so far and this episode was no different. With Kevin Sr. popping up at the end of the previous episode, it it normal to wonder how he got there in the first place. This episode focuses on Kevin Sr. and his quest to find purpose within the Australian countryside. An important fact is that this episode took place before the Season 3 premiere.
The episode starts off with Kevin Sr. driving across the outback, following the trail of an indigenous tribe. He is also listening to a recording of a younger Kevin Jr. doing his best news anchor impression. This tape had a significance that will be explained later. He ends up watching and recording the tribe performing some sort of ceremonial dance and when he later tries to perform it himself, he gets arrested and then later released. He had gained a bad reputation for this since it was illegal.
He and Matt had been working together on Matt’s book, which we now know to be his new bible featuring Kevin Jr. When Matt sent him a copy of his book, Kevin Sr. got angry and called Matt because he wasn’t in it. Sr. wasn’t a part of Jr’s story, Jr was a part of his since he helped guide Sr. to Australia. It had happened when Jr. was 8 years old. Sr. got insulted by the money, thinking it was just to keep his mouth shut about the book Matt was writing. He ripped out a page and kept it.
He just wanted to find this infamous spiritual leader named Christopher Sunday in search of enlightenment. Once he found him, Kevin Sr. told him the story of why he went to Australia in the first place. He had been fighting the voices in his head ever since the rapture which was why he was put in the insane asylum. Once he gave up, they told him to go to Australia. He took some drugs and was then lead to a magical chicken that was hatched from an egg left over from a small town that was raptured. Its power was that it could help people find what they were looking for. The chicken, jumped on his lap and started pecking at his bag, more specifically the same tape that he was listening to at the beginning of the episode.
Kevin Sr. listened to the tape, looking for a sign, and he determined that in order to stop the flood that was coming on the seventh anniversary, he would have to sing a song to stop it. This had been his mission for the last two years. He had been going from community to community and learning their parts of the song, leaving only this leader’s song. But in typical fashion, after a freak accident, Kevin Sr. never got the chance to hear his song. Continuing with that, Kevin Sr. got thrown out of the ambulance, leaving him alone and injured in the outback.
Kevin Sr. struggled through the outback trying to survive and getting bit by a venomous snake. He then saw a cross up in the distance. When he got there, he fainted and almost looking like Jesus. He was saved by a person riding on horseback. He woke up in an empty house and used the phone to call Matt again. We learned that several weeks had passed since their last phone call. Kevin Sr. wanted help to find Sunday but Matt wanted him to send a copy of the book back since it was the original. When Kevin Sr. told him that he threw it away, the conversation was over.
He then goes outside and notices a group of people building an ark for the upcoming flood. They tell him that the Sunday was dead. He went back into the house and found some food and someone’s family photos. He fell asleep but when he woke up, he stumbled on to what the women were doing at the end of the previous episode and got tranquilized.
He woke up again and had some tea with the leader of the women and the owner of the house, a woman named Grace (Lindsey Duncan). Grace tells him that she will turn herself in for what she did and explained why she did it. Her family was gone after the rapture, or so she thought. She felt blessed so she help spread the word of God for two years (coincidence?). She then learned that the remains of her children were found on her property. The cross where Kevin Sr. was found was also where they died. She thought it was a sign and the page that he kept spoke about a police chief named Kevin which inspired what she did. She thought he could help her talk to her children one last time. She thought she was crazy but Kevin Sr. told her that she just had the wrong Kevin (but I think she really needed Jr.).
Overall, this was another amazing episode featuring Kevin Sr.’s compelling journey through the beautiful Australian countryside sold by Scott Glenn’s incredible performance as Kevin Sr. The Leftovers has always gotten the music right and this episode was another example of this, setting the emotional tone throughout. Lindsey Duncan was also incredible as Grace, in the final scene, talking about the loss of her children and the lengths she was willing to take to talk to them again. This was just mastery on every level.