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The Leftovers is one of my top 5 all-time TV shows so I was sad that it came to an end with its shortened third season. There’s only so far it can go so instead of stretching out, they decided to end it on a high note and that they did.
It was already announced that this season would eventually move to Australia so we were just waiting for that to happen and it ultimately didn’t take very long for them to get there. The season started three years after the events of the Season finale with the Guilty Remnant (we also got a history lesson on how it began) seemingly taking over Miracle, however, it was all for naught as Evie, Meg, and the other GR members in the Visitors Centre were eliminated rather easily by a missile. As a result, the city was more in ruins than when we saw it last but everyone had pretty much moved on except for John who had obviously lost his daughter.
The world had been preparing for the upcoming seventh anniversary of the departure that marked the start of the series. Everyone was certain that something was going to happen to mark this event, most notably Kevin Sr. believing that a wave was going to wash away the world and the only thing that could stop it is him singing a special song from every part of the world. He was already in Australia since we saw him last and was eventually joined by the others, each going there for different reasons.
Just like in previous seasons to great success, episodes focused on singular characters with similar results, dealing with their lives and how they each got to Australia. Because of Kevin’s many brushes with death, everyone figured he would play an important part in what was to come. He was definitely special and the parallels were there so much so that Matt was secretly writing a new bible based on Kevin’s life. He wasn’t exactly thrilled about it. Maybe it was because he wasn’t as infallible as the book was making him out to be and he didn’t want to be the face of it.
Nora still missed her family so when she was given a chance to see her family once again, she was very skeptical because of her profession but her family kept her going, taking her and Kevin to Australia. The change of scenery didn’t seem to do much for Kevin and Nora and actually made things worse for them. Once she was denied the chance to see her family, Nora was devastated and also determined to expose them for the scam she thought it was. Throughout the series, Kevin has not been okay and this just continued here. Nora didn’t know how to deal with him anymore which led to one of many excellent scenes featuring an argument between both of them in a Melbourne hotel room and resulting in them splitting up.
On a ferry ride with Laurie, John, and Michael, Matt came face to face with God while also having to justify himself, John, and Michael to Laurie who did not believe in what they were doing. They all went to Australia to bring Kevin back because they believed that Kevin had to be in Miracle for the seventh anniversary. Suffice it to say that they could not make it back in time so they all made the best of where they were. They then went their separate ways with Matt going with Nora and John and Michael going with Kevin who was now with Kevin Sr. and a woman named Grace (Lindsay Duncan).
Laurie, on the other hand, spent time sending both Kevin and Nora off on their endeavours. She had helped Nora and Matt track the physicists responsible for a machine to take people to where the departees went and she also wanted to say goodbye to Kevin before he went on his mission to drown so he can go to the other side (the International Assassin world) to talk to some loved ones and get Kevin Sr. the rest of the song he had to sing to stop the flood. She understood what they wanted to do and did not try to stop him. It looked like she had fulfilled her purpose and appeared to commit suicide but that wasn’t the case as she came back in the final episode.
While Kevin was in the other world, the anniversary came and went without incident so the final episode focused on what the series was really about and that was the relationship between Kevin and Nora. First, Nora said an emotional goodbye to her sick brother Matt before stepping into the machine that was supposed to bring her back to her family. This was followed by a time jump where we saw the same older Nora that we saw in a flash forward at the end of the first episode of the season. She had been living a life of solitude in Australia until an older Kevin unexpectedly showed up. Matt died and everyone told him that Nora was gone although he was adamant that she was still out there and set out to find her. A lot of time had obviously passed but he eventually found her. He wanted a fresh start after their heated hotel room argument and she decided to give him a chance.
It took a while to understand what was going on in the series finale and it all made sense once we finally learned the reason for the time jump. It started when we got a glimpse of what life was like for the departees, whether or not we believed Nora’s story (because we didn’t get to see any of it) about going through the machine that was allegedly supposed to bring her to her family. She empathized with the departees who to them, lost the rest of the world. When she eventually found her family, she saw that they were happy and because she didn’t want to ruin it, she decided to go back to the real world somehow. She thought he wouldn’t believe her but he did with the series ending by them having a moment and holding hands.
Every aspect of this season was executed to near perfection. Episodes were well shot and the Australian scenery was beautiful. The writing was great all around. The music and score were engaging and inventive, including the different opening themes for every episode. The story this season was very emotional with the characters approaching the anniversary and ultimately finding their own purpose through it. This season had many excellent emotional moments (there were too many to name) giving cast members chances to shine. The performances all around were amazing and award-worthy, especially by Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, and Scott Glenn. They were all compelling to watch and each episode had at least a few excellent scenes between them. Kevin Carroll and Jovan Adepo were just there as John and Michael Murphy but they were good too. This season kind of dropped the Murphys and Kevin Sr. by the end, however, it still felt like the characters got proper resolution.
Overall, this was an amazing season of an amazing series that will be remembered for a long time and is worthy of a place along with the greats. There will definitely not be anything else like this for a long time if ever again. It would be a travesty if this does not get the recognition it rightfully deserves come awards season. I miss it already.