Ok, so… that happened. I guess.
Leftovers is a show that repeatedly leaves me looking at the screen with a look of utter bemusement on my face – because everything is just so, plain, weird. I honestly think that half – or more – of every episode happens simply because a load of people in a room got really drunk and really high and just decided to write down whatever came to mind. I honestly read that the scene with Kevin checking his penis on the biometrics was added, along with last season’s karaoke, simply because the writers wanted to troll Justin Theroux. And I wonder, is that the secret of this whole show? Does it actually exist just because the writers want to see what weird shit they can make the actors do? This whole thing is one epic trolling?
So we have this episode, which is peak Madlib since it involves Kevin in his parallel world/near death experience/hallucination. He has decided to drown himself – his dad and disciples all wake up to stop him befoee accepting that yes this is kind of what they asked him to do, so he’s back to drowning himself for revelation. Remember he needs 3 things: Grace wants to know why her kids had no shoes, John wants to pass on a message of love to Evie, his dead daughter and Kevin Senior wants to appropriate from Aboriginal Australian culture even after death to stop a new biblical flood
The plus side? This involves Kevin naked again. And I will forgive a lot for more of this man naked, yes yes I will. Sure I’m shallow but I need to find some joy for that. After that it gets weird – a random eastern European man (I don’t know which language) trying to kill him and someone else rescues him to set him up as an assassin. And his job is to kill the president of the USA. No pressure then.
Also he needs to avoid mirrors or “they” will find him. But a random other person who goes by “god” because why not tells him to use the mirror. Looking in the mirror lets him flip between the heads of two Kevins: unbearded Kevin and bearded Kevin
And Bearded Kevin is the President of the Unites States, who unbearded Kevin needs to kill – why not. President Kevin seems to be a Guilty Remnant member, reading a speech about banning the family and how they used to do the whole smoking thing. While giving a speech he manages to talk to Grace’s kids and even have a moment with Evie – who isn’t exactly thrilled with him since his regime apparently killed her whole family with a drone strike (which is, of course how she died). That’s two missions completed as he reports to the land of the living before drowning himself all over again for Kevin The Worst, his dad.
Back to bearded president Kevin who gets the message that a nuclear submarine has been stolen by Ukrainian separatists so he needs to nuke everyone first. No it doesn’t make sense, but this is Leftovers and Kevin’s weird hallucination, so let’s face it, sense isn’t needed. To the bunker which Kevin opens with his penis (because of course he does) and also has to say who his defence secretary is: Patti
Of course it’s Patti
And Dead world Patti wants to see it all burn – there’s no submarine but there’s a whole long conspiracy basically so Patti and her Guilty Remnant leanings can just destroy the entire world by starting a nuclear war. Part of this involves his identical twin (unbearded assassin Kevin) who has a key embedded in his heart. The idea being that the president wouldn’t launch a nuke unless he absolutely had to since he had to murder someone to do it.
Clearly whoever thought of this has not been paying much attention to the current President
Assassin Kevin joins them at the instruction of god, a brief appearance from Vice-president Meg (who is dating earpiece God) and some more randomness. We end up with both Kevins and Patti in the same room.
But first Assassin Kevin manages to contact Christopher Sunday for the song – only to be told that the Song doesn’t exist. And, anyway, it’s not like Kevin junior actually believes in this nonsense anyway, so why is he bothering?
Which is what Patti asks the Kevins when they protest they don’t want to end the world. Knowing he has the key in his chest, why did Assassin Kevin come here? With the power of the presidency, why did beardy Kevin agree to this? And why did he choose Patti to be his defence minister (she ays she came out of retirement to help him as he helped her)?
Basically the whole question is why is Kevin doing this? Why is he drowning himself? Why visit this alternate world/hallucination for the sake of his dad’s ridiculous flood theory that makes no sense? Why is he here?
Thankfully he has written a book that basically spells out his motivation: Kevin is afraid of his relationship with Nora. Afraid of letting her seeing him vulnerable, afraid of letting her seeing him as fragile and broken. This world is his distraction, this is him running from that, treating his delusions as real, refusing to confront the truth, refusing to admit how hurt he actually is. This is him running from his relationship, from reality, from his pain.
And Patti wants him to end the world/his delusion to basically remove it as an option. He can’t play the passive suicide-alternate-world-visits if that world no longer exists. So the nukes re launched. This is Kevin confronting reality
Ultimately, this is the story of Leftovers for this entire season. Everything else is a distraction, the core is Kevin and Nora and how deeply damaged and hurting these two people are. Nora with her harsh criticism of and ultimate embrace of being able to Depart. And Kevin avoiding the idea he is some kind of messiah before finally embracing it – before then realising how ridiculous it is and stop running from his life
This is the story of two extremely damaged, hurting and, yes, even deeply mentally ill people and how they deal with it. From the very beginning both of these characters have not been shy about showing how they were hurting. We saw them try to pretend it wasn’t happening and they were living a perfectly happy life – but denial doesn’t heal or fix and you can’t just pretend you don’t have a problem. And they frayed, both Nora and Kevin increasingly cracked and neither were really in a position to help the other because both of them are just too hurt to help heal the other. In the end, Nora seems to have completely fallen off to possible suicide (Unless the last episode shows us more) which Kevin appears to be pulling back from the edge.
I think everything else – Matt, Laurie, etc – they’re just distractions, side context to this main story: Kevin and Nora, people trying to pull themselves out of the pits they’ve fallen into