How to begin talking about this episode of The Leftovers? If the whole season was a kind of doubling down on season one, a restatement and a further commitment to dig deeper into the same themes, then this extra-long finale digs once more into the riffs and patterns of season two, providing denouements and conclusions but also just reminding us one last time what it’s always been about. So amidst earthquakes, Kevin comes back to life (having negotiated his impossible trial and somewhat pointless battle against Patty and her doppelgangers in the netherworld hotel) and Mary wakes up, happily in a place where she can ask Nora where Matt is. Mary’s story (she’s been missing since the 10/14 Departure, but not in the same way as everyone else who left) provides one of the beautiful notes of closure for the season, as Matt’s faith in the healing powers of Jarden is confirmed (and his named cleared of the ugly accusation of spousal abuse he received from John, as pregnant Mary remembers their night of lovemaking during her earlier hours of lucidity). Matt’s self-exiled sojourn in the nowhere land outside Miracle’s borders has proved one of his more rewarding trials, give or take. Kevin’s revival blows Michael’s mind, and the two men, so different on the surface but connected now by belief, try to piece together the meaning of the journey instigated by (the apparently completely dead and decomposing in his trailer corpse of) Virgil. But many things have finally come clear to Kevin after his ordeal, and he has a sort of wisdom and even a singular authority garnered from his Carlos Castaneda trip. He knows some of the answers now, and he knows what happened to Evie and the other girls. So do we (we found out last week when Tommy stumbled upon them), and if there’s a bad sign in the late second season, it’s the rise and return of the good for nothing Guilty Remnant agenda. And not just the suicidal sad sacks from season one, but a fringy splinter group led by Meg, who didn’t lose anything in the Departure except her mind. Which, let’s face it, may have been a rather fragile affair in the first place. Now she has a kind of wisdom, too, one born of bitterness and anger, and she is bringing it Jarden, along with the missing girls. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors about terrorism and bombs, but we should have known better. Meg prefers to play mind games than inflict physical damage, that’s really where her power resides, and her wrath has become formidable. Wild enough to break the fence holding Jarden sacrosanct. Wild enough to reveal that half of the base camp were Guilty Remnant sleeper agents. Wild enough to foment a riot that this time (unlike season one’s finale) is directed at the leftovers in Jarden, rather than from them towards the instigating smokers. Kevin might have been as involved in that battle as Nora and Matt are, if he hadn’t come straight home already, to be met by an enraged John (whose mind is about to be blown wide open, for there’s a reason he’s been drawn to the Garveys since their arrival) who has free reign to interrogate Kevin about the night the girls disappeared. John’s problem all along is thinking he already knows the answers. This has led to his estrangement from Virgil, from his wife, from his children. His wisdom isn’t wise at all; it’s a web of denial, a defensive certainty hiding truths he’s afraid to process. So before he admits to Kevin that he has no clue what’s happening, and helps him return home, he’ll shoot him in unfounded rage. Which instigates another visit to Hotel Hell (as if we didn’t figure it all out during the more playful Int’l Assassin), and this time Kevin prepares himself for Season three, and undergoes one more trial that only works because Justin Theroux will literally do anything for his directors (what does he care, he goes home to Friends Money) but is almost overkill in getting us to the point we need to reach: a final homecoming as powerful as any moment all season, where Matt and Mary, Tommy and Jill, Laurie and Nora and Lilly all gratefully await his patriarchal return. It wasn’t subtle, this myth of the modern warrior in a lawless, ripped asunder, earthquake-riven world. But the beats it hit best were timeless, universal and capable at least of hinting at (if never ever answering) the big questions. The Leftovers 2.10 "I Live Here Now"Shawn's Rating4.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.