When the first season of The Leftovers began I was instantly hooked. I was fascinated by the characters, as well as, the world that the show establishes. The second season of the show exceeded all my expectations based on the first, which was not an easy feat. Going into this third season I was both excited and apprehensive. I had faith that the show would end on a high note, but was worried that it would not. While I may have initially been worried about the season, it ended up cementing its place as one of my favorite shows of all time.
I’m not fucking Jesus.
Admittedly, when the season began I liked it but was a bit worried. Tonally it was more fun than the past two seasons, while still dealing with the same heavy material. To my surprise the show managed to balance this tone remarkably well, while still keeping in line with what people would expect from past seasons. Just like past seasons, this show is about people. How do these people move on from an unexplainable event? This season, more so than any season before, showed how people constantly search for meaning. It has been nearly seven years since the sudden departure and people are interpreting that on the seven year anniversary something will happen.
After everything that has happened to Kevin in the past season, Matt and company believe him to be a sort of “Jesus” character. In both of these instances we see people searching for meaning in the unknown. Something that surprised me was the show’s decision to jump ahead in time. While jarring at first, it was fun to figure out what has happened to everyone. In the beginning of the season everyone is not only searching for answers, but they are also in a happy place (mostly). As the season unfolds we start to see the cracks in each of their lives. It may have seemed like they moved on with their lives, but they have not. They were each still latching on to something from their past, which is preventing them from moving forward. The only real disappointment I have with this season is that I wanted a bit more from some of the supporting characters. Jill, Tommy, John and Michael do not get too much screen time compared to past seasons. I would have liked to see more from them, but after seeing the season in its entirety I understand why they are not part of the focus. For the most part, they have all gone on with their lives. They have either accepted what has happened to them, or found some semblance of normalcy in their bizarre lives. The characters we do focus on are: Kevin, Nora, Matt, Laurie, and Kevin Sr. These are the main characters who are struggling with moving forward, mostly because of the implications of what occurred on or after to October the 14th.
I believe you.
With most episodes of The Leftovers, it takes a bit for the episode to settle. Often times something unusual may happen, or something unexpected, and I will not know how to react. With this season’s pilot, I did not expect everyone to be in such a good mindset. Initially it took me off guard, but then I realized what it meant. They were not genuinely happy (at least not all of them), they were just burying their feelings. As the season went on characters were tested in various ways, until the finale where (as Damon Lindelof states) “everything is answered and nothing is answered”.
By the finale it is clear that those who thought the world was going to end on the seventh anniversary of the Sudden Departure were wrong. They were trying to make sense of something that they did not understand. However, the show left us viewers with a question: was Nora telling the truth? Nora claims to have traveled to where ever the 2% of the population departed to. There is no proof of her venturing there, only the merit of her word. Initially I thought she was lying, but after rewatching the episode and thinking about something that other people said, I think she is telling the truth. During the whole finale she keeps getting upset at people for lying, which would be weird if she herself told a lie at the very end. As people have noted she has been a very skeptical person throughout the entire series. Having her tell Kevin this story of her traveling to where everyone departed bears a lot more weight coming from her. At the end of the day, The Leftovers became a sort of love story. It took the audience on a journey following two very broken people (Kevin and Nora) who had to deal with their own personal demons in order to finally move on with their lives, and allow themselves to love each other.
Nothing is a masterpiece. You can find flaws with anything, and this season (as well as the entire series) of The Leftovers certainly has some flaws. However, when something is truly brilliant you are able to overlook the flaws. While I still think the second season of this show is ever so slightly better, this remains a remarkable season of one of the finest televisions shows of all time. It pains me that so many people have not heard of or seen the show. The Leftovers may be over but it is a show that deserves to be seen by more people, so keep spreading the word.