The insane episodes are the best - I mean, the more insane 'The Leftovers' episodes the better they are. Not that they make no sense, Both “International Assassin” & “The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother)”, the audience has to figure out the craziness along with Kevin. I'm surprised by hearing so many people saying they're expecting to be disappointed tonight due to a lack of "closure" or "explanation." Has it not been clear for a while now this show is not intending to do that? Why have those same hopes.

This is really all about a man's journey to freeing himself of the self-destructive side of his nature, isn't it? The side that takes him to the dark place? The place where he doesn't want to go anymore? This whole show is about the ongoing internal battle Kevin wages with his own psychosis...right? So now that he has removed that blockage from inside himself, he can finally go forward with this new-found inner peace and build long-lasting healthy relationships. with the added layer of Kevin having a possibly hereditary tendency toward mental disease. it's all about confronting the shadow-self. This year, we've also got Agent Cooper and Bob going at it like Legion and The Shadow King. As Jung (by way of Buddha) wrote: "Everyone carries a shadow... and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is."

However, I suspect this show can be about a number of different things, and your theory could be one interpretation.

I mean, there has been some quasi-supernatural going ons. Holy Wayne seemed able to take peoples pain away. Matt Jamison, under the belief God was giving him signs, was able to win a lot of money at the casino. When Jill was stuck inside the fridge and none of her friends could open it, Kevin Sr came by at just the right time and could. Erika buried a bird in a box in the ground and later it flew out, though it should have been dead. Kevin Sr was able to communicate with his son via a fire in a Sydney hotel, although that could be explained by Kevin Jr's insane powers.

I love that the show ended its penultimate episode the same way the season began, with a person of blind faith stuck standing on their roof alone and destroying their lives because of it. What I found most amazing about it was the fact that they literally showed us, at the beginning of the season, the fate that awaits true believers. But then over six episodes of rising lunacy we as viewers start to develop a nagging belief in what Kevin Sr. is saying. Apocalypse? In this day and age, it sounds pretty plausible. And with the rain, the nuke, Kevin Jr.'s resurrections, we get swept up in the enthusiasm of it all. But after all the drownings and all the storms, Kevin Sr. is right where the show told us he would end up, sitting on that rooftop. He did exactly what it was indicated he would do, yet I was surprised by it. That's some pretty amazing writing indeed. I also really loved how the ark in Grace's yard is made from a deconstructed church, or maybe the church is a deconstructed ark. The pairing of the two is really lovely and suggestive, without overstating the point.

But I digress, back to the insane.

Is Kevin running around in a hotel? Is the objective the same? Are the events surrounding his journey the same? Does Kevin come out of the journey having learned nothing new? No. Kevin learns to stop running. To stay present in reality and try to love, even though it terrifies him. Hell, the episode creates this brilliant body swap conceit which I have never seen used anywhere else, and yet its still not enough. There's a d*ck scanner. Kevin is the president. But what, Patty and Meg are in this? You're telling me that Lindelof uses characters we care about to create a meaningful payoff? And it makes story sense, too? Psssh, what hack writing. Stop playing it safe, Lindelof.

What is it ALL about?

I think that much of 'The Leftovers' is about grief and how people deal with it. Not just the grief of having someone close to you dying but also the grief of a broken marriage or of having your daughter, a teenage girl with so much promise, go off the rails. It’s about the need of some to move on and forget and of others to never let go.

The grief of a loss is usually only experienced and shared at a local level with family and friends. Once the tears have dried, your support system tends to move on, leaving you in the mire to deal with your emotions as best you can. The Sudden Departure was the representation of loss being experienced on a global scale at exactly the same time.

The aftermath of this is that it is impossible for anyone to move on from the agony they feel for whatever loss they have experienced because every time they look at another person, they are reminded of their own grief, fear, regret, self-loathing etc. When people suffer a loss or a trauma, it is difficult for them to understand how the world can keep turning and how life continues to go on around them. Now everyone is suffering, so pain and misery becomes the norm - and it is perpetual.

Nora is a good example of someone trying to move on but can't because no one will let her. The fact that she lost three people allows others to look at her as someone who has suffered more than they have. There is always someone worse off than you are. This knowledge is perhaps a comfort to some - and so they need to see her continuing to suffer in order to have someone else to feel sorry for rather than just feeling sorry for themselves.

The ending of 'Lost' was for all intents and purposes, a happy one. I don't see Lindelof ending 'The Leftovers' on a sour note. Especially given the finales of both season one and season two of the series. They all hinged on a reunion. As did 'Lost'. I really think Nora goes to where The Departed are. Or she might already be there. And no, Balki Bartokomus isn't.

-Dagobot



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Tags: the leftovers , HBO , Lost