The third season of The Leftovers wraps up one of the most intriguing, mysterious, and bizarre television shows that has ever been produced. The season begins three years after Season 2 and just a few weeks before the symbolic seventh anniversary of the Sudden Departure, in which two percent of the world’s population mysteriously disappeared and were never found. We start off with the same cast of characters back in Jardin, Texas, but end up all the way in Australia by the last episode. Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), Nora Durst (Carrie Coon), and others experience life-altering events throughout this final season, and producer Damon Lindelof does another masterful job at giving us a window into the minds of these characters. This series has always been about how human being cope with loss, and with the circumstances more extreme than ever this season, Lindelof does not disappoint.
Season 3 of The Leftovers dives deeper than ever before into the minds of each character and how they are processing the tragedy that occurred almost seven years earlier. One of the things I found most interesting throughout this season was the numerous religious references. With the sudden departure being compared to the rapture by many people in earlier seasons, the theme of religion has already been hinted at throughout the series. However, in Season 3 the characters address it head on and gave the audience the opportunity to understand each character’s fundamental belief system. Matt Jameson (Christopher Eccelston) is convinced that Kevin, who has died and come back more than once, is Jesus and starts writing a book about him (the new version of the Bible). Kevin’s dad is convinced the apocalypse will happen on the seventh anniversary of the departure via flood. Both the number 7 and the flood are references to the Old Testament. When Kevin’s dad tells Kevin he has to die in order to stop the apocalypse, it is reminiscent to God sacrificing his son Jesus for the world.
As is the case with many great TV shows, the series needs to have a great finale. After the second to last episode in Season 3, the series finale of The Leftovers could have gone in a number of different directions and had very high expectations to live up to. I thought the description for this episode was perfect and very fitting: “Nothing is answered. Everything is answered. Then it ends.” We do in fact get some answers during the final episode. It takes place many years later where Kevin and Nora reunite in Australia. Nora reveals that she was able to travel to this place to see her kids again, but that they were with a different mom and she felt like she didn’t belong there. She mentions we only lost a few of them (the departed), but that they lost all of us. I thought this was fascinating to think about because it makes us think about what really happens in the afterlife. What if instead of Heaven, people just go to another existence and it’s not really that great after all? What if there’s still pain and suffering, and people experience sadness for the ones they left?
Overall, I thought this was a phenomenal season and an incredible series. No other TV show that I’ve ever watched dives into so many deep and fascinating ideas, and really makes you think about your fundamental belief systems. This is not a light show to just sit down and binge on a Sunday afternoon, but if you’re looking for something that’s really going to make you think and that can spur great discussion, there’s no better option than The Leftovers.
My Rating: 9.7/10
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