In ‘The Leftovers’ recap, Nora seeks out the scientists who promise to help her reach her children while Kevin runs into a familiar face in Australia…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
When two very damaged people get together, you’d hope that they’d be able to forge their broken pieces into one whole again, but after two seasons of torment Kevin and Nora have finally called it quits.
Or at least that’s the way it seems after the latest episode of ‘The Leftovers’, which was filled with sex, lies and by the end a mysterious explosion off screen and the end of main couple on the show.
We can’t forget how Kevin and Nora came together in the first place.
Kevin was still grieving for the loss of his family after his wife left and joined the Guilty Remnant while his stepson disappeared to go live with a radical religious cult as he started to experience all sorts of strange occurrences including hunting dogs and eventually witnessing a suicide first hand. Meanwhile, Nora was showing up in coffee shops specifically so people would see her and react to the woman who lost her entire family during the Sudden Departure before paying prostitutes to shoot her in the chest so she could feel closer to death without actually dying.
When these two got together it made all the sense in the world, but now that they are broken apart it makes just as much sense.
Kevin has never fully comprehended what he’s been going through as person so deeply connected to both death and resurrection and Nora has never quite gotten past the loss of her children despite moving forward in her life without them. It was all rather foreboding considering the theme song playing over the opening credits this week was “This Love is Over” by Ray Lamontagne.
When it all broke down tonight it was difficult to see Kevin and Nora falling apart, but after they said all the awful things they’ve always wanted to say, it felt like closure.
At least for now.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Leftovers’ titled ‘G’Day Melbourne’…
It’s time to go to the airport for the trip to Australia but Nora can’t seem to abandon Kevin quick enough when they get to security as she quickly jumps into the Global pass lane while he’s stuck removing his shoes and belt along with all the other passengers boarding their flights.
As Nora rushes through security and down the escalators to the gates, Kevin follows behind her almost like he wasn’t there to begin with. When he finally catches up, Nora pulls him into a bathroom where she exposes that she’s carrying $20,000 in cash strapped to her body and the body scanner in regular security would have seen the money. Because you’re only allowed to carry $10,000 in cash to the country, she had to conceal it this way. Of course, Kevin is curious why she didn’t just give him half and they could both have gone through without incident.
Nora pauses for a moment before the two of them engage in one of the steamiest sex scenes on the history of the show. What this scene also showcased in even more graphic nature was Nora’s willingness to shut Kevin out of her life in those moments when she’d rather go at it alone, much like he did to her for a big part of last season while he was going through various stages of death and resurrection from poison to gunshot wounds.
On the plane, Nora explains to Kevin about the scientific scammers, who are promising a journey to the other side where people from the Sudden Departure were taken for a price. She claims to be busting the outfit, but it’s not exactly ringing true as Kevin notes that her authority doesn’t stretch all the way to Australia. He even quizzes how Nora plans to sell herself as ready to leave this world when she’s traveling to Australia with a boyfriend in tow.
In response, Nora tells Kevin that if the scientists ask, she’ll just claim “we’re in a toxic co-dependent relationship and we’ve both come to realize that we’re better off apart than together”. Nora’s words seem like a good excuse but by the end of the episode, it’s almost like she was speaking prophecy from the Book of Kevin.
Once they arrive at the hotel, Nora discovers that Kevin brought along his gospel according to Matt Jamison, which she continues to taunt him about. She even reads some of the scripture including the scene where Kevin dumped an adolescent Patti down a well during the dream sequence last season while trying to exorcise his demons while dead.
They get interrupted when Nora receives a call from the scientists telling her to get across the street in 15 minutes to catch a bus, which leads her to a quick exit while telling Kevin that they will meet up later that night for dinner. There’s no way Kevin doesn’t notice how Nora reacts to the call she received because this isn’t a woman deadest on busting a counterfeit ring of grifters taking people for their money before killing them.
This is a woman who really believes she’s about to see her children again.
Take On Me
As Nora waits on her bus, Kevin can’t seem to get the hotel television to turn off so he’s stuck watching “G’Day Melbourne”, which revolves around a pancake cook off this morning. Kevin has to call down to the front desk to get them to turn the TV off and the clerk refers to him as “Mr. Durst” because the room is under Nora’s name. There’s a reason for mentioning that.
Before the TV clicks off, Kevin sees a report about a police chief in Australia named Kevin who has gone missing as well as another man named Kevin, who was last seen traveling across the Outback before disappearing as well. The second Kevin was none other than his father, Kevin Garvey Sr.
If that wasn’t weird enough, Kevin starts watching the pancake cook off when he notices a familiar face staring back at him from the television screen.
It’s Evie Murphy and she’s holding a sign that says ‘Surah 81’ while looking directly at him in the face. Surah 81 is a particularly apocalyptic passage from Quran including verses such as “when the souls are reunited (like with like), and when the girl‑child buried alive is asked, for what sin she was slain.”
Kevin yells at the TV wondering if she’ll speak back to him, just like his father did when he as locked in the purgatory hotel last season after his death. Evie doesn’t answer so Kevin decides to run to the station where the show is filmed so he can track her down.
Kevin eventually catches up but the girl says her name isn’t Evie and she has no idea who he is at all. A good Samaritan ends up head butting Kevin for harassing the girl, which leads him to call his ex-wife Laurie for help tracking her down. Kevin was able to snap her picture and remembered her name so he has Laurie look her up.
Laurie slips and mentions that the girl works at the local library and so Kevin quickly gives pursuit to find her there. When he’s finally confronted by Evie, she admits to her true identity and tells Kevin that she just wants to start a new life and hopes he’ll return home and allow her to do that.
Kevin refuses and the girl finally confesses that Laurie put her up to it. She claims that Laurie promised if she just told Kevin that she was Evie that he would leave her alone. So Kevin confronts Laurie for answers.
That’s when Laurie hits him with the awful truth.
She tells him that he’s going through a psychotic break, just like when he claimed he was talking to Patti last season, and the worst thing she could do then or now was tell him exactly what he was suffering through. Instead the safer plan is to play along with the psychosis to ensure the person doesn’t harm themselves as a result. Unfortunately because Kevin has now dragged some poor, innocent girl into his psychosis, Laurie has to tell him what’s happening.
When Kevin looks back at the picture he snapped of “Evie” he sees a different girl entirely. When he looks up at the girl standing in front of him, Kevin realizes that it’s not Evie at all. Laurie then tells him that perhaps Kevin was projecting by saying that she wanted to leave it all behind and start a new life here. Perhaps that’s what Kevin really wants for his life?
Kevin doesn’t leave without hitting his ex-wife with one more parting shot — if he’s so crazy, why did Laurie’s new husband John write a gospel about him and his experiences? Obviously, Laurie knows nothing about the ‘Book of Kevin’.
Meanwhile, Nora is patiently waiting for her bus when a frantic girl asks her to take care of her baby for a few minutes while she goes on a job interview in the café just behind where they are standing. Nora agrees but when the bus arrives, she runs into the café and hands the baby back to its mother before rushing to board the vehicle so she can make her rendezvous.
When Nora finally arrives, she meets a pair of bickering scientists playing a piano version of the A-Ha track ‘Take On Me’ before introducing themselves to her. Nora is put through a thorough medical examination as part of her testing as well as being locked in a small container to ensure that she wouldn’t panic when she’s finally placed in the device where she’ll be reconnected with her children.
Nora is rightfully skeptical, especially when hearing one of the scientists bluntly tell her that she believes everyone who blinked away during the Sudden Departure is probably dead somewhere in the middle of the vacuum of space and that’s likely where they’ve been sending all these same people who have been bombarded with this particular type of radiation. When the back and forth exchange finally stops, the scientists close with one last question for Nora.
If there were two babies and one of them would grow up to cure cancer but only if the other one had to die, would she sacrifice that child?
Nora asks several questions while also concluding that the woman handing her a child at the bus stop was a plant, but she finally answers by saying yes, she would sacrifice the child if she knew she could cure cancer. The scientists pause briefly before telling Nora that she’s been rejected from the program.
They get up in a haste and leave the building before zooming away in a waiting car. An irate Nora is up in arms because while she claimed to arrive there to bust a bogus scam that may have been killing people, deep down she really believed that this could be the chance to reconnect with her children.
Of course don’t forget last week the man who encountered Kevin Sr. in the desert ,who lit himself on fire, after revealing that he answered the question by saying he wouldn’t kill a child so another could cure cancer. It’s not clear what the scientists want to hear, but they didn’t hear it from Nora and now she’s all alone again.
These sequences all somewhat mirror Kevin’s dream sequence from that purgatory hotel including his asking for a book about “assassins” in the libray, which is what he was supposed to be during the original trip to the other side, as well as the scientists speaking a foreign language, just like the receptionists in that hotel. Add to that there was a musical component to that trip to purgatory set to a Simon and Garfunkel song while this time revolved around ‘Take on Me’ by A-Ha.
Similarities or just living out a past experience?
This Love is Over
When Nora makes it back to the hotel, she’s enraged and doing everything in her power to bring down the scientists who dared to shut her out from a reunion with her children. Kevin returns shortly after his long, hard day before they finally come together and that’s when it all falls apart.
Both Nora and Kevin realize they’ve been keeping so much from each other from the start of this relationship that really was built on a toxic level of co-dependency as they both dealt with tragedy. Nora confronts Kevin about this book written about him and the vision quest he went on today without any further details about who he saw or interacted with and why his first instinct was to call on Laurie for help.
Kevin then counters by telling Nora that she never really moved past the loss of her children and that’s why she’s always been closed off from him out of some sense of guilt or remorse. Nora fires back about giving up Lily and how he never offered up one ounce of resistance, to which he counters by reminding her that she didn’t even ask him about it before returning the child to her birth mother.
You know those arguments where you say all the things you know you shouldn’t say but in the heat of the moment it all comes out? That’s exactly what Nora and Kevin erupted into while in the heat of this argument.
Kevin ends up burning the gospel written by Matt in reaction to Nora’s continued taunts about the book before she rips into him once again for the suggestion of having a child after he gave up on Lily so easily. That’s when Kevin finally boils over and accuses Nora of never wanting to have another child because that would mean she’s finally OK and she’s moved past the loss of her children. That would also result in people no longer pitying her and Kevin says Nora could never give that up.
Nora: “I did not lose them. My kids are not dead. They are gone. They are just gone.”
Kevin: “Then you should go be with them.”
With that, Kevin leaves the room filling with smoke from his burning book as Nora sits down to have a cigarette. When Kevin makes it downstairs, fire trucks and police are flooding the street. He aks for a taxi, but the concierge tells him that due to the explosion there are none available.
What explosion? Clearly Kevin and Nora were arguing so much that they missed whatever explosion happened around them.
Upstairs, Nora sits in the room that goes from light to dark as the hotel’s electricity flickers and fades. The sprinklers are going off and the water is dripping down her face and across her eyelashes as she sits in silence — and she’s truly alone this time.
Finally Kevin looks up and see his father coming towards him. Kevin Sr. saw him on television (when he accidentally appeared on ‘G’Day Melbourne) and he came hunting for him. Kevin Sr. introduces his son to Grace — the woman who murdered the cop a few weeks back thinking it was Kevin Jr. in an attempt to reach her dead family.
Kevin Sr. tells his son that all flights have been grounded so he’s not going to be returning home any time soon. He then asks if Kevin is alone and he responds with a yes, which gets a smile from his father who tells him he’s not any longer. Kevin has finally given up on Nora and she’s given up on him.
Each of them are finally alone again.
Kevin Sr. puts his son into the back of the car as they drive off together — presumably to stop the forthcoming apocalypse.
‘The Leftovers’ returns with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9pm ET on HBO.