Previously on The Leftovers, “Crazy Whitefella Thinking”
This week’s opening theme song, “This Love Is Over” by Ray LaMontagne, wasn’t the only clue that Nora and Kevin’s relationship was about to depart (sorry; I had to). If we’re being honest — even when Nora and Kevin aren’t — the signs were there from the very beginning that this relationship wasn’t going to have the fairy tale ending. Nora was about to leave town after dropping off a Dear Kevin letter when she found Lily. We learned in season two this was the catalyst for Nora changing her mind and committing herself to Kevin. Having a baby (or keeping one) to save a relationship is never a good idea. When that family was made official, Kevin looked terrified. And the two spent the majority of season two keeping secrets. Still, we rooted for them and the final shot of “I Live Here Now,” the season two finale, gave the impression that together is where Nora and Kevin were meant to be.
Welp. Season three was like, “Hold my beer.”
Three years later, Nora and Kevin are back to their most sabotaging habits: he’s keeping secrets and she’s doing things without consulting him at all and without being honest about her intentions. Kevin confronts Nora about this after he discovers she ditched him at airport check-in so she could use her global entry status to bypass the airport’s scanning machines, thereby effectively smuggling $20,000 in cash. Locked in a public bathroom, Kevin asks why she didn’t just give him half the money since it’s not illegal to carry $10,000 or less out of the country. It’s clear the thought never occurred to her, and she dodges the tough questions by initiating sex on a baby-changing station.
In an effort to learn where Nora’s heard is at, once they’re on the plane, Kevin asks what she plans to say about him to the people she’s going to meet. Nora’s response that she’ll convince them she and Kevin are in a toxic co-dependent relationship leaves Kevin visibly shaken as he can’t spot the lie. It doesn’t help that Nora settles in to sleep like everything is everything. Further proof of their non-communication occurs when, at the hotel, Nora quizzes Kevin on the contents of Matt’s book, confident Kevin hasn’t actually read it. He hasn’t, but he answers correctly because he’s lived it, and that’s something Nora doesn’t know; she assumes Matt made up the stories.
From here, Nora and Kevin embark on two different paths – as we knew they would.
Once alone, Kevin sees a news story about two missing Kevins: the police chief and his father. He also spots Evie in a crowd and tracks her down, assuming it’s a Patty situation. It is not. Other people can see Evie, but she’s going by a different name. Kevin calls Laurie and sends her a photo of Evie. Despite her pleas to leave the girl alone, Kevin tracks “Evie” to her job where he discovers Laurie has been trying to protect him from the truth: the girl is not Evie and Kevin has hallucinated her appearance.
Meanwhile, Nora meets two of the doctors behind the “carrot stick.” After a physical exam and confinement test, Nora fails the final part when she callously says she would kill an infant if it meant its identical twin would grow up to cure cancer. Nora’s true intentions are clear when she desperately begs to participate after being rejected.
“Go home, Ms. Durst. This isn’t for you.”
At the hotel, Nora claims she’s furious because her sting didn’t pan out (not that she secretly was hoping they were legit), and Kevin is still reeling from the news he’s hallucinating — probably not the best time to make big decisions about their relationship, but the floodgates are opened. Kevin and Nora get real with each; raw, rough, and real.
She admits she resents him for not trying to stop her from giving Lily back, but Kevin reminds her she didn’t consult him at all. Again, this is what Nora does. She believes he secretly likes the fact that Matt wrote a gospel about him; hence, he carries it around and appears protective of it. Of course, this is fear he’s feeling, but she’s not aware of his death experiences. Kevin burns the book in the hotel sink to prove he’s not connected to it. When he accuses her of wanting to be seen as a victim and says she should go be with her departed children if she can’t get over losing them, it has gone too far. These are words that they can’t take back, and I’m not sure they want to. In the end, Nora is alone and Kevin has reunited with his father.
This is sad, but necessary. If they’re not going to be honest with each other (or themselves) Kevin and Nora shouldn’t be a couple. And even though their relationship has been a huge part of the past two seasons, maybe they were only meant to get each other to this point. Kevin has been battling his desire to escape since before the Sudden Departure and Nora needs to find a way to make peace with all of the losses she’s suffered. Whether the break is permanent or temporary, it is necessary.
So great to see Jasmin Savoy-Brown again, but sad that it was so short and that Evie is truly gone.
Kevin and Nora brought so much petty to Australia. When Laurie wonders if he and Nora are okay, Kevin snitches and tells her about John’s involvement in writing the book. We’ll get the fallout of that next week.
Also on the podcast, I toss out a crazy theory about the twins in the test tying into the penultimate episode of the series. If you don’t mind being spoiled of the title and episode description, you can find more information on it here.
The Leftovers S3E4
The Leftovers – S3E4 – “G’Day Melbourne” | Starring: Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Regina King, Christopher Eccleston, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Jovan Adepo, Amy Brenneman, Kevin Carroll, Scott Glenn, Margaret Qualley, Liv Tyler | Written by: Tamara P. Carter & Hayley Harris| Directed by: Daniel Sackheim