Previously on The Leftovers, “Certified”
We may never know what caused the Sudden Departure or if the voices Kevin Sr. heard were really there, but there can be no doubt that Kevin Garvey Jr. can die and come back to life. Just in case we weren’t sure, he did it twice in this episode.
This time, the entrance to “the other side” is the ocean, and once Kevin washes up on shore, he’s attacked by an assassin. Dean saves him, and informs “Kevin Harvey” of his new assignment: to assassinate the president of the United States, who’s about to launch an unsanctioned nuclear strike.
In “International Assassin,” Kevin was warned not to drink the water. Here, he’s to avoid looking into reflective surfaces lest “they” find him. Kevin’s boss (David Burton through an earpiece) immediately instructs Kevin to break that rule, and when he does, Kevin is suddenly decked out in a white suit and ushered to a podium.
Now, he’s the president of the United States, delivering a speech in Melbourne. What’s most interesting here is that his party affiliation seems to have been born from the Guilty Remnants; he delivers a speech (from a teleprompter) denouncing marriage and family.
Using the power he wields as president, Kevin is able to question Grace’s children (also without shoes in the audience of his speech) what happened to their shoes. Since they’re devout followers, one of them answers that shoes, nor family, matters. Welp. Kevin just said he’d ask; he never promised any deep answer.
Next, he rides with Evie (a protestor at his rally) in the back of his presidential limo and delivers John’s message. But on the “other side, ” this Evie’s parents were killed in a drone strike he ordered and she’s not amused. Before he can go any further, he’s yanked from the other side by the Murphys and his father. The storm is fully under way and Grace’s pond washed over.
Kevin relays the response from Grace’s children and tells John he told Evie she is loved, but he’s committed to going back to finish his mission. He’s back once more after his father drowns him in Grace’s tub.
There’s a crisis and Kevin is forced to follow protocol and lock himself away in the presidential bunker. He passes all of the biometric tests — including a penis scan — and assured that the only way someone who isn’t supposed to be there could gain entry is if they were his identical twin… like the assassin Kevin also knows he is.
Kevin is quickly brought up to speed by his Secretary of Defense, Patti Levin. They have plans to launch a full nuclear strike, decimating the world to give the people what they truly want, but won’t admit: death. Kevin just wants to slow things down, mainly so he can speak with Christopher Sunday (the Australian prime minister). When he’s finally alone with Christopher via a video call, Christopher tells him that his song doesn’t stop the rain, it brings it, and he already told this to Kevin Sr. He’s right. He totally did, but Kevin Sr.’s appropriating ass wasn’t trying to hear it.
Kevin switches back to his assassin self long enough to gain entry to the bunker with the help of his “asset” on the inside, Meg, who’s also the vice president. She wants to stop Patti’s plan to obliterate everything and assassin Kevin is there to ensure that happens, but there’s an added incentive, a reason she’s sure assassin Kevin will get the job done: He volunteered to have the nuclear launch key embedded behind his heart, and the final step in the launch protocol (an ethical deterrent) calls for the president to dig it out. Surely, he won’t go through with that.
What follows is the confrontation brewing in Kevin since “The Garveys at Their Best.” President Kevin, in all white, sits across from assassin Kevin, in all black. Patti breaks in universe character long enough to admit she’s there to help Kevin achieve whatever it is he wants; she owes him for helping her in the well. So, what does Kevin want? He says he wants to go home, but does he really? If he’s so happy at home, why has he tried to kill himself, suffocated himself, and purposely died three times?
Last week, Kevin told Laurie he wasn’t afraid and that when he was on the other side, he felt alive. That fits with assassin Kevin. But when president Kevin reads from an “untitled romance novel” he wrote (bound in the same leather cover as The Book of Kevin), he’s confronted with the truth. He’s a fraud, a coward, who ran from his first marriage and family. He’s afraid of Nora’s love; afraid she’ll see him for who he truly is. Both Kevins are in tears and assassin Kevin agrees to have the key removed so they “never have to come back here again.”
Once it’s done, Kevin launches the nukes, and he and Patti watch from the rooftop as the world literally burns. He awakens in Grace’s church (draped in a white sheet; a callback to the believers in “The Book of Kevin opening), finds Michael and John sleeping nearby, and his father on the roof of the house (also like the believers). There was no flood, he was wrong, and he was sure he’d killed his son for nothing.
“Now what?” Kevin Sr. asks.
Kevin has no answer.
I’m not gonna lie. I wanted to see Laurie on the other side, but that’s not this show’s style. If we had seen her, it would be further confirmation that what is happening is real and it would have been a terribly gutting way for Kevin to find out she’s dead. Still, I wanted it.
I’m also a little disappointed that we didn’t get more from the scenes with Evie, but that’s because I really love the character and Jasmin Savoy Brown. John hearing that she got the message seemed to have brought him peace, so I’m happy for that.
The original theme music was back and it was the perfect set up for this episode. You instantly felt like some shit was about to go down.
The first scene was a flashback to Nora and Kevin sharing a bath (pre-Jarden) and talking about their wishes for their remains when they die. Nora wants to be cremated, and Kevin wants to be stuffed. Nora admits she’d be down to have sex with stuffed Kevin if she got to put a beard on it. This desire makes sense to me. Speaking of…
Justin Theroux needs to wear a suit everyday of his motherfucking, fine-ass, sexy-ass, beautiful life.
Is Kevin Sr. gonna pay for knocking out Deputy Koala Farts? Is Grace gonna turn herself in for killing Aussie Kevin or nah?
We finally know what David Burton whispered to Kevin in season 2. “You’re the most powerful man in the world.” I still wanna know what was up with those women in the car back in season 1, though.
Can we finally admit that Patti and Kevin are a better love story than Twilight?
Leave your thoughts on the episode below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast.
The Leftovers - S3E7
"The Most Powerful Man in the World (And His Identical Twin Brother)"
The Leftovers – S3E7 – “The Most Powerful Man in the World (And His Identical Twin Brother” | 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: Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse | Directed by: Craig Zobel