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The Leftovers “G’Day Melbourne” Review (3×04)

7 May

“Then you should go be with them.”

I feel like I say this every week, but what a gut punch of an episode. This show is simply operating on another level than the rest of television at the moment, and it’s truly a marvel to watch as we approach the end. “G’Day Melbourne” in particular is a masterclass in writing: it’s a brilliantly structured slow collapse, i.e. we see the end coming from a mile away, but there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it. Obviously, there was a reason Nora and Kevin were in love in the first place, but we see that their mindsets are taking them in separate directions. We see it during the sex scene in the airport bathroom, during their actions alone, and even during their more light-hearted interactions. Nora referring to their relationship as a “toxic, co-dependent” one is extremely accurate, even if she says it in a joking manner.

The entire episode is masterfully constructed in order to lead to that devastating final confrontation. On one side of things, we have Kevin following (who he thinks is) Evie around Melbourne, eventually calling Laurie and being told the following hard truth: “I think a part of you wants to escape, Kevin.” He tries to deflect by placing the initiative for the trip on Nora’s shoulders, but there’s definitely an accuracy to this statement that hits home for him. This has been the Kevin Garvey we’ve seen throughout the series, someone who tries to escape at every turn. As for Nora, we witness that fascinating scene with the scientists, during which she simultaneously calls them out for being a scam and holds onto a glimmer of hope. Interestingly enough, she’s rejected even though she gives the opposite answer to the cancer vs. baby dilemma that the guy last week said he gave. It’s not exactly cleared up what’s going on here, but it’s an intriguing scene nonetheless.

And of course, that leads us to that powerhouse of a final sequence. Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux give it their all here, hurling vicious emotional punches at each other as Kevin lights The Book of Kevin on fire. It’s the ultimate expression of the collapse that’s been building up, and it’s a perfect scene in every possible way. After Kevin drives away with Kevin Garvey Sr. at the end, we return to Nora sitting alone in the hotel room, the sprinklers raining down around her as she bows her head. This shot is one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking shots I’ve seen in any medium:

I’ll just let that speak for itself.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-The opening credits song: Ray LaMontagne’s “This Love Is Over”. The end credits song: a-ha’s “Take On Me” (although you probably already knew that).

-Kevin is looking for “The Assassins” in a nod to “International Assassin”.

Photo credit: HBO, The Leftovers

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One Response to “The Leftovers “G’Day Melbourne” Review (3×04)”

  1. karzaner May 8, 2017 at 9:08 am #

    This episode was gut wrenching. I felt so weird after I got done watching it on my drive home. I think I feel for Kevin on a personnel level about escape and trying to gain control that watching his story is so moving and well done. Best TV out there right now.

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