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The Leftovers “It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World” Review (3×05)

14 May

“Ta da. You’re saved.”

The Matt-centric episodes have been some of the best hours this series has produced thus far, and though I’m probably in the minority when I say that this one doesn’t resonate quite as much with me, it still features some top-notch scenes throughout. It’s a fascinating setup: Laurie and Matt going at it, two ways of thinking clashing amidst the strangeness of a lion orgy on a ferry from Tasmania to Melbourne. The episode mines a fair bit of humor from the scenario, and the show once again strikes a nice balance between sheer absurdity and profound character drama.

There’s something slightly different about Matt’s journey here, though, which is to be expected given we’re nearing the end of the series. What we’ve seen from him before is a dogged desire to believe in something greater, stumbling around in his environment and getting beaten down before getting back up. The key switch in this episode is his beautifully written and acted conversation with “God”, a conversation that laughs in the face of his faith and delivers a killer blow to his belief system. “Everything you’ve done, you’ve done because you thought I was watching,” God tells Matt. “Because you thought I was judging. But I wasn’t. I’m not. You’ve never done anything for me. You did it for yourself.” This is a statement that burrows deep into Matt’s soul, and you can see the change in his expression very clearly. In the end, this is what faith comes down to, doesn’t it? A desire to craft a narrative for yourself, to salvage yourself in the name of something else. “Ta da, you’re saved,” is delivered in a sarcastic manner, but it’s absolutely brutal when you take it into context with Matt’s faith.

The ending scene is where it all comes together, in a way. It’s dark, humorous, and absolutely perfect when the lion ends up killing and eating “God”, and it gets even better when we take a look at Matt. There’s a sereneness to his demeanor that we’ve never really seen before, and it’s not a coincidence that we witness this shift after the earlier conversation. It’s a gorgeous shot. And then he turns toward us, a small smile on his face as he tells us that that was the guy he was talking about. It’s a momentous moment for the character captured in a brilliant little scene, and it’s a wonderful way to end the episode.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-There’s a letter in the season 2 premiere to a David Burton, so this isn’t the first time this name has popped up.

-As always, Christopher Eccleseton delivers a magnificent performance, and I’ll say that it’s been a pleasure watching him act throughout the series. I’ll miss all of these performances.

-The pimples-priests joke is pretty good. The reactions from the others are gold.

-I do wish we could get more time with the Murphys in this final season, as it seems like they’ve been left out.

Photo credit: HBO, The Leftovers

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One Response to “The Leftovers “It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World” Review (3×05)”

  1. Georges Fadel May 18, 2017 at 6:12 am #

    I would like to add the David Burton also appeared in the International Assassin episode of Season 2 (Episode 8). He was at the bar in the hotel and on the bridge which Kevin used to go to the well.

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