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The Leftovers “The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother)” Review (3×07)

28 May

“It doesn’t make any sense!”

“International Assassin Part 3” opens with Kevin and Nora in a bathtub, back in the good ‘ol days when they could joke about how they wanted to dispose of their bodies post-death. It’s a wonderful little scene, and though the subsequent hour goes on twists and turns of epic proportions–something this show is familiar with–it all comes back to that scene in the end. Of course, it may not be that scene in particular, more so what that scene stands for: the pairing of Kevin and Nora, two people who are perfect for each other precisely because of how messed up both of them are. And thus, by circling back around to the Kevin-Nora relationship at the end of this wild, surreal adventure, The Leftovers once again makes it very clear that this is a character-driven show about grief.

This is very much Kevin’s story, and what we see throughout the hour is a man eventually coming to terms with his penchant for escape. That is, escape into this fascinating world in which he’s both an assassin and the President of the Guilty Remnant. It does no good to try and pick apart every little detail sprinkled throughout because the overall point is the most important: the idea that Kevin’s been constantly running away from his life and that the trend needs to end. Patti making him read from his own romance novel is a key moment for him because he realizes that he’s hurt the people he loves and that his relationship with Nora should’ve been preserved. Obviously that’s easier said than done–and obviously Nora’s not blame free–but he even gets “You fucked up with Nora” said point blank to his face…by himself.

And thus, the nukes start flying, and this world of escape is destroyed by his own hand so that he can never return. We can debate all we want about the logistics of the world and what plane of existence it rests upon, but it is metaphorically clear what the writers want us to see at the end of this one. It’s also quite fitting that the actual end of the episode is reminiscent of the opening of the season. This time, it’s Kevin Garvey Sr. sitting atop that roof, waiting for an apocalypse to come that never does. “What now?” he asks. That’s for next week to try and answer.

GRADE: A

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-This week sees the return of the original theme for the opening credits. In addition, some wonderful music cues: “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys during the key retrieval scene, and “The End of the World” by Patty Duke.

-The penis on the scanner. Love it. And the sound.

-Justin Theroux is an incredible actor and deserves Emmys.

– “I couldn’t enlighten you with a fucking thousand watt bulb.”

This final season seemed like it couldn’t get any better until Ann Dowd showed up again and stole every scene she was in. I love her performance and this show and its twisted sense of humor.

-Only one episode left of this amazing series. I’m sad it’s coming to an end, but I’m very excited to see how it all turns out. As always, I’ll be writing about the show after the episode airs, but please note: it may take me longer than the ~hour it’s taken throughout the season to get the review up.

-What a gorgeous shot:

Photo credit: HBO, The Leftovers

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4 Responses to “The Leftovers “The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother)” Review (3×07)”

  1. Keith Noakes May 28, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

    International Assassin was great but I didn’t like this one as much although this had some amazing emotional moments. I am very curious about what’s going to happen in the finale and I have to wait just as long as everyone else for it.

    • polarbears16 May 30, 2017 at 12:41 am #

      Fair enough. It is a bit redundant the third (essentially) time around.

  2. Jay May 29, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

    I haven’t seen this show but you make it sound like I should.

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