A Hustler’s Leftover Notes – S3E7 – The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother)

Episode 7 Notes – The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical

Twin Brother)

Summary

This episode is about the dualities that exist in the world around us. This is Kevin’s story, which has nothing to do with the Book of Kevin or him being Jesus.

Although he cares about helping people as evidenced by his willingness to engage with the delusional fantasies of his father, Grace and John, he wants to kill himself and go to the other side primarily to escape what he sees as the one great failure in his life, his relationship with Nora. Kevin is forced to confront his fear through escaping. Ultimately, he will have to make a decision whether to continue on the same path to escape through this world or He can continue on the same path or blow it all up.

Title

The title is a funny take-off on David Burton’s explanation for the resurrection of Jesus; that he was replaced by his identical twin brother. A few people see that

Kevin is some sort of Christ-like figure because of his ability to come back from the dead. David Burton also asks Kevin in his ear piece on “the other side” if he remembers what he told him when he was on the bridge during the International Assassin episode in season 2. David told Kevin that he was the most powerful man in the world.

 Is Kevin the most powerful man in the world? If so, what is the basis of this power?

Opening Credits and Theme Song

The show opens with the same credit sequence but with Max Richter’s Leftovers theme song from Season 1, which in

RECAP

It’s a 1-800- Suicide

The action opens with Kevin and Nora sitting in a tub discussing how they would like their remains to be disposed of when they die. Nora wants to be cremated and

Kevin wants to be stuffed. Lily is heard crying on the monitor. They make jokes and Nora asks Kevin to grow a beard. We are fast-forwarded to the present with Kevin drowning himself on the seesaw in the pond. Around the same time, Kevin, Sr. and gang (Grace, John and Michael) wake up from Laurie’s drug-induced nap inside the house. They initially think that Laurie convinced Kevin not to kill himself and then quickly realize what he’s doing and rush out to save him. Kevin tells them that he is doing what they wanted. Kevin, Sr. wanted them to do it together. Kevin asks them what else they want. John, Grace and Kevin, Sr. reiterate the same basic things. They put him under again and as he’s dying, the Verdi opera associated with other side plays.

 Lily is used as a plot device here to illustrate the timing of this event and that everything is still good between Kevin and Nora. It also suggests that when Nora gave up Lily, she started becoming dour again.

 Kevin, Sr. appeared to be frustrated with his son because he wanted to kill himself alone. Kevin, Sr. still believes that his story is true and that the apocalyptic rain floods are imminent. Therefore, he should be a part of the process. He is willing to sacrifice his son like Abraham sacrificed Isaac, to show his faith and to follow through on his grand messianic vision of how to save humanity.

The Other Side Part 1

Assassin Kevin and Dean

Kevin wakes up in the ocean naked without a beard and is dragged out by a Russian man who calls him Kevin Harvey right before he slits his throat with a knife. The man is shot by Dean the dog killer who is in a Navy Seal suit. They arrive at a hut that Kevin says is his. Dean smashes the mirror and Kevin’s sunglasses because they are reflective surfaces. Dean tells Kevin to not look into reflective surfaces because, “That’s how they found you.” Kevin notices he has an incision near his heart. Dean reads a page from the typewriter and asks if he is writing a book (we find out later that he is writing a romance novel). Dean tells Kevin that the target is the President of the United States and that in two hours he will start an unsanctioned nuclear war. International Assassin Kevin is the only man who can get to the president before he takes this action. He agrees to kill the President if Dean helps him find the people he is looking for. Dean gives him an earpiece.

 Dean says the Kilo Hotel is secure after rescuing Kevin. What does that reference?

 Dean reads a book excerpt relating to Nora. Dean reads the following from the typewritten page: “The water endlessly stretching to the infinite horizon as he contemplated the impossible distance between them but he would not stop until he found her.”

 What do reflective surfaces mean in this Bizzaro world for Kevin? Who isDean referring to when he says, “That’s how they found you?”

 He chose his outfit in the International Assassin episode in season 2. Is they any significance as to why it is chosen for him here?

 This is also the first time that doubt is cast on the importance of Kevin’s finding the people for his family and friends.

David Burton and “The Most Powerful Man in the World”

After putting in the ear piece Dean gave him, he opens a box with a suit to wear for the assassination. David then talks to Kevin. Kevin doesn’t remember who it is and

David reminds him by singing part of Homeward Bound. David also reminds him

of what he said on the bridge, that he was “The Most Powerful Man in the World.”

David tells him to find a piece of mirror to look at himself against the wishes of

Dean to “get what he came here for.”

 It’s confusing when Dean tells Kevin not to look at reflective surfaces while

David tells him the opposite (as it appears they are on the same team). David

seems to be helping Kevin for a specific purpose. Is this to help Kevin

personally or is it because he wants Kevin to blow up the World on the

Other Side because maybe David doesn’t want to exist in it any longer

either?

 Lost and Alice in Wonderland reference; Through the Looking Glass.

The Playford Children

After looking at his reflection into the mirror, part of the opera again plays and

Kevin has a beard and now is wearing an all-white suit in front of a crowd of

people dressed in white. President Kevin reluctantly reads his speech from the

monitor and the crowd cheers and applauds with every statement. He speaks

strongly against marriage and family, including outlawing marriage for being the

most destructive human institution. A worldwide essay contest was initiated to

help answer the question of what will happen to the children without family. The

winner is one of the Playford children, Liam Playford. His siblings are sitting next

to him. The essay is entitled, “Why I Don’t Need Daddy and Mommy Anymore.”

Kevin asks Liam why he isn’t wearing shoes.

 Liam Playford answers Kevin’s missing shoe question by saying “Why does

it matter?” When Kevin says that someone in his family wants to know,

Liam said, “But you said there is no family.” This again illustrates that what

Grace was holding onto was an illusion.

 Kevin references the Guilty Remnant early in the speech by saying that they,

were stupid in the beginning by making everyone smoke cigarettes and

outlawing speech.

 No one who departed exists in this world. Most notably, the Playford

children’s father because it is clear the children had no interactions

with him.

Evie

Evie barges into the crowd during the speech wearing a red shirt that says I

Remember and sings, “Love will keep us together.” Kevin is hurried out by

Australian Police Chief Kevin because of a situation requiring him to be whisked

away to secure location. Kevin agrees only if they take Evie with them. While

walking to the cars to leave, he receives a phone call. A man updates him on the

security status and wants him to increase the threat level for an attack from DefCon

3 to 2. Kevin wants more information but the man says the secretary of defense if

not going to like that. He gets into a limo with Evie and they talk. At the end, she

says, “What do you want?” Kevin then starts to spit up water, we hear the opera

music, he sees flashbacks and then wakes up in the real world.

 The I Remember sign references season one in Mapleton when the Guilty

Remnant “made” everyone remember the Departure with the dolls. This is

also a take-off on the parade from season one when they are all holding

signs saying, “Stop wasting your breath.” This time Evie is speaking instead

of holding a sign.

 Ukrainian separatists have taken control of a nuclear submarine and they

will have launch capabilities within two hours.

 Kevin is informed that he will be able to access the secure facility because of

his unique biometrics. He can only unlock it, unless he “has an identical twin

brother. But that would be ridiculous.” This mocks what David Burton told

Matt before.

 Kevin initially thinks that Evie is completely conscious and knows who he

is, where they are and what happened to them. Evie believes that he is just a

puppet and that the government is responsible for killing her family with a

drone. She goes onto say that Kevin didn’t believe in what he was saying

and that he just does what “they” tell you to do. This refers back to

everyone’s desire to have him kill himself in the real world for their own

selfish purposes.

 Evie helps Kevin see that he needs to figure out why he’s there on the other

side, and not because of other people by saying, “What do you want?”

 It seems that much of what happens on the other side is the exact opposite of

the “Real World.” Evie was killed by a government drone, but she believes

her family was killed by a drone.

What Does Kevin Want?

Kevin is revived and taken into Grace’s house because the ranch is flooded. He

tells John and Grace that he saw and spoke to their respective children. As they are

preparing to kill Kevin again in the tub, they discuss the importance of stopping the

flood. Michael says that this isn’t the reason that Kevin is willing to die again. A

flashback of Nora in the tub from the first scene immediately enters Kevin’s mind.

Kevin, Sr. then closes and locks the door abruptly. After a brief exchange, Kevin,

Sr. tells his son that he loves him. Kevin then tells him he will have to hold him

down to kill him.

 Kevin tells John that he saw Evie and told her what he wanted to say. He

also tells Grace that her kids didn’t know what happened to their shoes. John

appeared to take comfort in knowing his message was passed on and Grace

had to let go of her shoe story.

 Kevin, Sr. tried to justify killing his son by saying if I could go in your

place, I would.

 Kevin didn’t get his answers yet and that is why he was willing to go back

again.

 For the first time, it looks like there is a bit of doubt on Kevin, Sr. face when

he has to put him down.

The Other Side Part II

President Kevin

After dying, President Kevin is being scanned for his “unique biometrics.” This

includes whipping out his dick and placing it on another scanner. The Australian

police chief Kevin makes a joke about it saying that no one would go to “that

length” to copy his penis. He answers 3 authentication questions, including naming

his Secretary of Defense, Patti Levin. The opera music plays again and he enters

the secure facility.

The Situation Room

They enter the situation room and President Kevin is apprised of the Ukrainian

separatist threat. Patti said that the only way to stop it is by striking first, which

means going to DefCon 1. This will afford him access to a special suitcase with the

red button to launch a nuclear strike. He will only agree to go to DefCon1 if he can

speak to Christopher Sunday. Patti gets angry and attacks Kevin.

 Patti says that we will give the people what they are too chickenshit to want

or do themselves and why the GR was elected.

The Fisher Protocol

The Vice-President, Meg Abbott arrives and tells Kevin that he is being played by

Patti and that there are no Ukrainian separatists. Patti then tells Meg and Kevin that

in honor of the 7-year anniversary they are going to launch nukes and that the

Russians will follow do the same. Meg says that they can’t do it without following

the Fisher protocol, which is described as an ethical deterrent. The nuclear launch

key has been implanted next to a volunteer’s heart. To start a nuclear war, the

president would have to first kill the volunteer to retrieve the key. Kevin realizes

that his “identical twin brother” is the volunteer and he is on his way. After telling

Meg, she leaves seemingly defeated.

 What did the name of the Fisher Protocol come from?

International Assassin

After Meg leaves, Patti presses President Kevin again to lower the threat to

DefCon 1. She will only let him make the call if he lowers it. Once he does, all the

doors lock and he no longer has access to the means to contact Christopher

Sunday. Realizing this, he snatches Patti’s glasses and stares into them transporting

back into his identical twin brother, the assassin’s body. The music starts again and

he is looking through the lens of a gun locked on the remote facility holding the

president. David Burton speaks to him through an ear piece knows that it is a trap

to get Kevin in there. David tells Kevin he has an asset that will help him if he

enters the secure facility.

The Asset

After establishing his unique biometrics with a thud, he goes in and is stopped by

Australian Police Chief Kevin and another man. Meg then kills them from behind.

After a brief conversation illuminating that Meg is clearly a different person in this

reality, he asks for the directions to the COM room to contact Christopher Sunday

and then kills her. He takes off the ear piece.

 David Burton responds to Kevin being frustrated to David not telling him

what his plan was by saying: “Hence it comes about that all unarmed

prophets are victorious and all armed prophets have been destroyed –

Machiavelli

 After killing the men, Meg looks at Kevin and says, “Jesus, you look just

fucking like him.”

 Meg says she knows the president and that he is cold and merciless and

doesn’t care about him because he wants to destroy the world.

 A happy Meg denounces the Guilty Remnant, confiding that she feels and is

in love with God. In a humorous moment, David Burton (as God) says, “Tell

her I love her too.” He says that calling himself God was just a pickup line.

Christopher Sunday

After telling Christopher Sunday that he is not the Prime Minister of Australia, he

asks him for a song to stop the rain. Chris tells him that he told his father that there

is no song to stop the rain. Kevin says he needs to bring him something

(presumably to satisfy his need) and to stop the flood. When Chris asks him if

Kevin believes that (there is a flood and that this song his father will sing will stop

it), he says no. Chris then reiterates the theme of the episode asking him, “Then

why are you here?” Kevin is then attacked by Secret Service men and during the

scuffle he looks at broken glass again and returns to the President’s body.

 It appears there were flooding conditions in the real world while Kevin is

down under. While Chris said that the song couldn’t stop the flood, is that

metaphorical? Or, is it possible that Kevin blowing up the other world

somehow saves the real world?

Reality Check

President Kevin is looking through the glasses of Patti Levin. After Patti asks for

the glasses back he smashes them to pieces. They have a brief conversation

discussing the situation and what he wants for himself.

 Patti has been and is Kevin’s reality check.

 Kevin says he doesn’t want to do this anymore and that he is not the

president. Patti tells him that he named her the Secretary of Defense and

summoned her out of retirement. Patti came back because she owed him and

wanted to help. Her help means blowing up the world.

 How is Patti still “alive” on the other side? What did she exactly retire

from and where did she retire to?

 After Patti asks Kevin what he wants, he tells her he wants her help to go

home. She reminds him that he always says that but he keeps leaving home

to come there. Patti says I’m sensing a lot of contradictions from you Kevin

and sounds like it’s something you have to work out with yourself.

The Two Kevins

Patti takes off International Assassin Kevin’s hood and starts singing a song about

the identical Kevins. They stare at each other and Patti invokes the Fisher Protocol

granted by Constitutional powers, which provides very specific and detailed

instructions of how to remove the key from the volunteer. She hands a scalpel to

President Kevin. IA Kevin and President Kevin say no. When IA Kevin asks why

would he go through with this, she says that he knew exactly what was going to

happen but he kept moving forward to the situation room and the one person who

was powerful enough to take him out. Patti then tells President Kevin to confess to

IA Kevin about the book he wrote.

 Great shot of them on opposite sides of the table in black no bearded Kevin

and white bearded Kevin.

 In a bit of humor, the volunteer will win a Congressional Medal of Honor

provided that the government still exists after they blow up the world. Patti

also says may God have mercy on your soul, which there is not.

The Book

Patti tells President Kevin that he wrote a romance novel. President Kevin says that

IA Kevin wrote the novel, not him. IA Kevin says he didn’t write it even though he

was in the hut where the page from the novel was found. Patti says that they both

wrote the same book. Patti pulls out a book she claims to have received from the

CIA and asks President Kevin to read it. Both Kevins refuse and after struggling

with her broken glasses, President Kevin reads from the book, entitled “Untitled

Romance Novel.” Patti asks him to read the last page. As he’s reading it to IA

Kevin, he has flashbacks to the past between him and Nora, ultimately leaving her.

Sobbing, IA Kevin asks President Kevin to take the key out of him. When the

President asks him why, IA Kevin says, “So we can’t ever come back here again”

 The first part of the passage describes a broken-down Ship called the

Merciful. He was escaping but in his escape his thoughts turned to her.

 “She had suspected it all along, but now she knew that he was a coward. He

did countless brave things to follow her but in the end, he was terrified of

baring his innermost soul to her. All he knew to do was run. He sailed alone

toward the horizon and all was well.”

God Only Knows

Both Kevins get up to perform the procedure with “God Only Knows” by the

Beach Boys playing the background. President Kevin removes the key from IA

Kevin’s chest and he dies. He then places the key in the suitcase and turns the key.

Patti and Kevin then walk outside holding hands and watch the end of the world

with Max Richter’s theme music playing. Everything turns white.

 If International Assassin Kevin killed President Kevin instead what would

have happened? Would things have remained the same without any change?

 Does the song suggest that God only knows what happens; again

emphasizing that we will never know why 2% of the people departed

suddenly?

Rebirth of Kevin

Kevin wakes up covered in a white sheet as if he’s dead inside of the stripped

church on Grace’s land. Michael and John are sleeping close to him. He walks to

the house and sees his father sitting on the roof. Kevin, Sr. admits that he was

scared when it started raining. He says to his son that he’s not ready to come down

and looks at him and says, “Now What?” Kevin just looks on.

 The boat that was being built on Grace’s land is no longer there. Was it

swept away with the flood?

Questions

 What is this other world exactly? Is this some kind of purgatory? Most of the

people aren’t aware of what’s happened to them. Where does one go if you

die there? Can you die there? No one who moved on from the Sudden

Departure are in this World. Where are they?

Ideas

 The irony in all of this is that people are looking at outside events like the

Departure, or turning to their spiritual beliefs/stories to make sense of the

grief or loss they experience, instead of looking within to find the peace they

seek. Everyone should be their own personal Jesus.

 Kevin’s Story in the end was not about being Jesus or someone with “special

abilities.” It was about love and his relationship with Nora. If everyone

found something to connect with in this world, there would be no need to go

somewhere else to figure things out.

 

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