Episode 7 Notes – The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical
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.
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
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
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
No one who departed exists in this world. Most notably, the Playford
children’s father because it is clear the children had no interactions
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
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
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
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
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?
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.
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 –
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.
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?
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.
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
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?
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?
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.