Axel & Heath talk about Twin Peaks for an hour and barely mention the plot because who cares, it’s awesome!
Axel & Heath talk about Twin Peaks for an hour and barely mention the plot because who cares, it’s awesome!
What an episode. Aaron & Axel Take a deep dive into Certified.
Axel & Timm talk Billions, The Americans and The Expanse amongst other TV related things…
Episode 5 Notes – It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World
Matt, with the reluctant support of Laurie, John and Michael, books a trip to Australia to find Kevin to bring him home. Matt is convinced that Kevin needs to be in Jarden (Miracle) during the 7-year anniversary of the departure because everything “special” that happened to Kevin, occurred when he was living there. (As the episode was aired on Mother’s day, there were many instances where it shows that women are just as important as men when talking about faith.)
It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World is a take on the title of the American 1963 comedy movie, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Spencer Tracy starred). The movie is a commentary on American greed.
• Plot: A caravan of motorists who witness a terrible accident on a dangerously winding California desert highway. The auto-crash victim, reveals in his dying words that he has hidden a fortune of stolen cash, sending the drivers on a crazy race to see who can claim the loot first. A cop goes undercover and colludes with some of the motorists to get the money. After the money is retrieved and they are splitting it up, he reveals his identity and recommends that they turn themselves in as he takes off with the money. He is busted and loses everything in the process.
Opening Credits and Theme Song
• The credits open with a French man speaking very low. Not sure what he says, but I believe it is the French crewman aboard the nuclear submarine.
• The opening song in French is entitled in English “I Cannot Go Home.”
o After the crewman unlocks safe and takes the key, he swaps out his iPod to attach to the boat’s com system. Is the man speaking French over the credits what he was listening to on his iPod?
o This song is the opposite of Homeward Bound that Kevin sang in the finale of season 2.
In last week’s episode, we know there was a large explosion of some kind that was grounding all flights and taxis in Melbourne.
• This week’s episode begins on a French nuclear sub somewhere in the South Pacific near an uninhabited island (homage to Lost? First episode of season 6). A crewman unlocks the safe to get a key to unlock the nuclear missile capabilities. He blares the episode’s theme song, Cannot Go Home on the com of the submarine. He then strips completely naked and kills another crewman for his key and then locks himself into the Missile Room where he proceeds to turn both keys at different stations using one arm and a foot in a very graceful and ballet-like pose. A joystick with a red button unlocks and he presses it. The action then opens up in Texas.
Airplane Trip to Tasmania
• As all flights are grounded, Matt charters a plane and pilot under the guise of foreign aid. Matt gives the pilot $20,000 while also appealing to his faith (the same amount that Nora brought to Australia coincidentally).
• While on their plane trip, we see the first tension that Matt has with Laurie. He makes it clear throughout most of the episode that he is displeased that she is there with him due to her not being a true believer or someone who directly experienced one of the miraculous events with Kevin. Laurie is there because she believes that Kevin might be more willing to listen/speak with her based on their previous relationship and the fact that Kevin called her when he was in trouble.
• Matt and Laurie – Before getting on the plane, we see the first sign of tension with Laurie that pervades the episode. Matt calls himself, Michael and John the Three Wise Men. He doesn’t want a woman who also is not a believer, getting in the way of his divine mission.
o We find out that Laurie is married to John for the first time.
o When Laurie says, “What happens in 4 days?” Matt says indignantly, “It’s the 7-year anniversary of the Departure.” Laurie responds by saying, “So” throwing shade on the whole premise that just because it’s the 7-year anniversary and has biblical context, doesn’t mean anything related to the first departure will happen again. There is no evidence. Laurie says that she was married to Kevin for many years and that at no time did he fit the Jesus profile.
o Matt has a problem with women in his life. His only concern is for retrieving Kevin and has forgotten all about his sister, Nora. He also forgot all about his wife, Mary and their son Noah while on this mission to anoint Kevin as Jesus Christ. Throughout the episode until the end, Matt dismisses Laurie and wishes she wasn’t there. When John suggested that maybe Laurie is a disciple too, Matt didn’t like it.
o Matt reads the following from the Bible: Daniel, Chapter 6, verses 21 and 22. This is a story about a man’s faith convinces God to save him from certain death in the jaws of the lions (see special notes below).
Satan’s Ferry and the Frasierites
• After landing in Tasmania, Matt and the disciples are faced with the choice of either having to wait a couple of days to take the Ferry because it is booked and risk being late for the 7-year anniversary back home or they can ask to join the private party who has booked passage that evening.
• Frasier – The private party is a group of libertine sensualists who plan to spend the entire ferry trip having an orgy. They’re celebrating the life of an elderly lion named Frasier — one of whose offspring they’ve brought with them. The woman welcoming guests on the boat asks Matt to tell a dirty joke (not believing he is capable). After Matt relays the joke, the woman says they can travel with them on one condition: if anyone says the name Frasier after midnight, that person will have to become Frasier.
o Frasier the Lion’s story is that a number of lionesses were not interested in having sex with the other lions at a zoo. An older lion, aged 91 by the name of Frasier was brought in and they all immediately had sex with him and gave birth to 35 cubs. This is based on a true story and Sarah Vaughan wrote a song about it named after the 1973 film inspired by these events, entitled “Frasier, the Sensuous Lion.”
• Orgy – during the voyage, or the voyeurage, the disciples go about their business with this crazy orgy backdrop. Everyone is making out in a free-for-all, while they are debating how to rescue Kevin. This can be seen as symbolism for the World at large.
o Most of the people in the orgy don’t care about anything except pleasure and escape.
Matt’s Journey and the Disciples
• Matt always has a mission or purpose. In season 1, it was helping the Guilty Remnant; in season 2, it was believing in the power of Jarden and helping his wife Mary; and in season 3 it’s to help Kevin find himself and to return him to what Matt views as the holy land of Jarden (Eden).
• Matt is very frustrated with the dwindling time to complete his mission and Michael says that they should give Kevin space to make up his mind about coming back. John points out that even if they are able to convince Kevin to come back. They would not make it back to Jarden in time for the 7-year anniversary of the Departure.
• Matt believes that Jarden is a magical place because his wife was saved and he had a son even though they weren’t able to medically conceive before moving there. John reminds him that it’s not, because he lost Evie and his wife Erica.
• As the episode progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that John and Michael are there for Matt maybe as much as Kevin, as they are familiar with his terminal illness and worried about him.
• Michael and John want Matt to come to terms with the fact that he is dying. This probably has something to do with the reason why Matt wants to get Kevin back to Jarden so badly. This is his last mission.
• Michael suggests to Matt that he should let Laurie help him cope with his approaching death because she was able to help cure John’s delusions of grandeur. Matt believes his spirituality will guide him above all else and doesn’t need psychotherapy.
• Matt fights with Laurie a good deal about science/faith. Matt believes he was appointed by God to help Kevin become Jesus. Laurie doesn’t believe in any of it and thinks that Kevin and Matt have deep-seated psychological problems. Matt is in the clouds and Laurie is grounded on Earth.
David Burton, “a.k.a. God or Yahweh”
• Matt is told about David Burton. When Matt meets David, he is reading a Louis L’Amour novel entitled, Lonely on the Mountain. David, clearly annoyed, just hands him his F.A.Q. card and gets up and walks away abruptly (which corrects some of the Bible’s mistakes). It says, Yes I am God on one side (see special notes for other side).
o When Matt reads the card, his nose bleeds for the first time, signaling his own mortality and the onset of Leukemia.
• The next time Matt sees David is at night when he just happens to see David throw someone off the ship’s deck. Frantic, Matt tries to get everyone’s attention and help. The passengers are in the middle of a sex orgy and they don’t want to be disturbed, nor do they care. He jumps in the water in vain.
• The Captain tells him that although David was his personal friend and a local hero/legend that everyone likes and doubts that he would kill someone. He tells him the story of how David became God.
o David died in a rock climbing accident, his friend took him to a cave, and when his friend came back, David was alive and just fine and said he was God. (This presents the possibility that David and his friends made it up since they were the only witnesses to his death, but probably not true because we see him on the other side with Kevin after these events.)
• After another terse conversation with Laurie, Matt becomes maniacal and goes on a rampage after David Burton, or God. He wants answers!
• Matt finds David, knocks him out then ties him to a wheelchair in front of the lion cage to question him.
o David admits that he threw the man overboard but he would not tell the authorities because he was “the Authority.”
o David said he won the bronze medal in the decathlon because that was, “before.” This suggests that after his resurrection, he was someone else entirely.
o David said that Jesus was not his son and he never came back to life, as Jesus’ identical twin brother pretended to be him.
o He claimed credit for the departure and said he did it just because, “He could.”
o The lion appears to roar at important points in the conversation, almost making it look like David had something to do with it.
• Matt tells David about all the sacrifices he’s made to serve him. David says “Everything you’ve done because you thought I was watching, because you thought I was judging. But I wasn’t. I’m not. You’ve never done anything for me. You’ve done it for yourself.” Matt then says, “Is that why you are killing me?” David says he can heal Matt if he unties him. Burton appears to clinch his fist as if he was going to hit Matt and then reaches out like he is going to touch him. Before doing so, he just snaps his fingers and says he is cured.
o David Burton conflicts with Matt’s image of God in that he is more in line with Yahweh who can be vengeful than the image of Jesus Christ he has painted on Kevin. Or is David more representative of Satan than God?
• Matt tells his friends (they are no longer the disciples to Matt) that he is dying and he accepts his fate. Laurie also opens up about Kevin seeing Evie to everyone. John is very understanding that she didn’t tell him before because it probably would have made him crazy. This scene shows they are all resigned to their fate and that love conquers all.
• Matt is very changed by this experience. When the ferry captain asks him if he has any pressing business in Melbourne so that he can answer some questions about the David Burton business, Matt says, “No, I don’t” contritely. It appears that Matt is defeated and no longer believes in his mission and Kevin but also is finding peace. Just like Grace, Matt realizes that his mission was just a story he told himself.
• At the end of the episode, David is killed by the offspring of Frasier the lion as he tries to escape when the police are searching for him. Matt says, “That’s the guy I was telling you about” nonchalantly. God is now dead! Commentary anyone?
o Who is David Burton and what is his primary motivation? Is his story the same as Kevin’s or different? Has he experienced the same things that Kevin has with people worshipping David after he came back to life and this is why he takes the persona of God? (refer to special notes below)
o We heard that David emerged from the cave resurrected prior to this episode. This would mean that David returned to the “other side” when he saw Kevin in season 2.
o Is it a coincidence that Matt and the other disciples are on this boat with David Burton?
o The lion plainly kills David for everyone to see. Will David come back to life? If he doesn’t, will this hold any significance?
o Who is the person that David throws off the boat and why?
Other Items of Interest
• Maybe Burton and Kevin experienced the same things in resurrecting from the dead, but they are very different in their reactions.
o Is this David the same David from International Assassin or is a God-like figure just using his face?
o Is David Burton really God or some other manifestation? What about Kevin?
o If David Burton is not God, how does he know so much when Kevin sees him on the other side? Is he just a guide? David doesn’t appear to know everything about Patti when he meets him for the first time in International Assassin.
• French music again plays at the end of the episode. What does this mean for the coming weeks in a larger world context? Will anything happen in response to the French nuclear bomb blowing up a remote island?
Daniel, Chapter 6, verses 21 and 22
The story of Daniel in the lion’s den teaches us about the promises and faithfulness of God, even if we feel like everything has been lost. Daniel was a faithful servant of the King but prayed to the God of Israel. He was given power by the King. Others in the King’s court did not like Daniel and they conspired to change the law knowing Daniel’s faithfulness to God, so that the King’s subjects would only pray to him. Those who disobeyed were thrown into the Lion’s Den. The men outed Daniel and the King had no choice but to follow the law. The lions did not eat him and he was saved by God’s angel. The King then swore allegiance to Daniel’s God.
21:Daniel answered, “May the king live forever!
22:My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
David Burton’s Yes I Am God Card
I am the one true God. I go by many names but Mr. Burton is fine. I will not take a photo with you. There was no Big Bang, just nothing then light. Yes I created you. No I didn’t create unicorns. Eve was not made from Adam’s rib, it was his tibia. I asked Abraham to kill Isaac just to see if he’d do it. Yes evolution is real but it doesn’t work how you think it does. I won the bronze medal for decathlon and the one you can’t remember is the hammer throw. No I had nothing to do with the crusades nor any type of genocide/Holocaust.
Who is David Burton?
• The first time we hear about David Burton was in Season 2, episode 1 where Michael received an addressed letter from “Pillar Man” to David Burton in Sydney, Australia.
• In Season 2, episode 3, a news broadcast mentions a resurrection claim coming out of Australia, where a man that witnesses said was dead came out of a cave in Wanneroo, just outside of Perth, now alive. Witnesses said he “walked out covered in mozzie bites and said he’d just been in a hotel.”
• In Season 2, episode 8, International Assassin, after drinking the poison to die, Kevin sees David Burton for the first time when he was on the “other side.” David pulled Kevin out of a car that was stopped on the bridge with child-Patti. He put a noose around Kevin’s neck and dragged him on the bridge, asking him what he was doing with the girl. Kevin said he was taking her to the well to throw her in. David asked if she was resisting and he said no. David said that she wanted to be thrown it and that it was just like a woman, thinking she could improve him. Kevin replied, “I don’t understand” to which David says, “That’s bloody obvious.” David then gave Kevin a choice to either “cross or jump.” He told Kevin that if he killed Patti, he would never be the same. Kevin replied, “None of this is real.” David then said, “Friend, this is more real than it’s ever been” and then whispered something into Kevin’s ear that seemed to impact Kevin greatly.
• In the season finale of Season 2, after John shoots Kevin in the chest, Kevin goes to the “other side” and meets David again at the hotel lounge bar during karaoke wearing his Mapleton police uniform. David tells Kevin that he can’t return to his world until he sings karaoke. David says, “You love your family, it’s not your time, still have so much to live for…Come on, be original mate, why should you go back and the rest of us…” Kevin says, “Because I deserve to…Now tell me now.” David says, “If you want to get out of here, all you have to do is sing…The trial, it’s beneath you, it’s not elegant enough, it’s too easy. You pushed a little girl into a well, you don’t want to sing? Kevin sings Homeward Bound and wakes up alive.
Lonely on the Mountain Plot Summary
• This is Louis L’Amour’s eleventh book chronicling the lives of the Sackett family from Tennessee. In Lonely on the Mountain, William “Tell” Sackett receives a brief note from his cousin Logan stating that Logan will face starvation or hanging if Tell can’t drive a herd of 1,100 cattle to British Columbia before winter. Tell and his brother, Tyrel, commandeer a nine-man cattle drive across the Dakota Plains to British Columbia. Along the way they experience food shortages, prairie fires, and the ever-present risk of an attack by Indians or cattle rustlers. There is also the matter of a mysterious stranger who is clandestinely pursuing the Sacketts. While on the journey, an ambush party of Sioux Indians attacks the men and scatters the hundreds of steer.
• Orrin Sackett, the Sackett’s middle sibling, hears not only the disturbing news of the attack, but that his two brothers (Tell and Tyrel) were killed. Orrin must now assemble his own group of men to follow the trail to British Columbia and find out the truth. Louis L’Amour provides realistic and fascinating details of what life was like for the brave men and women who traversed the Western frontier. From Indian attacks to killer mosquitoes, L’Amour leads his readers on a trek resplendent with unexpected and suspenseful events. His rich characterization of the Sacketts, along with that of their friends and foes, is enhanced by colorful rough-and-tumble dialogue as they cross the barren countryside of Western Canada.
Episode 4 Notes – G’Day Melbourne
This episode focuses on Kevin and Nora’s trip to Australia. Nora is meeting the people that recruited her to use a radiation machine to connect with her departed children went. Kevin is along for the ride to escape his current reality and to get closer to Nora.
G’Day Melbourne refers to a fictitious Australia version of the television show, Good Morning America. There are walking tours in Melbourne with a company by the name of G’Day Melbourne.
Episode opens with the same opening credits to the song, This Love is Over by Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs.
• This song foreshadows the impending breakup of Nora and Kevin but it also fits the opening credit sequence better than the last two episodes.
Other Music – (The Doors Break On Through to the Other Side song kept popping into my head for some reason during this episode.)
• Caro Nome from Act 1 of Rigoletto; Composed by Verdi
o Although different than the Nabucco opera by Verdi in the International Assassins episode, it clearly links the two. This music plays when Nora is reading an excerpt from the Book of Kevin in the hotel room when he pushes Patti down the well.
o Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda sings this part of the opera.
o Caro nome is a portrayal of young love in all its innocence and idealism. It marks the first step in Gilda’s transformation from innocent young girl to self-sacrificing heroine. The Gilda we encounter in Act II, with her long solo ‘Tutte le feste al tempio’, is a very different woman, both in terms of her emotions and her music. The fact that in ‘Caro nome’ we already know her love for the Duke is doomed makes its tenderness and sincerity all the more poignant.
• Take On Me – Aha
o Three versions of this played during the episode:
▪ The physicists, Drs. Aden and Becker played an instrumental version on the piano;
▪ The second version was by Genghis Barbie and plays when Nora enters the coffin and Kevin arrives at the library looking for Danish
▪ The last version was the original performed by A-ha begins as Kevin gets into his father’s truck and during the last shot of Nora with the eternal tears.
The eerie beginning of the episode’s theme song over the opening credits foretells that the love between Kevin and Nora is over. There are many obvious signs throughout the episode that the love is indeed over. Gone are the subtle hints. In Australia, we get the realness.
• Kevin and Nora are at the airport about to go through security screening. The security agent tells Nora that she can go through the faster global entry special access line. When the agent asks if Kevin and she are together, Nora doesn’t immediately answer. Nora quickly leaves the line and says on her way out to Kevin, “I’ll just see you on the other side.”
o Some part of Nora wants to go to the other side and from her appearance she is very happy to make this process faster.
• As Nora is going through her security screening, the alarm goes off and she looks a little dismayed. The “false” alarm was because of her watch. As she is walking toward the tram, Kevin calls to her and it’s almost as if she forgot he was there. Clearly upset, Kevin asks Nora why she didn’t just stay in the regular security clearance line with him. Nora then tells Kevin that she decided to use her global access security perk, so that she wouldn’t be scanned by more sensitive equipment because she is carrying $20,000 in cash that is strapped to her body. Federal law prohibits passengers from carrying more than $10,000 in cash across international lines. When Kevin tells her that she could have just given him half the money to avoid this, it is clear by her reaction that she didn’t want to share this with him. They then go to the airport bathroom and Nora removes the money from her torso. They then have sex against a baby changing stand. This is just passionless sex between two people who no longer appear to be emotionally connected.
o Through the airport scenes, it is abundantly clear that Nora has already moved on from Kevin and that he is just there. She is very eager to go through with the scientific procedure.
o Could the end of episode one with Nora and the birds be the other side that is suggested by the storytelling here
While on the plane, Kevin says that the scientists will suspect Nora’s intentions that she is not willing to go through the procedure if they find out that he is there with her. Nora explains that she’ll lie and tell them that they have a toxic co-dependent relationship and that they are better off apart than together.
• Nora has already mentally departed. The relative ease of some of the statements Nora makes and her actions, indicate how much she is hoping/believing that this procedure will reunite her with her children even if it means death.
• Crazy Airport passenger at the Austin airport who has a HAZMUT (Hazardous Materials) suit and rants about needing to get to Antarctica before an imminent global event.
While at the hotel room, Nora mocks Matt’s gospel of Kevin. She reads a random passage from it that describes the scene of him pushing Patti into a well on the other side (from the “International Assassin”). As Kevin is becoming increasingly uncomfortable, the phone rings for Nora. She confirms her appointment which is to catch a bus and to get off at the last stop. She tells Kevin not to follow her and to stay in the hotel.
After Nora leaves the hotel room, Kevin turns on the television. The only channel he can watch is running a show called “G’Day Melbourne,” which seems like the Australian version of Good Morning America. He doesn’t want to watch the channel and he tries to change it. He calls the front desk and complains. They say that this happens from time to time and that the only way to stop it is by cutting the power to the television. After he hangs up, the show mentions there are two missing Kevins: One is the police chief sacrificed by Grace and the other horsewomen and the other is Kevin Garvey Sr. He then sees Evie Murphy looking in on the show through the studio window holding a sign that reads:
“Surah 81” — this Surah (or section) from the Qur’an discusses the signs about the Hereafter and the occurrence of some great changes regarding the end of the world and the beginning of the Next World, through the Resurrection. This is basically an apocalyptic reading full of end-times imagery, foretelling about the coming day of judgement and the apocalypse, but also the resurrection. The actual words are listed in the notes below.
• Evie appears to respond to Kevin when he says to her, “Can You Hear Me?” by staring directly at him. The television cuts off immediately after. He then rushes out of the room and finds out where G’Day Melbourne is shot on location from the hotel receptionist. She calls him Mr. Durst, which he doesn’t like. As he gets a taxi, he passes Nora.
o This again shows how distant Kevin and Nora are from each other.
o Why is Surah 81, a section of the Qur’an used here? Is it yet another sign to Kevin that he is the resurrected one who will help remake the world after the impending apocalypse
• Kevin arrives at the location of the live viewing for G’Day Melbourne searching for Evie. Kevin doesn’t see her initially as he takes her spot in the window of the live broadcast. He spots her based on the hijab she is wearing walking away from the crowd. Kevin chases who he thinks is Evie down an alley. She doesn’t respond to the name, but she does address him although confused. Kevin is completely unhinged at this point and screams, “What the F… are you doing here? Did Pattie send you?” Then a man sees Kevin and gets in Kevin’s face. Kevin takes a picture of Evie to show other people that it is proof. This is when the man head-butts him to protect the woman.
o I thought this was a cool moment in the sense that the man who hit Kevin was trying to protect the woman, probably assuming that Kevin was harassing her because she was a woman, Muslim or both. This would seem to contrast with our country at the moment.
o Evie is clearly dead from what the show indicated before. Erika also said she buried her remains, but Kevin thinks that she might still be alive somehow because of all the weird happenings.
• Kevin calls Laurie and tells her his fantastic story. Kevin sends the picture to Laurie while on the phone and we can’t see it. She confirms that it is Evie but tells him not to approach her again. Laurie looked up her Facebook profile though the information he provided and found her alias, Danish Moabizzi and tells him that she works at the public library.
• Kevin goes to the library like a crazy person and causes a scene looking for Danish Moabizzi. He tells the librarian on hand that only Danish can help him find a book entitled, “Assassins.” The book doesn’t exist (just like Evie isn’t real). Right before security can escort him out, Evie stands up and says she’ll speak with him in private. They go to a room and she tells him that she is Evie Murphy and not to tell anyone because she just wants to start a new life. His behavior is very threatening and she starts to pray in Arabic. She then explains to Kevin that Laurie called here and asked her to pretend that she’s Evie because as Laurie foreshadowed before, you can’t tell someone in the midst of a psychotic break that they are having a psychotic break. You have to indulge the person’s delusion and find common ground, otherwise they will be more likely to hurt themselves.
• Kevin then calls Laurie while she is at dinner with John and she helps him see that he is having a psychotic breakdown by looking at the picture he took of Evie earlier. When he looks at it this time, he realizes the woman is not Evie, but Danish. He then looks at Danish and she is now the same woman he saw in the picture, not Evie. Laurie then asks him why he ran out of Jarden his responsibilities a week before the 7-year anniversary. She then asks if he and Nora are okay. He gets upset and before hanging up the phone, he says, “Ask John about the fucking book he wrote about me.”
o Kevin calls Laurie because he knows that she is sane and can help talk him off the ledge. Part of Kevin wants to escape his crazy life but this clearly shows that another part of him just wants peace and sanity.
o Why does Kevin see Evie, instead of the Muslim woman? Does all of this happen because Kevin is meant to meet up with his father later or is it just coincidence?
o The Assassins book references the International Assassin episode again to show a link between what he experienced then with what he’s experiencing now. This is all connected.
Nora and the Low Amplitude Denzinger Radiation Machine
While Nora is waiting at the bus stop, a woman approaches her. The woman says she has an interview and couldn’t find a babysitter. She said that she would only be a few minutes while interviewing. Nora reluctantly accepts knowing her bus is on the way. When the bus arrives immediately after, she asks it to wait while she rushes inside and gives the woman her baby back during the interview. She hops on the bus and goes to a vacant industrial park.
• When Nora arrives, she sees two women doctors next to a piano in the middle of a big room. The doctors’ names are Dr. Aden and Dr. Becker who are actually physicists. They are playing a game of Name That Tune and Dr. Aden is playing Take On Me by A-ha. Dr. Aden and Dr. Becker are doing the good cop/bad cop routine. Dr. Becker, when she doesn’t want Nora to hear her speaks in Dutch to Dr. Aden. They bring her to Bernard to conduct a physical exam. As Nora learns, Bernard has already obtained her medical information illegally. Nora is then given an isolation test to see how she reacts in similar conditions if she were to undergo the procedure with the radiation machine. After this test, she is questioned by Drs. Aden and Becker. Dr. Becker thinks that Nora will get cold feet and not follow through with the procedure, but not because of Kevin.
• The final question we were all waiting for comes:
“Two infant twins are born. One of them will grow up to cure cancer, but only if one of them dies now. You don’t have to kill the baby yourself, but you do have to nod to make it happen. Do you nod?”
Nora replies in a matter of fact tone, “Kids die every day. What’s one more? Of course (she would kill the baby). Her answer is different that the man who set himself on fire but both are told they are wrong or it’s all bs to begin with. Nora was able to piece together that the baby that was given to her at the bus stop was also part of the test. She asked a lot of questions and Dr. Becker seemed to not like her at all. When Nora answered, Dr. Aden clearly appeared dejected.
o Nora’s answer to the question may be related to the earlier exchange. Maybe they were looking for honesty or something else? Maybe they didn’t like how cold she was in her response to the question or didn’t believe her because she helped the woman earlier? Or maybe it is not what you answer, but how you answer. Nora’s response was cold.
o What is the point of the test? What about the test would indicate whether someone is qualified? Qualified how?
o Who are conducting these tests and why? What if anything do the scientists get out of this?
o Is she deep down hanging on to something in this reality and thus not a good candidate in terms of this experiment?
Nora is back at the hotel and a bit frantic as she searches for, finds and lights a cigarette to Kevin’s surprise as he walks in the room. Nora agitatedly tells Kevin that she was rejected and in a vengeful tone wants to catch the scientists. She makes it seem that it was more job-related than a personal ordeal. They get into an argument and Kevin tells Nora he feels unable to confide in her about the things that are going on inside of him like when he saw ghosts like Pattie (and his recent psychotic episode) because last time she handcuffed him to the bed and left (and more importantly he doesn’t feel safe). He says, “That’s what we do. We don’t f–king talk about anything.” It takes a downward spiral fast and they really tell each other how they feel. She argues that he is letting the Messiah treatment by Matt and the others get to his head. Nora also blames Kevin for letting her give Lily up and mocks his desire to have children with her. In an act of defiance, Kevin lights the Book of Kevin on fire and places it into the sink saying he resents being anointed Jesus Christ Super Star. The smoke alarm goes off and they don’t care.
• The most gripping drama in the whole episode and insight into Nora’s issue was when Kevin tells her that she won’t move forward and accept her fate. He said, “You can’t have a kid, because then you’d have no excuse. You couldn’t be a victim anymore. You’d have to be okay. No one would feel sorry for you.” As the flames rise, on his way out he said coldly, “You should go be with them (her dead kids).” She completely melts at this point and Kevin grabs his bag and leaves.
o This was Nora’s last hope of reuniting with her children in her mind and she couldn’t move on and start again. She couldn’t get over it as Kevin aptly points out.
Reunion of the Kevins
As Kevin leaves the hotel the alarms appear to grow louder. He goes to the valet and asks for a cab but he says there are none available due to an explosion. In confusion, he looks around and is seen by his father who gets out of a Grace’s truck. He looks at him and says, “Jesus” in an exasperated tone. (Foreshadow?) Kevin, Sr. spotted him on G’Day Melbourne when he was looking for who he thought was Evie. Kevin, Sr. tells him that he was calling around at the hotels looking for him ever since. Kevin, Sr. tells Kevin that he can’t return to the United States because all the flights are grounded, presumably due to the explosion. He gets in the truck.
o What is the explosion from? The two possibilities that I can think of both involve radiation. One being some kind of nuclear event or maybe it has something to do with the radiation machine that the physicists were using to send people to be with the departed.
o The 7-year anniversary of the departure where a lot of people think that something is going to occur again might actually happen through a nuclear holocaust caused by people who either believe the world will end and/or want it to end. This would be the perfect story for the show. While everyone is looking for some rapture-like event depart or reconnect with their loved ones, mankind would actually be responsible for the new departure.
The Tears of Nora
We return to the hotel room with a close-up of Nora bent over and the water from the sprinklers drowning out the tears, while also making it look like eternal tears flowing from her eyes. This is a beautiful yet haunting and tragic image, representing profound grief and despair. We hear the regular version of Take On Me by A-ha as it fades out over the credits.
o This sets up the end of episode one well where you can see why Nora would deny knowing Kevin when the nun asks her at the church. She looks like she is just going through the motions of living.
o Is this the last time we see Nora until we catch up to the end of episode 1?
• Will Nora ultimately find peace by the end of show? If so, will it feel real and deserving? Will Kevin and her reunite?
• Why are there so many references to the International Assassin episode from season 2? What is the connection and why?
International Assassin episode themes – Verdi’s Nabucco opera; The book Kevin is look for is entitled, “Assassins;” hotel rooms, weird things with the television.
Surrah 81 (Rough English Translation)
When the sun is wrapped up [in darkness]
And when the stars fall, dispersing,
And when the mountains are removed
And when full-term she-camels are neglected
And when the wild beasts are gathered
And when the seas are filled with flame
And when the souls are paired
And when the girl [who was] buried alive is asked
For what sin she was killed
And when the pages are made public
And when the sky is stripped away
And when Hellfire is set ablaze
And when Paradise is brought near,
A soul will [then] know what it has brought [with it].
So I swear by the retreating stars –
Those that run [their courses] and disappear –
And by the night as it closes in
And by the dawn when it breathes
[That] indeed, the Qur’an is a word [conveyed by] a noble messenger
[Who is] possessed of power and with the Owner of the Throne, secure [in position],
Obeyed there [in the heavens] and trustworthy.
And your companion is not [at all] mad.
And he has already seen Gabriel in the clear horizon.
And Muhammad is not a withholder of [knowledge of] the unseen.
And the Qur’an is not the word of a devil, expelled [from the heavens].
So where are you going?
It is not except a reminder to the worlds
For whoever wills among you to take a right course.
And you do not will except that Allah wills – Lord of the worlds.
(Walking Tours) – There is a walking tour company in Melbourne with the name.
This Love is Over – Ray Lamontagne (Song Lyrics)
Goin’ out of my mind
Don’t even know my own name half the time
How’d I get so blind that I couldn’t see what was right in front of me?
Wish I was wrong I wish that you were right here lyin’ in my arms
Deep down inside I got to face the truth that you’re not comin’ home
This love is over
This love is over
Caro nome (from Verdi’s Rigoletto) – sung by Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda
Sweet name, you who made my heart
throb for the first time,
you must always remind me
the pleasures of love!
My desire will fly to you
on the wings of thought
and my last breath
will be yours, my beloved.
Take on Me – A-ha (Song Lyrics)
We’re talking away
I don’t know what
I’m to say I’ll say it anyway
Today’s another day to find you
I’ll be coming for your love, okay?
Take on me, (take on me)
Take me on, (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two
So needless to say
I’m odds and ends
I’ll be stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is OK
Say after me
It’s no better to be safe than sorry
Take on me, (take on me)
Take me on, (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two
Oh the things that you say
Is it live or
Just to play my worries away
You’re all the things I’ve got to remember
You’re shying away
I’ll be coming for you anyway
Take on me, (take on me)
Take me on, (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day
I’ll be gone (take on me)
In a day
Episode 3 Notes – Crazy Whitefella Thinking
This episode focuses exclusively on Kevin Garvey, Sr. and his messianic quest to navigate Australia and prevent a great apocalyptic flood that he said will occur on the 7-year anniversary of the Sudden Departure.
Title implies this episode is at least in part about the arrogance of an American outsider who believes in and embraces his messianic delusions at the expense of other people’s feelings and property.
Episode opens with the same opening credits to the song, Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode performed by Richard Cheese (lounge singer).
• This song plays to the heart of the matter as we are faced with the question (something that I asked last week) whether Kevin Garvey, Sr. or his son is the messiah.
• This kind of goes with the hotel theme.
• Why is the “cheesy” version of this song used, instead of the original?
• We open on a picture behind Police Chief of Mapleton, Kevin Garvey, Sr. moments after the sudden departure.
• We then transition to Kevin, Sr. driving to a piece of aborigine sacred land as we listen to a conversation on a tape recorder between Kevin, Sr. and his son Kevin in 1981. They are talking about ducks underwater. Kevin is worried that they won’t come back up for air and die. His father assures him they will resurface.
• Kevin then tapes a ritual, presumably to get their song as we find out later. He uses this to perform the ritual on aborigine land. The police catch him. When the police are set to release him, they confiscated his recording equipment. He asks for his tape recorder and the tape, Niagra ’81 back.
o This is the first moment that made me think of the title.
o At this point, I presumed it was so that he could keep a nice memento between him and his son. As we find out later, there is more to it.
o Another major point that needs to be made here is that Kevin, Sr.’s primary obstacle appears to be that Australians are concerned about the rights and the rituals of their native people, and they don’t like outsiders taking liberties with restricted areas to perform stolen rituals.
• After leaving the police station, Kevin, Sr. resumes his mission. We see him marking the map he has of aborigine land and he marks what part of the songline.
• He stops at a post office and asks for the whereabouts of a Christopher Sunday.
o Funny point here; Kevin says he’s a member of the indigenous community here to convince the postal worker to help him. The postal worker gives him a look. (This made me think of the title as well with the look the postal worker gave Kevin).
o Kevin picks up a package that Matt sent to him about his son, “The Book of Kevin.” He tells the postal worker, that the book in the package is the goddamn sequel to the Bible.
o He reads through it and rips out one page to fold money in and places it in the National Geographic magazine next to a map of Cairo.
o Could the Map of the Nile River going through Cairo correspond to the songline on his map of Australia?
• Kevin reads the Song of Kevin and marks it up in red and is clearly angry that this is about his son and not him. He calls Reverend Matt Jamison. Kevin wants Matt to acknowledge what he is doing to try and save the world and Matt just ignores him and says his son is going to Australia. He basically implies that there will be a flood if he is not successful. As soon as Kevin hangs up, it starts pouring rain.
o Kevin, Sr. believes he was chosen for this mission and that he, not his son is actually the great messiah. He justifies all of his actions as great deeds of self-sacrifice.
o Why does Kevin, Sr. not want his son to go to Australia? Is this because of the potential of a disaster or is he trying to save him from something else, maybe even death?
o When Matt’s wife says she’s going to the park with Noah, I have a feeling that this is the moment she leaves him. Very interesting that the child’s name is Noah, considering the flood story and the arc being built.
• Kevin visits Sharon to find the address for Christopher Sunday. On his way in, he throws the Book of Kevin in the trash. As he’s waiting for Sharon, he sees his wanted for questioning poster. He seduces her by complimenting her painting of a snake. She sees the poster and after a brief encounter steals the address and runs out.
o First reference to snakes in the episode.
• He visits Christopher (Chris) Sunday (Kevin from the totem bush snake). Chris can see he is scared. Kevin then tells Chris is story.
Songlines and Christopher Sunday
Kevin, Sr. told his story of how he came to Australia and to the present point in the story to Christopher Sunday, an aborigine who according to Kevin was the only person who knew the song of the last piece of land he needed to complete the songline before the impending flood in several days’ time.
• Kevin tells Christopher Sunday a rambling story of how he came to Australia and the series of events that led him to the present time. He followed the voices to Australia but then did not receive instructions for what to do after. He came across a hippie who convinced him to speak to god through using a hallucinogen named, God’s Tongue. After taking it he woke up 2 weeks later and couldn’t remember any details.
o We can surmise that Kevin, Sr. forgot his conversation with his son when he was at the hotel in season 2, episode 8, entitled International Assassin.
• When Kevin woke up from his trip, he saw Tony, the chicken on television. He then relayed the story of a town in Australia of 14 people that all vanished during the Departure, including the animals. One egg survived and hatched soon after, the chicken named Tony. People like Kevin came from all over to seek Tony’s wisdom because he apparently could help people find what they were looking for. When Kevin asked Tony about his purpose, the chicken pecked at his tape, labeled Niagra ’81. When Kevin listens to the tape, it’s on the part where he is singing “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” to his son to make the rain stop. Reluctantly, Chief sings… and the rain stops. This is where Kevin Garvey, Sr. got his mission from; to stop the impending flood rains he believes will occur on the 7-year anniversary.
• Kevin discussed his trip to Niagra Falls in 1981 with his son after his wife died. His wife gave his son the mic and tape recorder he was carrying. His son taped a number of their conversations about various things they encountered as if he was a reporter.
o It is apparent that this tape represents more than just his son, but a haunting memory of the hardest part of his life that is bittersweet – losing his wife, coping with pain for both him and his son.
o One of the stories in the 1972 National Geographic that Kevin Garvey, Sr. is infatuated with includes an article, The Spider That Lives Underwater, describing a spider that lives almost it’s entire life underwater. This is also very similar to the part of the tape we listened to during beginning of the episode with the ducks going underwater and then resurfacing. In season 1, Christine woke from a nap and her first words were “Spiders underwater.”
o Is this a reference to what happened to the departed? Are they stuck somewhere and will they eventually resurface? Or conversely, is the rest of surviving humanity the trapped spider?
• Christopher Sunday ironically says that his particular song is meant to end drought by bringing rain.
o Will Kevin, Sr. ultimately cause the very thing he hopes to stop?
• After Kevin’s pitch, Christopher Sunday, gestures toward the ceiling where we see water dripping leaking and then says, “Do you Want to Stop the Flood? Start there.” It is implied that if Kevin fixes the leak, Chris will teach him the song. While Kevin is on the roof, Sharon arrives and starts yelling. Kevin loses his balance and falls on top of Chris.
o Whether Christopher believes his story or not, or actually cares is not clear. This again references the title.
• While riding in the ambulance to take Christopher Sunday to the hospital, he is kicked out of the ambulance for insulting the EMT. While walking, Kevin comes across a car driving frenetically in the middle of nowhere that stops near him. A man gets out with a container of gasoline and douses the car and himself. When Kevin tries to stop him, the man said “They didn’t take me.” He then asks Kevin, “Would you kill a baby if it would cure cancer.” Kevin says no and then the man says that is exactly what he said. He then lights himself on fire.
o This might be a not so veiled reference to the people that want to see Nora. He literally incinerates himself. Maybe he didn’t meet their requirements and so he lost all hope and reason to live.
• After searching for water in the car, he looks at the sky and says, You can’t stop me asshole.” It then starts pouring rain again. He is able to drink but it ruins his tape.
o What does this symbolize?
• Dying of thirst, Kevin comes upon his totem animal, a snake. He thanks the snake for its sacrifice to the greater good (presumably keeping the messiah alive) as he’s about to kill it for water and sustenance. Once he believes the snake is dead he picks it up and the snake bites him on the arm.
o This moment is very potent because it’s as if Kevin thinks he is doing this incredible deed of self-sacrifice for the good of humanity and everything and everyone in his path is biting back. This scene also runs parallel to the stone age woman getting bit by a snake and dying during Season 2’s prologue.
o Symbolism – Kevin and this woman were both “Snake Bit” – characterized by bad luck or subject to a series of misfortunes. The snake represents Satan.
• Kevin finds a cross on his path and leans up against it almost like a Christ-figure. He sees a blur of someone coming toward him on a horse.
• He wakes up in a nice house with an IV and a dog next to him. He calls Matt Jamison and Matt gets upset with him. Kevin then walks outside and sees a number of people building a ship (an Arc), using wood from the church.
• After looking through her photos, he falls asleep. He then wakes up later and goes outside to see them kill a local police chief with the name of Kevin. They shoot him with a dart and he wakes up alone with Grace in the room.
Grace tells her story. She was in town when the departure occurred. The phone lines were down and she wasn’t able to return home immediately. When she arrived home, her husband and kids were all gone. Grace assumed they had all departed because she thought it was the Rapture. Sometime afterward, the remains of her children were found. They had apparently tried to find help when their father disappeared and ended up dying because of the harsh climate conditions. When Grace found Kevin on the cross where her children died with a page from the Book of Kevin in Kevin, Sr.’s hand she felt it was a sign from God. She took the literal meaning and thought that a police chief named Kevin was the messiah, which tragically ended in his death. She thought this would allow her to talk to her children one last time. “I thought God was sending a message just for me.” – PERSONAL JESUS. (It’s just a stupid story and I believed).
o This is great commentary on how people often extract different meaning from passages in the bible or other historical/religious texts to justify their actions. This also shows the power of belief and the devastating effect of the Departure on people thoughts and actions.
• The two Kevins: If there is a messiah figure in this story, is it Kevin, Sr., Kevin or something else entirely? He says at the end to Grace, “You just got the wrong Kevin.”
• Is Kevin, Grace’s personal Jesus?
• Story of Abraham – Reference to Kevin, Jr. dying?
• Background to Kevin, Sr.’s mission to complete the Songline – Within the animist belief system of Indigenous Australians, a songline, also called dreaming track, is one of the paths across the land (or sometimes the sky) which mark the route followed by localized “creator-beings” during the Dreamtime. The paths of the songlines are recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance, and painting. A knowledgeable person is able to navigate across the land by repeating the words of the song, which describe the location of landmarks, waterholes, and other natural phenomena. In some cases, the paths of the creator-beings are said to be evident from their marks, on the land, such as large depressions in the land which are said to be their footprints. By singing the songs in the appropriate sequence, indigenous people could navigate vast distances, often travelling through the deserts of Australia’s interior. The continent of Australia contains an extensive system of songlines, some of which are of a few kilometres, whilst others traverse hundreds of kilometres through lands of many different indigenous peoples — peoples who may speak markedly different languages and have different cultural traditions. Since a songline can span the lands of several different language groups, different parts of the song are said to be in those different languages. Languages are not a barrier because the melodic contour of the song describes the nature of the land over which the song passes. The rhythm is what is crucial to understanding the song. Traditional Aboriginal people regard all land as sacred, and the songs must be continually sung to keep the land “alive”.
Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus Lyrics
Your own personal Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who cares
Your own personal Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who’s there
And you’re all alone
Flesh and bone
By the telephone
Lift up the receiver
I’ll make you a believer
Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess
I will deliver
You know i’m a forgiver
Reach out and touch faith
Reach out and touch faith
Your own personal Jesus…
And you’re all alone
Flesh and bone
By the telephone
Lift up the receiver
I’ll make you a believer
I will deliver
You know I’m a forgiver
Reach out and touch faith
Your own personal Jesus
Reach out and touch faith