This episode was a sleeper and both Aaron & Axel had more of an appreciation for it after the recap.
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
Many people complained after Lost S6 that we had been fooled (I disagree, I loved it, but that’s another post) Are we headed for a replay with The Leftovers?
SPOILER ALERT FOR LOST S6
I’ll make this quick because A Dash disagrees with me… and please forgive my cell phone shot screen grabs…
My main point is that Kevin Sr. seemingly wakes up in a different place after taking the prescription drugs.
When he first wakes up after being found in the desert there are a bunch of young people building a boat near a little church (Grace’s Kids?)
Is this LOST season 6 all over again? Is Kevin Sr. In the sideways? Is this place or the place with boat and the kids the “real” world? Does the Hotel that Kevin Jr visits in one of these places?
I probably missed something, let us know your ideas in the comments below!
A Dash Hustler has been doing such a knock out job recapping The Leftovers we decided to post his notes. Enjoy.
Episode 2 – Don’t Be Ridiculous
Recap Major Points (This is not all chronological)
Perfect Strangers Homage – Theme song to the Leftovers, same intro as season 2 set to the theme song for this show – “Nothing Gonna Stop Me Now.”
1. Preacher, aka Pillar Man, falls from tower and dies (at precisely 4:20 am – shout out to weed culture and/or biblical verses – Found this on the Internet: Romans 4:20: “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.”).
2. Pillar Man’s wife Sandy has been camping out by him and taking care of his needs since the day the Guilty Remnant broke through to Jarden. He apparently ignored Sandy, but she was devoted to serving him. Sandy and Reverend Matt Jamison decided to bury Pillar Man and say he departed (slowly phased out) in front of their eyes.
• Nora doesn’t believe this of course being from the Department of Sudden Departures and has unabashed skepticism of anything departure-related. She questions Sandy and Matt. Nora is very abrupt and mean to Sandy. Nora finds out from Matt that they are lying and that they secretly buried him and concocted this story. Sandy and Matt wanted to give the preacher purpose.
• Later in the episode, Nora wants to paste a picture of Pillar Man’s exhumed body across Jarden Square. Before she is able to, Kevin stops her and reminds her of how level-headed she usually and suggests that maybe this isn’t the best thing to do.
3. The Psychology of Nora
• Nora receives a phone call from real-life actor Mark Lin-Baker about being able to speak to her kids again. After calling and asking (or demanding) her boss at the DSD if she can travel for work to visit Mark Lin-Baker to ascertain whether or not this is a scam. Nora implies that it is important to the work of the DSD, but it is obvious that she has some curiosity as well.
• Nora Flies to St. Louis to see Mark Lin-Baker.
Mark Linn-Baker – one of the four leading characters on Perfect Strangers that did not depart, although he faked his departure to start a new life before being discovered. (Read Special Notes below)
• Upon introduction, he tosses her phone in the toilet. Mark Lin-Baker tells Nora she can see her children again through a process of exposure to Low Amplitude Denzinger Radiation, a rare kind of neutron radiation that scientists have recorded in places where departures happened. Although very skeptical at first, she is clearly enamored with the possibility, even though her outward behavior with other people might suggest otherwise. MLB tells her that many smart, respected members of society have done this. He tries to pitch this to Nora as a way to get control back in both their lives. He tells Nora that she will receive a call in a few days to see if she is interested. Nora later looks at several of the testimonials from people about to embark on this process, many of which seem to be very bright. (Is this a scam for money or something else or is this real?)
• (Lily) Nora drives to Kentucky to see Lily, who as everything seemingly pointed to was living with her natural birth mother, Christine. Nora is distraught when she realizes that Lily doesn’t know who she is. Nora then sees Christine and becomes upset when faced with the reality that Christine is her real mother.
• Technology – 1) The Airport Kiosk – malfunction with kiosk that malfunctions when she says traveling by herself. The only option she can choose is, “Will You Be Travelling with an Infant on Your Lap,” which she picks reluctantly at the behest of the airline staff who tells her this is the result of a dead spot on the screen; 2) Rental car GPS; 3) Airport parking lot exit machine. She paid for her ticket and it doesn’t register at the exit. She gets out of the car in anger and manually moves the gate. All of this frustrates Nora and this adds to her feelings of helplessness.
• (Nora’s Children) Nora’s Cast and Wu-Tang tattoo. Nora visits Erica (Regina King) and tells her everything that’s happened, including that she covered up the tattooed names of her children with the WuTang tattoo. She punished herself later by slamming the car door on her arm (one of the medical staff witnessed her doing it to herself). She said to the doctor’s question, “Why in God’s Name Would I Do That?”
• (Erica and the Trampoline) – After Nora discloses her feelings to Erica, Erica asks Nora to jump on a Trampoline with her along to the song by Wu-Tang Protect Ya’ Neck. They are like little kids letting go to some jump therapy. (Nora sees Erica as someone she completely trusts because of losing children and from their very real and honest interaction involving the DSD questionnaire that Nora uses for work and Evie in Season 2.)
• Nora is pulled in her car by Tommy, who is concerned for her well-being, as he received a call from Christine detailing Nora’s visit. Nora immediately becomes defensive and says that she wanted to give Lily back to her birth mother because she felt good being able to do that for someone who had lost a child. Tommy then discloses that Lily wasn’t hers nor was she “meant” to have her. Tommy intended for his dad to take care of her because he did the same for him when he was 3 years-old (sweet moment for the Tommy/Kevin connection but bitter moment for Nora).
• Kevin and Nora – Nora returns home and catches Kevin trying to suffocate himself. He briefly explains why he is doing it. Nora then divulges the information about her Wu-Tang tattoo. Nora lets down her shield when she realizes that they are both hurting and not pretending. It’s as if Kevin’s pain almost dulls her pain just a little. Kevin says he wants to have a baby with her and she laughs hysterically in his face, as he becomes really sad. Nora says she doesn’t want to mess up what they have. She is clearly scared. This made me think of the title of the episode, “Don’t be Ridiculous.”
• SUMMARY – Nora feels like she is all alone and that everyone around her has a family, including Kevin. Although Kevin loves Nora, he can’t truly understand what she is going through even if they both experience significant pain from this Departure event.
4. Going to Australia – Nora tells Kevin she is going to Australia and Kevin wants to join her.
• Trip to Sydney, Nora gets a call and is supposed to bring $20,000 in cash to a hotel. She isn’t open with Kevin about the real reason why she wants to go to Australia. This could be because she doesn’t really know if she will go through with it or because she is hiding her true intentions.
5. Police Chief, Kevin the Messiah (Kevin Garvey, Sr.) – at the end of the episode, we go to Australia and focus on the daily routine of a police chief whose name is Kevin. When he returns home that night, he is abducted because some old ladies believe he is special (or the messiah). He doesn’t admit to being the messiah and then they knock him out and tie him to a see saw type of equipment and dunk him in the water until he drowns. They obviously believe that if they kill him, he will rise from the dead. He drowns and then they realize he is not the Kevin they spoke of. During the commotion, Kevin Garvey, Sr. emerges with a “are you looking for me” moment.
• Question is what would give the women this conviction that they could kill the police chief Kevin and then bring him back to life to prove that he is the messiah?
• Are Kevin, Sr. and Kevin both special this way or is one more of a messiah-like figure than the other?
Maybe Nora is so disheveled at the end of episode one because of the neutron radiation or she is in the other world as a result of undergoing the radiation process.
• Any special reason why the episode was so focused on Perfect Strangers? Is it just what we see or something more? (This situation was mentioned in season 2).
“For the unfamiliar, the series, which ran from 1986 to 1993, chronicled the adventures of a sheep herder named Balki (Bronson Pinchot) who immigrated to Chicago from a fictional island near Greece and became roommates with his high-strung cousin Larry (Mark Linn-Baker). In the world of The Leftovers, it was once believed that all four stars of the sitcom (Pinchot, Linn-Baker, plus Melanie Wilson and Rebeca Arthur) had vanished on Oct. 14. As it turned out, only three had departed; Linn-Baker had faked his disappearance and was later discovered hiding in Mexico. This is all essential — as are the names of the episode’s credited writers: Tha Lonely Donkey Kong & Specialist Contagious. According to HBO, those are pseudonyms for Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, derived from an online Wu-Tang Name Generator.”