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‘The Leftovers’ Review: President Justin Theroux Unveils the Purpose of Season 3 in an Inspired Penultimate Episode

"The Leftovers" completed its "International Assassin" trilogy in style with a brilliantly bonkers episode that put everything into perspective.

The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 7 Justin Theroux

Justin Theroux in “The Leftovers”

Ben King/HBO

Fresh Facts

1. The flood isn’t coming.

We’ll admit: When the rains were pouring down on the Australian farm as Kevin was pulled out of the pond, we were a little concerned. That worry only worsened when Senior said, “There is no fucking pond. The whole ranch is flooded.”

But when Kevin came back the second time, the rain had let up. The land was lush with greenery, and Senior’s elevated location, on the roof of Grace’s house, was confirmed less as an unnecessary physical positioning and more as a mental necessity for the frightened former believer.

The Seventh Anniversary of the Sudden Departure certainly hasn’t passed without incident — and there’s still a lot of day left — but it doesn’t look like the world will end. Kevin knew it going in, even if he didn’t want to admit it to himself. He just wanted to help his family find peace and distract himself from facing his fears. “Now what?” Senior asked. Well, life goes on. What are you going to do with it?

2. Kevin likes to swear, and we like it when Kevin swears.

It took two Kevins screaming “Fuck you” for us to realize how much Kevin swears, and the exact same expletive-fueled command to realize how much we liked it. Both Beardless Assassin Kevin and Bearded President Kevin respond to frustrations similarly: with F-bombs. “I’m not fucking killing him,” President Kevin said. “Good. ‘Cause I’m not fucking letting him.” Assassin Kevin replied. Patti pleaded for civility, to which the frightened Kevins responded in kind. “Fuck you!” they both shouted. If Kevin is Jesus, blessed be the word of the Lord.

The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 7 Justin Theroux

3. It’s The Book of Kevin, Not the Book of Senior

Perhaps lost in the absolute insanity of this episode is the fact that we didn’t get any further clarification on Kevin’s celestial status. Is he the second coming? Is the afterlife a real place? Is he as powerful as his prophets deemed him to be?

Think about it: He got answers for everyone, but they were answers we already knew: He found Grace’s children, but they were part of Kevin’s story. They didn’t care about their shoes. They just didn’t have them. Kevin told Evie John’s message of love, but she didn’t care. She pushed Kevin to focus on himself. “What do you want?” she asked, right before Kevin was pulled out of wherever he was. Christopher Sunday did the same: “Do you believe that your father can sing a song and stop the flood?” “No,” Kevin said. “Then why are you here?”

Everyone Kevin talked to was designed to make him reflect on himself; to examine the “internal contradictions” of his life; to have the introspective debate Patti ultimately forced upon him. In terms of his “powers,” all we know for certain is he died long enough to be considered officially gone, and then he came back.

But one thing is clear: This is Kevin’s story, not his Dad’s. Their beautiful moment on top of Grace’s house nearly brought us to tears, as Senior told his son he thought he’d lost him, admitted to being scared, and admitted to being even more scared of what to do next. His theory was proven wrong. October 14 arrived, the rain came, and the rain stopped — without him doing his final dance. He thought he killed his son for a cause he’d made up in his head, and that destroyed him.

It’s Senior’s most human moment of the series, which followed up one of Kevin’s most personal revelations. Both grounded an episode ready to rock off the rails at any moment, and both served to clarify “what’s next”: Nora. Love. Family. Let’s do this.

Continue reading for the big questions heading into next week’s series finale.

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