The Leftovers – I Live Here Now – Review

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Last year’s final, ‘The Prodigal Son Returns’m was a fine example of Damon Lindelof’s storytelling. Many may be annoyed at his blatantly mystifying ways and his refusal to answer long-standing questions, but it cannot be said that he fails to produce a tantalising finale. Just look at Lost. 

But this year’s finale of The Leftovers, titled ‘I Live Here Now’, managed to smash ‘The Prodigal Son Returns’ to the ground. ‘I Live Here Now’ was audacious and stunning, and I literally couldn’t take my eyes from the screen. Everything is nicely wrapped up, but there is plenty of intrigue to sustain a third season, so HBO, get to it and renew it already!

Every single actor was on top form. I’ve waxed lyrical about how outstanding Carrie Coon is, but this is never more apparent than in the segment in which her daughter is kidnapped, and then horrifically left on the bridge as the Guilty Remnant nearly trample her to death. Coon is outstanding, and deserves the praise bestowed upon her.

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Likewise, Regina King manages to convey every single emotion of Erika upon discovering her daughter is back, without saying a single word. This drew parallels with Amy Brenneman’s performance in the last season finale, highlighting just how brilliant this cast is.

But it is undoubtedly Justin Theroux’s performance that will be remembered the most. After another surreal jaunt into the afterlife – apparently Lindelof has joked saying that if season three is commissioned, Kevin Garvey will rival South Park’s Kenny for the amount of times he dies and comes back to life. That in itself gives cause for a third season, right? – where he must sing Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Homeward Bound’, Kevin journeys through a ruined Jarden whilst struggling with a gunshot wound. But perhaps I should flashback for a moment here.

Evie and her girlfriends are alive, though their involvement in the Guilty Remnant hasn’t been explicitly explained. I guess their rationale will be explained in season three, and if so I expect Jasmin Savoy Brown to be amongst the main cast. She, too, is exceptional in this episode, as she stoically ignores her mother’s pleading and continues on with the countdown.

The countdown is leading to the Guilty Remnant’s new zany plan, which is every bit as baffling as last year’s. Quite how the Guilty Remnant managed to infiltrate the ‘crazies’ on the edge of town remains to be seen, but it appears as though they want to show the people or Jarden that they weren’t completely unaffected by the Sudden Departure. They may not have lost any souls on October 14, but the world around them went crazy, which will affect Jarden in some way. I sincerely hope we get a third season to see the aftermath of this.

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As predicted, Mary became conscious again in this episode, and is was such a fan-pleasing moment to see. I may be in the minority, but I needed confirmation from Mary that Matt didn’t rape her, and now that I do I am so happy that they are together again. I predict it won’t be plain-sailing, though – this is The Leftovers, after all – but for now, everything is fine and dandy with them.

As it is with Kevin, really. After John shoots and kills him due to his involvement in Evie’s disappearance, it appears as though both men have come to an understanding about one another, and as such they will hopefully get along more. Because I think John is going to need a shoulder to cry on due to the inevitable drama that will ensure.

And as the episode closes, Kevin finally returns home, to find his entire family happily awaiting him. Jill, Laurie, Matt, Mary, Tom, Lily, and even Nora. Now, I don’t expect this to last for long either.

If this is it for The Leftovers, I guess there is a sense of everything coming full circle. This has been the story of the Garveys, after all, and if we must we can imagine a hippyish communal living between them all, with no other drama from the Guilty Remnant. If we must. But I really want a third season.

The Leftovers has been included on numerous lists of top 2015 television, and though the ratings have dropped a lot, the acclaim has only increased. Hopefully this will be enough for HBO to grant us another season, and if not, at least a wrap-up movie.

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About Barry Quinn

Barry Quinn is an English Language and Literature graduate and a Creative Writer MA studier. He is an aspiring creative and professional writer and is currently in the process of writing his first novel. His writing blog can be viewed here: https://barrygjquinn.wordpress.com You can follow him on Twitter at: @mrbarryquinn