The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1 Review: The Book of Kevin

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Preparation for the Sudden Departure began long ago, but when it didn't come on particular dates as expected, people were considered fools.

After the Sudden Departure, people who looked eerily similar and were seeking some sort of meaning in it all after the fact, warning the word never to forget what had happened were also considered fools, and the fate of those we had come to know was revealed on The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1.

So where does that leave everyone else? I don't know about you, but I had a lot of questions by the end of "The Book of Kevin."

The Book of Kevin - The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1

First of all, welcome back! I did a Leftovers Season 3 review a couple of weeks ago that I'd urge you to check out if you're concerned about the season overall. It is, as you'd expect, magnificent.

I haven't seen the finale, so I don't know how it all ends. I'm greatly looking forward to watching each installment again and sinking my teeth into the nuances of this beautiful series. There is so much to admire about the work put into it.

Clearly, a lot changed since we've connected with our friends in Jarden, and we're not going to be spoon-fed the information. This is a puzzle we have to solve on our own.

Much like the people left struggling with what the hell it meant that 2% of the population disappeared in an instant, we, too, are expected to make sense of what we're watching and determine what it means to us. So if you disagree with what I have to say about it, share your thoughts. They're no doubt just as valid as mine.

Watching The Leftovers is as much a testament to faith and belief as it is for those left behind after the Sudden Departure. Not all decisions are going to be the right ones, and all answers will not come to us. How are we going to handle that?

Waiting for the Rapture - The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1

I could be entirely wrong about why the opening scene was shared. Maybe there is a far different takeaway than what I've interpreted. 

But for me, no matter how much you want to prepare for what you believe to be the coming of an important and spiritual event, it will be impossible to pinpoint the date, to persevere as your peers consider you nuts and hold onto your faith while naysayers try to strip you of everything you hold dear.

I didn't even understand that final scene when the wife survived the storm and was left alive. 

Why Am I Still Here? - The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1

Did she go into a church and lay behind a group of people who were also alive or were all of the other faithful killed in their endeavor to brave the storm? Am I supposed to know that? Or is the message about faith and the impossibility of ever having all of the answers the lesson?

The Guilty Remnant thought they had a purpose, but in the end, Meg was likening the group and their meaning to a Sigfried and Roy act. At some point, the magic is going to come back and bite your face off.

Apparently, some group found the GR holing up in Jarden's visitor's center to be doing more harm than good and dropped a bomb on them. Try to logically work your way through that one. 

Family and Friends in Texas - The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1

Kevin's journey has been unique, and the town has taken notice. As it turns out, you cannot die a few times and come back to life without it causing a bit of a stir.

But the person it's stirred up the most appears to be Kevin. Feelin' Groovy was a lovely psych-out song to be playing as he took a dry cleaning bag and wrapped it around his head, sucking the air out of his life.

Whether he's trying to commit suicide and unable to go through with it or he's trying to get to the other side again without the help of someone else, it's fair to say Kevin needs some help.

Kevin seems to know things, and people are awestruck by that. Even Tom wondered how Kevin knew it was safe to jump into the "poisoned" water and didn't believe him when he said he just knew. 

Kevin is Baptised - The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1

Matt and Michael were acting weird around Kevin, and the look on Matt's face when Michael baptized Kevin was as if he was one of the

Mary: He's writing a book about you.
Kevin: He what?
Mary: A book. He thinks the New Testament's getting old. I've only read some of it, but you figure fairly prominently, Kevin.

And really, knowing all of the things we know about Kevin, who wouldn't begin to get suspicious about Kevin's place on this earth? After all, not only has all of that happened, but it's happened during the course of him being completely magnanimous.

Kevin is always doing for other people. He's a police chief with the desire to help people even if his very life is in jeopardy as a result. Why wouldn't a man like him be the next coming of Christ?

Kevin doesn't have the answers, nor do his friends. But they're taking a chance that he might just be the man they've been waiting for.

We're also starting off the season with Laurie and John married. That was a surprise. It's wonderful she and Kevin are back in such a good place that he trusts her with information about Dean and the dogs.

The Sudden Departure - The Leftovers

It's worrisome how she connected Dean's psychotic break to Kevin's in the past, and how Kevin so casually considers everything he's been through to be truth, whether it is or not. 

He told Dean he was nuts while clearly remembering pushing young Patti into the well, but later talked about killing a woman with a security detail when comparing notes with Tom after Tom killed Dean, knowing fully well that was the same type of incident for which Dean was just killed. 

And to put an exclamation point on it, a dog ran up and ate Dean's sandwich. But it's all perspective. One man's psychosis is another man's salvation.

Another surprise was discovering Lily is no longer part of the family. Where is she? The last we saw of her, the woman in the melee was making quite a fuss about Lily being hers, but we know that wasn't the case. Did something happen to Lily?

How long has Kevin been suffocating himself? 

Sending a Message - The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1

And can we talk about that shocker of an ending? Who is Sara, who I'm guessing is in Australia, who looks exactly like Nora? And why did the woman at the church ask her if the name Kevin meant anything to her?

Was Nora adopted? Was her mother an Australian? Does someone know Kevin's dad? 

So much of the hour came from nowhere, and it blew my mind.

I'm ready for your thoughts on this premiere. How do you think the gang gets to Australia? Would you believe Kevin as a savior?

Do you want another Sudden Departure, or do you hope the world stays as it is and they all move on? Which ending would be better for you? 

A lot of questions on this one, but I want us to discuss! Hit the comments.

The Book of Kevin Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (18 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Kevin: We got a problem. We need to keep it between you and me.
Laurie: OK
Kevin: Dogs are taking on human form and infiltrating the highest positions in the federal government.

I heard what you said in there, and you said nothing's going to happen on the 14th unless everything happens on the 14th.