Has your heart ever ached as much for two people as it did for Nora and Kevin after The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 4?
Through the coming (potential) apocalypse and in light of the strange events that continue to occur on this series, we're given a look at a relationship that is strained beyond its capacity to stretch not because of a lack of love, but because of an inability to effectively communicate. Again.
The hour was incredibly effective at breaking down the situation into its final moments when the couple realized they were more alone together then they would be apart. Heartbreaking.
We've known Kevin and Nora haven't been in the best place for quite some time. Their lives are a secret from each other, and that has never been more apparent than when they took off for Melbourne.
Nora shared the reason for the trip as an investigation into a fraud case that was deceiving people into spending money to incinerate themselves. Ironically, we know now that might happen whether they use the device or not.
Nora wasn't of sound mind enough to think of splitting up the $20k so both she and Kevin would have the legal amount of $10k to talk to another country, and Kevin wasn't thinking coherently enough to pick up on the fact the device might be something Nora would want to use for herself.
While there is a small chance she's just doing it for the thrill of seeking a group intent on defrauding people out of large sums of money, it seems clear she's more interested in getting out of dodge and reuniting with her children.
The organization is quite small for such a big operation. Think about how broken you would have to be and how great the loss after seven years that you'd be willing to trust people with $20 grand to possibly murder you outright by way of scientific incineration with the slim chance you'd be reunited with those who departed.
That's not only beyond repair, but doesn't say much for our world view if we were to suffer a similar catastrophe where a large portion of the population were to be lost.
Do we communicate effectively enough, support each other enough and love one another enough to get through something that horrific as a worldwide society?
For how many years would people be searching for a way to get back to the way things were instead of moving forward and beyond into the world as it would be after the event?
It's scary to think about, but The Leftovers has done a fairly good job of presenting a thought provoking scenario suggesting we don't have what it takes and should probably consider trying harder if we ever need to come together like the world after the Sudden Departure.
Nora: What's your question?
Dr. Aiden: 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?
The way the story came back around the burning man on The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 3 was really well done, especially since his answer and Nora's differed.
Now we're left to wonder if it really is a scam, and if so, why they don't take the money? What's in it for the so-called doctors?
Could it really be an elaborate serial killer plot? That would be something else. The opportunity to kill former television stars and Nobel prize winners after they give testimonials to the fact it's what they wanted.
Incinerating an actual DSD fraud investigator would be one for the list under those circumstances, highlighting why they chose Nora in the first place.
While Nora was out doing her thing all alone, that left Kevin to his own devices in the hotel room. It took him approximately 10 seconds to get caught up in The Book of Kevin and for his mind to key into the insanity and possibility he was out of his mind.
It was easy to believe Kevin saw Evie Murphy, despite what we saw happened to her on The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1. After all, she was outside. Others were running to safety, maybe she did, too.
That wouldn't discount the body the Murphy's buried, but there could have been a mistake.
It's more troubling to imagine that everything we've witnessed with Kevin is only his mental illness.
Kevin? Under no circumstances should you approach her again, OK? You might scare her off. Kevin? Kevin!?Laurie
My mind immediately goes to that place and begins to doubt, and I wonder if it's because I haven't personally given in to a believe in God. It's so inherently not a part of my being, I am so skeptical, I can't even place my faith in a TV show that requires some faith.
That may sound crazy, but I believe it's connected in some way. People who believe can believe while those who have trouble are not as easily persuaded.
Watching Kevin deal with the Daniah as Evie and the kindness she showed toward him, though, gives me faith that our gap in communication after a traumatic event isn't so far off that we'd not be able to bridge it eventually.
A different woman may have been scared beyond helping a man like Kevin, so ruthless in his pursuit of her. But she put aside her fear, and with the help of Laurie was able to be there for Kevin in an astounding moment of compassion.
Kevin's mental breaks inspired the Book of Kevin, which then inspired more mental breaks.
But was everything Kevin went through a mental break? Unless everyone else who saw him die and come back to life was also suffering from a mental break, some of what he was going through was real. Right?
Kevin: I don't understand what's happening.
Laurie: I think that you projected Evie onto a stranger, and I think that you chose Evie because you understood why she did what she did, why she left her family, why she escaped. I think a part of you wants to escape, Kevin.
Kevin: No, I don't want to escape.
Laurie: Then why are you in Australia? You are Chief of Police. You have responsibilities here. It is less than a week away from the seventh anniversary and you just ran away without telling anybody.
Kevin: No, I came to be with Nora. She had to be here. She's the one who ran away.
Laurie: Kevin, are you and Nora OK?
Kevin: Ask John about the fuckin' book he wrote about me.
Kevin appreciated the conversation with Laurie to a certain extent, but he wasn't willing to let her off as easy as she was hoping, looping her husband into the conversation for good measure.
Something tells me John didn't have the greatest dinner after that phone call.
The way things ended with Nora and Kevin even further apart than when they arrived in Melbourne was ugly. They needed to get some feelings off of their chests, but doing it halfway around the world without support might not have been the best idea.
With only days before the end of the world, it seems unlikely they're ever going home again.
Kevin: You can't have a kid because then you'd have no excuse. You can't be a victim anymore. You'd have to be OK. And no one would feel sorry for you.
Nora: I do not want people to feel so for me.
Kevin: Well then how long, Nora? How long until you move past it?
Nora: Move past what?
Kevin: That you lost your kids.
Nora: I did not lose them! My kids are not dead! They are gone. They are just gone.
Kevin: Then you should go be with them.
When Kevin made that final statement to Nora, it wasn't difficult to imagine they were both thinking of the device for which she smuggled $20k into Australia.
Kevin feels he can't share anything about his illness or his life with her without being tied up and left for dead. He's been holding onto feelings about Nora giving up Lily and not involving him in the decision to do so.
Has Nora been clinging to her past to keep happiness at bay? Why? Survivor's guilt? Because she thinks Kevin won't understand?
When Kevin was leaving the hotel, he thought the alarms were triggered by burning the book. They were triggered by an explosion, one that grounded all air traffic. The world is crumbling around Kevin and Nora, their problems be damned.
Sr.: Are you alone here?
Sr.: Well, you're not alone anymore. C'mon.
But Kevin, at least, isn't alone any longer. What will that mean for Nora? Is Kevin and Nora's relationship key to the salvation of the world?
What does this trip to Melbourne mean to all of the other characters we've come to love? Find out as the series continues.
I'd love to know what you think. Hit me up with some thoughts in the comments. Where do you think it will all end only six episodes from now?
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.