Ben King/HBO
Jeff Labrecque
May 14, 2017 AT 10:01 PM EDT

The Leftovers

type
TV Show
genre
Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
run date
06/29/14
performer
Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston
broadcaster
HBO
seasons
3
Current Status
In Season
tvpgr
TV-MA

We gave it an A

How is your French?

Before we can get to Matt Jamison’s audience with God on the Carnival Caligula cruise, I know you’re probably wondering about the French voice-over that replaced a song during the episode’s opening credits. Yes, the whispered prayer was undoubtedly the handiwork of Flexible Naked French Sailor before he stripped down and sprung into slow-motion action.

“I am the only hope

The last defense

of a species on the brink of extinction

The warlocks warned us

These sage seers of the truth

They said that this creature would come

Seven years after the first were taken

Seven years after the Departure

But we were blind, God.

Blind to what we didn’t want to see

Now, we teeter on the precipice of extinction

Once this monster is born, we are finished

Because this monster will put an end to man

With its seven heads, and seven mouths of flame

We only have one hope…

 

“The egg.

From the warlock maps, I have found it

Hidden in his nest, a volcano in the sea

Thank you God, for technology

In our pride, we made the weapon to end all weapons

The nuclear bomb.

Now this terrible power may be our salvation

If the explosion can break the brittle shell

And melt the demon inside

God, let this missile fly straight and true

Let it find the nest in the volcano

And let the egg there be unhatched

So that this unborn beast may be destroyed

Before it wakes and rises to destroy the world.”

I’ve loved how The Leftovers has sprinkled in Biblical metaphors and parallels, especially the apocalyptic Book of Revelation, but I honestly never considered that the show might drift into Godzilla territory. Flexible Naked Sailor (named P. Lyon, ha!) ambushes a sub-mate, steals his launch key, and fires a nuke at an unpopulated South Pacific volcanic island while Charles Aznavour sings “Je Ne Peux Pas Rentrer Chez Moi (I Can Not Go Home).” That’s the blast that shut down all flights in Melbourne, stranding Kevin Garvey after his brutal hotel dust-up with Nora Durst. Now, with only four days before the anniversary of the Departure, Matt Jamison mounts a desperate rescue operation to bring his messiah home.

With all flights grounded, Matt’s only course is to persuade Arturo, a loyal congregant whose mother is dying, to fly him to Melbourne. Matt knocks on the front door with a casserole, but he closes the deal with a $20,000 bribe. “God has placed an obstacle in our way, but he wants us to overcome it,” Matt argues. “He wants us to demonstrate our faith.”

Arturo agrees to the rescue mission, but at the airport, Matt is chagrined to learn that the Three Wise Men — he, John Murphy, and Michael Murphy — won’t be the plane’s only passengers. Laurie is adamant that she join them, since she’s the last person to speak with Kevin and suspects that the Wise Men’s decision to tell Kevin about his gospel was what sent him spiraling Down Under in the first place. Matt can barely hide his disdain for Laurie, who to him will never wipe her hands clean of being part of the Guilty Remnant. “Did you bring your whistle, Laurie?” he needles her on the runway. “Because it seems like you have to blow off a little steam.”

Laurie returns his contempt, and mocks the idea that her ex-husband is some messiah. “He used to look through all our cupboards before he found the wine glasses, he has a tattoo that’s misspelled, and he s—s four times a day,” she says once they’re airborne. “So I refuse, Matt, to believe that he’s the second coming of Christ!”

Blasphemy! The plane is rocked by turbulence. Matt grins nervously, with a hint of satisfaction: See! Later during the flight, while the others sleep, Matt reads the Book of Daniel, specifically the passages where Daniel was spared from the lions because of his faith in God. But Daniel is also the most apocalyptic book of the Old Testament, with images of four monstrous beasts emerging from the sea to consume the world.

Matt’s reading is interrupted by drips of blood on his Bible. His nose is bleeding, and though high altitude occasionally has that effect on fliers, it wouldn’t be The Leftovers for a bloody nose to be just a random travel symptom — especially after Matt fibs to Michael about the allergy pills he quickly swallows.

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