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…
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.