If faith makes us do some pretty crazy shit, grief is maybe the only other part of the human condition with the ability to one-up it. Combine the two, though, and you'll see people do stuff that absolutely defies logic. Most of those people seem to have wound up in The Leftovers, whose third season continues to masterfully explore towering grief resulting from unknowable circumstances, and the way relate to each other in the face of it. While the show's first season was a brutal meditation on grief and despondency, the second expanded its scope and palette (and lightened its tone significantly in what turned out to be a pretty crucial move) to include a deep dive on religion and spirituality, especially as they become anchor points for us in an increasingly incomprehensible world.
In fact, The Leftovers' first two seasons may have been more prescient than showrunners Damon Lindelof and Tom Perotta could ever have realized, as many now actually do find themselves living in a world that defies logic and explanation. And if you think about it, there's a pretty big part of the world that's felt that way for the last eight years, as well. When it comes down to it, there's always someone who thinks that the world has gone completely insane, so The Leftovers shows us one where things actually have gone insane, and invites us to sit and watch people deal with it and make the uphill trudge back to "being OK," whatever that means and if it even exists anymore.
"G'Day Melbourne" finds The Leftovers in the process of shuffling most its principle cast to Australia. Kevin, Sr. has been there for an indeterminate amount of time, stealing Aboriginal rituals so he can stop the apocalypse from happening, falling off roofs, and getting rescued by women named Grace (who just so happen to be looking for his son). Nora has gotten involved with a suspected scam that purports to send people to wherever it is that the departed have gone, for an exorbitant amount of money. Going more or less rogue from the DSD, she heads to Melbourne to investigate and brings Kevin with her. Honestly, they both have a super shitty time Down Under.
On the surface, Nora says she's taking the trip because she wants to bring down a ring of scammers...but her unnecessary cageyness makes it pretty suspicious that part of her actually hopes she might be reunited with her children. Kevin is clearly a willing accomplice, but Nora's decision to hide her $20,000 from him entirely rather than just have him carry half to make it through customs indicates that she's in full-on Secrets Mode. In a string of events reminiscent of the first season's "Two Boats and a Helicopter," Nora is met with test of faith after test of faith, before eventually being told that she's not going to be getting what she came for, after all. The doctors' quick and cold dismissal after everything Nora has been through is a particular gut-punch. Nora used to suss out people's bullshit with a litany of obscure questions; the idea that these two random doctors have sniffed hers after just one is absolutely incomprehensible to her. Unfortunately, what comes next isn't really going to taste that much better.
While Nora is out getting her Job on, enduring test of faith after test of faith, Kevin is dealing with the questionability of his own narration. Unable to change the channel or turn off the TV in his hotel room (yet another example of technology not playing nice with our heroes), Kevin sees Evie Johnson on TV at a local news show. He makes his way there, confronting Evie and snapping a photo of her that he sends to Laurie back in Texas. She tells him not to confront Evie, which he does anyway. Turns out Evie wasn't Evie, but another hallucination of sorts. This time, "Evie" was just a scared Indian woman, and Kevin further wonders if he's absolutely losing his mind.
Sitting down to talk about it with Nora doesn't go well, as the two of them just lay into each other, their unresolved grief mutating into barbs that get flung about the room while the Book of Kevin literally burns in the background. The Leftovers has, for two seasons now, been chiefly about what it means and what it takes to actually "be OK." This third season seems to be raising the question of whether or not these people will actually let themselves be OK, if given the chance. Being OK would mean that Kevin gives up his Jesus complex, Nora her victimhood. At this point, it remains to be seen whether not "being OK" is actually what anybody on this show truly wants.
Oh, and also...
• That ending shot was just devastatingly beautiful, as was the overhead shot with Kevin in the library. Daniel Sackheim did some great work with this hour.
• "Why didn't you just give me half?" ".....Huh."
• I'm sorry, but that whole "Watch my baby for me!" moment pulled me right out of the show. That's just something that would never happen, Sudden Departure and potential impending apocalypse or no.