The Leftovers Review: Crazy Whitefella Thinking

The Leftovers is not an easy show to watch. Far from it. That’s one of the reason’s why the series never ended up garnering a major following. It can be slow, abstract, confusing and to a lot of people the HBO drama is exceedingly pretentious. Naturally that rubs some people the wrong way and there are people that really hate this show. I a way I say, who can blame them? But, there is so much more to this series if you are willing to be patient. If you are willing to accept that no answers are forthcoming and it’s really about how people are dealing with the Sudden Departure. If you can do that than you will be more than rewarded for it. Crazy Whitefella Thinking is an great example of that in a single episode. Kevin Garvey senior has been a very important figure throughout all of The Leftovers but we have spent very little time with him. We knew that he was chief of police in Jarden before Junior and went nuts. He was in a psychiatric hospital for a while and after being released he was clearly still crazy and left for Australia. He also helped his son in the other place and has been an instrumental part of Juniors visions/dreams. But we never knew what made Kevin sr. crazy and what drove him all the way down under. Crazy Whitefella thinking explains that and more and is a perfect example of why everyone should be watching The Leftovers.

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What happened

Kevin Garvey sr. is trying to save the world from the apocalypse in Australia by singing the song of all the aboriginal tribes on the island. Along this route some incidents have taken place and he is wanted by the police for questioning. He manages to track down the last person who can teach him the last song he needs but he ends up accidentally killing the man. On the way to the hospital Kevin gets kicked off the ambulance in the middle of nowhere. He gets bitten by a snake. He lies down at a cross he finds and passes out.

He wakes up in a house and when the lady of the house returns she tells him her story. She thought that her entire family had departed when she was away from the house but later the police finds the bones of her children who thought that their parents had departed and were out in the wilderness looking for help. She is also the woman who drowned the Australian police chief also named Kevin and she is planning on turning herself in. Kevin sr. tells her that she shouldn’t be disillusioned. She just was looking for the wrong Kevin.

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What I liked

I have to praise Mimi Leder again. This was another gorgeous looking episode and it almost looked like a standalone feature film. And wow! What a perfomance by Lindsay Duncan. When she was telling her story I was on the edge of my seat. It was an insanely good scene. And that is also the power of this show. They writer’s manager to give us so many heartbreaking and very real stories of people directly by the Sudden Departure. It’s just brilliant storytelling.

What I didn’t like

The first half of the episode was really testing me. It was slow and confusing and I was hoping that we wouldn’t just stay with Kevin sr. the entire episode. But, the second half was good and the last part was simply brilliant. That put the rest in a new perspective as well.

What I’m looking forward to

Now that we know how Kevin sr. ended up in Australia and what he has been doing there I can’t wait for the 7 year anniversary to happen and for Nora and Kevin jr. to make to trip as well. And I want more Lindsay Duncan as well!


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Also check out our video review:


At first I thought the authorities were being a little hard on Senior. I mean, he seemed harmless. But, when we learn more of what he was doing I understand.

Chris seemed very pragmatic. He just heard Kevin sr. out and probably thought that he was crazy but he might as well get something out of it himself. Unfortunately for him he paid with his life for it.

I haven’t seen much of her work but I thought Lindsay Duncan was good in Black Mirror and I am happy to see her again. That performance should win her an Emmy nomination.

I really wanted to see what else Kevin sr was going to say at the end. He clearly feels that it’s all more about him and less about his son. Will he admit that his son is what the text is about or will he not?

Much better music now during the title sequence. I read that there will be a different song every episode. In that light I do understand why they went for that song in the previous episode, even though I still don’t like it. I can also live with them keeping Personal Jesus for the rest of the series.

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