The Leftovers Review: Certified

One of the things that The Leftovers has consistently done is bring back (minor) characters and have those returns have real impact to the story and not feel unnecessary. Last episode we saw the man we had already scene a couple of times before, most memorably in International Assassin, come back pretending to be God. In Certified we saw the return of Sam’s Mother in a scene that was as touching as it was jarring. It’s a strength of this show that it brings back people you don’t necessarily expect to see again and you might wonder why they would need to if you were told beforehand, but when they do it just works. I try to stay away from sites like IMDB to avoid finding out which actors are slated to return. I already made the mistake of not being careful enough so I knew that the doctors responsible for supposedly reuniting people with the departed would return for a couple more episodes but I am trying to be more careful for the next two week. I’m sure we will see another surprising return or two in the final episodes and I can’t wait to see them.

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What happened

Laurie, Nora and Matt stake out a house where the doctors of the Sudden Departure Reunion Machine are in. After a heated exchange between Laurie and Nora the doctors come out and drive away and Laurie and the others pursue. They arrive at a pier where the machine seems to be set up. Matt and Nora stay behind as Laurie leaves to find Kevin, John and the rest. When Laurie arrives at the ranch Kevin Senior immediately thinks that she is going to try to talk Kevin out if it. She says otherwise and she is welcome to stay. Senior explains that they have asked Kevin do die again, after which he left to think things over. Laurie puts dog medication in the stew drugging everyone so that she can have time alone with Kevin when he arrives. When he does Larie has a moving conversation with him. She does not try to convince him not to do it. After she leaves she arranges a boat to go scuba diving and seemingly commits suicide in the elegant way Nora mentioned earlier.

What I liked

For me this was the best episode of the season so far and one of the best of the series overall. When Certified started it was jarring to see Laurie in her days as a shrink and to see her join the Guilty Remnant. But it worked as a scene and it was good to see Sam’s mother again. Laurie’s conversation with Nora in the van was moving as well. Though I don’t like Nora when she is like that. Uncaring slightly militant. Her story of her and Matt in the baseball stadium was emotional however. While at first it seemed unclear whether Nora would actually go through with it, if given the chance, all doubt is gone now. And it makes sense. Back in Jarden I didn’t think she would actually do it but it sort of seems that it was inevitable.

The happenings in the ranch had me totally engrossed in the episode as well. I didn’t see the drugging thing coming at all and I don’t think it would have been necessary per se as Laurie was not planning on trying to stop anything. But it did give her a beautiful moment with Kevin, who is totally ready to go through with it. One of the most beautiful things about this episode, other than the perfect compositions of the great Max Richter, is that a lot of characters seem to have come full circle. Seem to have ended in a place mentally where it totally makes sense. Like they couldn’t and shouldn’t have ended up anywhere is. No matter how totally insane the road there was for all of them. It’s just so perfect. Laurie taking her life after being a shrink for Nora, Kevin and others just before that and basically giving her blessing in her own way to all of them. Kevin totally ready to die again and to do the things the others have asked of him. Nora ready to go through the SDRM. Matt staying with Nora instead of pursuing his crazy apocalypse mission. And even Senior and Grace, ready to accept whatever consequences are waiting after the anniversary. After such a perfect episode I wonder what the final two will bring.

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What I didn’t like?

Are you kidding me?

What I’m looking forward to

I am afraid. I am not sure if I am ready for this to end. So, I’m looking forward to The Leftovers lasting forever. Even though I know it won’t and I know that it shouldn’t.

5/5

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Observations

That conversation on the phone between Jill, Tommy and Laurie was super cute. For a second I thought it would be a reason for Laurie to not go through with it. But then I realized that it’s the opposite. Both her children are happy and will be fine.

Like I said before. I’m not sure if Laurie needed to drug everyone. I am sure though that Senior would have knocked her out if she had said that she was planning to stop it all.

Speaking of knocking people out. I feel bad for the Koala fart cop.

Max Richter should be showered in Emmys and Grammys coming award season. He, Ramin Djawadi and Johann Johannsson are insanely good composers.

Kevin almost seemed excited to die again. I have a feeling that he and no one else will survive this show.

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