Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cleaning the Slate: TV (The Leftovers, final season)

Making a decision. As I watch too much TV, I have too much to comment on, some great, some good, and mostly only meh. As I always have a massive backlog of movies and TV, and even some video games, I am going to pare that down. Only four five remaindered TV shows will get posts, and after that, only things that leave a great impression will end up here. Well, maybe if I actually clean house on the Movies, I will do the occasional What I Am Watching post.

2017, Damon Lindelof (Lost), Tom Perrotta, HBO -- download

The Leftovers had quite the impact on me; it showed a malaise, a lingering grief that mirrors what I often feel, a deep disconnected sadness that cannot be put into words. The first season focused on this emotional state, and the damage it did to the world. The second season was about a desperate need for meaning in the mystery. With an opening song, that was both uplifting and dismissive, the season went headlong with more mysteries, rarely explained, in Lindelof high fashion.

Season three, the final season, begins after the end of a few things, and kind of abruptly. The Guilty Remnant led by Liv Tyler are taken down by a drone attack, along with Evie, the daughter of John & Erika, who are the neighbours of main character Kevin Garvey, and instrumental in his path. Three years later, Kevin is now police chief of his adopted town in Texas, Erika has left John, who has connected with Kevin's ex-wife Laurie. And the adopted baby that Kevin & Nora took in, has been given up. Life is normal, as normal can be with a seven year anniversary of the Departure coming up.

Recaps are not easy in this series, as anyone who watched Lost would know. So much happens, so much big and small, so much unexplainable and easily described. But the season moves towards something, very tangibly this time. Much of it takes place in Australia, to where a number of destinies lead people. Much of the story centres around the Gospel of Kevin, wherein Nora's preacher brother Matt has come to believe Kevin to be a new Bible figure, a post Departure disciple important to the coming date. With all that has happened: his visiting of a parallel world, his miraculous resurrections, his continuous paranormal experiences; well, it cannot be denied he is ... different.


You would think that a show which has a great mystery at its centre would try and explain that mystery as the series closes. But no; remember, Lindelof. If ever there was something more about the journey than the destination, it was this series. It does end, again abruptly and honestly too abruptly with an explanation of sorts. This explanation is given to us as being possibly truth, or possibly misdirection. Its up to us, like Kevin is left, to either accept or deny. I chose to accept, because I love scifi explanation.

And I love parallel world theory. Its in the forefront of my brain right now, part of much of the flash fiction I write in my multitude of notebooks. So, 2% of the world disappeared on October 14, 2011. In fact, they didn't go anywhere. One world was split into two. One world got 98% (the one in the show) and another was left with only the 2%. Now, imagine that. If the world of the 98% was so damaged from losing only 2%, imagine the real impact, the utter destruction by losing most of the world's population. No explanation is given as to why or how it happened, or even scientific evidence. But as an explanation it is given, and if you think about it, could be comforting (they didn't die outright) or it could be horrific (many that disappeared were children, infants even). Again, we are left to process. But like the world(s) leftover, it is up to us how we come to terms, with the end of the show, with the explanations given.