10 thoughts on “Cold Leftovers

  1. We binged the final 3 episodes (roughly 3.5 hours) of the final season last night, so my head is still swirling. Overall: I loved it. So thought-provoking and challenging. So much to unpack, so much depth, so much incredible symbolism. And very few bits of wasted symbolism or meaningless crap! (ahem, Lost)

    That said, there were definitely times when The Leftovers revelled in its own weirdness, going ultra-weird weird, just for the sake of being weird (the lion sex cult episode).

  2. I commented on the other page that I found Nora less sympathetic than some other characters (I meant Kevin). After the finale, I feel that she’s more sympathetic, but she’s still a fucking damaged, destructive, often mean-spirited, difficult person. Kevin is too, and he was an awful dick during season 1 and parts of season 2 – – but later on, the person who mainly suffered from his bad behavior was himself. In Nora’s case, it was the people around her too.

    RE: the finale: It was a lovely finish, but these are still two severely broken, angry people. He lied to her from the start of their reunion. Within a week, they’re going to be doing shitty hurtful things to each other again.

  3. It’s been a while since I watched the series, so my memory of events isn’t as dialed in as it would have been. I went into the series with a little negative spin as the writer of the book stated that there were no attempts to explain the departed but rather a look at how humanity coped with it. So I was prepared for the finale to make me feel the story was incomplete. Luckily, the ended had a pretty satisfying reason for the disappearances, and l liked all the character arcs, even if they didn’t make sense at the time. Teresa and I used to say the secret to enjoying the Leftovers was to stop trying to understand what was going on and to just experience it. And that seemed to work. I liked how each season was fundamentally different from the preceding one.

  4. I think the entire series was a rumination – or a series of ruminations – on loss. In my mind the various characters, religions/cults, etc were all different ways humans try to deal with loss. For example, Nora at first turns her despair towards herself – paying the sex-worker to shoot her and more; then towards others; Kevin sinks further into his mental illnesses; Matt does all the crap Matt does.

    I think the most fascinating part of the story is the Guilty Remnant. I am absolutely fascinated by cults. Scientology! NXIVM! Holy cow how do people get sucked in? I think the answer is – loss.

    The finale was stunningly beautiful to me. Ultimately, after everything, Kevin and Nora (especially Nora) decide that instead of living in the loss, they will live in what is left(over). It took them a LONG time to get there, but wow.

    I’m like Rhett. It’s been some time since I watched, but I do hold this series up as one of the best I’ve seen.

  5. So tonight I just watched the first two episodes of S1 and it’s still bloody great.

    I wanted Nora and Kevin to stick together, the finale was great. I’m still not sure Nora was telling the truth about the other world, it seemed more of a tall tail to me.

    As for the series in totality, Kevin and Nora are the centre of the story, broken they maybe but I have to disagree about them not being sympathetic. Yes they do fucked up things but they are still the heart and soul of the series.

    • ..and aren’t some mysteries best left unexplained?

      I envy people who don’t get the ending of 2001, I had read the book way before seeing the film so the ending was not a mystery at all.

      So with ‘The Leftovers’ the unexplained mysteries of the series are part of the charm and another reason why I think Nora’s revelation was bullshit.

  6. Agreed that some mysteries are best left unexplained. It would have been entirely besides the point to explain the why of the Oct 14 disappearances – – and it would have hurt the show.

    Of course I was rooting for Nora and Kevin to end up together, and I’m satisfied they did. I root for them to grow old together happily. Some of her crazyshittyselfish antics were really off-putting to me, though (I’m told that this was a personal reaction for me).

    One more note from me: one of the many fascinating thematic elements to me throughout was water. It played a significant role in so many places and scenes. I don’t fully grasp it all yet or its full meaning, but that is a good puzzle.

  7. Watching Episode 6 of S1 and rather wished the writers had one of the protesters at Nora’s conference displayed a sign with ‘Why Call Them Back from Heaven?’ On the placard.

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