The Leftovers – REVIEW 03×06 “Certified”

Hi guys! Episode Six of The Leftovers is finally out. In my opinion, this was the most beautiful and sad episode of the season so far. Let’s see what happened.

The episode takes place in two different moments of Laurie’s journey. In the first part of her Australian trip Laurie is helping Nora by following Doctor Eden and Doctor Bekker to find out if what they do is real and Matt is there too. Nora looks different than usual: she looks tired and pissed, waiting impatiently to prove that Doctor Eden and Bekker are fraud. She is also angry with Matt, because he didn’t tell her he was sick and told her he’s not going to look for a cure. They end up talking about suicide, and when Laurie says that the device they’re using to send people wherever the 2% went looks like “an incredibly elegant way to kill yourself”, Nora strongly disagrees. She doesn’t see that as a suicide machine and for the first time she seems to consider the idea of going through it. She also adds that the most elegant way of killing yourself is scuba diving, because it’s a very dangerous sport and if you die doing that there’s nothing ambiguous about your death, nothing that suggests that you chose to stop breathing, so your family can accept it and live in peace.

Anyway, they keep following Doctor Eden and Doctor Bekker and they end up in a hidden place that really looks like a plausible location for a high-radiation device. Nora is broken. She compares herself to an usher on a baseball game when she and Matt were children, that took a colorful ball away from them on the first time they were having fun after their parent’s death. She feels like, because of her job, she’s taking hope away from people who’s trying to feel better.

“Why would he want to do that job? Why would anyone?”.

She’s devastated, she feels like the last seven years of her life had been wasted on making people unhappy and she can’t accept it anymore.

Laurie is there for her, she hugs and comfort her. It really seems like Nora is going to try to pass the test again to go through the machine and try to reach her kids, wherever they went. Matt remains with her, and it really killed me to see Nora’s reaction to his “people should be with their families, right?”. She looks like a little girl who had been alone for too many time and who finally found someone who takes care of her.

The last sentence Laurie and Nora say to each other is “Same time next week?”. This scene is heart breaking. At first we assumed that Nora wasn’t sure she was going to see Laurie again because of her choice of going through the device.

Now we know for sure it was the same for Laurie, who had already decided to commit suicide. This was her way of saying goodbye to Nora.

 On the second part of her journey, Laurie is in Grace’s house with John, Michael and Grace. After helping Nora with her last mission and helping Matt bringing the Book Of Kevin to K.G. Sr, she’s now here to try one last time to help Kevin, John and Michael.

That’s what she lives for, helping people. Back in Mapleton she was a therapist, before and right after the Sudden Departure. Then, once she quit the Guilty Remnants she started writing a book, with the intention of making people understand what it is like to be a G.R. and how difficult it was for her to get out of that situation. We saw her renting a big space to host some doubtful G.R. members to try to bring them back to their ordinary lives. Then she tried to help Kevin facing his “hallucinations”. And again, she created something with John to help people connecting with their dead loved ones. Now she lost all it all, nobody seems to listen to her anymore. Her “therapy” stopped working right after the Sudden Departure happened, she failed in the attempt of saving the G.R. – one of her patients killed herself and brought her family with her. Kevin didn’t listen to her when she told him he was delusional, did the exact opposite of what she told him to do and ended up drinking poison. And now everyone seems to have lost their minds… Not only she’s not able to convince them that Kevin is not the Messiah, she can’t even stop them from killing him in order to prove that he really is what they believe he is, because he himself had started believing them after all. Maybe helping Kevin is her last hope, the last chance she is giving to life. But now he’s lost too. He has so much pressure on himself… Everyone is counting on him to reach the other side: K.G.Sr wants him to find Christopher Sunday so that he can learn the song that will save the world from the Apocalypse. John wants him to send Evie a message. Grace wants him to talk to her children. He also claims he wants to return to the Hotel world because that’s where he felt alive at last after a long time. It seems that he’s not even really afraid of dying, almost like he has already accepted the fact that it’s ok if he won’t make it to the other side or if he won’t be able to come back. He feels like nothing is keeping him there anymore, and that’s the exact way Laurie feels about life as well.

That’s why the end of the scene is so powerful and heartbreaking: Laurie is asking Kevin if he’s scared of drowning and dying and when he tells her he’s not she answers she’s not scared either. At first we might assume she refers to Kevin’s death, but just like the last scene with Nora she is talking about herself: now she has finally made her decision and she’s not afraid anymore. She is going to drown herself, to die like Kevin will – and like Nora suggested. It’s not clear whether she really wants to end her life or she’s hoping to get on the other side and wait for Kevin, to see if she had been wrong all the time. Just like it happened to Kevin, it really seems that someone else’s strong belief helped her making her decision: she’s going to do it anyway, and if they were right, so much the better.

Laurie had probably decided to start this journey to Australia to say goodbye to everyone in her new big family, and in particular to Kevin. He is her soulmate and she never stopped loving him. She can’t live anymore with the guilt of leaving him, with the guilt of leaving her daughter and putting her to danger, of not speaking a single word for more than a year. Laurie was already broken years ago, when she tried to commit suicide and ended up joining the Guilty Remnant. Then she realized she wasn’t able to help people anymore. Suddenly she felt that her job was pointless and that she had nothing left to give neither to broken people nor to her own family. She had joined the Guilty Remnant because they were the only people who could provide her with an answer, they were the only people who thought it was right to have no purpose anymore. They just wanted people to stop acting like nothing happened, to stop trying to move on and live their ordinary lives, because the world ended and there was no point in having a family, or a job, or in doing whatever people did before the Departure happened. And now, seven years after, people seem to share their beliefs. They might not be realizing that, but they are. Everyone is acting like something is going to happen, they’re desperately waiting for something to come, even if they really don’t know what’s going to happen. They have a strong faith and they know something is coming. Everyone stopped living their ordinary life, everyone chose to believe in something, a flood coming, a seven headed monster that was going to end the world, a magic chicken who could give you a purpose, a device that could send you wherever the departed went. And that’s probably the Guilty Remnant’s fault, they infected people with their destructive beliefs and their psychological terrorism and now the world is broken because of them. Laurie is aware of it and can’t accept it. She knows that everyone she loves had lost their mind because of something she took part in, and this is killing her. She passed from being the one who helped people to being the one who helped ruin the world, and that’s why she decided to put an end to it.


The last scene with Jill and Tommy on the phone is one of the most emotional and sad moments of the show. There’s a heartbreaking contrast between their joyfulness and Laurie’s anguish, which they are completely unaware of. They are together and they are fine at last, and they remind Laurie of a happy moment of the past, of a time when nothing bad had happened yet, and she probably realizes that then she had everything she needed and she didn’t know. She tries to speak in a normal and quite voice, but she’s silently crying. Then she says goodbye and she takes off… We’ll see if Kevin will meet her on the other side. Maybe she’ll be there and she’ll be surprised, maybe she will come back with him… Maybe they’ll both stay there… Who knows? Let’s wait for next week and see what happens.

 

Interesting Facts:

– The episode’s title Certified has two meanings: Laurie is a certified scuba diver, and she has a certificate in mental health. Informally, “certified” also means “nuts”.

In America it’s already October 14th and from what we hear from Jill’s phone call it seems like nothing weird is happening.

– Doctor Eden and Doctor Bekker are a couple

– Grace’s children died and their shoes were never found. Where did they go?

– K.G. Sr. calls Laurie “Lorelei”, the name of a character of German mythology created by Clemens Maria Brentano at the beginning of XIX Century. According to the legend, Lorelei was a beautiful girl who used to attract the sailors on the river Rhine with her charming voice and then she caused their ships to sink. It’s interesting to note that she also seemed to have the power of making people fall asleep (reminding us of the spiked soup that Laurie gave to John, Michael and Kevin Sr. to make them fall asleep).  Lorelei lost her mind because of an unrequited love, and couldn’t tell reality from illusion anymore. In the end she threw herself in the river to find peace. The character of Lorelei is found in many literary works, from Apollinaire to Heine, and also in many songs, for example in a song by Eagle-eye Cherry called “When Mermaids Cry”:

She was drowned in suicide
Faithless lover cast aside
This is how she came to be
Lorelei of the sea
Hopes destroyed, she wanted to find
Certain death peace of mind
Now you wonder who is she
Lorelei of the sea
(…)

The guilt is mine I was untrue
The question is what am I to do
All I know is I got to try
Try to find sweet Lorelei
Make amends for what’s been done
‘Cause I believe that she’s the one
And I will go where seagulls fly
Try to find sweet Lorelei

There she is I hear her cry
She’s asking me if I will die
There ain’t nothing I won’t do
For you Lorelei(*)

Is this a hint from the authors? Kevin is already sure he wants to reach the other side, and now, if he’ll ever find out about Laurie’s suicide, maybe he has one more reason to try.

– Grace’s address is 5 Pigeon Run Road. Once again we hear about pigeons.

– The wizard of Oz is quoted by Laurie and K.G. Sr. Laurie is compared to Dotorhy and Kevin is compared to the wizard. In the wizard of Oz, Dorothy will start a journey to see if the Wizard of Oz  really is what people believes he is.

Is Nora pregnant? Like I suggested after Episode 2, when the machine was suggesting that she was carrying a baby with her, it seems to me that maybe Nora is pregnant and that’s one of the reason why they didn’t let her procede with the LADR radiation program. This time she says her uterus hurts.

– Laurie drugging everyone’s food was unexpected. She had a weird expression on her face and looked pretty satisfied, almost evil. Also, was that really necessary?

 

Grace’s cousins are not building an ark in her garden, but a monument for one of her dead children. That’s what’s weakening John’s faith and trust in K.G. Sr’s plan: he’s starting to see him as an old crazy man with a crazy plan, but he still wants to see if he’s right because Kevin being able to visit the land of the dead is his only hope to send Evie a message.

Verdi is in the background again, when K.G. Sr explains his plan to Laurie.

– We finally meet Sam’s mom again, in a beautiful and painful scene that brought us back to the very beginning

Listen to the amazing Daley Review podcast <3

  • Américo Mendes Flores

    Gotta love your reviews 😀
    Can’t wait for the next week. Once again

    • Thank you SOOOO much, I’m so glad to hear that! <3

  • Pingback: The Leftovers 306 - Certified | Daley Review()

    • Thank you! <3 <3 Here's the link to your podcast in my article!