The Leftovers – REVIEW 03×07 “The Most Powerful Man On Earth (And His Identical Twin Brother)”

Hi guys! There’s just one more episode of The Leftovers left and now we all really feel like the world is ending. 🙁 Let’s see what happened in episode 7.

We thought we had seen everything about Patti, and we couldn’t be more wrong. We’re back on the other side. Kevin is asked three personal questions to identify himself as the President of the United States and be allowed to the security area of the Department of Defense. When he is asked “Who is your Secretary of Defense?” Kevin replies “Patti Levin”. That is: he summons her back from “retirement” (that’s how she calls her death) by just saying her name. So maybe that’s the key to understand the whole thing about this “mystical” place: Kevin is the most powerful man on earth – that’s the title of the episode and that’s what David Burton whispered in his year on the bridge (Season 2 Episode 8) – and he controls what happens on the other side.

Maybe he’s not aware of his power, but it really seems that everything we see has been created by Kevin himself. As a matter of fact, as soon as he arrives on the other side he immediately finds two of the three people he’s looking for: Grace’s children are right in front of him, and Evie is there too; everybody is there to listen to his speech as the President of the United States.

We can find a lot of other proofs in Season 2 Episode 8 “International Assassin”. Just like in “The Most Powerful Man On Earth (And His Identical Twin Brother)”, as soon as Kevin gets to the hotel everything is already set for him to begin and accomplish his mission: he had already paid 50.000$ to support Patti Levin who was running for President of the United States; there was a hotel room reserved for him and the wardrobe was already set for him to choose an outfit, and accordingly his own role. This doesn’t mean that the other place is just in Kevin’s mind, and he’s crazy. On the contrary, it really means what the episode’s title suggests: he’s the most powerful man on the universe and he is able to create and change things as he pleases.

And maybe that’s why in this world he has an identical twin brother: as we learn from Season 1 Episode 9, Kevin had a dark side even before the Departure. A part of himself couldn’t accept his ordinary life since then. Having a happy family wasn’t enough for him: he wanted to have a greater purpose. After the Departure Kevin started sleepwalking and doing things he couldn’t remember once awake, things that seemed to match the Guilty Remnants beliefs. (CLICK – Kevin is a Guilty Remnant?) Losing control on a part of his life strengthened his feeling of pointlessness, he couldn’t accept to be sharing the G.R.’s beliefs, he wanted so bad to kill that part of himself that he couldn’t control anymore. When Kevin reached the Hotel on the other side, for the first time his personality split in two different parts, so that he could ignore the part of himself he didn’t like.

In International Assassin we couldn’t understand why Kevin Harvey had donated 50.000$ to support Patti Levin and then decided to kill her anyway. Kevin Harvey was the assassin, and his mission was to murder Patti Levin. On the other hand, the money was donated by the other Kevin (should we call him Kevin Garvey?), the one who shared the Guilty Remnant’s faith, the one who would become President of the United States after Patti’s death.

Even though Kevin’s personalities are very different, they both seem to have no clue about what’s going on on the other side. In this episode, both Kevins are always guided in their actions by someone else: at the beginning of the episode Kevin Harvey follows Dean’s instructions, then David Burton’s (on the earphone), while Kevin Garvey is guided by The Other Kevin, the police officer who had been killed by Grace by mistake (so many Kevin’s!! Help!!), and then by Patti and Meg. They explain the big plan to him and he really seems to have no idea of what’s going on, even though Patti says that she had been planning the attack for years together with Kevin himself.

It’s still not clear whether Kevin spent a lot of time on the other side (he even had a little house on the beach and apparently he wrote a book about Nora) or he found everything already set by his powerful subconscious.

In any case, the reason behind the creation of this reality doesn’t change: that’s the safe place that Kevin created to run away from his family and from his problems, the only place in the entire universe where he feels like he has a purpose, where everything is exciting and he feels important.

The first time he went there he wasn’t aware of his power, he didn’t know what that world really was, but now he does, and he decides to put an end to that parallel reality. The “Untitled Romance Novel” he wrote is in fact “The Book Of Nora” (that’s the title of the very last episode of the show), where he tells how his relationship with Nora had failed because of him. This scene is absolutely heartbreaking: Kevin calls himself a coward, a man who has the courage of killing himself just because some people asked him to but is absolutely unable to love his soulmate. This reminded me what David Burton told Kevin in “I Live Here Now”:

“You pushed a little girl into a well, and you don’t wanna sing?”

This sentence sums up Kevin’s attitude towards life: he would do anything for his family, he would even sacrifice himself, but he’s still not able to show them love.

This is the moment when Kevin realizes that the only way for him to focus on what really matters – his family – is to kill the part of himself that is afraid to love. Inside his twin there’s the key to destroy the parallel world he had created to escape from reality, a physical “key” that would allow him to close for good the door to that magical world where he used to take shelter to avoid living.

The final scene with Patti broke me into a thousand pieces: Kevin is ready to let go and knows that he never would have made it without her help. He had helped her to put an end to her tormented story with Neil, and now she’s helping him to go back to Nora. Kevin takes Patti by the hand and together they walk towards the end of their story. This is their final goodbye.

There are a lot of proofs of the fact that the other place has been created to escape from Nora:

  • In the very first scene of the episode we see a flashback of Kevin and Nora in the bathtub, happy and mindless. Lily is still with them: we hear her voice from the baby monitor. In the following scene, we find out that Kevin was thinking about that moment while drowning himself.
  • In the other place Kevin is the President of the United States, and he’s reading a speech against marriage. Even though the speech had probably been written by himself he seems not to share that belief.
  • Michael knows that Kevin isn’t drowning himself to help his father, Grace and John, he knows that he has some other reason to go there.
  • Patti is there to help him to destroy that reality and she persuades him to carry on his plan by showing him the Untitled Romance Novel (The Book of Nora?). She knows when he reads the book he’ll decide to move forward and complete his mission.
  • Before drowning himself Kevin knows that Nora had already decided to go through the device and vaporize herself, so maybe he also wanted to see if she was already in the land of the dead.

 

Interesting Facts:

  • Hearing the opening credits of Season One was absolutely AMAZING!!
  • When Kevin reaches the shore on the other side, Dean says “Kilo Hotel is safe” in a radio transmitter, meaning that Kevin Harvey is safe. “Kilo” and “Hotel” correspond indeed to the letters K and H (the initials of Kevin Harvey) in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
  • The other place is controlled by Kevin: as a matter of fact, as soon as his father gets him out of the water he starts waking up in the real world, in the other place it starts to rain. Right after that, Kevin starts spitting water.
  • Evie is not a guilty remnant anymore. She’s wearing a red shirt that says “I remember” (it really looks like the same shirt we saw on those people in Season 3 Episode 1 who were protesting for Evie’s death). She’s also not aware of what’s going on: she doesn’t know she’s dead and she thinks that her parents died by a drone attack.
  • Laurie is not in the other place. Is she still alive? One possible explanation for her absence is that Kevin doesn’t know she’s dead, so he wouldn’t be able to summon her like he did with Patti and the others.
  • Dean and David Burton are there too. For the first time in the whole show, Dean doesn’t talk about dogs. David Burton sounds really different from what we saw in Season 3 Episode 5. He jokes about being God, but he knows he isn’t. Just like the other times, he’s there to help Kevin.
  • Just like David Burton, Meg looks really different than before. She stopped believing in the Guilty Remnant’s beliefs for good and now she claims she’s in love with God.
  • Just like the water, mirrors have a special power in this dimension: they can help Kevin to switch from a version of himself to the other. It’s not clear the reason why Dean was telling him not to look at his reflection and David Burton told him the exact opposite.
  • Kevin wasn’t really able to complete his three missions: he didn’t find out why Grace’s kids weren’t wearing any shoes, he didn’t really give Evie her father’s message and he didn’t came back with a song to stop the rain.
  • Christopher Sunday is another proof that the hotel world is real: Kevin had never met him, so he didn’t know what he looked like and he couldn’t have dreamed him.
  • Nabucco is back!!!
  • The hooded man in International Assassin was really Kevin’s twin, after his other personality had took over. (CLICK – Kevin Garvey is a Guilty Remnant?)
  • The final scene with K.G. Sr. on the roof reminded me of Season 3 opening scene, with the millerites waiting for the Rapture on the roofs of their houses.

    This scene is also an amazing metaphor of the whole season: K.G. Sr. realized he had convinced himself that a great flood was coming because he wasn’t ready to move on, to accept that was is it, and for that he asked his son to die. The whole world has done the same: everyone was waiting for something huge to happen on the seventh anniversary of the Departure, and now that nothing happened maybe the world can go back to normal. Kevin Garvey Senior looks broken and claims he’s not ready to come down the roof yet. The only thing that matters to him now is that his son is alive.
    “Now what?”. I guess the world will have to let go and move on.