Kevin Cage of @spotlightsaga reviews…
The Leftovers (S03E04) G'Day Melbourne
Airdate: May 7, 2017 @hbo
Ratings: 0.812 Million :: 0.29 18-49 Demo Share
Toxic Co-Dependent Relationships… Somehow the jaded being that I’ve become thinks that’s how all relationships end up one way or another, in some form or another. I feel like that’s terrible for me to say, but my faith in the human race isn’t strong, hell its barely existent. Somehow we need each other, we truly do… But in that same breath we also need to be far, far away from each other so that we can grow in our own personal directions. I’ve personally been with the same person for 11+ years, and though I have to admit that we grow in certain areas in our lives, in our own unique ways, on our own particular time… At the same time, we also have kind of grown into one entity… And as much as we like to tell people that one is one person and one is the other, we are still very much a resemblance of one.
Love is a fascinating subject, one that Netflix has really nailed in its aptly (and ironically) titled Netflix Original Series ‘Love’. I just finished S2 of ‘Love’ and if you follow my reviews I’ve written episodically throughout the season, you’ll see that I become increasingly frustrated that people can’t help but to take sides… Mickey is right. Gus is right… Or one of them is wrong and vice versa. This is because people love to point fingers, it’s like it’s encoded into their DNA… And more often than not, they’ve grown up on Disney fairytales, the old school kind (not the polarizing, existential ones we are starting to see today like the absolutely groundbreaking 'Inside Out’ - maybe our kids today will have a better chance than the generations that came before them… Because they are getting a rare chance to choose their own perspective, not like how we were spoon fed this idea of 'happily ever after’). You don’t just deserve love, and it’s certainly not handed to you. Love is cruel, love is hard, and love is incredibly messy. All those things people vehemently say 'they won’t put up with’ in a relationship, at one point or another they’ll have to find a way to get past them, because we don’t make up words for human behaviors that don’t happen. Human error is way more common than the world wants to admit… Even the ones we want to view as the worst of the worst.
The episode ends on the very note that Nora (Carrie Coon) says will be her and Kevin’s (Justin Theroux) cover story as they take off on the plane to Melbourne in the beginning… A hypothetical conversation they may need to have in telling this group that Mark Linn-Baker has spotlighted for Nora, who claims they can reunite her with her departed that if they have a problem with Kevin accompanying her to Australia. They will say they are in a toxic, co-dependent relationship and he came to see her off. She got the toxic part right. I love the scene at the airport where she decides to enter through a different terminal and leave Kevin behind, mainly because she has $20,000 strapped to her and she’s only legally allowed to travel with $10k. After the deed is done, Kevin immediately her why she didn’t just let him carry the other part. It’s moments like these that are the most telling… The writing was on the wall as soon as the beginning credits first rolled.
Nora & Kevin are not on the same page and never really have been. Has there ever been a point in one of your relationships where you felt or feel like your falling in love, but you question whether or not that it’s true love or you are both simply acting out of loneliness. I get the vibe that’s always been the case with these two. You can care about someone and never truly love them, but it’s never our place to decide what it is that two people really share… Because at the end of the day, whether it’s real life or on a screen, if it’s not your relationship then you are not wearing their shoes… And we simply can never know what kind of electricity is conducted between two souls.
Kevin and Nora were both separated in Melbourne that day as they were inside of the airport, both with equally dejecting experiences. Nora turned down by the group that led her there with the promise to reunite her with her family only to pack up and dash out, leaving Nora to chase them down and beg them to stay. Kevin is led to a Live Melbourne Morning show after he sees Evie in Muslim garb holding a sign that says 'Surah 81’, a passage in the Quran referring to judgement day, the lines translated are ripe with references throughout the series as a whole… And there’s even a line that loosely translates to 'And your companion is not at all mad’… It wouldn’t matter because that woman holding the sign wasn’t Evie at all. And so Kevin was beat up, told that he was having a psychotic break over the phone by Laurie, forced to look at the picture he had snapped of 'Evie’, which he now sees was not Evie at all. Now I’m left questioning everything we see through his eyes. But if Kevin isn’t mad, then he is fulfilling a purpose, a prophecy.
So where does all of that leave Nora? The two exchange harsh words, neither one being completely honest with the other. Kevin is having trouble distinguishing realities and Nora is ready to obliterate herself into what is perceived to be another world or another plane of existence. Instead of saying what needs to be said, Kevin packs up and leaves Nora behind. Nora is frozen, quite the juxtaposition we saw earlier when she made off like an Olympian chasing down the car of the doctors and scientists that brought her there just to reject her. Throughout the episode we getting different versions of A-Ha’s 'Take On Me’, but now we are actually getting the real version in all its perky hopefulness… As the fire we saw burning in Nora’s empowered soul earlier is now literally burning around her in the form of pages of Matt’s 'Bible’, setting off the fire alarm as Kevin nonchalantly exits the hotel room. Sprinklers go off, extinguishing that very fire…. The one that is no longer inside of Nora. We are left with an iconic image of Nora sitting at the end of her hotel bed, with water just dripping off her face in the darkness, illuminated by the fire and smoke filling the room. The image is nothing short of haunting… And as Nora continues to be trapped by her fear and indecision, Kevin leaves the hotel, running into Kevin Sr and his new homicidal cohort. Let’s go finish that book, eh?
I’m gonna miss handshakes, ya know? The honest comfort of flesh and blood. This flesh and blood, it’s honest, isn’t it? It tells the truth, doesn’t it? The wind in your hair, rain on your face, sun-warmth between your shoulder-blades–perception’s straight up. Kissing. Stretching. Blowing off. Forget René: the senses don’t lie, not about the big things, not about what it’s like to be here.
[Lucifer] Paedophilia’s what I call a flexible gain investment. It yields profit in umpteen different ways. Most obviously there’s the immediate suffering of the children, followed by the shame, the guilt, the self-disgust, the not being believed, the hatred. Not least the now loudly ticking clock of their own desire, all those dream-rich hours and days before the early damaged gestates and they start fiddling with youngsters themselves. Then there are the perpetrators. Again the shame, again the self-loathing, again the useless guilt. Useless to God, I mean. Guilt’s only useful to God as a prologue to penitence and a change of ways. But based on guilt no Paedophile’s ever going to change in ways. The desire for nippers is too strong. Guilt’s simply no match for it. It goes: desire-gratification-guilt-desire-gratification-guilt-desire-gratification-guilt and so on. It’s a mechanism, interrupted if they get caught by the cops and banged up by a judge, but otherwise unstoppable except via hard psychic or professional graft which neither his perp nor his world is remotely interested in investing in. Then there’s the suffering of the parents (in cases where it’s not actually the parents wots dunnit, I mean). The horror of being afraid of their own sullied child. The shame of having suspected and done nothing. The shame of having known and done nothing. But best of all, by far the best of all, is the opportunity it gives the self-righteous mob.
Look closely the next time a Paedophile comes via he media to the attention of his peers, look closely at the faces of the outraged mob. That’s where you’ll find me. Those pixilated tabloid stills of good mums and dads transformed by righteousness into grimacing beasts, bellowing for blood, teaching their children to hate first and ask questions later (or better still never), buoyed and inflated by the gobbled-up lie that they’re doing God’s work. This is Paedophilia’s quality yield: the indignant mob bloodthirsty with decency, obscenely relieved of the burden of thought and the yoke of argument.