The Leftovers season 3 episode 4 'G'Day Melbourne' review: TV rarely comes this heartbreaking

*Do not read if you haven't seen The Leftovers season three*

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 19 July 2017 12:00 BST

The Leftovers season three will be available to watch in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV from 4 July

“I’ll see you on the other side,” Nora (Carrie Coon) tells Kevin (Justin Theroux) when she ditches him to go through her membership-only security queue at the airport on their way to Australia, just one of multiple moments in the opening ten minutes that sounds the death knell for their relationship. From her inability to tell him about the $20,000 she has strapped to her body to the rough, passionless sex they have against a baby changing stand, ‘G’Day Melbourne’ sends The Leftovers' two central characters on their own destructive journeys culminating in a hotel room showdown which could well be the duo's final scene together (think Before Midnight x10,000,000).

Much like season two episode 'International Assassin,' Kevin finds himself in yet another hotel with a faulty TV bearing a familiar face - only this time, he's alive. Kevin's attention is drawn to the small box upon hearing the breakfast morning show host reveal that there are two missing Kevins in the Melbourne area: one is the man Grace (Lindsay Duncan) drowned at the end of episode two, the other is his father (Scott Glenn).

In the assembled audience behind the TV hosts, Kevin spots somebody staring straight at him - Evie Murphy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), the loving daughter turned Guilty Remnant rebel who is presumed dead by everyone bar her father, John (Kevin Carroll). A rattled Kevin heads to the studio and locates her before sending a photo of the missing girl to his ex-wife Laurie (Amy Brenneman) back in Miracle.

Kevin is so desperate to understand why exactly Evie has chosen to start a new life thousands of miles away from her family that it never occurs to him he is fundamentally doing the same - as Laurie tells him, the world could well end on the seventh anniversary of Departure Day (just one week away in series time) and he’s as far away from his loved ones as can possibly be. It's through Laurie that Kevin learns he is having a psychotic break - he has projected Evangeline Murphy onto a terrified stranger which seems to be the final nail in the coffin that is the long-suffering character's attempts to search for logic in this unraveling world.

If Nora manages to uphold the facade that things are okay at the beginning of the episode, her later experiences hack it into non-existence, the increasing obstacles she faces - the tests she's sent - causing her temperament to oscillate between composed and fraught. Upon her arrival in Australia, she heads out on her DSD sting to uncover the group she believes are preying on individuals' desperation to reunite with their departed loved ones wherever they may be by putting them in a machine and zapping them to their graves.

Proving she's willing to trek Down Under, pay $20,000 and jump in a coffin for no good reason other than she's told to by a stranger, it’s ultimately one question that prevents Nora from being able to enter 'the other side' - and it's her shattered reaction to this news which throws the character's motives into question: did she simply want to uncover these people for fraud or was she willing to die in the hope she may be reunited with her family? (Sidenote: last week, Kevin Garvey Sr came across a man babbling about the same question Nora was asked - he set himself on fire).

Having the opportunity to reunite with her husband and children snatched away detaches Nora from whatever it is left anchoring her to this world, the same thing happening to Kevin across town (only it's he who detaches himself from his family). Perhaps it's these events that will set Nora on the path to pigeon-collecting and refusal to acknowledge Kevin's existence at an unspecified time in the future. Quite why she'll end up doing the latter certainly clicks into focus in the episode's closing eight minutes - eight of the show's most heart-aching to date.

The two meet back at the hotel after their respective days and don't so much discuss their issues than criticise each other for never talking about each other's issues. It's a grandstanding, literally fiery (Kevin burns his biblical biography) showdown less flashy than the one's Tony and Carmela Soprano were dealt but more heart-wrenching in the way it indicates there is clearly no happy ending for these two figures - TV's most tragic - whose search for purpose is continually rejected by the world like a bad penny. From the moment Nora and Kevin formally introduced themselves to one another at the school Christmas dance in season one episode 'B.J. and the A.C.' they have been on a collision course to whatever soul-shattering fate awaits them.

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Kevin berates Nora and leaves without looking back, completely free of the family who all found their way back to him in the closing moments of season two - that is until he walks into the arms of his father who came looking for him after seeing him searching for Evie on G'Day Melbourne that very morning. Coincidence? Fate? You decide.

Telling his father he's in Australia alone, they drive off leaving Nora sat alone in the room, the hotel sprinklers drowning out the tears streaming down her face in a closing shot prime for an art gallery (director Daniel Sackheim, you have earned your keep). The episode's coda reaffirms The Leftovers' insistence on subverting everything viewers expected from this final season aided by the deployment of a-ha song 'Take On Me' over the end credits -its chipper tone yet morose lyrics a perfect emblem for this series.

Grief, once again, prevails even when it's not quite clear what's being grieved. The only certainty remaining in The Leftovers' uncertain world is that there is no happy future for Kevin and Nora - not even on 'the other side.'

The Leftovers season three continues in the US on HBO every Sunday. It will be available to watch in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on 4 July.

You can read all episode reviews below:

Episode one 'The Book of Kevin' review
Episode two 'Don't Be Ridiculous' review
Episode three 'Crazy Whitefella Thinking' review

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