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The Leftovers - S3E2 - Don’t Be Ridiculous

Previously on The Leftovers, “The Book of Kevin”

Images: HBO

In season one, Nora Durst was “okay.” Just a few years after her entire immediate family departed, she was working for the Department of Sudden Departures. She was also paying escorts to shoot her and grocery shopping for the exact last things she bought for her family, and let’s not get started on the stale jellybeans in her car.

In season two, Nora Durst was “okay.” She was living in Jarden, Texas, in a new relationship, and had just adopted a beautiful baby. She also paid $3 million for a house unseen because she needed Jarden to be the miracle it claimed to be. And let’s not talk about throwing rocks through her neighbor’s window.

Now, three years later, Nora Durst’s version of okay is getting a tattoo of her departed children’s names on her arm, immediately regretting it, covering it with a Wu-Tang Clan tattoo, and then purposely breaking that arm so a cast can hide that tattoo. So, yet again, Nora is not okay.

Nora finds herself again targeted by possible Departure scammers; this time, Mark Linn-Baker (Perfect Strangers), the actor who faked his departure after his three sitcom co-stars disappeared. Under the guise of proving it’s a hoax, Nora travels to St. Louis to meet with him after he calls and offers her a chance to be with her children again. After he explains there’s a rogue team of scientists looking for willing test subjects, Nora watches a video of the people who already agreed to be blasted with radiation in the hopes that it will reunite them with their departed. These people all look normal. They look sane. They look okay.

This trip also served as an opportunity for Nora to see Lily - whose name is no longer Lily - again as she drives to Kentucky and spends a brief, heartbreaking moment with the little girl who was once her daughter, but now has no idea who Nora is. Christine has custody of Lily, is married, and the mother of another baby.

Nora keeps losing.

She visits Erika when she returns to Jarden, and asks her friend how she’s not going crazy. Erika explains that she was able to bury Evie, and this, presumably, brought her a sense of closure. Also, the trampoline she purchased didn’t hurt. Then we got a scene that only The Leftovers could deliver: Nora and Erika jumping on the trampoline while Wu-Tang’s “Protect Ya Neck” played.

Any comfort Nora received from this visit is gone when she runs into Tommy, who needs to assure Christine that Nora isn’t going to be a problem. When Nora admits she wishes Tommy had never left Lily for her, he reminds her that he didn’t; he left the baby for Kevin.

If there’s one thing we know about Nora is that she will lash out in spectacular fashion when hurt. She wastes no time doing just that when she places an enlarged photo of the Pillar Man’s corpse in Jarden’s town square, thereby exposing the story that he’d Departed as a lie. His widow, Sandy (Brett Butler reprising her season two role), came up with the story to give the five years he spent on the tower some meaning. Matt agrees to keep quiet about the truth in order to give her husband a Christian burial, also he can relate to losing a spouse you’d spent years caring for when they were incapable of taking care of themselves.

Nora then arrives home, early, just in time to witness how not okay Kevin is — she sees him suffocating himself with a plastic bag. He swears he always stops in time and that he doesn’t want to die. She reveals her tattoo and says it’s fine. It’s okay. Not okay enough to have a baby, apparently, because when Kevin says he wants to have one with her, she laughs in his face.

Despite several attempts to resume a normal life, we’ve seen Nora still entertain the sketchy opportunities to feel better or learn what happened to her children. Seven years after The Sudden Departure and that still hasn’t changed. When one of Mark Linn-Baker’s associates calls and tells Nora to be in Australia next week with $20,000 in cash, she agrees. And when Kevin asks if he can accompany her on this “business trip,” she says yes — probably because she’d just laughed in the poor man’s face and because she can keep an eye on him and plastic bags if he’s with her.

Speaking of Australia, a police chief there, also named Kevin, comes home to find four women on horses waiting for him. When he won’t come with them willingly, they knock him out and then drown him. One of them, Grace (Lindsay Duncan), is positive they’ll see him again shortly; the others aren’t so certain. When the dead policeman doesn’t wake up, they realize they may have made a huge mistake. And when Kevin Sr. appears on the porch to ask what they’re up to, we’re left wondering if he just made one as well.

Leftover Questions and Observations

Assuming the four women were looking for Kevin Jr., it appears the final scene also took place in the future, though not as far off as the time we saw Nora delivering doves, because Kevin has yet to arrive in Australia. Also, Grace recited something that sounded like scripture and definitely referenced the younger Kevin Garvey:

“And he looked at them and raised his hand, but they did not wave in response. And so he clutched the stone to his chest and jumped into the water.”

How do they know the story of Kevin’s suicide attempt in Jarden? If this scene takes place in the present day, when Kevin and Nora are preparing to go to Australia, then it stands to reason that the Book of Kevin already spread.

Unless they’re from the future. dun. Dun. DUN.

Everyone’s waiting for the apocalypse, and now we have four horsemen?

Was the Australian Kevin living with Kevin Sr.? Quite a coincidence that they’d be at the right place and encounter the wrong police chief Kevin.

Last week, Kevin hesitated to burn the book. This week, through Nora busting his chops about it, it’s clear he’s debating the importance of the book. He really didn’t want her taking the book on her trip because “Matt said it’s the only copy.”

Pleased to see Nora’s D.S.D. colleague, George Brevity (Joel Murray), is back. I wonder if he ever confronted her about the questionnaire that went missing after she asked for it and after she sat behind him at Evie’s memorial.

When George approved Nora’s plans to travel to St. Louis, he hangs up the phone and says to his co-worker, “She’s going.” He says this as if they’d already discussed Nora taking this trip before she was asked to make it. Also, two people are listed on IMDB as D.S.D. employee/hotel clerk and D.S.D. employee/hotel patron. Is Nora being set up or investigated herself?

Erika looks amazing and it’s interesting to note that unlike her ex-husband, Erika believes Evie is dead.

But the big question is:

What the hell is going on in Jarden?

The Leftovers S3E2
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    Plot - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Dialogue - 9/10
  • 10/10
    Performances - 10/10

"Don't Be Ridiculous"

The Leftovers - S3E2 - “Don’t Be Ridiculous” | Starring: Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Regina King, Christopher Eccleston, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Jovan Adepo, Amy Brenneman, Kevin Carroll, Scott Glenn, Margaret Qualley, Liv Tyler | Written by: Tha Lonely Donkey Kong & Specialist Contagious (Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta) | Directed by: Keith Gordon

User Review
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About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

5 Comments on The Leftovers - S3E2 - Don’t Be Ridiculous

  1. Loved:
    The Master Class on acting given by Regina King and Carrie Coons. It is a testament to Coons’ incredible skills that I feel for Nora, broken as she is after losing and losing, as she copes by destroying other people’s peace. The absolute joy Nora takes in being a Departed Narc and robbing people of their fond memories is next level. She was ruthless with the photo of busted Pillar Man. When Mark told Nora it’s about “taking control,” seems her way is to make everyone miserable. #HeartlessBitchSkillsGoals

    Nora and Kevin saying they were happy after Kev-O did shirtless asphyxiation and Nora enjoyed the pain of the tattoo needle and slamming her arm in her car door. Y’all ain’t happy.

    1. Why is Kevin so miserable? He has the most intact family around. What demons drove him to smoke in season 1 and have an affair-did he sense an internal messiah struggle even then?

    2. Matt told Kevin he could die, just not in Jarden, so what does that mean for Kevin traveling?

    3. Time Frame
    Was the end of last week set decades in the future, or does Nora just get fried with radiation by the machine? Is old Nora living in the 2% Departed world, and is that why the landscape was so bleak?

    Episode centers on the 7th anniversary of October 14 being a mere week or so out, which parallels the Australian weatherman saying October 15 is rapidly approaching-was that the 7th anniversary the Aussie was speaking of, which would mean the waterboarding of Aussie Kevin took place at same time Jarden events took place, or not?


    Cannot wait for Nina to break this all down, the same way she told us what happened to Lily like a damn boss.


    Carrie Coon gets one of these Nora-centric episodes every season and she fucking destroys it every single time. She might have the saddest cry-face ever.

    I’m really digging the more humorous and whimsical tone of the show season. I’m cherishing it now while it lasts. I have laughed out loud more in these past 2 episodes than I did maybe in the previous 2 seasons combined. I laughed my ass off when Kevin said he wanted to have a baby with Nora and was delighted when she did the same.

    What’s with the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse at the end? Was it just a coincidence that they were outside of Kevin’s house when they drowned Kevin thinking that he was Kevin? Or are they working for Kevin in an attempt to find Kevin?

    K, bye.

  3. For The Podcast:

    Okay, I was originally going to do something crazy theorising for this episode, but now I’m just going to vent my petty. Christine left that baby in a park toilet with a bag of churros, and now she managed to get Lily back. Fuck her, fuck her raggedy ass, fuck her Churro-abandonment parenting technique, and fuck Tommy for defending her.

    Best show on TV. And Matt is going to kill Kevin for leaving for Australia. Also, Carrie Coon might get two Emmy nominations between this and Fargo.

  4. Lovvvvved Nora in this. I hate when people honk their horn over and over like you don’t hear them and like they don’t see you struggling with the machine. It’s not like Nora was just sitting there twiddling her thumbs. I hated Tommy this episode. He didn’t have to say he didn’t know Nora existed. I mean it was true but he could see that she was already hurting. He just twisted he knife. What was Nora’s marriage like? I’m not judging but it seems like she only misses her kids but not her husband. I can’t remember if we got any insight that her marriage was already rocky. Also can y’all refresh my memory on what Holy Wayne/Tommy’s power was supposed to be? Erika is #bodygoals.

  5. It’s …it’s not what it looks like …I’m just Masturbating. That should of been Kevin’s backup excuse . Can we all just bask in how badass Nora is , I love her ever since she snuck her brother back into the town after he lost his credentials. I’m slightly disappointed that that the tattoo was explained it would of been nice if we could just speculate that she was just down for the Clan.

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