By Ryan Keating-Lambert

★★★☆☆

SPOILERS.

The Leftovers kicks off its long awaited third season with a feeling optimistic and wholesome family goodness, but soon takes some risky turns compared to the first two seasons. Everything is different this time around, especially the characters that we grew to love in the first two seasons.

There’s been a huge build-up to this season of ‘the best series on television’, as dubbed by IndieWire. The series moved itself to Australia, and spent much of its time on marketing with a series of edgy and ambiguous trailers and posters.

Episode 1 basically picks up right where the series left off. What a shame though that Guilty Remnant villain Meg (Liv Tyler) had to be killed off in the first 10 minutes of the show. She was a great villain, as was Evie from season 2… and then when you least expect it, everything jumps three years forward in time. Some series do this, and it’s always a bit risky to suddenly change characters so dramatically, and not fill in the blanks. A show with a fragmented timeline like this though might very well fill in the blanks as it goes along.

It’s going to have to be convincing though. One of the harder things to believe was the fact that Laurie (Amy Brenneman) is now with John (Kevin Carol). Was this a lame plot device to keep one or the other in the series for later? Very out of the blue and unconvincing… and what happened to Erika (Regina King)? What happened to baby Lilly? Perhaps we haven’t seen the full happenings of that final bridge scene from season 2 just yet. John also seems to be very religious and calm now; note the beard and glasses. Kevin (Justin Theroux) also has a beard. I guess they’re just in at the moment, even in Jarden, Texas.

While some characters disappear though, old ones return. The creepy dog killer came back, and Kevin was actually pretty relaxed about it, until almost getting his head blown off. Kevin is overall pretty relaxed and seems to be reasonably positive. It’s as if some of the trauma in season 2 didn’t happen at all.

Writer Damon Lindelof (Lost, Prometheus) and original book author Tom Perrotta are back for this season and it seems as if Lindelof’s crazy Lost-style questions without answers thing is also back. Not a good start.

The episode does leave us with some curiosity though. Is Kevin the next messiah? It makes a strange kind of sense if you look back at season 2, but let’s hope it doesn’t get too silly on that front. Then there’s Nora.. she has a broken arm, how did that happen? More importantly though, who was that in Australia? Was that a flash forward of her?

One thing is for sure… there must be some intense conflict or drama to make them get up and suddenly move, everything seems under control at the moment. What is actually going to happen in 13 days? What is this countdown to? Eager to see what awaits, but overall I wasn’t too pleased with this episode.

Photo: Screen Rant

 

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