Author Topic: The Leftovers  (Read 14792 times)

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RegularKarate

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #120 on: June 01, 2017, 02:16:12 PM »
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Oh, I never expected an "answer" about the Departure (though the show really wants me to want an answer so it can rub it in my face when there isn't one). I mean an actual ending.

I expect it will be Nora getting zapped and we don't find out where she goes, but there are suggestions that it could be anything and you get to decide and blah blah boring blah.
I don't care about that. I want the show to have felt like an album instead of a series of singles, but I don't think I'm getting that and I'm accepting it.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #121 on: June 04, 2017, 11:59:25 PM »
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SPOILERS

We got our completely bonkers episode last week, so I was ready to accept something more grounded for a finale. And I think I loved it. Needs to sink in a bit. But everything felt right.

Nora's tribulations (sort of ending with the goat) reminded me of Matt's troubled journey in "No Room at the Inn." I look forward to rewatching that without wondering if I knew what was really going on.

I continue to enjoy the references to Lost. Kevin's scar is similar Jack's scar in 601. (Pretty much the same sort of device. An injury sustained in one dimension carries over to the other. And in both cases there is a rational explanation given.) Also, you could say both finales end with something flying to return home.

This finale takes the same general approach as Lost's finale ó answer some big questions and leave some mystery (more mystery here), while putting a special emphasis on emotional resolutions.

I do not believe Nora went through. There are many reasons to doubt her story, and we even get a few hints in this episode. Nora changing her mind would mirror what happened with Laurie.
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Fuzzy Dunlop

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #122 on: June 05, 2017, 01:49:38 AM »
+1
SPOILERS

I loved it. I just started watching this show like a month ago and now I can't believe it's over. One of the most moving and batshit shows ever, with a satisfying finale that can stand up with some of the all-time greats.

SPOILERS

I do not believe Nora went through. There are many reasons to doubt her story, and we even get a few hints in this episode. Nora changing her mind would mirror what happened with Laurie.

I'm a believer. I don't ever remember Nora not following through, she's gone to extreme after extreme throughout the series. The first scene of the episode even has her saying loud and clear into the camera "I'm not a liar" and walking out on Kevin because she can't live with his fake story of how he found her. Laurie has a history of pulling back at the last minute (Breaking her silence to Kevin when the house is on fire; Previous suicide attempt) so I buy that, but Nora is different. And the concept of there being this whole other side where everyone thinks that it was the other 98% that departed is just too fittingly heartbreaking to be a lie created by one of the characters. It's a much stronger story choice for it to be true. Especially since there still isn't any explanation of why this happened, or if there is any reason at all.

I'm really curious about what the limbo place Kevin visits is supposed to be, because it seems to have nothing to do with the Other Side that Nora ends up visiting, and is way weirder. I wonder if his experiences there have anything to do with his heart condition. I can't think of any other reason for them to have added all that information to the last chapter of the story. 

polkablues

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #123 on: June 05, 2017, 03:12:42 AM »
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Yeah, Nora's defining characteristic is her stubbornness. There's absolutely nothing in her character that suggests she would have backed out, and even less that she would then concoct an elaborate story to cover her backing out. I firmly believe we are meant to take what she says as an accurate account of events.

The episode was basically perfect, in my eyes. The series is a story about loss and grief, and the ending is about finally being able to let go and move on. I can't imagine any way they could have done it better.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #124 on: June 05, 2017, 09:28:41 AM »
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I want to believe. But I don't. I mean, it's obviously meant to create a debate.

If you could solve some plot holes for me and explain how Nora's account of the other side makes any sense, then I might believe.

Given the crisis there, the inventor never thought to build a new machine? Until Nora suggested it? Really? What other more important project was he doing? And wouldn't the reappearance of loved ones there have caused some kind of realization/resolution that would fundamentally change society? I mean they would literally have proof and knowledge of the other side. Which seems like something Nora would have mentioned.

Also. When Nora supposedly came back via the new machine, she traveled to Australia to hide out there? Doesn't it make more sense that she simply stayed in Australia?

Re: Nora not lying. She lies at least once in this episode. Tells the nun that she doesn't know Kevin. The nun also lies, to Kevin and to Nora. And the whole bird scheme is a lie, which Nora is centrally responsible for. Lying is kind of a theme, and Nora is right in the middle of it.

I could go through the hints in this episode, but I'll name one: The nun argues that the love notes lie is okay because it's a better story. I think that obviously inspires Nora to tell her story to Kevin.
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RegularKarate

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #125 on: June 05, 2017, 09:53:03 AM »
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I was more satisfied with this ending than I expected. Really like it.
It still holds inside it what drives me crazy about this show wasting its potential. Kevin's justification of why he was pretending he didn't remember anything since they met makes little sense. The reason is so people watching will be all "OH What's going on here?! Is she in another dimension? Did Kevin just travel here? This is a MYSTERY!". Again, Lindeloff has little interest in WHY people do what they do and much more interest in making people wonder (and fair enough, he's good at it).

To JB's point, whether or not Nora was lying is meant to stir debate, but both sides kind of don't make sense.
JB explained exactly what I was thinking about if we are meant to believe her. If she was lying, "the better story" doesn't sell me. She was too emotional, she definitely believed the story. We have never seen such amazing lying if she were lying.

Anyway, I liked this episode and I'm glad it's over.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #126 on: June 05, 2017, 10:27:19 AM »
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I should point out another Lost connection. The collected notes are a reference to the Pearl, the Dharma station where "observers" would studiously take notes in journals. Those journals were sent through a pneumatic tube, ostensibly to be collected and studied, but it turns out they just fell out into a pile in the middle of nowhere, never to be read by anyone. (And the observers were actually the ones being observed.)

Kevin's justification of why he was pretending he didn't remember anything since they met makes little sense. The reason is so people watching will be all "OH What's going on here?! Is she in another dimension? Did Kevin just travel here? This is a MYSTERY!"

You know what, I will actually give you that point, because I thought the same thing.

At the same time, I love being trolled by Damon Lindelof and have for a long time. I think it's an acquired taste. In Season 2, when Patti actually started singing "Never Gonna Give You Up," I basically exploded with joy.

If she was lying, "the better story" doesn't sell me. She was too emotional, she definitely believed the story. We have never seen such amazing lying if she were lying.

That's a fair point too, but I'm willing to accept it as an imperfection of producing this thing.

I think Nora would have had all the time in the world to dream up this story. She seems to be living with a sense of shame. (Shame that she couldn't go through with it.) She seems to have lost a lot of dignity. Maybe she's even started to believe the story.

The idea that her family are actually the lucky ones on the other side seems like a fantasy that might have been on her mind for years as she wondered what happened.

Yes, Nora is stubborn. But that is a characteristic, not a certainty. All the time, people make choices that don't exemplify their traits. Nora might have been swayed by another of her core traits ó skepticism. And that might have saved her.

"Hunger is the purest sin"

RegularKarate

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #127 on: June 05, 2017, 10:56:21 AM »
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I love being trolled by Damon Lindelof and have for a long time. I think it's an acquired taste.

And this is the reason we disagree about this show (and Lost). I have never acquired this taste.
Thing is, I will probably watch the next thing Lindelof puts on a television (fuuuuuuck his movies) so maybe I'm getting there.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #128 on: June 05, 2017, 11:36:37 AM »
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fuuuuuuck his movies

Yeah. He's mostly been doing editing/rewrites, though. Personally I would have tried to take my name off Cowboys & Aliens.

From what I understand, his contribution to Prometheus is by far the best part of it.
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Fuzzy Dunlop

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #129 on: June 05, 2017, 03:05:19 PM »
+1
Ok I'm starting to come around to the "she's lying" theory. It's certainly designed to work both ways and to stir debate, so to some degree we have to just let the mystery be. But the more I look at it, the more I'm starting to see that her choosing to tell this story and Kevin choosing to believe it is actually way more cathartic for her character. By crafting her own story (or "Book of Nora") she's making the choice to let go of the past and move on, giving up the mystery and search for truth of what happened, recognizing that the only truth worth concerning herself with now is that she's alive and with her partner.

There's also the whole thing of it basically being Lindelof saying "Look, I'll tell you exactly where the 2% went, and you can believe it or not." Ultimately the story we're watching is all made up anyway, and the only thing that really matters are the character's emotional arcs. It's fun to debate, but similar to the ending of Inception, whether or not it's 'real' is far less important than whether or not these characters have found peace.

even though he's totally still dreaming at the end and the entire film was actually an elaborate inception performed on Leo by Michael Caine to help him get over the loss of his wife and the end of the film is actually the end of the dream because he found his catharsis and that's really the only theory that makes sense to me at this point

Fuzzy Dunlop

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Shughes

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #131 on: June 05, 2017, 05:34:14 PM »
+1
SPOILERS

Man I loved this show, and these characters.

The finale is still sinking in.

I'm leaning towards the theory that Nora was lying too - telling the better story - and that there is a suggestion that neither she nor Kevin believe it, but that it's something they accept as truth in order to put the past behind them and move on. It's a beautiful ending in that respect.

One other theory that is buzzing around my head is that Nora got vaporized in the machine and is in the same alternate place Kevin went to. And that Kevin finding her many years later is when he died from the serious heart attack he refers to (spending the interim time after the heart attack/death searching for her). The fact that Laurie is there suggests that she did in fact go through with her suicide. And I don't think we ever see anyone who would be alive in this episode/world - John, Michael, Kevin Snr. Maybe that's too far out there and I'm grasping at straws searching for something more complicated than is necessary.

As a side note I thought the make-up work was incredible in this episode.

polkablues

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #132 on: June 05, 2017, 06:13:04 PM »
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I must have been really tired when I watched the episode last night, because it honestly didn't even occur to me until I started reading other people's reactions to it that we were supposed to find the veracity of Nora's story ambiguous. But damn it, it makes more and more sense the more I think about it. If I had to choose a position, I would still err on the side of believing her, but I can see much more clearly now all the ways the writers seeded doubt throughout the series. Just makes me like it even more.
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polkablues

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #133 on: June 05, 2017, 06:38:19 PM »
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Thematically, it even makes more sense for her story to be made up. The show has always been preoccupied with self-mythification as a means of contextualizing and comprehending things that are outside one's control or understanding. Matt's gospel, Kevin Sr.'s apocalyptic mythology, the Guilty Remnant, the lion cult, David Burton, even Kevin's trips to the underworld (though I feel like the show treats those as literal happenings in a way that it doesn't with the others).

Nora has always been the character most adamantly opposed to the concept, demanding an objective truth that she can hang her hat on, but as a result remains unable to ever let her wounds heal. Perhaps she finally realizes that by allowing herself that myth, letting the story-truth take precedence over literal truth, she can move on. Her rejection of Kevin at the wedding party (not being able to accept his presence because the story he tells isn't "true") is the extinction burst of her old mindset before the nun's satisfaction with a more facile version of the truth helps her come to her final realization.

Have I just come all the way around on this question? I think I may have done.
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RegularKarate

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Re: The Leftovers
« Reply #134 on: June 06, 2017, 09:49:04 AM »
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Not that it means anything definitive, but the director of the episode thinks Nora believes her own story.

From a Screencrush interview:
Quote
Mimi Leder: Did you believe [Nora] at the end? What did you think? Did you think it was real?

Interviewer: Iíve come to the conclusion that I believe that she believes it, and thatís kind of enough. I donít think I need to know if her story is real or not.

Mimi Leder: I couldnít agree with you more. I mean everyone has different opinions about it and thatís really interesting, but yeah, that is how I see it very much too. Itís really interesting when people say she really went there in this contraption, which is believable as well. But itís interesting what you will believe in, what each and every one of us wants to believe to get through the day, to offer ourselves some sort of peace, some connection to the here and now. So I found this story very satisfying, and a real left turn in filmmaking in terms of finale. Itís very different than the show and itís its own little movie. It was really fun to do, and emotional. Itís like a little poem.

The way she phrases it, to me, looks like she believes Nora believes her own story, but that it isn't what really happened.What with the barely justified random insanity plaguing Kevin, I wouldn't be surprised if she had built an illusion that she believed.

 

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