Firstly, this episode was a magnificently and unspeakably human and sincere series finale.
The Leftovers Season 3 revisits the sweeping successes of Season 2 with an added observance on solipsistic existence and a contemplation on parallel worlds. In transitioning to a more homegrown surrealist narrative, the show abandons considerable fractions of its human nature, the greatest strength of the previous two seasons, to tackle a more formidable theme; a theme which the show has been teasing at since the very beginning, that only in abandoning what makes us human and living can we discover the essence or truth of that function which drives us. This idea has been addressed powerfully, but just like with any art that tackles the impossible, the conclusion is ultimately unsatisfying in the aspect that here in the living world, we cannot know the purpose of life, if there is one, and unless the showrunners of The Leftovers have crossed the chasm, they can only extrapolate a best guess.
What the show does teach us, ultimately, is to cherish and appreciate what we have here in this tangible, immediate world. No amount of existential posturing should remove us from that track. It is an idea that we should carry with us every day that we live, and with every action we perform.
The only thing keeping this show from being truly transcendent for me is the often bromidic music selection (not the score, which is fantastic throughout), which clashes with the thematic maneuvering of the show, presenting a mood unequal to its greater vision. Overall, The Leftovers is one of my favorite shows of recent years, and I am sad to see it go. I have had a lifelong struggle with spirituality, so it's been wonderful to have a show address the purpose of faith in a way that is palatable and heartfelt, and detached from dogma.
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