The Leftovers S3 E5 Review: “It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World”
Matt Jamison has always been one of the most intriguing characters on The Leftovers. Christopher Eccleston’s portrayal of the morally ambiguous priest who will do anything (and I mean anything) to achieve his goals has been a series highlight. It’s the type of role that actors dream of, and Eccleston’s embodiment of this character is a work of art, to say the least. Naturally, when an episode of this series is Matt-centric, he finds himself in rather unlucky situations.
“It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World” begins with Father Jamison convinced that Kevin’s destiny requires him to be in Miracle for the seventh anniversary of the Departure.
The episode starts off by answering last week’s big question: where was the bomb? As it turns out, the bomb was set off by a young naked man who blew up a submarine by using two kill switches. Now that we know why all flights have been grounded, Matt asks a friend who is a pilot to fly him, John, Michael, and Laurie to Melbourne for $20,000.
To make a long story short, they weren’t able to land in Australia, which results in them having to land in Tasmania and take an 11-hour ferry trip with a cult who bought out the boat that has orgies all day and night. Yeah, that sounds like The Leftovers to me.
Throughout the last episode of the series where Matt his at the center, his journey follows the formula that is usually associated with his episodes. Matt is a man of faith, and his faith is being tested while a boatload (pun) of people are against him. Laurie tells Matt that Kevin is delusional and having visual hallucinations. Matt obviously disagrees, and his co-writers, John and Michael Murphy, aren’t exactly being the best support system.
Seeing that Matt has come to this point, where he is a lonely man who let his wife and child leave willingly in order to log “The Book of Kevin,” should come across as admirable. Instead, we see a man who lives his life to find meaning, only to repeat himself when he finds some sort of closure. His wife broke out of a vegetative state, got pregnant even though she was told she couldn’t conceive, and simply became “better.”
Matt Jamison found that closure in his life, and now he needed something else to fill that void, which is, of course, Kevin. However, after the poignant, yet hilarious “It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World,” Father Jamison has found the closure he has been searching for his entire life.
The Leftovers continues to perfectly blend absurdity with substance, and this time Matt has come back face-to-face with God himself — sort of. A man on the boat is claiming to be God, passing out cards with a passage of scripture written on the back of each. Matt attempts to call his bluff, only to confess his sins to the man (named David Burton) and allowing his path to be altered.
Matt is a dying man. His continuous nosebleeds have been brushed off for too long, and Matt has been facing this reality by keeping himself occupied. The man who claims he’s God snaps his fingers and says he’s “cured.” The old Matt Jamison would’ve either passed out notices, hailing the man a false God, or believed he was cured.
Neither of these things happens. Matt accepts his fate and comes to terms with the lack of meaning in his life. When morning rises and Matt is looking upon the sea, we see a completely different Matt Jamison. Christopher Eccleston continues to push himself as an actor, which makes his character so compelling. The facial expressions he gives us alone are more than enough to show how he has changed overnight. A sense of calmness, relaxation, and real closure fills him with relief, and Eccleston does some of the best work of his career.
All of these events are leading to something, and with only three episodes left, I don’t have the slightest clue what direction the series will go in the finale. What I do know is that “It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World” is yet another wonderful episode in what’s looking to be the greatest season of The Leftovers.
The Leftovers airs Sunday nights on HBO.