The Leftovers S3 E3: Crazy Whitefella Thinking
Scott Glenn finally gets his character-centric episode to shine, in one of the better acting showcases on television in recent memory. Crazy Whitefella Thinking is what some may call the quintessential episode of The Leftovers. Kevin Garvey Sr. has always been a fan favorite since the beginning. The crazy father of Kevin Garvey Jr., who may or may not be entirely insane, or is the man who stops the apocalypse.
“We are closer towards the anniversary of the Departure and emboldened by a vision that is either divine prophecy or utter insanity, Kevin Sr. wanders the Australian Outback to save the world from the apocalypse.”
I mean, is that a synopsis or what?
This is Scott Glenn’s tour de force, giving an emotionally heartbreaking yet nuanced performance for the ages. People think Kevin Sr. is crazy, I mean, how could they not? He claims he heard voices in his head for years, listened to these voices and ended up in Australia. He believes that on the 7th anniversary of the departure, a great flood will destroy the world.
If a man were trekking around Australia, studying sacred dances from indigenous tribes, and claiming to be the savior of the world, you’d more than likely think he’s nuts. However, given that this is The Leftovers and the fact that Glenn is the actor in question, it works beautifully.
Kevin Sr. carries a tape recorder throughout the episode. One of the tapes is recordings of the various tribe’s songs, and the other is of him and a 5-year old Kevin Garvey. The tapes of both Kevin’s are exceptional, adding another layer of emotion to Kevin Sr. that we haven’t seen before. Kevin Jr. wanted to be a reporter, and his father was helping him document via tape. It’s endearing that Kevin Sr. listens to these, even more so that he is so protective over them.
As his Outback adventure continues, his main goal is to find a man by the name of Christopher Sunday, who is the only man who knows the final tribal dance. Once he finds Sunday, Kevin Sr. gives one of the best monologues of the entire series. From the departure to present day, told through the man no one wanted to believe was such a brilliant event to witness.
Glenn’s performance is Emmy-worthy to say the least. The way he makes you believe that his sole purpose of life was to save the world, and lead his son to Australia to help him do so. This leads us to the end of the episode, when Kevin Sr. meets the mystery woman who drowned an innocent man last week.
She says how she found a piece of paper with scripture on it, something unlike she’s ever seen before. She continues to say how this man named Kevin was written to be a savior like figure, a man who can not die and will save those in need. After the emotional scene between the two, Kevin Sr. simply replies “you’re not crazy, you just got the wrong Kevin.”
Crazy Whitefella Thinking is one of the strongest episode of The Leftovers so far. The way all of these story arcs are connected and intertwined with one another may not be the most conventional method, but if you are patient and put in the time, it’ll surpass any expectations you had watching this terrific series. Scott Glenn, I believe the Emmy’s are calling your name.
The Leftovers airs Sunday nights on HBO.