The Leftovers S3 E7 Review: The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother)
Kevin Garvey has finally returned to the “other place” in the second-to-last episode of the final season of The Leftovers, titled The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother). The “other place,” of course, is this afterlife he once visited in the now-iconic episode, International Assassin. His mission is simple: find Evie for John Murphy and tell her she is loved, see where Grace’s children left their shoes, and learn a rain song from Christopher Sunday which will stop the flood on the seventh-year anniversary of the departure.
The entire third season has built up to this moment, the third time Kevin Garvey dies. Some claim him to be a messiah, others say he’s mentally unstable. Truth be told, I’m not sure Kevin himself knows what to think about it, despite being more confident as of late. At this point, Kevin Garvey is game for anything, and not only is this great from a storytelling perspective but from a character one as well.
Seeing how far Justin Theroux has become Kevin through and through is remarkable. The unsteady yet admirable progression of Kevin as a character while also staying true to who he was at his core is something Theroux and Lindeloff have mastered, making him one of the best TV characters in recent memory.
In The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother), we get two for the price of one—Kevins, that is. The episode opens up with the iconic score of season 1 playing during the opening credits. We are immediately thrown right into the thick of the flood of the seventh anniversary, with Kevin wasting no time going back to the “other place.” This time he wakes up not in a bathroom, but in an ocean washing up on shore. Only this Kevin is clean-shaven and awaiting an assignment to assassinate the other version of himself (the identical twin brother) who is none other than the President of the United States.
Kevin (literally and figuratively) has to come to terms with himself, and what he wants. Justin Theroux was exceptional here, bringing such a different nuance to Kevin. There’s probably no greater challenge than playing slightly different versions of the same character, and Theroux excelled at acting opposite himself. The way Kevin goes back and forth between his two selves and their individual tasks is wonderfully executed in the acting and storytelling department. As I said, Theroux brings the smallest differences to this character and perfectly separates the two with the slightest details.
This wouldn’t be a proper sequel to International Assassin without the presence of one Patti Levin (Ann Dowd). This may be one of the strangest, yet oddly empathetic relationships to ever be on television. Kevin unintentionally kidnaped Patti in season 1, whereupon she then killed herself, proceeded to haunt Kevin until he visited the limbo hotel last season, where he had to throw an 11-year-old version of Patti down a well so she would stop haunting him.
Yet, they still know they’re helping each other. There’s a small moment where Patti said “you helped me” to Kevin that resonated with me in a huge way. Up until this point, there was this unorthodox underlying respect that the two had for one another, even though 98% of the time they hated each other. The way Patti says it, along with Kevin’s reaction is endearing and unexpected, with Dowd and Theroux bringing their A-game in the penultimate episode.
This being the second-to-last episode of The Leftovers ever, I was more than choked up at the conclusion of The Most Powerful Man in the World, which should be witnessed naturally, not by reading it on text in a review. However, if you have seen it, the moments between both Kevins are just terrific. With only one episode remaining, there is still so much to tell, but if you think that you’ll be getting some concrete answers to all your questions, you clearly don’t get The Leftovers. It’s not about the answers, it’s about the characters and the journeys they go through to find some semblance of solace.
The series finale of The Leftovers will premiere on June 4th, 2017 on HBO.