If there is a one specialty that The Leftovers has carved out for itself it is taking a supporting character and letting them grow organically in their own episode. In the past we’ve gotten a few Nora episodes and a few Matt episodes but now we get to delve deeper into Kevin Garvey Senior. Kevin Sr. has been on of the most crucial supporting characters and clearly influential on Kevin Jr’s life both attitude wise as well as genetically. His character’s thought process and what is truly going on within him has been shrouded in mystery for the past two seasons.
In Crazy Whitefella Thinking we see behind the curtain a bit and learn why Kevin Sr. left for Australia while at the same time tying in Matt’s Book of Kevin. We even learn that there is a little contention as to which Kevin the title references. To me this episode feels like connective tissue between the first third of the season and the coming middle third. We’re setting the scenery for Australia and seeing that the world is just as messed up down under as it is state-side.
What The Leftovers does well is analyze grief, struggle and how people try to move beyond trauma. This episode is a character study on finding purpose to move beyond suffering. The world went crazy after the sudden departure and when something so shockingly out of the realm of possibilities happens people lose a sense of direction in life. How are you supposed to work towards goals in your life when at any moment reality could come crashing in on you and render all your work for nothing. Finding purpose in making sure that doesn’t happen again can bring comfort.