Review: ‘The Leftovers’ 3.08 – ‘The Book of Nora’

It’s hard to review The Book of Nora and not reflect on the entire season or even the full series as a whole. Partly because it is natural to reflect back when a series ends but also because this episode does a great job encapsulating the issues the show initially wanted discuss and analyze. The first season was about how people deal with grief and the existential dread of massive problems you are powerless to fix. The second and third season shifted to discussing how people work towards moving past their grief and try to find some sort of solace or contentment in life.

People are flawed and what we feel will bring us comfort might not, and that’s why the story that Nora tells Kevin in her dusty Australian house works so well as a final note for the show. What you think you need might just be what you want. Many of us aren’t lucky enough to get what we think we need, whether it is financial stability, that new car or a new house. These things might be Band-Aids on top of the real problem and what you need is to fix something deeper. Nora thought she needed to see her family to get closure but upon realizing that she literally wasn’t a part of their world anymore she was able to move on. She was able to put them to rest knowing that somewhere and in some timeline; they are content with their life. She got what she wanted, but what she realized she needed was slightly different.

Kevin on the other hand, possibly reflecting on his constant messiah status, is the rare person who finally gets what he wants and is able to find comfort. He is able to die one last time and destroy that world he visits in his suicidal visions. To me this puts to rest any future chance of visions or hallucinations. Kevin replaces his need to get to that world and find answers with the search for Nora. Leaving the door open to supernatural elements, even with Nora gone, Kevin knows she isn’t really gone. He searches tirelessly, 2 weeks a year, for what he thinks he needs. With Kevin always being the exception that proves to rule, Nora is what he wants and needs. As Kevin and Nora say in that final scene, they are here and that’s ok. More than ok, being there together is enough.


Quick Thoughts:

  • Laurie is alive! With her being alive and Kevin not seeming to know who Nora was, I thought this might be the afterlife. Maybe in the afterlife you forget some parts of you and finding those that affected you in life helps you regain that knowledge. Wait, was this LOST all along?
  • Carrie Coon national treasure status confirmed? CONFIRMED
  • If you are not on Instagram, and love this show, go check out the cast a crew accounts. Some great behind the scenes shots and a lot of great reflection on the show.
  • This show will go down as one of the best in the history of the medium. It didn’t last long, but its star shone so bright in the darkness that is an ocean of vacuous television.

Written by Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore has a history in academic writing but has always had a passion for the media he loves. From music, to comics, to games, Chris looks beyond the page and searches for story behind the story.

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