‘The Leftovers’ episode 1 video recap: ‘The Book of Kevin’ airs after long departure [WATCH]

This year Gold Derby will present weekly recaps (watch above) of “The Leftovers,” which finally returned to TV screens last weekend after a long departure (pun intended). Our inaugural chat is hosted by contributing writer Riley Chow, who is joined by contributing writer Amanda Spears and myself to break down the plot twists, highlights, lowlights and Emmy prospects of “The Book of Kevin,” the premiere episode of the third and final season of HBO’s critically acclaimed drama.

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Season 3 of “The Leftovers” picks up where Season 2 left off as the world anxiously awaits the seventh anniversary of the “Sudden Departure.” That was when two percent of the world’s population (140 million people) suddenly and inexplicably disappeared off the face of the Earth, leaving loved ones behind to grapple with the painful existential questions of how, why and where so many people vanished into thin air.

“The Book of Kevin” (written by showrunner Damon Lindelof and Patrick Somerville and directed by Emmy-winning executive producer Mimi Leder) opens in 1844, as a devout woman awaits an impending Second Coming, despite numerous failed predictions and deserting friends and family. The episode shifts to the present day, after a drone missile strike has annihilated the last of the Guilty Remnant cult members in Miracle, Texas. Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) is now the police chief in Miracle, the sacred town that was inexplicably spared from the Sudden Departure seven years ago. The episode ends on an unexpected and bizarre twist as an older Nora Durst (Carrie Coon) delivers mysterious message-carrying doves by bicycle in a rural Australia of the future.

‘The Leftovers’ Season 3 reactions: ‘Holy Kevin that was a good episode of television!’

“I usually love the first episode because there’s this intricate flashback, and the way that this Puritan-esque world merged into the Guilty Remnant was so well done,” Amanda says as she opens up the discussion, adding that “it just all made sense.”

“I was really happy to be watching ‘The Leftovers’ again,” Riley agrees. “I feel like the last time I had this experience watching a show where I looked forward to it so much was ‘Lost,’ also from Damon Lindelof.”

I’ve seen seven of the eight episodes of this season (except for the finale which remains shrouded in mystery), and I confirm that this season will not disappoint. “It’s beautiful. Every episode I watched I kept thinking to myself, wow, Damon Lindelof and Mimi Leder and the whole team, you’ve really outdone yourself,” I opine. “If you really loved Season 2, then this will be completely in your wheelhouse.”

What do you think of the season so far? Post your comments below or join the discussion with other fervent fans of “The Leftovers” in our feisty forums.

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