'The Leftovers' Season 3 Will Bring Kevin Garvey (Jr. & Sr.) To The Forefront Of The Mystery
To say that Justin Theroux's character Kevin Garvey got a second chance in Season 2 of The Leftovers would be a massive understatement. Viewers of the HBO series have been graced with the miracle of another season, so expect to see much more of Kevin and his dad in Season 3 of The Leftovers . HBO announced on Dec. 10 that Season 3 of The Leftovers would be happening, but based on the creative direction of showrunner Damon Lindelof, it will also be the series' final season. While knowing the end is nigh is depressing (though not as depressing as Matt's Season 2 struggle to get back into Miracle), having 10 more episodes with Kevin Garvey — and perhaps Kevin Garvey Sr. — brings me solace.
After Kevin died twice (twice!) in Season 2, I was potentially worried that Theroux's character would not make it back to the world of the living. Of course, Theroux is the star of the show, but The Leftovers isn't your regular drama, so I never want to underestimate the ways that Lindelof and Tom Perrotta (the other creator of the series and the author of the book The Leftovers is based on) will wreak havoc on me emotionally. Thankfully, Kevin was reunited with his family — sans his dad — in the world of the living in the Season 2 finale. And, while Kevin Garvey Sr. is in Australia, physically far away from his son in Texas, Lindelof teased that he will play a large part in Season 3.
In an interview with TVLine before the series was officially renewed, Michael Ausiello asked Lindelof about his ideas for Season 3, and Lindelof said:
"The one thing that I would say to you is that Scott Glenn is a starting pitcher that we have used as a relieving pitcher. I would really like to see some more of Kevin Senior. And not just in the present, but in the past."
Kevin Sr. didn't have a lot of screen time in Season 2, but before Kevin, Nora, Jill, and Lily moved to Jarden, Texas, Kevin's father visited them in Mapleton, New York after being released from the psychiatric hospital. Instead of Kevin Sr. being "cured" of the voices he hears, he admitted that he just started to do what they tell him to do — something that would parallel Kevin Jr.'s journey later in the series. Kevin Sr. announced he was moving to Perth, Australia and his son didn't see him again until he was in the afterlife hotel in "International Assassin."
Kevin Sr.'s presence in the epic "International Assassin" episode was especially important since he helped guide Kevin to rid himself of Patti Levin. He appeared on Kevin's hotel TV and the two were able to communicate because of the fire that Kevin Sr. was burning with a few aboriginals in his drug-fueled vision quest. (Is it wrong of me that I was reminded of Sirius Black communicating with Harry Potter through the fireplace?) Kevin Sr. somehow connected from the world of the living to the afterlife that Kevin was in — even claiming that he was staying in the same hotel room as his son in a different reality.
Kevin Sr. is a truly fascinating character, portrayed by the talented Scott Glenn, so I am thrilled to know that Lindelof is interested in not only giving him more airtime, but also showing his backstory and how he came to be this man who is in touch with the dead. And, since his son presumably inherited this unique gift, perhaps Lindelof will give viewers some answers on how — and why — Kevin Jr. was able to escape death twice. Ausiello asked Lindelof in the same TVLine interview if any person in The Leftovers could cheat death with Virgil's assistance like Kevin Jr. did and Lindelof said,
"Oh, boy. The answer to that question probably illuminates or gives away things that the show itself has not yet. All I’ll say is Kevin is the one that Virgil approaches. Virgil doesn’t approach or offer his help to anyone else. He offers it to Kevin. Whatever is guiding Virgil points him to Kevin, and that was very intentional on our part as storytellers."
Both Kevin Garveys have an important link to the spiritual realm and now that the audience knows that the voices they hear are not just in their imagination, Lindelof could really go places with the men exploring their abilities in Season 3. Could they have an ancestor that had these same connections and now they are continuing to be passed down genetically? Will their awareness of this other world be socially accepted instead of perceived as mental illness? And, could the two of them possibly help to bring peace to some of the billions of humans who are struggling to understand where their loved ones disappeared to on Oct. 14? I'd love a Garvey family origin story, but I'd really love to see the father and son bond in their acceptance of the other world they are both intertwined with.
While I'm not fool enough to think that Lindelof will ever fully explain the Kevins, I'm just content with the fact that the Garvey men sound like they'll be front and center in Season 3. And, Lindelof tongue-in-cheekily acknowledged that you shouldn't really expect to get many answers from the final season, saying, "the most exciting thing for us as storytellers would be to bring The Leftovers to a definitive end. And by 'definitive,' we mean 'wildly ambiguous but hopefully mega-emotional,' as all things related to this show are destined to be."
Since I've considered The Leftovers to be the best show on television even before Season 2 aired, I'll take all the wildly ambiguous and mega-emotional storylines Lindelof is ready to throw my way concerning the Garveys. As John Murphy violently demonstrated in Miracle during Season 2, people often struggle with accepting the unknown and the illogical. Now that Kevin Jr. survived death twice, he can begin to accept his father's truth, whether or not he understands it. Lindelof may give more background on the Garveys in Season 3, but I'm also preparing myself to follow the lyrics of the Season 2 opening credits' song and "just let the mystery be."