Miracles happen once in a while, whether or not you believe. The Leftovers season 2 finale bids farewell to the Miracle we knew.
Did The Leftovers season 2 find the home they were looking for? If critics have their way, HBO would open their doors and invite the series in like an old friend for a third season. While that decision sits in a pile on the executives’ desks, it is hard to say that Kevin Garvey and company gave anything but their best in the series’ breakout second season.
The Leftovers season 2 was less about the mystery and more about the heart each character. What made them feel safe? What makes them feel whole? Did a newborn and a man by her side make Nora any less affected by the disappearance of her entire family? No, it did not help her outrun numerous people trying to tell her their departure could possibly be her fault. Kevin had another voice, this one more real to him than anyone else, driving him to suicide. Would he be better off without a family and a life of questions? Could he ever find normalcy?
When Michael takes the lectern in Jarden’s church service to remember the Departure, he tells a story about a time when he and Evie overflowed their bathtub. When Evie was asked why she did it, her response was, “I wanted to see what would happen.” Something has to happen and decisions in the universe of The Leftovers are made until something causes a large enough reaction.
This season alone, Kevin Garvey tried to kill himself, scream at Patti, move his family to a new city, and ultimately die and return eight hours later in a pile of dirt until something happened. John Murphy took the hand print of every single person in town until someone turned up as a match. When he went looking for answers from Kevin, his questions were not receiving a response that appeased him, so he shot Kevin in the chest.
So how do we wrap up our time in Miracle, TX? Did the event finally trigger something for everyone?
Another trip to the afterlife hotel
Yes, Kevin Garvey may be down, but he is certainly not out. Opting for the Mapleton uniform this time around, Kevin rushes down to the lobby looking for a way back home. This time he stumbles upon the same British man who met him on the bridge in Miracle. Instead of drowning a figment of his imagination, Kevin simply needs to sing a tune. He chooses “Homeward Bound” and wakes up in the dog shelter where John left him to die.
The GR’s moment
Meg infiltrates Miracle, leaving her trailer on the bridge as she is arrested, and a whisper lingering in Tommy’s ear, “Family is everything.” The family she chooses to accept is the GR and it happens to include Evie and the two girls who staged their departure. Erika breaks through the barricade as the GR sets a countdown that puts a town on edge for an hour. At the sound of the buzzer, the GR who are scattered throughout the encampment lead a march into Miracle Park and anarchy ensues. Miracle becomes a site of destruction, lost hope, and joins the rest of the nation as a town recovering from great loss.
In the flurry of activity, Nora is taunted by a member of the encampment claiming Lily was stolen and does not belong to Nora. Stealing the baby from Nora’s arms, Nora chases her down to find Lily stranded in a stampede on the bridge. Tommy comes to their rescue and holes them up in an abandoned trailer until everything dies down.
Geography doesn’t matter
Kevin barely makes it to the hospital to stitch himself up, but a familiar face finds him struggling to make it back to the life he thinks he deserves. Whether he does or doesn’t is up to interpretation, but John Murphy decides that if his family will take him back into his home, Kevin should have the chance to find his own home.
Just like the finale of season 1, Kevin finds himself bleeding outside of his home wondering what he will find when he opens the door. Inside he sees that Nora, Lily, Jill, Tommy, Laurie, Matt, and Mary are all waiting for him to return. This room of people looking for something to cling onto and finding it in each other is what the series wanted the characters to find all along.