We are in Australia now. There is something otherworldly about the place, the large stretches of open land, the kangaroos hopping around, a descendant from another time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. At the end of the last episode, Nora is lured to Melbourne, by the promise of going through to a place where the Departed are supposedly languishing, alive and well, but in another dimension, via a machine that uses radiation. (Producer Damon Lindelof loves time travel, but I will personally defenestrate him if this is what the "device" turns out to do.)
Kevin, sensing something is weird, goes with her, but unbeknownst to everyone in the Garvey inner circle, the elder Garvey is still raising hell in Australia. The end of episode 2 followed a gang of women on horses kidnapping a police officer named Kevin. He’s a brutish type, but the women found pages of the new scripture written by Matt and Joan and believe he is The One, despite his confused protestations, and they test out their theory by drowning him in the lake. When he doesn’t wake up from the dead, they realized they just committed murder. Oops.
That’s when we see the real Kevin Garvey Sr., rising from his slumber and asking them “What are you ladies up to?” The rest of the episode tells us more what he’s been up to (and you can imagine, it’s mostly no good).
The elder Garvey, played by Scott Glenn, is an onerous asshole, a real obnoxious pain in the ass. He goes on two-week-long acid trips and is convinced he knows the Truth. He’s probably delusional, but man, DOES HE BELIEVE THOSE DELUSIONS. He’s been traversing Australia’s sacred sites, peeping the native dances and songs, recording them, and learning the songs and dances bit by bit, with the idea that if he does the entire dance, he’ll be able to stop the floods and the end of the world which is coming right up in a few days.
He’s only got one more piece to collect, that of which is known by Christopher Sunday (played by David Gulpilil) but he’s found out and arrested, because it’s illegal for whites to trespass and the recording of the songs is considered theft. Wily motherfucker that he is, the elder Garvey escapes and finds Christopher himself. But the law catches up to him and in a freak accident, Chris is sent to the hospital, taking with him the last piece of information to stop the end of the world (supposedly). Kevin Garvey Sr. is despondent. His only hope is his son, who he also thinks is the third coming (though, he’s dismissive of the book that John and Matt have written since it doesn’t give him enough credit).
“Crazy Whitefella Thinking” is a “bottle” episode, but whether or not you like it will have much to do with how much you like spending time with this character. The entire crux of the season seems to rest on the question of faith vs. insanity: are true believers just delusional or are they actually seeing reality in a way the rest of us can't? At the end, Garvey Sr. tells Grace, the woman who drowned the police officer, as she tearfully admits that she was crazy for believing in the third coming: “No, I don’t think you’re crazy. I just think you’ve got the wrong Kevin.” But we don’t know if it’s him, or his son. Next week: We go all in on Australia and find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Of note: Each episode of The Leftovers has used different music for the opening credits. This one is particularly winking: A lounge act remake of “Personal Jesus” by Richard Cheese.