“If I were going to kill myself I’d just go scuba diving,” says Nora nonchalantly to Laurie Garvey/ Murphy, as they sit in the hippie wagon with Matt, casing out the two Swedish scientists with the radiation time travel/suicide device that supposedly transports you to the place where the Departed are currently living.
Nora continues: “There are lots of way to die when you’re scuba diving. Your oxygen tank can break. You can get a bubble in your blood, that gives you a stroke.”
“I know,” says Laurie, “I’m certified.”
Nora continues: “’And Laurie Murphy was certified.’…They’re protected, they’ll never know you twisted the knob in the wrong direction.”
And, now, neither will we.
The song playing over the opening credits—which has changed for each episode—isn’t subtle: Gravediggaz, “1-800 Suicide.”
"Certified" (nice double meaning, writers) begins and ends with a suicide attempt—the first one shows Laurie post-Departure downing a bunch of pills, changing her mind, and joining the Guilty Remnant cult. The last scene shows her sitting on a boat in the middle of the ocean in scuba diving gear on seventh anniversary of the Departure, telling her, “Now or never.” He’s just talking about a storm coming, but she’s just had a chat with her daughter that seems awfully final considering her daughter doesn’t know she in Australia about to scuba dive to her death.
In case you were wondering if the Leftovers would end like Lost in some nondenominational church in neverneverland/purgatory/Damon Lindelof’s brain, it seems like we’re being steered toward something with more decisiveness. As Kevin prepares to be Baby Jesus 3.0, Laurie and Kevin confess their secrets to each other (she finally tells him that she was pregnant, and the fetus is one of the Departed), and they say their (maybe forever?) goodbyes. If Kevin isn’t Baby Jesus 3.0, and doesn’t make it back from the dead, then he’s basically committing suicide. If he comes back but he fails to bring back the secret song that stops the end of the world, then everybody’s dead, anyway.
Nora, having found the radiation time traveling scientists, says goodbye to Laurie (Matt, having lost his faith, decides it’s best to stay with family for the Big Day), and not see if Kevin is going to rise again. He hands the burnt new New Testament back to Laurie and tells to tell Kevin he’s sorry he wrote it.
Though the episode has an appearance from nearly every major character, it is 100 percent about Laurie’s journey. We first met her as one of the leaders of the cult, and she’s always been a little menacing; her therapy background allows her to get inside people’s heads, drill into their psyche and tell them what they want to hear with seeming sincerity. John tells her he’ll happily go home and abandon the Baby Jesus 3.0 drowning plot, but she says to him, “You have to see this through.” She doesn’t want him to, but she knows he needs to.
At dinner that night, while they wait for Kevin to get back from his Big Think, she watches calmly as everyone at the table drops their head into their soup. But not before she explains calmly to Michael, that in her role at the Last Supper, she’s not Doubting Thomas, but Judas.
“Doubting is easy, because doubting costs you nothing,” she says to her table of drugged up friends. “But Judas, he was surrounded by people who went on and on how special Jesus was. But he betrayed them anyway. He believed in something and he acted on it.”
It is a brilliant, hair-raising, creepy moment.
It’s Michael, half asleep, who perhaps gives Laurie the permission she needs.
“And then he killed himself,” he says of Judas. “He hung himself.”
“I didn’t know that part of the story,” says Laurie.
Armed with knowledge, it would seem that she’s going to take Nora’s advice, and Judas’s story as literally as possible. Though she's been the most realistic, grounded person out of of everyone—she is the one who tells Kevin he's just having a psychotic break, not actually seeing dead people, she thinks the "bible" is preposterous—in a way, Laurie's final act is not that shocking. After all, as a former cult member, she was once the truest believer of them all.