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"I Live Here Now" is the tenth episode of Season 2, and overall the twentieth produced hour of The Leftovers. It originally aired on December 6, 2015.

Analysis Edit

Recurring Themes Edit

  • Memories: Kevin has a flashback to seeing David Burton on the bridge in “International Assassin.” While singing, Kevin has flashes of him smoking (from “The Garveys at Their Best”), the National Geographic magazine (from “Solace for Tired Feet”), the party for his dad (from “The Garveys at Their Best”), and Nora smiling (from “A Matter of Geography”).
  • Animals: John takes Kevin to Jarden’s pet quarantine and shoots him there. When Kevin wakes up, all the animals have been let free, but the Garveys’ dog waited for Kevin. However, upon encountering the riot outside, the dog flees Jarden, running away across the bridge.

Cultural References Edit

Trivia Edit

  • Damon Lindelof said that, while this episode breaks the season-long rule on keeping a focused point of view in each episode, and returns to the more ensemble-driven feel of most of the first season, the writers compromised by ensuring that each scene was from a specific character’s P.O.V., and by transitioning from one P.O.V. to another between scenes (e.g., Laurie lying in Mary’s hospital bed transitions to a closeup of Mary in the following scene).[1]
  • Evie’s phone says it is 2:52 when the girls abandon the car. This is consistent with the earthquake occurring mere seconds or minutes thereafter, as John in “Axis Mundi” says it is 3:00 when he leaves Evie a voicemail following the earthquake. It seems that Evie and her friends did not go straight to the swimming hole after leaving the Murphys’, since they leave more than four hours before the quake (John tells Evie to be home by 11). Presumably, they had to pick up their supplies and perhaps make other preparations before exiting Jarden.
  • When the girls take their supplies from the car, Evie appears to hand Violet bolt cutters. This may explain why the fire department’s bolt cutters are missing in “A Most Powerful Adversary”: Evie used her father’s access to the station to steal them. Notably, a secret path into (and out of) Jarden requiring box cutters is seen in “No Room at the Inn,” and the girls presumably exited this way.
  • Tom says, “There is no family,” echoing a G.R. tenet we previously saw Patti write to Kevin in “B.J. and the A.C.
  • Evie writing to Erika, “You understand,” calls back to Patti telling Kevin, “You understand,” as she kills herself in “Cairo.” It also references Erika in “Lens” telling Nora that Evie wouldn’t understand if Erika had left.
  • From the moment that Kevin gave John his handprint in “A Most Powerful Adversary,” the writers knew that Kevin would have a second trip to the afterlife in the finale, without knowing what that trip would entail. Tom Perrotta pitched the concept of Kevin having to sing karaoke for his trial because, “For someone who doesn’t want to sing, that would be terrifying.” The writers’ room initially reached a consensus that Kevin should sing Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” (which is on the karaoke wheel in the episode), but Madonna refused to grant the rights. They then picked two possibilities, “Homeward Bound” and the Platters’ “The Great Pretender,” before narrowing it down. Justin Theroux dislikes singing and was “really scared,” according to director Mimi Leder.[2]
  • The Miracle welcome video from “A Matter of Geography” and “Lens” reappears.
  • Meg and the missing girls mockingly sing the Miracle anthem, previously heard in “Axis Mundi” and “Lens,” and in the church service earlier in this episode.
  • The riot is deliberately reminiscent of the riot in Mapleton in the first season finale. Lindelof said that when the writers began working on season two, they wanted to approach it like a novel, and looked to Tom Perrotta to get a sense of what a theoretical sequel novel to The Leftovers would be like, and in particular how it would end. They ultimately embraced the theme of, “Wherever you go, there you are,” and wanted to show Kevin bearing witness to Jarden suffering the same type of G.R. attack his own hometown suffered. Perrotta himself pitched the final scene, with Kevin returning home to find an even fuller house than in the first season's ending.[3]
  • John and Kevin’s waves as John enters his house recreate the moment when they first see each other in “Axis Mundi.”
  • Aside from the flashback to the earthquake in “Axis Mundi,” this episode has three additional earthquakes, all of which occur on 10/14/2015: when Kevin climbs out of his grave, when Mary wakes up, and when Kevin is about to return home at the end of the episode. The first three instances (including the flashback) seem to potentially be concurrent with characters returning from the "other place"; however, the final quake occurs well after Kevin has returned from the "hotel."
  • Damon Lindelof said, “the last scene of the finale very purposely and unambiguously refers back to the cavewoman [in the opening of 'Axis Mundi']. Not in a story way, but in a character, emotional, thematic way.”[4]

Music Edit

  • "Pop Off" by Foolish (featuring Icy Black & Mr. Mossberg) (opening scene, playing as the girls pick up Evie; previously featured in "Axis Mundi" in the same scene)
  • "Lean On" by Major Lazer (featuring MØ & DJ Snake) (Evie turns on the radio while staging Departure)
  • "Let Your Love Flow" by Bellamy Brothers (Nora turns on Matt's radio; previously played by Matt in "A Matter of Geography" and "No Room at the Inn")
  • Sanctus, D. 872, composed by Franz Schubert, performed by the Choir of Trinity College & Cambridge (Mary wakes up and is reunited with Matt; previously used as a Matt/Mary theme in "Orange Sticker" and "No Room at the Inn")
  • "November" by Max Richter (John runs to see Evie on the bridge)
  • "Miracle Anthem" by cast (performed at the church by the choir; later performed by Liv Tyler & Jasmin Savoy Brown as Meg and Evie) (previously heard in "Axis Mundi" and "Lens")
  • "Dona Nobis Pacem 2" by Max Richter (Erika confronts Evie on the bridge)
  • "A Blessing" by Max Richter (the G.R. crosses the bridge to Jarden)
  • "Departure (Reflection)" by Max Richter (Nora chases the woman who stole Lily; final scene / end credits)
  • Nabucco: Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves ("Va, Pensiero, Sull'ali Dorate") composed by Guiseppe Verdi, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, David Parry, the London Philharmonic Choir & the London Chorus (Kevin back in the hotel; previously used throughout "International Assassin")
  • "Angel of the Morning" by Trish Murphy (this Austin-based singer-songwriter plays the karaoke singer before Kevin, covering the Juice Newton version of this song)
  • "Homeward Bound" by Justin Theroux (Kevin sings the Simon & Garfunkel song)
  • "Kyabe Knights" by NOVA (Kevin walks through the riot in Jarden)
  • "Where Is My Mind" by Maxence Cyrin (John patches Kevin up at the Urgent Care and walks him home; previously used in "Off Ramp" and "A Most Powerful Adversary," and the Pixies' original recording was also previously used in "A Matter of Geography" and "A Most Powerful Adversary")

References Edit

  1. https://uproxx.com/sepinwall/damon-lindelof-on-the-leftovers-im-fighting-for-the-life-of-the-show/
  2. https://www.indiewire.com/2016/06/the-leftovers-karaoke-scene-finale-damon-lindelof-justin-theroux-oral-history-interview-1201690160/
  3. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/damon-lindelof-leftovers-finale-feeling-846253
  4. https://variety.com/2015/tv/features/leftovers-season-2-finale-damon-lindelof-cavewoman-scene-1201649945/
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