1. Did The Leftovers really use the Perfect Strangers theme song as its own?
Yes. Yes it did. Here’s a refresher on the Perfect Strangers’ running gag.
2. Wait, was that Brett Butler from Grace Under Fire as the wife of the Man in the Pillar?
Yes, yes it was, and that wasn’t Brett Butler’s first appearance on the series, either.
3. The credits say that the episode was written by “Tha Lonely Donkey Kong & The Specialist Contagious.” What the hell does that mean?
“Tha Lonely Donkey Kong” and “Tha Specialist Contagious” are names from the Wu Tang Clan name generator, a nod to the Wu Tang Clan tattoo that Nora sports in the episode. I’m assuming those are the Wu-Tang names for Lindeloff and Tom Perrotta. (The Wu Tang Clan name generator also gave Donald Glover the rap name, Childish Gambino).
4. What time did the Man in the Pillar die?
At 4:20, of course, which is not only a reference to pot, but to a song about pot by the Wu-Tang Clan.
5. Besides Nora’s tattoo, were there any other references to the Wu-Tang Clan?
I’m pretty sure the OdB here is a sly reference to Old Dirty Bastard. The Man in the “Pillar” could also be a reference to the “7 Pillars of Wisdom” from The Tao of Wu, written by RZA.
6. Did Mary slip back into a coma after she left Jarden, Texas?
Apparently not, which presumably means there must be some other explanation for Mary waking up from her coma besides being in Miracle. This feels like one of those things we’ll probably never get an answer to. That’s OK.
7. Is the Low Amplitude Denzinger Radiation (LADR) device that Mark-Linn Baker was promoting a scam?
My guess is yes, and that this is all really an elaborate ploy to get Kevin to Melbourne Australia. If it’s real, it’s not like we’ll ever know. The bodies either go to the other side, or they disintegrate. It’s another one of The Leftovers many unknowables.
8. Did Reginald VelJohnson depart in the original Departure?
Some may not remember it, but Reginald VelJohnson — who played Carl Winslow in Family Matters — was actually a character spun-off from Perfect Strangers, so I gotta wonder: Did he depart, too?
9. Does Mark Linn-Baker actually have two degrees from Yale?
He actually does! However, he also has a partner. In real life, he’s married to his second wife (his first wife was actually Adrianne Lobel, whose father wrote the Frog and Toad series of books).
10. Will Nora use the LADR device?
Probably not, because we have seen future Nora already in last week’s flash forward, unless of course future Nora was in the place where people depart.
11. What happened to Lily?
Now we know that Christine — Lily’s biological mother — came back for Lily, and that Nora voluntarily gave her up (though, not happily). One side note here, however: In the first season, Holy Wayne — the biological father of Lily — said that Christine is more important to mankind than anything else. It’s quite possible we haven’t seen the last of Christine and Lily.
12. Was that a Wu Tang song while Nora and Erika were on the trampoline?
You’re damn right. “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off).”
13. Why did Nora blow up the picture of the Man from the Pillar and hang it near the Pillar?
Spite. Anger. Denial. I dunno. Because she doesn’t want to admit to herself that there might be another Departure. Because she wants to make others feel as helpless and hurt as she feels. Because she wants to rob others of hope, because Nora feels none. Because Nora is kind of a jerk. She’s earned it.
14. Why does Kevin try to suffocate himself?
He doesn’t want to die; he just wants to remind himself of his mortality, because part of him believes that he might be immortal. Kevin may have a Captain Jack situation going.
15. Why doesn’t Nora want a baby with Kevin?
Because she lost two kids to the Departure and another to Christine. Because children have brought her more grief than any of us will ever know. Because she doesn’t want to invite the prospect of that pain in her life again.
16. What happened with Erika?
Evie died, Erika left her husband, she moved into another home and she bought a trampoline. It seems pretty straightforward. What we don’t really know is why Erika left John Murphy, although it was strongly hinted at last season that John abused both Erika and Evie in some way, something we haven’t seen any hint of this season yet, especially in John’s relationship with Laura Garvey. That could yet be another secret waiting to be revealed. If John pushed Evie away, why doesn’t Erika seem to have a lot of hostility toward John? Why would she leave Michael in John’s custody? I mean: John is a bad man. He burned down a man’s house. He shot Kevin in the chest. Did Evie’s death change transform him? Is that why he’s wearing glasses that look like Evie’s now?
17. What was the deal with that final sequence?
This seems fairly straightforward, too. There’s some sect of people who believe that a man named Kevin who is a police chief can save humanity, but to do so, he has to travel to the “other side,” as he did in “International Assassin.” They confused this Kevin for either the Kevin who lives in Miracle, or Kevin Sr., who lives on the same property as Kevin the police chief in Melbourne. The only Kevin who can go to the other wise, however, appears to be Messiah Kevin.
We know from the Season 3 trailer that, at some point, Kevin Sr. drowns Kevin, Jr. to help him pass through to the other side.
18. How do these women know about Kevin?
I don’t know. Maybe they read Matt’s Book of Kevin somehow?
19. Who are the 5 best showrunners currently working on television?
After this episode, I’m pretty sure it is, in this order: 5. Tina Fey/Mike Schur (tied). 4. Matthew Weiner. 3. Noah Hawley. 2. Damon Lindelof 1. Vince Gilligan