The Leftovers Season 1 Review “The Prodigal Son Returns”

The Leftovers Episode 107

Well, after ten episodes, The Leftovers ended its first season with “The Prodigal Son Returns.” And though there were still some of the same problems that have plagued every episode of this series, there’s no doubt this was a moving, heart-wrenching finale for a show that has only gotten better as its gone on.

The long-term timeline of this series finally came into play brilliantly this week, both with the arrival of Christine’s baby and the final step of the Guilty Remnants’ master plan. In terms of the latter, it was great to see elements introduced throughout the season – the replica bodies, the stolen loved one photos, the collection of clothing – come together, even if it was in service of one of the most devastatingly cruel acts imaginable in this world.

As such, when Kevin returned to Mapleton to find the entire town in a full-blown riot, it’s not hard to sympathize with the townsfolk. That’s not to endorse hate crimes, which the beatings and arson were all centered around, but the Guilty Remnant, a group that it’s still hard to fully understand, has been built as a truly villainous cult, and this final act makes it hard to not want to see them injured, especially when Laurie would rather keep going forward with the plan than keep Jill safe.

That said, it was satisfying to see Laurie finally break down and shout to Kevin to save their daughter, even if it was too little to fully exonerate her of her past sins. Similarly, Kevin’s further mental breakdown was jarring, even if it was all just a dream. Of course, with the show, the question always comes up if what we’re seeing has real consequence or not.

Of course, nothing was as powerful as Nora’s discovery of her “family” in her kitchen. As I’ve said, Nora’s emerged as the best character on the show, and seeing all the pain and misery flood back over her was almost too much to take. It was even worse to see her writing a letter to Kevin, as the whole time it felt like we were about to see her commit suicide. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case, though who knows what she’ll be like moving forward next season.

The one thing that really didn’t work for me was Kevin discovering Holy Wayne in the bathroom stall. It just felt so random for them to suddenly meet up, all so Wayne could grant Kevin some sort of final wish. Of course, the question is what Kevin wished for, though I have to imagine he asked to be restored a family, with Tommy abandoning the baby on his doorstep and Nora being compelled not to leave.

What did you think of the finale? Let me know in the comments!