The Leftovers Just Answered A Huge Question From Last Week's Episode

Photo: Van Redin/HBO.
The final season of The Leftovers is answering a surprising number of mysteries. In the premiere "The Book Of Kevin," we find out Nora is alive and well — and using a fake name — many years into the future. And now viewers are getting some clarity on the strangest scene in episode 3, “Crazy Whitefella Thinking.” The moment in question, of course, is when Kevin Garvey, Sr. happens upon a man in the Australian desert who fatally sets himself on fire.
We get an explainer of the mystery guy’s suicide in "G’Day Melbourne," thanks to Nora’s trip to see the physicists who are supposedly sending people "through" to wherever the Sudden Depature's two percent went. The fraud investigator has to go through a number of trials for the process, including a full physical examination and lying down in an enclosed box for an unsettling amount of time. While Nora (Carrie Coon) passes those tests with flying colors, she fails the alleged final evaluation.
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"Two infant twins are born. One of them will grow up to cure cancer, but only if the other one dies now," Dr. Eden (Katja Herbers) asks. "You don’t have to kill the baby yourself, but you do have to nod to make it happen. Do you nod?" Nora isn’t shocked by the question and asks, "If I nod, how will the baby be killed? Will it suffer or is going to be quick and painless?" The answer is the latter and they are not Nora’s own children. "Kids die every day, what’s one more? And I get to cure cancer? Of course I nod," she says confidently.
This is apparently the wrong answer, since Dr. Eden and her colleague Dr. Matti Bekker run out of their rented warehouse with looks of sheer disappointment and disgust. "I’m afraid we will not be proceeding any further," Dr. Eden says. "Go home Ms. Durst. This isn’t for you."
The entire conversation is a call back to what the suicidal man says in "Whitefella Thinking." When Senior happens upon the guy, he desperately says, "They didn’t take me." While both viewers and Kevin believe he’s talking about the Sudden Departure, the rest of his comments prove he was actually talking about Doctors Eden and Bekker. "Would you kill a baby if it would cure cancer?" he asks. Kevin Sr. says no. "That is exactly what I said," the man sighs before setting himself aflame. Although we now know what that man was referencing, his statement brings up even more questions. Does that mean there is no right answer here? That both killing the baby and saving the baby makes the doctors reject you? Does that mean this is just another test? As Reddit seems to believe, it’s possible the scientists turn everyone down at first to see how they will react and then monitor their behavior. Depending on how subjects handle their latest major rebuffing, they may get a call back.
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Considering the fact Nora closes "G'Day Melbourne" alone in her hotel room after a literally fiery argument with Kevin (Justin Theroux) that would end any relationship, let's hope she never hears from these physicists again. Nora is isolated enough at this point to say yes — and we all know Eden and Bekker are really just incinerating people.
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