The Leftovers season 3, episode 5 recap: ‘It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World’


Matt sets off to Australia to retrieve Kevin in another trippy episode of “The Leftovers.”

As the title suggests, The Leftovers, “It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World” is this season’s installment centering on Reverend Matt Jamison, who’s convinced that his sister’s boyfriend, Kevin Garvey, needs to be back home in Miracle, Texas on the seventh anniversary of the Sudden Departure on October 14th.

That mission turns out to be a big undertaking over the fact that all planes are grounded in Melbourne thanks to an explosion in the Pacific caused by a French naval officer who’s seen stripping naked, assaulting his captain and launching a nuclear missile in the opening scene, explaining the explosion that was mentioned at the end of “G’day Melbourne.”

That’s far from the last bit of nudity in an episode set entirely on a ferry booked by a lion-worshiping orgy traveling from Tasmania to Melbourne. Matt is joined by John, his son Michael and, much to his chagrin, John’s new wife Laurie, who blames Matt’s insistence that her ex-husband is the second coming of Christ for his latest psychotic break, though she’s vague on the details at first.

Credit: HBO

Like past Matt-centric installments, the reverend is seemingly tested by God and suffers multiple instances of abuse, this time mostly at the hands of a man claiming to be God, as well as the sex cult known as the Pride of Frasier (a real-life lion famous in the 70’s) who at one point try to forcefully take his semen. We also get hints of something being wrong with Matt after he suffers multiple nose bleeds.

After one such occurrence, the ferry’s first mate asks if he’s been hit by God. A confused Matt soon learns that he’s referring to a man wearing a red cap who claims he’s God. Matt approaches him but he refuses to speak, instead, handing him a card which simply reads, “I Am God.”

We later learn that the mysterious man is named David Burton, a former decathlete and sports announcer who “died” three years ago during a rock climbing accident, only to resurrect a short time later without a scratch on him, immediately claiming that he was God.

His name and face should also be familiar to viewers given that a news report about his alleged resurrection not only was featured in a past episode, but the man appeared in last season’s “International Assassin” episode where he informed Kevin that he had to sing karaoke in order to get back home.

Matt later witnesses “God” throwing a man overboard. He shouts for help but everyone on the ferry is too preoccupied to care, so he decides to grab a life preserver to jump in to save him himself. It’s ultimately an unsuccessful attempt, and he also fails to convince the captain of David Burton’s actions.

Undeterred, Matt goes to look for the woman who greeted them at the entrance to find her passenger list so he can identify the missing passenger. Unfortunately, he utters the name “Frasier” past midnight, which she had previously warned them not to do, “lest that man become him.”

During a reconciliatory conversation between Laurie and Matt, she informs him what she’s found out about Frasier and his pride. It turns out that the older lion was taken to a zoo in the 70’s where he impregnated half a dozen lionesses who had previously refused to mate with the younger lions found at the zoo, fathering 35 cubs.

They even have a lion on board locked in a cage that’s supposedly a direct descendant of Frasier. The pride is on a trip to take him from zoo to zoo to spread his seed. Laurie also lets it slip that Kevin saw a woman who he thought was Evie in Australia, but requests that he not tell John, who still believes that his daughter might be alive. But Matt later informs him of Kevin’s delusion anyway, which gets a non-reaction from John.

After Matt breaks free from the pride’s ritual, he runs after David Burton only to actually be punched in the nose by “God.” However, he’s comforted by a young woman who agrees with his assessment that the group on-board is sick, and requests that he “stay on the boat until it’s safe,” once the ferry docks in Melbourne.

Matt, however, insists on getting justice so he hits David Burton with the back of an ax, ties him up in a wheelchair, and demands that he confess to throwing the man overboard. “God” admits to being responsible for that action as well as the Sudden Departure simply because he can.

That’s not good enough for Matt, who desperately argues that there has to be a reason behind everything. However, “God” claims that Matt’s supposed selfless actions all these years have actually been selfish.

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“Everything you’ve done, you’ve done because you thought I was watching… But I wasn’t. I’m not,” he says.

Matt then questions whether that’s why he’s killing him as a punishment, confirming that he’s suffering from a life-threatening illness in a moment where he seems to speak to God through this impostor. Burton tells him that he’ll save his life if he unties him. Matt does as he says. Burton snaps his fingers and sarcastically says, “Ta-da, you’re saved,” before walking away.

It’s at that moment that a light bulb seems to go off in Matt’s head, and he reemerges the next day a changed man as the ferry docks in Melbourne. The captain finds him and admits that he was right about David Burton after a dead body was found in the water, and asks that he speak to police for questioning after David is taken into custody as long as he doesn’t have more pressing matters at hand. Matt quickly agrees, setting his search for Kevin aside.

He then joins the rest of the group and casually informs them that he’s dying due to the return of leukemia that he suffered from as a boy. Police then arrive to arrest David Burton, who attempts to get away but is attacked by the lion after he’s let out of his cage by the young woman who spoke to Matt after he got punched in the face. The episode ends as Matt faces the camera and tells the others, “That’s the guy I was telling you about,” while gunshots are heard in the background.

Next: The Leftovers season 3, episode 4 recap: ‘G’Day Melbourne’

Next week, the entire gang reunite in Australia, as

the anniversary of the Sudden Departure draws near.

The Leftovers final season continues Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.