This was one wild episode. It was maybe the strangest episode of the entire show so far and that’s saying a lot! It was also the third and final episode of the Matt Jamison arc. Season 1 – “Two Boats and a Helicopter. Season 2 – “No Room At The Inn. Now we have “It’s A Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World” which is a play on the 1963 all star zany comedy It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”.
Matt Jamison can be infuriating with his zealous belief in God’s plan. He’s paid some hefty prices for his belief including losing his wife and child due to his fanatic faith. He believes that something special is going to happen on the 7th anniversary of the Sudden Departure and that Kevin Garvey must be in Miracle, Texas in order for this special something to happen. Unfortunately, Kevin is stuck in Melbourne, Australia. No problem! Matt…er…God…uh Matt has a plan!
“Oh, it’s me again. I don’t know if you’re getting my messages, but there’s been a nuclear incident in the South Pacific. I’ve secured transportation. I’m coming to get you, Kevin.” Matt Jamison
The episode opens with a submarine. A man strips down with only a key around his neck. He knocks out another man and takes the key from around that man’s neck and starts running, naked down the corridor being chased by other men. What the hell? It’s a French nuclear sub and this guy is going to shoot off a nuke! He locks himself in the room and by some amazing physical ability is able to turn one key with his hand and the other on the opposite side of the room with his toes! This illustrates the madness that is bubbling up over the upcoming 7th anniversary and fears of the end of the world. This is the explosion that was talked about at the end of the last episode that caused all flights to be cancelled.
Matt is not to be denied. He finds a member of his flock that is a pilot and offers him $20K to fly him, John and Michael to Melbourne on a ‘rescue mission’ to bring Kevin back to Miracle in time for the 7th anniversary. When they arrive at the airport Matt is upset that John brings along Laurie. Unable to convince her to stay behind off they go!
Laurie believes Kevin is delusional and the only one that would be able to reach him and get him to come home. Matt of course doesn’t think Kevin is delusional at all. He thinks Kevin is a prophet. Which is true? Could they both be true?
THE FERRY TO TASMANIA
The plane is forced to land in Tasmania and the only means of transport to Melbourne is the ferry. Only it’s been bought out by a cultish group who worship a virile lion named Frasier and who plan to have a massive orgy for the eleven hour boat ride. They’ve even brought along one of Frasier’s descendants who are being transported to a Melbourne zoo to spread Frasier’s seed. Matt gets the leader of the group to allow them on board by telling the dirtiest joke he knows.
“What’s the difference between a pimple and a priest? A pimple waits until you’re 12 to come on your face.”
Welcome aboard! But she issued a warning: “If you utter his name after midnight you will become him”
The four of them settle in at a table in the bar when Matt’s suddenly has a serious nose bleed. He had taken some pills on the plane which he told Michael was for ‘allergies’ but it looks much more serious. Michael tells matt to tell Laurie that he’s sick but Matt won’t do it. Perhaps he believes he will be healed and that Kevin can somehow accomplish this but he needs to be in Miracle. After all, his wife, Mary was healed in Miracle.
“You used to burn men’s houses down for pretending to be what they’re not. What happened to you, John? What happened to your wrath?” Matt
“He found peace.” Laurie
“He thinks his daughter is still alive. That’s not peace.” Matt
Matt and Laurie really get to spar with each other in this episode. If this were an episode of LOST, Laurie would be Jack (Man of Science) and Matt would be Locke (Man of Faith). They seem to have reached some type of mutual respect when they both acknowledged they believed each other to be good persons but Matt breaks his promise to her not to tell John that Kevin thought he saw Evie and that was what made him call Laurie. Matt, like all fanatics, is very selfish. He will do or say anything to convince himself that he is right.
“Ta-da. You’re saved.” God/David Burton
The best scene in the episode though has to be Matt’s conversation with God. That is to say, one David Burton (Bill Camp) an Olympic bronze medalist turned sportscaster. The story goes that Burton fell while mountain climbing and broke his neck. His friend moved him into a cave while he went for help. When he returned he found Burton alive and well. Ever since then Burton has been under the delusion that he is God. He had little calling cards made up that tell his story. Of course, Matt is offended by this and calls it ‘blasphemy’; This from the man who wrote a gospel about his friend Kevin who he believes to be the messiah.
When Matt witnesses Burton toss a man from the ferry he tries to alert the captain and his friends but no one seems to believe him. The boat is a state of chaos and sex and he’s been acting strangely so why would they? He takes it upon himself to confront Burton. He knocks him out, ties him up and with the wheelchair he borrowed from the infirmary, he wheels him over to the storage area and parks him right next to the lion. Matt’s conversation with Burton quickly turns into his own personal conversation with God and the questioning of his life’s work and very existence.
Matt: The Sudden Departure was you.
Burton: Uh huh.
Burton: Because I could.
Matt: You’re gonna have to do better than that.
Matt: Because there has to be a reason.
Matt: Everything in my life, I’ve done for a reason.
Matt: To help people, to guide them, to ease their suffering, even though I suffered myself. I sacrificed my happiness. I let my family abandon me.
Matt: FOR YOU!!!
Burton: Everything you’ve done, you’ve done because you thought I was watching because you thought I was judging. But I wasn’t. I’m not. You’ve never done anything for me. You’ve done it for yourself.
Matt: Is that why you’re killing me?
Burton, as crazy as he is, is right. If Burton really is God then he’s the God of the Old testament; Cruel, vengeful, arbitrary. Matt unties him and lets him go. The Captain later tells Matt that a man’s body had been recovered in the sea and that authorities will be waiting in Melbourne to arrest Burton.
John, Laurie and Michael find Matt on the upper deck looking solemnly. Laurie asks if he’s alright. Matt turns to her and simply tells her, “No, Laurie. I’m dying.” But before anyone can respond they witness the death of God. The police board the ferry to arrest Burton. Burton sees this and starts running. Meanwhile, some animal rights activists release the lion. The lion chases down David Burton and mauls him. Matt turns to the others and says “That’s the guy I was telling you about.”
Has Matt lost his faith? It sure seems that way. When he says ‘that’s the guy I was telling you about’ he may have been saying that to his flock back in Miracle. Now that ‘guy’ is dead.
SIDE OF LEFTOVERS
Bill Camp appeared in the Season 2 episode International Assassin. He is the man on the bridge that Kevin asks directions of and also as the man who ran the karaoke show in the hotel lounge. Could he have been David Burton then? He could have been though during the time he had supposedly died from the mountain fall. I doubt it will be explained, though.
Matt says the name ‘Frasier’ at one point and is immediately mauled by the lion worshipers who strap him down and appeared to be about to be raped. Somehow he managed to break free. This was a scene right out of Caligula!
John tells Matt that they will not get back to Miracle in time for the 7th anniversary and that whatever is going to happen it’s going to happen here (Australia). It seems like they will eventually find Kevin and Nora by the finale but what in the world is going to happen? This last season has been filled with surprises and shocking twists. I can’t wait for the next one.