Throughout the first season of The Leftovers, we’ve watched the journey of Rev. Matt Jamison. We’ve seen him in moments of holy transcendence, moments of darkness, and moments where he struggles with his own humanity.
In short, we’ve seen Matt Jamison as three different biblical figures: Jesus, Judas, and Job.
Rev. Matt Jamison as Jesus
It would be difficult to watch Rev. Matt Jamison walk out on his faith and doubt his sincerity. He desires to demonstrate a life modeled after Jesus, and many times actually succeeds. We see him attempt to love his enemies – the Guilty Remnant – and be vocal about wanting to see them redeemed. We see him minister to the lame (his wife) with love, care, and compassion. In the final episode of the season, “The Prodigal Son Returns,” Matt comes as a savior to Kevin. As Matt is about to close Patti’s eyes for the final time, Kevin warns him that if he touches her they will be in this situation together. Matt kindly welcomes this and bears his friend’s burden as his own. He takes Kevin’s “sin” and buries it, completing the act with a ministering passage from the word of God. He takes Kevin “home” both literally and metaphorically, walking every step of the difficult journey alongside him – much the way Jesus would have.
Rev. Matt Jamison as Judas
In at least two key moments this season, Matt is seen as the source of betrayal, or a real live Judas. The first was early in the season when Matt informed his sister, Nora, about her husband’s affair. The fact that Matt would commit such an act certainly isn’t betrayal itself. It’s the intention behind Matt’s revelation that gives it a much darker purpose. There is an unspoken trust between close family members that they will not intentionally hurt each other, especially for selfish reasons. Matt betrays this trust. His words sting Nora like a kiss from Judas. The second moment where we see Matt in the role of the betrayer is in Kevin’s final dream of the season: In that dream, Matt betrays Kevin’s trust by turning him over to the institution where his father is housed. Even though we quickly find out that none of what Kevin is experiencing seems to actually be taking place in the real world, Matt’s apologetic words to Kevin ring in our ears, as Kevin is dragged away by hospital staff. One could easily imagine Matt being handed 30 pieces of silver once Kevin is out of sight.
Rev. Matt Jamison as Job
There is little doubt that Matt relates deeply to the Old Testament figure, Job. We’ve seen Matt stare at Job’s image in contemplation. We’ve heard him quote the words of Job. We’ve seen Matt’s life continually resemble that of the prophet. Somehow, even seeing so many things he loves taken from him, Matt trudges ahead, holding on to his faith. In the season finale, Matt brings Job’s words to Kevin as ironic words of comfort. In the book of Job, we learn that Job eventually has all he lost restored to him. We begin to see small possible signs of this for Matt as well. Patti, the woman responsible for taking his beloved church, is now removed from his path. Will this lead to further restoration for Matt? Might we see his family restored to him in the second season? Perhaps even his church and position in the community? Whether or not these things come to be, we can likely rest assured that Matt will keep moving forward in his life and his faith.