By: Jeff Iblings, Contributor
This week on THE LEFTOVERS, the Garvey family and the GR are on a collision course and no one will walk away from it unscathed. Patti has orchestrated everything exactly as she wished, and manipulated everyone into playing their part in her grand scheme.
The opening scene is a montage between Patti laying out a bunch of clothes for each of the departed of Mapleton, and Kevin prepping and setting the table for a family dinner with Nora. The editing of this sequence is superb, and it shows Patti and Kevin at cross-purposes. Patti wants people to remember what happened to the departed, while Kevin is trying to move on.
Patti is one sick woman. I’m guessing the clothes that she lays out for each and every departed has an evil purpose. She carries around a binder with MD on it, and inside are all of the photos of the departed they stole out of people’s houses during Christmas. The GR have big plans for something on Memorial Day. Putting two and two together from Nora’s conversation with Marcus, the guy who sold the life-like departed dolls, with the stolen photos, it appears the photos were used to make replicas of every departed person in Mapleton. It certainly has to be what Laurie is paying the deliverymen for later in the episode. Since we are given a glimpse of the notebooks of the GR with times listed for when people leave and return to their homes, it looks like the GR are going to take the life like dolls of the departed, clothe them in the clothes from the photos, and sneak them into the homes of everyone while they away. What a shock it would be to walk into your living room and see the life-like replica of the person you lost sitting waiting for you. It would rip a hole in your heart all over again.
Jill’s issues come to a head in this installment as well. During the dinner with Nora, Jill asks about the gun in her purse. Nora gives Jill the purse to search, and says she doesn’t need it anymore. Jill pushes her on the matter, much to the embarrassment of Kevin. The reason she is being such a bitch about it, is that Jill doesn’t believe anyone can become better again. It’s why she and the twins break into Nora’s house to search for the gun, which they find (in an on the nose scene) under her departed child’s bed, hidden in a Trouble board game box. If Nora still needs the gun, to Jill it means that she isn’t better, that she’s only pretending to be better, which means no one gets better. Jill burns her bridges with Aimee accusing her of sleeping with her dad (which she didn’t) and at the end of the episode ends up going to stay with the GR. Mother and daughter reunited.
One amazing twist, is that Rev. Matt has turned the GR’s modus operandi against itself. He has fliers made of Meg and the story of her mother’s death. Matt camps outside of their compound harassing her to come home. He’s used the GR tactics against them, and broken Meg. She’s talking, screaming, and beating Matt with her fists. Meg continues to talk until Laurie slaps her, and forces her to apologize to Matt. When she does, we find out Meg’s mother died the day before the departure. Her grief has been hijacked by the large void of everyone’s disappearance. Matt has struck a nerve and gotten Meg to break her vow of silence. His campaign to win the GR members back may have started a schism within the group. Meg on the one side is perfectly fine using violence against people, and Laurie on the other thinks doing so is weak.
But the biggest problems seem to rest on the shoulders of Kevin. He’s been sleepwalking again, or living some kind of Tyler Durden double life. Kevin’s been up to all kinds of shit he doesn’t remember. One moment he’s sleeping in his own bed, and the next he wakes up in the woods outside of a cabin in (the mystery man) Dean’s truck. He has no recollection of how he’s gotten there, or what he’s done, but Patti is bloody and tied up inside. Is he losing his mind? Is he possessed? What’s happening to him?
Kevin just wants to do the right thing all the time, but inside him is something that doesn’t. When Dean tries to suffocate Patti with a bag, Kevin fights him and saves Patti from dying. Dean leaves in a huff, and this is also not what Patti wants. She goads him, pushes him, and wants Kevin to kill her. Patti gloats about killing Gladys, and insinuates Laurie may be next. She tells him she was able to give Laurie something Kevin never could. A purpose. It’s all her plan, she needs Kevin to kill her. When he refuses, and instead frees her, she takes matter into her own hands with a chunk of glass and slits her own throat. This leaves Kevin holding her in a pool of blood, more confused than ever.
– When Patti refers to Dean as a ghost, he says he prefers to think of himself as a guardian angel. He also leaves Kevin in a huff saying “I wanted to help you chief, but you are on your own.” We see him talk to an invisible person much like Kevin Sr. does. Was he the one Kevin Sr. said would be sent to help Kevin out?
– When Meg watches television, there is a newscast with a report of a miraculous resurrection and a mass grave being empty. Is this a glimpse of what’s to come?
– Since dogs have symbolically been linked to the GR, it was interesting to see Jill walk out to the dog in their back yard with a knife. Was she going to take out all her anger on the dog and kill it? No, she sets it free, and then joins the GR.
– What has Kevin been up to at that cabin? He finds his missing white shirts nailed to trees all around the cabin. There are piles of boots, and a campfire. He’s clearly spent a lot of time here.
– Laurie does not seem to be happy to see Jill at the GR compound.
– I can’t tell you how absolutely excited I am that HBO finally renewed “The Leftovers” for a second season. This is seriously one of the best and most rewarding shows on television this season.
For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates.