{TB Talks TV} The Leftovers Review – J. Iblings Response: “Solace for Tired Feet”


By: Jeff Iblings, Contributor

This episode of focuses most of its attention on Kevin Sr., who we’ve seen very little from so far. This episode focuses on relationships with fathers, or more realistically, issues characters have with paternal figures.

Everyone gets in on the paternal angst this time around. After several months without contact, Wayne quotes Job 1:21 when he calls Tommy. “Naked I come from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.” Job’s father issues were with God, and Wayne, who senses his own death rapidly approaching, may very well blame the same person for what he believes will happen.

Tommy has father issues on multiple fronts. Wayne sends him on an errand to leave money under a mailbox for someone. He waits around to find out whom the money is for, then follows them. What he finds shakes the foundation of his belief in Wayne, who has been a surrogate father to him. He finds another guy just like him, guarding another pregnant Asian woman, who’s been told the same things. “This girl, she’s everything,” and, “nothing can hurt the baby. He’s the only one. He’s the bridge.” This is his last straw with Wayne, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we find Tom rushing back to his stepfather Kevin.

Things seem to be slightly better between Jill and Kevin, and to be sure, her issues are really more mommy issues. In the past we’ve seen her act out in a reckless manner, and she does so again. This time she’s trapped in a refrigerator in the woods during a dare. Just as she’s about to pass out from lack of oxygen, Kevin Sr. comes to her rescue. “Tell your dad you saw me.” He’s escaped from the mental institution.

We’ve seen Kevin teetering on the edge of losing his sanity this entire series, but somehow he always manages to just keep focused. He’s been afraid that the same mental illness that afflicts his father is also inside of him. This episode focuses on that struggle.

Kevin has strange dreams again, which seem to be prophetic. Tommy and the mailbox show up, as does Dean the gun-toting, tobacco chewing, dog killing mystery man. He has a dog trapped he wants Kevin to kill. We see the correlation between the Guilty Remnant and the wild dogs visually manifest. In the back of his truck are members of the cult. They’re shot and stacked much like Dean had done with dogs he killed in the past.  “They’re not our dogs anymore” takes on a whole new meaning. Kevin refuses to kill the dog, and wakes up with a dog bite on his hand. There’s also a wild dog tied up in the back yard he apparently wants to rehabilitate. He doesn’t remember any of this. Is he losing it, is he sleepwalking?

Kevin’s bouts of self-doubt are interrupted by the blossoming relationship between Nora and himself. We find them on their fifth date, about to consummate their relationship physically, but the Guilty Remnant put a damper on it. They find Meg and her GR sidekick outside of Nora’s house watching. This upsets Kevin, but Nora has a great practical response. She hoses them down. They’ve ruined the mood, but Kevin and Nora will later get intimate both physically and mentally. He opens up to her with, “I think I might be going crazy.” Her response is great: “Well my friend, you’ve come to the right place.”

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Kevin Sr. is on the loose and looking for him. There’s a really touching moment between Jill and Kevin Sr. when she finds him in the back yard. Jill secretly called her dad, so Kevin comes to take him back to the institution, only he escapes during a GR street protest.

Matt, who has his own Jobian complications in life, has now hitched his wagon to Kevin Sr. Matt’s helping him find something he needs to give Kevin Jr., and later all three meet up at a diner. The thing in question is a May 1972 issue of National Geographic. He insists the voices told him it had to be that very issue, and he needs Kevin Jr. to accept the magazine. The voices say Kevin’s services are needed, and that if he accept the magazine he will become like Kevin Sr. No dice, he rejects his father and brings him back to prison. The magazine is destroyed in the scuffle. Back at the institute, Sr. tells Jr. the voices are “not going to let you off that easy son.”

Matt has the last word to Kevin Jr. as they leave stating, “said the father, my dear son, relate not thy visions to thy brothers lest they concoct a plot against you.” He quotes Yusuf 12:5 in the Quran. Jacob tells Joseph (who has visions and prophecies) to conceal it. Does Matt know about the visions and dreams Kevin Jr. is having?

In his rejection, Kevin thinks he’s escaped the insanity of his father, but returns home to find another copy of the same magazine on the counter. Jill bought it at the behest of her grandfather. Kevin tosses it in the garbage. He’s angry, but later returns to it intrigued. The last thing we see is Kevin reaching for it in the garbage. He can’t escape it. Do the sins of the father carry down to the son?

More thoughts:

–  Christine has a baby girl at the end. Wayne said it would be a boy. Are his prophecies null and void now?

–  Kevin Sr., Matt, and Wayne all seem to be working on the same timeline and in the same direction. The 3 years are up and something big is going to take place.

–  Matt and his followers put up posters of Gladys all around town with the words “Save Them” on them. It angers the GR, but Matt wants to rehabilitate them, just like Kevin wants to rehabilitate the dog. Since the dogs and the GR symbolize each other, are Matt and Kevin on the same path?

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–  The thing with the issue of National Geographic was weird for sure, but Christine does mutter during her fever ,“the spiders underwater,” which is one of the articles in the magazine.

–  Kevin Sr. burned down the library when he lost his mind. Why did he do it? Were the voices instructing him to?

–  Meg, watches over Nora’s house, and is upset that Kevin and Nora are having sex. Laurie doesn’t care. Why does this bother Meg so much?


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.

Twitter: @OfSoundnVision

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