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THE LEFTOVERS Recap: They’re Not Going to Let You Off That Easy, Son

With so many theories and prophets around, declaring that they know the truth, it’s amazing that anyone in Mapleton, New York is sane. Or are they? Because after this week’s episode, “Solace for Tired Feet,” we’re not entirely sure that anyone who remained on earth following October 14th has all their marbles. Not Kevin, not Jill, not Tommy, not anyone. Heck, maybe that’s what the whole departure was about! Regardless, things are coming to a slow, uneasy head on The Leftovers but, of course, it’s not going to be that straightforward. Because life!

Crazy manifests itself in many ways, and no, we’re not saying that crazy is a bad thing (necessarily). But it does make people do fascinatingly strange things. What’s been most intriguingly clever to us is how, over the course of these seven episodes, the series has slowly forced your hand and made you side with what crazy most suits you. Simultaneously exposing everyone as being a little bit nuts but also wholly human does that quite well. But that’s just the nature of the human brain, isn’t it? To try and find a hero; a “right” or “wrong” with which to side. Though it’s clearly not going to be as simple as all that when all is said and done.

Though likely to change as events unfold: everyone’s cards were finally laid out on the table here. And it worked for and against many of the major players. That said, after last week’s uplifting turn of events (I mean, relatively speaking of COURSE), this felt like a bit more of a balance restoration in terms of everyone’s emotional quotient.

Except for poor Tommy, of course.

Because Tommy has just had his faith broken. With a sick and very pregnant Christine in Gary, Indiana, Tommy was finally called upon by Holy Wayne. Only …Holy Wayne had no idea who he was (at first), just that he needed half the money ($3,000) that he and Christine had left. Would there be any answers with that money? Ha ha ha no: of course not! So naturally, Tommy decided to go through with the plan (leave money under a mailbox, which: hmmm! Heck of a lot of mailboxes in this episode, eh?) and tailed the person who picked up the money.

Turns out? There’s many iterations of Tommy and Christine out there in the world, impregnated by Holy Wayne and waiting for some sort of answer. Being told their child is “the bridge,” whatever that means. Christine 2.0 didn’t take too kindly to the realization and nearly killed Tommy for taking away the notion that she was something special. Sorry, Christine 2.0, and Tommy, and everyone: we aren’t particularly special, even if our origins are mind-bogglingly miraculous.

But let’s go back to mailboxes for a second. Tommy and Kevin, in weird ways, are mirroring each other. Unintentional leaders, tasked with guarding human life, unsure of anything and everything they’re doing and the people that are in charge. Personally, I’m starting to believe there’s something to the fact that Tommy and Kevin’s stories both revolved around mailboxes. The two men even had injured left hands during the episode. Kevin may not be Tommy’s biologically speaking, but for whatever reason, these two are inexplicably tied in some way, even just beyond Kevin’s love for Tommy (as evidenced by his showing up and calling Kevin “dad” in the dream).

But Laurie Garvey’s children, even for all their foibles, are doing alright. Even if Jill’s penchant for increasingly risky behavior resulted in her nearly dying in an old, locked refrigerator just to break an arbitrary record set by Douchebag Paul Dano as I’m calling him. (I meaaaaaaaaan.) It did reunite her with Grandpa Garvey, though, which ultimately led her to doing his bidding, in turn freaking out Kevin all the more.

Let’s talk about Grandpa Garvey for a second, though. His oh-so-coincidental (there are seriously so many coincidences on this show, and even though I know they’re likely doing them purposefully to prove a point that coincidences are always merely that, the brain cannot help but try and connect them somehow), run-in with Jill during his escape from the looney bin ultimately led to Jill purchasing a copy of the May 1972 National Geographic magazine that he’d presented to Kevin at their end-episode interaction.

“The lucky ones, they aren’t needed. They get to stay sane. But the rest of us? We’re in the fucking game now. … Your services are being requested,” Grandpa Garvey stated between fights with the voices willing him to implore his son. Upon Kevin’s unwillingness to accept said gift, the tension only escalated. “Don’t wake up! Go back to fucking sleep,” he wailed. “They’re not going to let you off that easy, son.”

This was, of course, after Grandpa Garvey had destroyed a library, punched a cop he’d personally hired years prior, and was revealed to have “hurt someone” and possibly/maybe burned down the library prior to his leaving the force and being locked up. But Kevin, though trying to maintain appearances with a veritable smorgasbord (because I mean damn) of prescription drugs, clearly has a bit of his father in him. That dream and his inability to remember just what in the hell happened that night that resulted in him bringing home a mange-ridden dog proved as much. (Aimee was there, though, and hopefully will relinquish some details as to that night later on.) Whether or not these night terrors are snippets of what happened strung together in a mythical manner or a sign of something greater we’ve yet to see. But one thing is certain: somebody has been mislead.

Some Thoughts:
– Really, really pleased that Nora and Kevin are doin’ it. They both need a bit of solace, no?
– Also theirs is probably the most healthy relationship of anyone on the show.
– Why do you think Meg was so upset Kevin was sleeping with Nora?
– “378 Where?” scrawled upon the house across from Nora’s — what do you we think it means?
– Of COURSE Matt was behind the “Save Them” posters.
– Do we think K.G. on the note with the money was actually from Kevin Garvey, Sr. instead of Junior?
– There’s no way that “a deer broke in” story about why the kitchen is a mess is real, right?
– Our theory is it has something to do with Kevin’s nighttime doings/dreams.
– Do we think Tommy will come home now? I sure hope so.

What’d you think of the episode? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments!

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8 comments

  • “…been most intriguingly clever to us is how…”
    That’s a fucking cop-out, to use, us.
    I just had to watch the two most recent episodes of this show trying to simultaneously process it and assess how much acid I was feeling from a degraded tab.
    The point of the show ain’t clear to me yet, but I’m pretty sure some point of it is that the impulse to pretend that “we” (in the literary voice?) just saw something like that is chickenshit. You’re on your own, and you’re not going to get off that easily. 
    Holy fuck I in no way should have watched those last two episodes on my own, trying a uncertain dose of acid on a lark. That was way too nuts and I really need a hug, jesus, fuck this feeling omg.#leftovers

  • I think the mailboxes are part of the whole sending/receiving messages thing (Grandpa Garvey, the note and money for Matt, Save Us/Don’t Save Us, etc), and the feral dogs represent that part of those that were left behind that has been neglected since the Departure.

  • there were also a few odd similarities going on thru the episode… the two pregnant asian girls were both wearing blue tank tops… and then towards the end of the episode both jill and aimee were wearing the same style of shirt… also… the mail box in garvey’s dream had the same tagging as the mailbox that his son taped the money to…

  • This show is great!  I hope it goes on for many seasons to come.

    I don’t think Meg was upset Kevin was sleeping with Nora.  She figured Kevin’s ex-wife would care.  Meg still doesn’t understand how a Guilty Remnant member is supposed to think…that they leave their former lives behind.

    Kevin’s leading a double life when he goes to sleep, if you call it sleep.  Kevin had something to do with trashing the kitchen, and not a deer.  It’s also obvious he had slept with his daughter’s best friend during this “sleep”.