After what I considered to be a misstep last week, this week's episode of The Leftovers was an exhilarating return to form. Whereas the series' best episode to date have previously focused on one character, 'Cairo' worked so well because the series chose to rather focus on particular character relationships. This allowed for some interesting character growth, and probably provided the most plot advancement we've seen in a single episode of The Leftovers so far.

Amazingly one of these character highlights was Jill, someone who's presence on The Leftovers has become increasingly tedious for me. Her blatant questioning of Nora over her gun during the dinner at the Garvey's was the typical angsty teenager button-pushing we've come to expect from her, but 'Cairo', at the very least, attempted to give her legitimate motivations for acting this way. Nora got rid of the gun because she was 'okay' (that's why people want hugs from Wayne, after all), and Jill simply couldn't understand this concept. Why is Nora, a women who lost her husband and two children, okay? And probably more importantly to Jill, how? When she, who didn't even lose someone in the departure and whose only real loss is mother's decision to join a cult, is not okay.

Aimee mentioned this character flaw of Jill's offhandedly in her recollection of the dinner events to Adam and Scott, and it hit a strong nerve, resulting in the accusation that Aimee had slept with Jill's father, Kevin. It was the final straw for Aimee, who's come to recognize throughout the last couple of episodes Jill's inability to be happy, and to ensure that no one else is either, particularly her father. As much as Jill's break-in to Nora's house to find the gun was about her anger at this, her discovery of the gun, and subsequent breakdown suggested that she had hoped she wouldn't find it. If Nora had gotten rid of the gun it was possible that like her, Jill too could overcome her constant sadness and eventually be okay. But she found the gun, hidden away under the bed of one of Nora's departed children, and while Nora is 'okay', for Jill it signified the inability to ever truly get rid of the pain. So it makes sense, that towards the conclusion of the episode, that Jill made the decision to try and restore her life to a time when she was okay. For her, that simply meant her mother's return, or in this case, seeking out her mother. I don't think Jill believes in the motivations of The Guilty Remnant, at least not at this stage, but she's desperate to understand why her life is the way it is - why her mother chose to abandon her, so logically with her is where she needs to be.



Presumably Megan succumbed to the influence of The Guilty Remnant for similar reasons, but her devotion to their cause was very questionable throughout 'Cairo', so much so that it resulted in a hilarious slap from Laurie. Her outburst against Matt, a problem that undoubtedly every other member of the Remnant has had to endure at some point, showed her weakness and inability for self-control. Laurie asked her to demonstrate her strength by taking her to Matt's house and apologizing. While Megan reluctantly did this, much to Matt's applaud that she still has the potential to be saved, Nora's presence and sly jabs towards Laurie once again promoted a verbal tirade from Megan later on. She certainly comes across as a misguided character, she scolds Matt for reminding her of her dead mother, and detests Nora for mentioning Laurie's child, yet as a member of The Guilty Remnant she is supposed to be a living reminder of October 14th, arguably something much more painful for people to remember. She's a hypocrite, and without any more information about her character motivations she's becoming an increasingly difficult character to watch, unfortunately.

She's nothing like Patti, that's for sure, who blatantly told Kevin what The Guilty Remnant aims to achieve this week. She was gloriously wicked in doing so to, and while Ann Dowd has mastered the glare and grin over the series' run, her dialogue throughout this episode was superbly written and acted, and she'll be missed. Patti's sudden urge to be so chatty with Kevin was because, after another one of his blackouts, Kevin awoke to find himself, along with the dog-killer Dean, at a secluded cabin in the woods. The pair had kidnapped and brutally beaten Patti the night before, taking her there to kill her - although Kevin didn't recollect any of these events. I generally don't like it when we, as viewers, are forced to endure a character who suffers from amnesia for whatever reason as more often than not, the series aims to purposely mislead viewers with red-herrings about what goes on during their lost time. Thankfully, The Leftovers managed to mainly avoid the problem (at least for now), by surmising what went on when Kevin thought he was sleeping very quickly, although we are still none the wiser as to why this is happening to him.

Patti didn't much care though, understandably, and calmly told Kevin that if she let him go that she'd inform the authorities of what he and Dean had done and that he would lose his job, and then they'd take Jill from him. Kevin eventually came to the conclusion that Patti wanted him to kill her, she wanted to be remembered, just like Gladys was (that theory so many of you suggested was right!), as that is pretty much the entire purpose of The Guilty Remnant. I personally thought Patti's final monologue detailing The Guilty Remnant's actions and motivations was unnecessary, but then again, I'm the sort of viewer who actively seeks out further information about a series, so for the more casual viewer, perhaps this provided some of the 'answers' they may have been looking for. Like Gladys before her, Patti was desperate to be a martyr for the cause - and just as intent as ensuring that Kevin was screwed over as a result. She cut her throat with a broken shard of glass and died in Kevin's arms as he helplessly looked on. And whatever happens next Patti, and her actions this episode will undoubtedly be remembered and reverberate throughout the series for many episodes to come.



THE GUILTY REMNANT NOTEPAD SCRIBBLES:

- Theories on what's happening to Kevin? He'd obviously been to that cabin in the woods several times before (the mystery of the missing shirts is solved!) At this stage I'm privy to think that it's actions are driven by his sub-conscious. His father accused him of being asleep and not taking action last week, perhaps his sub-conscious is taking action when Kevin will not?

- Speaking of Kevin Sr., was it just me or did Dean mutter to some unseen presence as he left the cabin? Could he also hear the same voices that Kevin Sr. is privy to hearing?

- Patti said that The Guilty Remnant have no leader, but by the way the Mapleton sect is structured, it's obvious Laurie will now be handling things. With that in mind, how much has Laurie known about their various plans? I assume she was in on Gladys' murder, but she seems like a much more calmer and kinder character than majority of the prominent Guilty Remnant members we've met. What sort of leader will she be?

- The beauty of serialized television is that we already known that The Guilty Remnant are up to something involving replicas of the departed and clothing (presumably the clothing of the departed), and that it'll happen on Memorial Day, most likely next week or in the finale. What do you think they are planning?

- And we're back to the weird episodes titles. Any guesses?
29 Comments
Comments (29)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Sorry but I think this show sucks. Gave up after week 2 or was it 3. It's moot anyway for me as I dumped HBO at least for the time being. Cable package getting out of hand. Must be doing something right as I read it got renewed for Season 2..Anyway enjoy
2
Reply
Flag
As I was watching, I was half-expecting Patti to tell Kevin that all those people didn't poof, but the 98 percent left actually poof and therefore, nothing matters to anyone. Something I have contemplated. I need to cut out the Baileys in my coffee at work that is for sure.
1
Reply
Flag
Thanks again for continuing to review, what I think, is an amazing show. I like Aimee and can't wait for them to dive more into her story. Jill to me, is the annoying one. Why I understand that she's sad about her mom, her actions are just ridiculous to me. Leaving her father, who has been trying to do all he can to keep their family together, to join the GR irks me. Meg doesn't bother me too much either altho her grips with Matt are extremely hypocritical. But I will agree that her outburts and her not being able to follow the rules are hilarious! And now that we have more of an idea of what the GR are really up to, I'm excited to see the events all play out. Can't wait til Sunday night! Keep it up!!
1
Reply
Flag
I think the GR are going to dress up the dummy bodies and either publically display them or sneak back into houses and put them there. Sick!

BTW- the May 1972 issue of Nat Geo half an article about Cairo, Egypt. Coincidence?
Reply
Flag
So not a Coincidence! Thanks for sharing! Oh and the GR are sick people!
Reply
Flag
Thank you so much for your point of view! I had so many questions that your thoughts made me see things a little clearer. I wasn't quite understanding Jill's motive in having to find the gun. I understand it better. Makes sense that she is looking for a an answer to feeling better. I'm not surprised she went to her mom/ GR. As Patti said Laurie was looking for a purpose and Jill is too. I wonder if Laurie will allow underage smoking? ;)
As for Aimee I felt sad for her. Even though her motives haven't been quite explained; she seems to also want herself and others to feel better. Even after Jill's accusation and as she was leaving she said thank you. I got the feeling she wanted to forgive Jill and make things better. There is something to her I can't put my finger on. I know there is a lot we don't know about any of the characters but her puzzle piece has a place. I'm just wondering where it is going to go. Does anyone think her parent was taken?
I actually did a DVR rewind and paused on Matt's flyer of Megan. I read it and thought how cruddy that would be to lose your loved one and then have it overshadowed by The Departure. Not being able to really openly grieve about it because everyone else's grief seems so much more important. Sure you could take a different approach than Meg but it's all about finding a way to feel better and a purpose. Her breaking out of the silence could mean that she isn't strong enough and that she truly doesn't believe in what the GR has to offer. I agree she is becoming frustrating.
Great Episode and loved Patti taking her own life and Kevin's struggle. The acting was superb! Which I think it's getting that way for all. Now to answer the "Notepad Scribbles".....
-We didn't see Kevin actually "accept" the NatGeo so Kevin's subconscience is definitely doing some stuff. It's weird but I like it. The reason he can't remember it is because he is "not awake". Maybe he will go back home, dig through his garbage can and "accept" that NatGeo now.
-I also totally did a DVR rewind like three times to try to figure out who Dean was speaking to. I really want to say he was speaking to voices like Kevin Sr. but the timing makes it look like he was answering Patti's moans. Errr!!!!! If he was speaking to the voices he has more control than Kev's Dad.
-I think Laurie is/ was Patti's #2 so Laurie knows pretty much everything. She will be the new head of this sect but she has to report to someone else. I can't believe there isn't a leader. Someone who tells other sects what to do. The stuff they do is very creative and if it's all Patti then she was an insanely genius lady. I'm not sure Laurie can or would be that creative so that is why I think there is someone else pulling the strings. She may be a good leader maybe a little softer than Patti. How does the GR get the money to pull off their plans? Like buying churches and the replica deal. I think they are going to put the replicas on everyone's door step and try and stage a return. Or put them in a building set it on fire and see if people try and recuse them. Whatever the plan is I'm sure it is going to be weird, unexpected and fantastically f'ed up.
Thank you for your reviews keep them up! I will echo @tuli_man "you understand".
More+
Reply
Flag
Staff
"There is something to [Aimee] I can't put my finger on. I know there is a lot we don't know about any of the characters but her puzzle piece has a place. I'm just wondering where it is going to go. Does anyone think her parent was taken?"

I agree about Aimee and said something similar in a different comment (below). Seems to me an "Aimee-focused" episode might be just what we need, and now I have my fingers crossed...
Reply
Flag
Thank you for your reply!!!!! :) Since you have some comments below I will address them here....
"Aimee is so irritating to me. I feel like I almost have a Dana Brody-level opinion of her." HAHAHAHAHA! Awesome! I am quite not there with her but I agree I think an Aimee centric episode might be due. There might not be time this season...unless there is a huge reveal like she is also there to help Kevin/Jill. When Jill accused her about sleeping with her Dad I totally think Aimee was saying she did to get under Jill's skin when she really didn't. To me, the emotion came across like how dare Jill even ask or even think Aimee would do something like that to her friend. I think Aimee has more integrity then everybody thinks.
Also thank you for explaining why you guys haven't been reviewing this and giving @NO1slayerette some kudos. :) I just think we could use a community now that we know a season 2 is coming. :)
Reply
Flag
Glad to be of help Jen, and thank you for commenting every week, it's great to have people to discuss the series with.

I'm definitely waiting to find out a lot more about Aimee, but after her departure from the Garvey's I think her character might take a back seat for a while, possibly even until next season. I do wonder if her parents were taken too, but unfortunately that's become the obvious response to a character's grief on the series, hasn't it? Just like with Megan in this episode, we assumed her mother had vanished on October 14th until stated otherwise, so I'm sort of hoping that, like in this instance, with Aimee it's something different than her parents disappearing on October 14th.

Megan is so frustrating, but oddly, for those who say the series doesn't have a sense of humour, I find all of her scenes simultaneously hilarious. To me she just comes of as a try-hard poser whose absolutely failing at being a good member of The Guilty Remnant, which is why I find her incompetence so funny. I could have kissed Laurie when she slapped her, same goes to Nora when she sprayed her with the hose last week.

I'm ever so curious to see how Laurie will run things. You're right, she seems like she would be softer than Patti (RIP that insane genius), but I think her true colours will really be divulged in the way she handles things. I'm guessing that she'll actually go off the rails a bit when she finds out that Kevin has 'murdered' Patti, and possibly do something even more crazy then some of the things that Patti has done. Perhaps that was apart of Patti's plan too? Knowing that Laurie's rage against Kevin would fuel the cause of The Guilty Remnant? There she goes again, making plans even after she's dead, what a character she was.
More +
1
Reply
Flag
Patti will be missed but not forgotten. Her presence will forever remain! As for Meg.....your thoughts are great! She IS a failing poser. Exactly!
The more I think about it...what if Aimee is suppose help the Garvey's in some way. What if she is like Wayne? I know, we don't know exactly if Wayne is real or not but what if she is suppose to help in a different way? It may be far-fetched but it would be a different theory than she loss someone.
Reply
Flag
First, thank you No1Slayerette for keeping reviewing this show since, apparently the management has lost its interest, understandable in my opinion. First season it's supposed to stand on itself but in a show with such premise dealing with a far greater human issue it takes a risk on keeping it vague, leaving us grasping for straws which it's precisely the state of mind on the series. Being renewed for a 2nd season (other low radar new) predicts profit to the viewer on the long-term. The shirt hanging forest scene was something sublime, a declaration of insanity, a subtle moment that only true shows manage to pull. Keep on with the reviews man, I will expect another next week because "You UNDERSTAND!"
3
Reply
Flag
Thanks tuli_man, it means a lot! I just find the series so thought-provoking, and a show that can have me wondering about not only where the plot may be headed, but about the more philosophical and existential ideas within the series' world until each knew episode is definitely worth sticking with in my opinion. I'll keep up the reviews if you keep up commenting!
Reply
Flag
Staff
We haven't lost interest, we just don't have the resources at the moment to review the series weekly... which is why it's even more excellent than usual that @No1Slayertte has stepped up. ;)
2
Reply
Flag
You haven't lost interest? I did. After week 2
Reply
Flag
Eh, I am done. Between Kevin's convenient dissociative fugue states, the predictability of the GR and the lameness of Wayne is just too much to endure. The only thing that was somehow interesting was Jill and Aimee and if that is going to go away then there really is nothing to watch.

Kevin is his own worst enemy, he could have taken care of Patti and company months ago. He didn't so he really gets what he deserves. There is no one to root for the plots from week to week can only be described as pedestrian. There is just so much better TV out there right now to waste my time on this.

But good on you for keeping the reviews going. Thanks, they are very well not NO1slayerette, I like them but the show is just horrible for me.
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
I can understand those complaints, but I'm somehow still compelled to keep watching. Some episodes have been great, and even in some of the lesser episodes, many of the performances have been amazing. Good point about the fugue states being "convenient"--I previously hadn't thought of them that way. And Wayne is mostly "who cares?" for me. But I'm still intrigued by what's going on with Kevin, Nora, and Lori, at the very least.

If I may ask, what did you find most interesting about Jill and Aimee? Aimee is so irritating to me. I feel like I almost have a Dana Brody-level opinion of her. Not to the point where I'm glad she's moving out of Kevin and Jill's house, but I'm certainly not interested in what she's up to, except as relates to Kevin.

Speaking of which... are we to assume that Aimee and Kevin slept together during one of his fugue states? I was a little fuzzy on that part of this episode. At first I actually thought Aimee was making it up and just being bitchy when she told Jill that she had indeed f*cked Jill's dad.

--Jen
Reply
Flag
It is the lack of depth. It all seems very surface oriented. Like the lack of explanation for the event, which I can deal with, science is hard, it is easy to chalk it up to magic and be done with that. But as there are no answers to the event, the bigger issue for me is that there are no answers for anything else.

You have this centered on a family who by all accounts were left unscathed by the event and yet are the most mixed up among them all. Even with Nora's loss and her need for attention and identity based on her loss she is more together then the whole of the Garvey family. Why is Laurie in the GR, what led to forgo her family, her son and her daughter to go live with a cult? What is wrong with Kevin? Is it Dissociative fugue states or is it full blown Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personality disorder), why doesn't he experience any of the other symptoms of it, why is there no lethargy, tiredness, mania, anything that shows that he isn't sleeping as much as he should. If this has been going on for months, he would have likely already had a psychotic break. But again, I know science is hard. And his dad pretty much just has some standard schizophrenia. So that isn't a good enough pretense for Kevin's problems.

And then, even with all of that, this is all so intentional and thusly predictable. The intentional is the break that the GR has been given, mostly by the Mayor and Kevin. I understand Kevin's reasoning for giving them a pass and that is Laurie, but I don't understand the Mayor's motivation or well lack of motivation in fixing the problem. All of the problems in the city or well at least the bigger one that is GR could have been easily handled by simply arresting the GR when they did any number of of the crimes that they have committed. You don't need to call the ATF for a trigger happy happy, you can just arrest them. It isn't even as if they clever, I could understand it more if they were one step a head of the cops but they aren't. And for the life of me I can't understand why the extra's (townspeople) have tolerated any of it, at least this long and how they have constantly and increasingly become worse. And now that Kevin knows what they are truly capable of. From the knowledge of the highly predictable killing of Gladys and now Patti. Any sane person in that situation would then call the ATF. Personally I would call them, pop some popcorn and watch from the other side of the street.

Now Jill and Aimee, they are simply the least annoying out of them all. I can deal with them being annoying teenagers. They are younger and don't know any better. The adults however don't have that excuse. At this point I don't care if Aimiee screwed Jill's dad. It certainly is in her wheelhouse of things she is capable of. But it is unknown because of Kevin's mythical mental issues.
More +
Reply
Flag
No worries Mate, when it comes down to it television is a matter of taste after all. I thank you for sticking around so long and taking the time to comment despite you not liking it very much. If you ever want an update let me know!

What else are you watching at the moment?
1
Reply
Flag
Right now on Sundays, or well mondays when I get it I am watching Manhattan,Masters of Sex and The Strain. Sometimes I will give the Last Ship a go, but that can be tiresome. Other shows are The Bridge, I gave up on Tyrant, Under the Dome, though that is starting to circle the drain and the two new comedies from FX which are growing on me.
2
Reply
Flag
Somewhere along the way 'Married' and 'You're the Worst' started becoming interesting although I'm finding 'You're the Worst' to be the better of the two despite critics initial impressions. Both were kind of slow out of the gate and I was dreading what FX(X) was going to be like in summer without 'Wilfred'. 'Married' with a great cast of familiar faces should be better but it really isn't as funny as 'You're the Worst' (despite having Paul Reiser back on TV (I think I'd rather be watching the show from his and Jenny Slate's characters' perspective and it might be a better show). The 'You're the Worst' epi. last week with Thomas Middleditch guesting was quite good and very funny. (Kether Donahue is doing her best to steal that entire show.) 'Tyrant' is pulling itself together and getting much better - paying less and less attention to everyone in the family except for Jennifer Finnegan and its gotten better by making it Barry's story and forgetting about annoying teenage characters that fill up the families - Barry is getting darker by the minute and its been fun to watch; it'll all be on hitting the landing with the coup to see if it can keep its momentum going. its finale next week needs to be great. FX needs to find something new with 'SoA' and 'Justified' wrapping up this season.
More +
Reply
Flag
I will check out Black Jesus.
Flag
I agree, out of the two I prefer You're the Worst. Only because the husband as a character in Married is annoying as hell. I agree I would prefer more Jenny Slate, actually I would prefer Slate and Greer because the biggest laughs I have had were when they were working together.

I might catch back up with Tyrant but I am not sure. I will have to see how people react to the finale.

I agree with you about FX. Except SOA hasn't been good for a while now an Justified had last season to drag down the quality. But they do have the Americans which is superb.
1
Flag
Oh and you have to check out 'Black Jesus' on Cartoon Network's AdultSwim - Easily the best new comedy of the summer.
Flag
watching the same shows as you pretty much, although I haven't given up on Tyrant...yet... Oh yeah and I did give up on UTD
Reply
Flag
How is Tyrant going? I was interested in it but it was just too damn slow and Barry's family was too annoying.
Flag
I'm only watching The Strain as well on Sundays. It's just such a busy day unfortunately. I'd love to be able to watch Manhattan, Masters of Sex, Ray Donovan, The Last Ship and Witches of East End at some stage... But with me watching Robot Chicken, The Leftovers, The Lottery, The Strain and True Blood (and soon Boardwalk Empire), it's just too much obviously.

I haven't checked out Tyrant yet either, I might wait for a second season renewal if I do. I stopped watching a couple of episodes into Under The Dome this season, but I did the same thing last year and then I binge-watched the entire season before the finale. It seems to me like one of those series that becomes markedly better when watched like that.
Reply
Flag
Follow this Topic
Members
261