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?
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