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THE LEFTOVERS: A Most Powerful Adversary

By Eleonora Iafano on Nov 18, 2015 to The Leftovers

 

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In what can be described as one of the most compelling, yet anxiety inducing episodes to date, “A Most Powerful Adversary” deals with mental health issues, family history, dark secrets, and sinister deeds. At the forefront of the episode are four key characters: Kevin, Patti, Virgil and surprisingly enough, Laurie. In case you missed it, here is our review of last weeks episode to catch you up.

To say that Kevin is having a really bad day is an understatement; his girlfriend Nora took off in the middle of the night with their baby daughter, his daughter Jill has gone off on an emotional bender and takes her frustration out on Michael and Patti spends the whole episode taunting him from the corner of his bedroom, in the passenger seat of his truck, and while on route to a hardware store. As if things couldn’t be worse, Laurie has come into town looking for their missing son, Tommy while John is having people come down to the fire station to supply their finger prints in order to establish who’s palm print is on the car makes for a dicey situation. Even the previous episode hinted that there may be something wrong with Nora: something along the lines of her being a ‘lens’ allows for people around her to disappear, to depart. Something is erroneous. Something bad is about to happen. Kevin, Nora, and company show up in Jarden and what ends up happening? Evie, John, and Erika’s daughter, departs without a trace.

Looking back, I’m starting to see some sort of connection to people who have physical or mental impairments: Evie had epilepsy. Kevin’s father had hallucinations, for which he was committed to a psychiatric ward. Kevin is now seeing Patti everywhere, and it’s seriously messing with his life. Matt’s wife supposedly woke up one night and was able to speak to Matt. That event has now resulted in Mary becoming pregnant, even though she is still in a catatonic state. To say that there are supernatural forces at work in Jarden is a huge understatement. Something incredibly creepy and sinister is present in this place. Maybe the residents of Jarden know about it. Maybe they don’t.

kevin-and-laurie-vrUpon meeting with his ex-wife earlier in the day, Kevin has a change of heart and seeks Laurie out at the motel she’s staying at. In what was one of the most brutally honest conversations in the show between two characters, the exchange between Kevin and Laurie was both heartbreaking and poignant. Now, we have to remember that Laurie has now left the GR and she is back at her private practice as a therapist. She has personal and professional ties to Patti; this is something that has the potential to help Kevin. Patti was a client of Laurie’s before the Departure; afterwards it was Laurie that joined the GR and Patti was a leader. As a professional therapist, Laurie implores Kevin that his visions of Patti could be an inherited mental health disorder and that he needs help. Medication and therapy would be the path to success; she tries her best to dig deeper and tell Kevin that Patti is not real; these visions are the same thing that his father experienced. Perhaps it’s time to face the facts: Kevin is in dire need of professional help for his underlying mental affliction. Is Kevin mentally ill and if so, has he inherited his father’s psychotic illness? Does he have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Would medication truly help him or would it end up being a band aid solution? Because Kevin has become desperate and emotionally unhinged, it’s hard for him to believe that someone would actually want to help him for better, not worse.

Having Patti shadow his every move has made Kevin jittery and overwhelmed. He’s desperate to get rid of her and will do anything. A little more care and concern should have been taken into the method of extraction on Kevin’s part. A little nudging from Michael leads Kevin on his path to self-destruction – he visits Virgil. Shockingly enough, Virgil has heard from Kevin before and knows about his sojourn into the lake; the cinderblock and his attempted suicide. Now, during this exchange it is revealed to Kevin that either someone is looking out for him OR he has someone to contend with – hence, a powerful adversary. Sitting in Virgil’s trailer with the weird figurines and relics would give anyone the creeps. Virgil knows about Patti; it’s as if he senses her presence in the truck and in the room. What is deeply disturbing during the exchange between Virgil and Kevin is the revelation of WHY Virgil is not welcome in John and Erika’s life. John shot his father and went to prison for attempted murder because his father abused him. I was outright revolted and felt sickened by the story. The fact that Kevin stayed in the room, listening to Virgil and his paranormal mumbling about having to battle demons within to come out a stronger person sounded like a bunch of bulls–t to me. Your only success story is a resident in Jarden who lives on top of the watch tower?! Really?! You have children and you’re going to listen to someone who molested their own child that he can help ease your suffering and give you clarity?! I DON’T THINK SO. None of his rationale makes sense, but Kevin, being so broken and frantic to return to life without visions of Patti dancing around his head, will do anything: even if it means dying to get rid of Patti for good.

Patti, for her part, has been the most brash, foul mouthed character to date. She bluntly calls out Kevin on everything. She’s a part of Kevin: after all, he was there to watch her die and now she has become a part of his conscience, whether he likes it or not. So Patti is not inside Kevin the way a person is possessed, but part of his psyche. And in a completely shocking twist, the episode ends with a one two bang. Patti, in her defense, tried to get Kevin to stop before he drank his heroin concoction. Kevin is far too trusting; Virgil, it seems, is still battling his most powerful adversary. A poison cocktail of heroin ingested has dire consequences for Kevin. Emptying the epinephrine out of the syringe reveals Virgil lied. Or did he? A single gunshot to the head ends Virgil’s life. Grandson Michael comes in to clean the mess up and we get the feeling that Michael knew what was going to happen.

Is Kevin gone for good? Will he meet his most powerful adversary? And who is the adversary: Patti? Virgil? His son Tommy? Nora? John? Who has the most cause to be? The episode left these questions and many more for viewers. Now here is a shocker – there is no clip for episode 8 “International Assassin.” What does that tell you? It is going to be HUGE, that’s what. Here is a more general clip of what is ahead.










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