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THE LEFTOVERS: “International Assassin”

By Jef Dinsmore on Nov 24, 2015 to The Leftovers

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…     … I sat in silence after this episode ended …    …   …    … and I stared at a blank page for a long time before I assembled a thought or two to write about this eighth episode in the second season of THE LEFTOVERS. …     …    I’m still conflicted, so head over to the review of the previous episode if you need to then come back.

I don’t know whether I like this episode or not. How about any of you? There is a lot of cool moments in this episode and subtle twLeftovers_SenatorLevenists that add up to an interesting hour. We left the scene with Michael Murphy dragging a seemingly dead Kevin Garvey out of Virgil’s trailer without the young man barely giving a glance towards his dead grandfather. Next we know Kevin is waking up in a hotel bathtub and the adventure begins, however, Kevin is dead. He becomes Kevin Harvey, an international assassin, and his target is Senator Patti Levin. In order to carry out his plans, as dictated by Virgil, the hotel’s concierge, he has to kill a few thugs plus Gladys and Wayne and get Patti alone. Oops, you do remember Gladys and Wayne? She was the GR member that got stoned and he went by Holy Wayne when he was alive. In fact, he has one of the best scenes in the episode. Kevin goes into the bathroom to get the gun planted there and walks in on Wayne on the toilet. Kevin gives him privacy and when Wayne comes out he asks if he has met Kevin before because it seems to him they meet in a toilet once before. Hah, loved that! 

Now, it is believed in order to free him of the burden that is Patti and come back to life Garvey must kill her and he thinks he does until he learns that Senator Levin was actually a double and that the real Patti still exists. It appears that a young girl, one he saved from drowning in the hotel pool earlier, is her because he learns the man she is with is no other than let-me-shit-on-your-chest Neil. Wow.

Sorry for skipping all the nitty-gritty to get to the crucial details; I told you this episode is packed and there is still more to tell. He finds out through Garvey Sr., of all people, via a scrambled TV feed that he needs to take little Patti “to the well” which he learns is in Jarden, Texas and it is there that he ends Patti’s existence. He pushes the girl in the well, but she still lives so he goes in and after a great final monologue from Patti he drowns her, thus saving himself.

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All of that was rather cool, but I’m not sure I liked it fitting into the reality of THE LEFTOVERS as we know it. Damon Lindelof took it into a supernatural, metaphysical place it did not need to go. In my opinion he mucked up the ABC series Lost by doing the same thing. He has a terrible sense of not realizing when he’s pushed something too far. Really, up until now, THE LEFTOVERS was based on reality. Yes, I know that the Sudden Departure was fantastical to a degree, but in its essence it was not. The sudden unexplained and unwelcomed loss of a person or a number of them happens it real life every day whether it is just a quiet death or a terrorist attack. How we cope and deal with that is very raw and real as well. It is completely plausible for some to seek religious faith or a cult or to be burdened with negative emotions or to try to pick up and move on. All that has been realistically displayed until “International Assassin.” Has the show gone too far?

It would have been plausible for Michael Murphy to have brought back Kevin somehow and all that Kevin experienced was just in his head. Fueled by Virgil’s notions he could have gone into a fever dream and conjured up Senator Levin and all and worked through his demons mentally while in reality being in Michael’s care. Instead, with Kevin G. climbing up out of his burial ground of the old well at episode’s end he was literally brought back from the dead instead. … …. and I am not okay with that inane result…. but it was still a cool episode.

There are only two episodes left. They are next week’s “Ten Thirteen” which means October 13 – the day before the anniversary of The Sudden Departure and “I Live Here Now” season finale on 12.02. Here is a peek.

  • Eleonora Iafano

    Completely bizarre. I had to re-watch this episode, because it was surreal, to say the least. Every time that classical music started to play, I had to giggle. Kevin was pegged as this bad ass assassin….and the theme of water was prevalent throughout. Don’t drink the water. I never touch the stuff. The well. The little girl in floating in the pool. Nice touch about Patti revealing she had been on Jeopardy, in the attempt to win some money and leave Neil. I actually felt sorry for her. As for the grandson watching Kevin rise from the grave, yeah, that was a “OMG” moment. Freaky.

    • Jef Dinsmore

      I can’t believe more people are not buzzing about this episode. Nora had a hard time dealing with him seeing and talking to Patti; to stay true to character she should never believe he battled her in the Afterlife.

      I’m still not sure I like the direction this went in.










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