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The Leftovers Season 1: “Cairo”

By Eleonora Iafano on Aug 20, 2014 to The Leftovers

TheLeftovers_JillandMegWatching this particular episode was like having a very bizarre dream. You feel surrounded by fog and can’t quite put the pieces together. You stumble around blindly, not knowing where to go or what will happen next. When you have a disturbing dream, you feel anxious; numb or completely bewildered. Everyone is lost in this episode. Some, more than others. The plot line of this episode varies from Kevin and Nora, to Patty and the GR crew, to apathetic Jill and company, and then back to Patty, Dean and Kevin. Personally, I enjoyed the two episodes that focused exclusively on one character’s perspective. I know I enjoyed learning a lot more about Nora Durst and her brother Matt Jamison and his wife, who appears to be in a mute like state. It is my hope that a few more episodes will focus on just one character. I like seeing the various characters being fleshed out. You get a sense of how the rapture affected them and how they have struggled to move on. However, I think by now viewers have established the Garvey family as the main protagonists in the series. Other characters are more or less supporting ones. I do wish they’d show more of Reverend Matt and Grandpa Garvey. I think they’re both a great foil for Kevin. I was also glad there was no animal violence in this episode. That’s the one thing that has been disturbing to me. Of course, this episode did have some very disturbing revelations and the ending was pretty shocking, too. In a society suck as Mapleton, there’s bound to be some uproar here and there. And we definitely see some of it in this episode.

We also see some pretty petulant behavior from the younger folks: Jill, in particular. I wanted to slap her across the face, her and her friend, Amy. Grow up and act your age. Kevin is trying very hard to move on with his life and just because you are a miserable teenager, that doesn’t give you the right to take it out on your father. Nora comes over for dinner and is put on the spot constantly by Jill. I have to hand it to Nora: she calls Jill’s bluff and tells the truth, passes over her purse and allows her to go searching through it for a gun. This, by the way, is none of Jill’s business to even bring up, especially when guests are present. Rude behavior at the dinner table should never be permitted. Nora stays calm under pressure. Jill is clearly rattled. I guess she doesn’t appreciate the fact that her dad is trying to move on and be happy. God forbid anyone try to move on. The only good thing Jill did this entire episode was free that poor dog in their backyard.


Patty has carefully laid out clothing and accessories at the GR’s compound. What for? Why? What do they need all this stuff for? Meg, very upset with Reverend Matt, had a screaming and punching match out in the open, hitting him over and over again, while screaming at the top of her lungs. He wants her to come back to regular society, while she is mad and doesn’t care about speaking and cursing him. Matt has posted a series of posters about Meg’s mother. Damage control was sorely needed and Patty, at this point in nowhere to be found (she’s been kidnapped but the others in the GR don’t knoTheLeftovers_Pattyw that). Laurie comes in to stop the scene. Meg prattles on without heed, not getting it – when you’re in the GR, you are silent. You don’t go back to your former life. I don’t think that Meg is totally cut out for life in the GR. And what’s going to take place on Memorial Day?? Uh oh. This doesn’t sound good. Liv Tyler was shockingly good; she was a woman on the verge of a breakdown, the way she was ranting and raving while beating up Matt. I was impressed, because I’ve never seen Liv Tyler in that capacity. Amy Brenneman does an equally good job, playing Laurie, a woman with secrets close to her heart and anguish clearly written all over her face.

Chief Kevin Garvey is in a deep fog; unable to recall the previous nights’ events and seems to be suffering from either severe bouts of blacking out or perhaps something else. Something darker. A split personality? Post-traumatic stress disorder? Let’s bring his new friend, Dean, the very weird man who likes to go around shooting dogs and saying weird things. It boils down to this: Kevin cannot remember what happened and is desperately relying on Dean and Patti, who they kidnapped and tied to a chair, to fill him in on the sordid events. What’s even weirder is that Kevin starts to see his white police shirts nailed to the trees all around him. What does this mean? How did they get there? Didn’t he end up picking them up from the dry cleaners a few episodes back? Is he going out of his mind? And what was the point of Dean and Kevin kidnapping Patty? To what end? What’s happening to Kevin? Why is he unable to remember certain events in his life? We know he isn’t on any pharmaceuticals anymore, so what’s going on in that mind of his?

A lot of apathetic behavior was displayed from the younger folks in this episode. No news about Tommy. But boy oh boy, Jill and Amy have a fight and decide to part ways. Hey, how smart is it to be on school property, doing drugs and gossip about your father’s new girlfriend? After some insults are traded between the girls, Jill decides it would be a great idea to break into Nora’s house to find the gun. Twiddle Dee and Twiddle dumb accompany her for the adventure. Let’s go snooping in someone’s house because we have nothing better to do. What Jill and friends are trying to prove is beyond me? So what if Nora had a gun? What’s it to Jill? Why even bother going to someone’s house to break in and look around? Because, when you’re a teenager in Mapleton who’s been affected by the rapture, you get stuck in a rut with nothing else to do. Jill needs professional help. Because on her own, she’s clearly not coping very well.

Laurie tells Meg that the GR does not resort to violence and Meg couldn’t care less. You can see it in her eyes: she has a major beef with the rest of the population in Mapleton. They use violence to get their point across, so why can’t the GR? Laurie and Meg make a stop at Mike’s house, where Meg makes a halfhearted attempt at an apology. Fireworks ensue: Nora pointedly tells Laurie that while they’re making apologies to residents, the next stop they should make is at Kevin’s house, to apologize to Jill. OH SNAP. After that remark, Meg becomes resentful and keeps going on and on and finally, Laurie gets angry. She slaps Meg and puts her hand over her mouth. “SHHHHHHHH!” Hopefully, Meg will get the point. A rental truck pulls up in front of the GR residence, and Laurie pays the men. They seem less than impressed, take the cash and leave. Wouldn’t you just know, those parcels in the truck are all human shaped. Now, it makes sense why all of that clothing was laid out.TheLeftovers-cabin

Meanwhile, over in the cottage country, Dean and Kevin come to blows because both men have very strong ideas about what the next step should be. Dean wants to kill Patty. Kevin, although the man is suffering from blackouts and bouts of drinking, still has some sort of moral code and refuses to kill her. Patty appears to have both men where she wants them. Ironic, considering she’s tied to a chair and you’d think she wields the least amount of power. She’s in control and knows what’s coming next. After Kevin saves Patty from asphyxiation, Dean leaves him. Patty and Kevin have a talk about the rapture. What happened and what people have done after. She says that she understands and that she has gotten rid of everything of her former life. She states that Laurie joined the GR to have some purpose for her life. She confesses to killing Gladys, as well, which stuns Kevin. He doesn’t understand why they do what they do. She wants him to kill her – because then, she’ll be just like Gladys: a martyr. Nobody will ever forget them. Kevin releases her, because he does not want to kill her and has no desire to. He doesn’t care if she tells that Kevin and Dean kidnapped her. He doesn’t care if he loses his job over it. However, Patty has been in total control over the entire situation: you know that she is a resourceful person and picks up a jagged shard of glass. She kills herself right in front of Kevin and all he can do is hold her as the blood flows freely from her neck, sobbing in shock and disbelief. Justin Theroux brings a tortured sense of intensity; he is a man trying to uphold the law and keep a sense of normalcy for his family, and yet, the world around him keeps getting more violent and depressed. Justin’s performance as Kevin Garvey makes you really feel the angst of the family man and the frustration of the law man.

Why did Jill show up at the GR residence? What will happen next to Kevin? Will Patty be viewed as a martyr by everyone in Mapleton? Will Meg stay with the GR?

  • Jef Dinsmore

    I’m behind and just watched this episode. I loved it. It explained a lot more about the GR and their purpose. It showed Kevin and Jill both unraveling in solid performances. It showed the powerful and one-of a-kind persona in Patty stripped down to her basics. A great episode. .

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