This season of the Leftovers has been rocky at best, some episodes are fantastic others not so much, thankfully this week’s episode is great. It delves in the history of some of the main characters, and gives us a better understanding of characters like Kevin Garvey Sr., who continues to be one of the most interesting characters of the show.
The Fridge Game
The cold open of this episode features the continuing plight of the disaffected youth. It seems as if there is nothing these troubled teens won’t do in order to find some high, or feeling of intensity. The object of the game is simple; lock yourself inside of an old fridge to see how long you can last before passing out. Simple enough, and yet in the world of the Leftovers, the simple is oftentimes the most complicated. Once Jill Garvey enters the Fridge, and beats the previous record, the handle on the fridge door falls off. This scene is all the more horrifying due to the excellent camera work that helps you get the intense claustrophobic feeling Jill is suffering from. The surprise arrival of her Grandpa, who saves the day, is the introduction of one of the most interesting relationships that I’ve seen on this show. Jill’s conversations with her grandfather throughout the episode range from charming to straight up bizarre. One thing that’s for sure is Jill actually feels more of a connection to her Grandfather than we’ve ever seen her share with her own father.
While it was hinted at in previous episodes, this is the episode we finally get to see Nora and Sheriff Garvey finally consummate their relationship. They have such an interesting dynamic, and a lot of baggage coming into the relationship. Every time the Guilty Remnant make an appearance Nora is always very dismissive, showing just how many people are really fed up with their cult. Garvey, despite his obvious dislike of the Remnant , always seems to have a bit of a soft spot for them, due to his now ex-wife being a part of their organization. The level of openness and discourse they have with each other means that we would see normal relationship problems. It won’t be secrets, or the future ,but rather the past that kills this relationship.
My least favorite part of this show is the role of the son, Tom Garvey. He is constantly blaming others whenever anything bad happens and is not a likeable character in the least bit. In this episode we see him doing a very poor job looking after the future child of cult leader Wayne Gilchrest. Christine, the mother, is very sick and due to give birth at any moment. While at the pharmacy, he receives a call from Wayne who instructs him to leave money under a mailbox. Instead of dropping off the money and leaving, he waits to see who will pick it up and we discover that he is not the only person looking after a future child of Wayne. The other protector is not nearly as stable, as we are introduced to him snorting cocaine, and the female he is protecting seems less than reliable. Once she discovers there’s another child she grabs a gun and attempts to kill the son. This episode gives us a glimpse into just how big of a scumbag Wayne really is. He has impregnated multiple woman (many of them underage), abandoned them all, and told all of them they were the only one. Quite frankly, he has made a mockery of his entire organization. The brief glimpse we see of Wayne shows him holed up in a very rundown basement. It’s unclear whether this is the same hideout we saw last episode or if he is constantly on the move due to being on the run. As much as I dislike Tom, I dislike Wayne more so it was nice to see him finally destroy the phone (the only lifeline he has to Wayne) out of anger. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to do him much good as the reveal at the end of the episode shows that the son of Wayne has finally been born. What this will entail for the future of the show? Who knows, at least we can say the show will have a lot of multicultural babies.
The National Geographic
The weirdest portion of this episode are the scenes with between Kevin Garvey Jr. and Sr. Both characters are extremely off kilter, and we learn a lot about just how Kevin Garvey Sr. came to be locked up. The hunt Sheriff Garvey goes on to find his father leads him to a lot of weird places. I especially enjoyed the short scene in the library where we learn that the town has a Hispanic librarian who doesn’t speak any English. It’s definitely a weird touch as the library is the place you least expect to have someone work who is unable to speak the language, and yet somehow it fits. Once he has tracked down Kevin Garvey Sr. (who has been hiding out with the churchless Preacher) reveals that the secret to his unending quest lies in the acceptance of an issue of National Geographic. Again this episode is filled to the brim with fantastic weirdness. Unfortunately we get no questions answered as to what exactly the mission old man Garvey has been sent on is, as we only hear one side of the conversation Garvey has with himself. Though it’s easy to imagine he is actually speaking to the supernatural being that has given him this mission. The Sheriff refuses the gift and his father is yet again locked away. Unfortunately for the Sheriff, he just can’t escape the National Geographic as he finds it sitting on his counter, ordered by his daughter, Jill, for her grandfather.
Overall this episode has the weirdness you’d expect from the show with just enough plot development to give us more to chew on than just the odd. Here’s a preview for next week’s episode: