This episode may have been a flashback, but its message is arguably more important to the show’s present than it’s past. In last week’s episode we saw a troubled Jill Garvey ponder as to whether anything will ever be okay again. Unbeknownst to her, nothing with the Garvey’s has ever been okay. Their family was dysfunctional down to its very core. The departure didn’t make things worse; it only made the grief that everyone was hiding okay to flaunt in public.
“Something’s wrong inside you”
We learn who the majority of the Guilty Revenant were before the departure. Patty was an isolated housewife in therapy, and Laurie was the therapist. It speaks a lot to the relationship of the characters we see throughout the earlier episodes, and makes you understand the complete role reversal. Patty was in essence the person speaking the truth, while Laurie who was paid to be someone who knew the internal problems of the mind was the one who had no concept of it. We also discover that Kevin Garvey is not the father of her son, and the original father wants nothing to do with the young man. Along with this revelation we also discover that Laurie was indeed pregnant, and lost the child in the events of the departure. It’s a harsh reality of the universe the Leftover’s presents, and an idea I’d never thought possible. It adds a lot to these central characters.
The Woman and the Deer
Sheriff Garvey, or has he was known in this flashback Lieutenant Garvey revealed he cheated on his wife in an earlier episode, and we assumed it was a normal affair. The unnamed woman with whom Garvey commits adultery with is a passerby, someone who doesn’t even live in the town. They are brought together by a confused deer that is constantly getting trapped in buildings throughout the town. Garvey sympathizes with this deer, because in many ways he himself is the deer. A trapped animal who can’t understand why he keeps getting himself in these situations and instead of learning from the deer Garvey continues its legacy by going home with the woman who killed it. Much like the deer, that bright shinny object of lust disappears with the departure, as the woman is one of the many who disappear. Garvey can neither repent for his sins, nor choose to leave his wife. He is left with the insurmountable guilt of his actions with no proof he ever committed the deed.
“Prayers are stupid”
Along with the dysfunctional Garvey’s we see more into the misery that is the life of Nora Durst. In all honesty she seems happier without her family, which may be the hidden guilt she has been carrying throughout the show. Her husband is terrifyingly absent, and her children seem to torture her at every turn. We see she longs for independence, and requires a true purpose in her life. When the departure happens she gets all of her dreams, a true example of be careful what you wish for.
Even in the flashbacks the town was a place of true oddity. The aforementioned deer is first spotted by Kevin Garvey while on a run throughout town, and appears to have an angelic glow. Later we find out that it’s only a balloon that has been attached to its antlers. Hauntingly eerie the balloon reads “it’s a girl”, signifying the death of Kevin’s baby girl unbeknownst to him. More Garvey weirdness is the fact that while on one of his constant runs Kevin encounters a large explosion underneath the cities sewers. The effect is a little hokey but it’s still quite the intriguing shock.
Overall this is by far my favorite episode of the show this far. It reveals leaps and bounds about character motivations, and relationships. It also really focuses on how life has always been a confusing jumbled up mess, and no singular event can be blamed for all of it. Interestingly enough the only Garvey whoever was “okay”, and “at their best” was Jill, not because the world was perfect, but because her childlike innocence shielded her from the horrors. A must see for anyone even remotely interested in this show.
One more left until season 2…