THE LEFTOVERS: “A Matter of Geography”


Sorry to get this to you so late, but it has been one of those stressful weeks. It is not quite as bad as  what Kevin Garvey has been going through, but enough to throw things askew. Anyway, so much happens in this second episode that it is difficult to lay it all out here. Hopefully, I shouldn’t have to because you have been hanging on to every scene as it has unspooled before your eyes. Luckily this is not a scene-by-scene recap but a look at highlights and major themes and revelations contained in the episode.

First, I am a stickler for titles. Why is the episode named what it is? The words ‘a matter of geography’ were stated in the scene when Nora met the interested buyers of her Mapleton house. They were MIT representatives who felt that those who Departed had to do so based on where they were geographically. It is a great scene within the hour, but the scene you just might remember the least from the episode as the rest of the content was more intense.  

I bring the scene up for another reason besides just being linked to the episode’s title. We are told by the producers since the beginning to invest in how the world, especially the Garveys, deal with the situation and accept the fact that the situation will never be revealed. An explanation of the Sudden Departure won’t happen and yet, we have a scene like this one. We’ll never know why, but if we are lucky we’ll learn how. Now, what we see happening in Jarden TX appears, on the surface, to be the beginnings of that how. So, secondly, we explore that connection next.

It appears that the three missing girls were victims of a Sudden Departure. That mystery, of course, will be revealed more as we go along. Who knows what we will learn? I am going to dangerously throw out a thought here and see what you think. Have you ever seen any of those paranormal ghost chasing programs? One of the devices they use detects the levels of EMF spikes, right? Supposedly, an electromagnetic frequency at a high range can make you feel unsettled, nervous, paranoid and even cause you see hallucinations. So, in our story, could the earthquakes intensify such a frequency? Could these invisible forces  cause a Departure? Could they cause Kevin Garvey to black out, sleepwalk and see Patti Levin? Just a thought I had.

Another thought I had was how much I don’t mind leaving Mapleton behind. Oh, we haven’t completely left it in the past, but I’m not sure much needs to be said after the Guilty Remnant staged their final event. More on that as the episodes continue. But, I liked the flashback sequence taking us through how the Garvey’s (or most of them) left Mapleton and moved west. It tied scenes together nicely. It also give us a thorough look at what kind of place Jarden, the Miracle City, really is. No one there may have been claimed by the Sudden Departure, but they certainly have felt the effects of it which has manifested in quite an odd and interesting way. We would only get to see that if we traveled out of Mapleton, so that angle has proven an effective plot device for me.

All the smaller details of the story prove quite interesting, but the one plot line that dominates is, of course, what happens to Kevin Garvey. He seems so unstable and the only way to block out the demons is some of the heaviest of heavy metal music. Does that block the frequency or something? Perhaps but he can’t keep it up. Patti Levin invades his head a number of times and she’s not going away! Nor can the music prevent the sleepwalking. It is due to that condition that he ends up in quite a predicament that, however, saves his life. That changes the meaning of the season’s poster doesn’t it?  Not a total spoiler here – but you just can’t drown if there isn’t any water to do it in now can you?LeftoverS2_poster-202x300

Dare I dig more into the  episode? What about  the animals? Jarden quarantines pets, including the Garvey’s dog. What does that town know about their behavior? There are no crazed animals there; hell, even birds can live buried it seems. What about Kevin allowing himself to get caught with Patti’s body after his huge guilt trip laid on his mind? His being let go of any wrongdoing says a lot of what people think of the Guilty Remnant. It seems Kevin did the world a favor.  rev. Jamison, however, did not seem to do the Garvey’s a big favor in inviting them to Jarden. What has he learned? What do the citizens of the town know and hide? It seems typical of this show and Lindelof’s style to connect the dots to a few things, but yet offer more questions in their place.

Again, it was bulging full with so many wonderful moments played out just the right way. It is a must see. We have Kevin, Nora, Jill and Lily trying to settle in and Kevin’s intense, disturbing behavior. We also have the set-up for the big mystery behind the Murphy family and the disappearance of their daughter Evie. Also, there was the reminder that Laurie and Tommy are still about (Megan Abbott is still to appear). I realize that we are only two episodes into the second season, but for the impact this episode left me with I see it easily as one of my favorites for the way it was presented and for what was revealed. “A Matter of Geography” is top-notch.

We have Episode Three to look forward to now. It is entitled “Off Ramp” and it premieres SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18 at 9:00pm. Here is a preview.

Well, what do you know we feature Laurie, Tommy and Megan and the still quite active Guilty Remnant. How do they tie into this season’s story? We can’t wait to find out. And in the weeks ahead –

Find Episode # 11 here


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