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The Leftovers – S2E1 – Axis Mundi

Previously on The Leftovers

If you have seen any of the commercials for season 2 of The Leftovers, you are aware there is a town in Texas that boasts of zero departures.

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Well Toto, we definitely aren’t in Mapleton anymore. In fact, the first few minutes of the season have you wondering if we are in the present anymore.

We see a very pregnant native woman lose her cave to a small earthquake before giving birth in the light of the full moon. Survivor Mom bites the umbilical cord and goes on about her survivor way. She and baby seem to be doing fine and Survivor Mom robs a nest for eggs to suck. Unfortunately, you can’t climb a tree with a baby and her newborn is soon joined in its resting spot by a giant rattlesnake. Survivor Mom jumps to her child’s defense and catches a bite in the struggle. Soon, baby is cradled in dead mom’s arms by the bank of a watering hole. Thankfully, another random native woman arrives to pick up Survivor Child and leaves mom to decompose by the watering hole.

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If you were wondering WTF you just saw, you aren’t alone. This being The Leftovers, we are used to wondering WTF we just saw. By now, it is also known we don’t always get answers to these WTF moments, so it is best not to dwell too deeply on what happened to Survivor Child.

Soon enough, we are back to present day and hanging with a trio of girls living their G-rated version of Spring Break. They splash in the watering hole, tease a visiting Doctor of Something Nature Related, and bottle a bit of water before driving home with the sounds of loud music and zero chatter.

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Just like Pleasantville, the normalcy serves to underline an oddness about the folks in this town. We see everything through the eyes of the Murphy family: John, Erika, Michael, and Evie. On the surface, they appear to be the perfect family, but as time goes on we begin to see that under the facade lies a collection of barely concealed tensions that seem to be related to the survival of the town’s inhabitants.

Image: HBO

Image: HBO

As pilgriming tourists visit the Miracle Town, we see the appearance of being something special is important, not only to the inhabitants, but to those who see this tiny town as a Mecca in their world of sorrows. With so much pressure to appear blessed, the town seems to have adopted a highly superstitious nature that does not allow anyone to risk their status as The Grateful Saved Ones.

Some people do seem truly happy here, namely our familiar faces from season 1. We encounter Matt and Mary Jamison at church, where Matt is about to reveal something amazing has happened to Mary before the local Reverand cut him off. The Garveys appear towards the end of the episode as new neighbors for the Murphy household. Kevin has a few small WTF moments of his own, but otherwise the blended family seems to have found stability. Even Jill seems to have let go of her overly angsty persona.
The Leftovers S2E1

Everything about this episode seemed to be leading up to another season of odditities left in the wake of Sudden Departure. The last few minutes changed the entire tone when Evie and her friends fail to return home after their night out. John and Michael go searching and find the girls’ car abandoned and blaring music. John is already begining to panic when Michael calls his attention to the watering hole… which is now empty aside from the fish flopping in the mud.

Overall, this was an outstanding premier. Yes, there were WTF moments, but that is what the show is based on. I feel like Jarden/Miracle, TX already has more likeable characters than Mapleton. The apparent mystery of what happened to Evie and friends is already off to a better start than the What’s With The Creepy Silent People premise of season 1.

Leave your thoughts on the episode in the comments and we’ll read it on our The Leftovers podcast tonight.

About Teri Bildstein (45 Articles)
Teri Bildstein firmly believes sleep is for the weak. She avoids this nasty pitfall by juggling her time between family, duties as Owner/Designer of Tide Together Jewelry and Gifts, ProFan contributor, and sharing her inexhaustible opinions with the people of the Internet. She is certain her marriage to Norman Reedus will be a lovely affair....provided she has a chance to meet him.

5 Comments on The Leftovers – S2E1 – Axis Mundi

  1. The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, center of the world, world tree), in certain beliefs and philosophies, is the world center, or the connection between Heaven and Earth.

    FOR THE PODCAST

    Once again Damon Lindelof throws in some cryptic but beautiful opening that simultaneously intrigues and frustrates you. That opening sequence reminded me of the arc of the first season but I won’t get into that here for times sake.

    It was a bold move to open the show on the new characters especially the Black main characters. Diversity in TV still winning. Here are a just a few highlight notes on what stood out to me:

    John Murphy at first he struck me as a good do right family man just out there working hard trying to make a honest noble living, love his woman and raise his kids. Black fatherhood, black fatherhood. But naw this nigga shady as shit and petty on top of that! Apparantly he is trying to keep the status quo of Jarden in conscious denial of the departure. Plus dude did a attempted murder bid and straight deadpanned “I guess I didn’t try hard enough” in front of new white people like it’s appropriate BBQ chicken discussion. You ain’t around kinfolk! white people scare off easily. Unless that was the point.

    Eddie Winslow aka Darius McCrary aka former super head recipient. He was really good in this and I was pleasantly surprised. I want to see more of this character. The Leftovers is bringing back all the 90’s sitcom actors, shout out to Cousin Larry and Alvin.

    Regina King, I love everything about this woman and I’m so glad she’s on this season. She didn’t get to do much in the premiere but I hope her role expands. I wonder what’s the significance behind her being deaf?

    The kids: The son seems to be on that youth pastor missionary ish but I saw him giving Jill the eye so that should be interesting later. Baby Missandei is a free spirit out here messing with those white guhls and getting taken. I don’t think this is departure related but I got a feeling bad Kevin may have something to do with it.

    Matt better keep his mouth shut and those flyers to himself because that town ain’t here for your testimony. And I’m glad Nora and them got a house next to a Black woman so that child can get her hair done right.

    I think this will be a great season and the story can literally go anywhere. I’m excited for the rest of the story to unfold.

    Love you guys, Take care.

  2. FOR THE PODCAST

    Now when people said this show’s first season was depressing and I watched, I didn’t think it was so I was all for it. However, this season’s opener was more depressing than anything I saw. I legit was about to cry. I loved seeing Regina King but that whole family of hers seems shifty. It is great seeing Eddie Winslow acting his ass off and they are fucking sick for carving letters into his forehead. I don’t like that it took the end of the episode to see Justin and I need his stubble back. But I don’t know what Regina King’s husband think he is doing, but he will not be able to get one over on Justin. I feel like they will fight eventually. Other than that, I enjoyed this episode. Next time, it shall be longer.

  3. FOR THE PODCAST

    WELP it looks like the leftovers now officially has 2 1/2 good episodes!! I really enjoyed this and didn’t even realize it had been an hour bc I was so enthralled!!

    Couple of things-

    1. I really hope we get answer about the dothraki people!! My initial wtf quickly turned into omg when Momdukes got bit by that rattlesnake!!

    2. I love that Eddie Winslow turned out to be a magical negro!! Hopefully this he can use this to raise his career from the dead!!

    3. Lastly is the new family!! I was so intrigued by every member! From the daughter streaking thru the woods and randomly giving scientists hard ons, to the son outchea being a witness and giving random meals to rayden from mortal combat! Then they have Regina King burying baby birds and being deaf?!?! Wtf is goin on there! Lastly is the father, I love how he fits into the black stereotype of the daddy only going to the church house on special occasions bc he a heathen, also he has a tiger woods tooth so he can’t be trusted (one tooth is darken than the others)!!

    That’s all I got can’t wait to hear the podcast!!

  4. Ahh Hollywood where even caveman look like supermodels

  5. FOR THE PODCAST

    So is the theme for this season 90’s sitcom nostalgia ? With the theme song and the opening credits (which was horrible) and Regina King(227) Eddie Winslow and Cousin Larry all we needed was John Stamos and we’d have a Full House.

    That opening scene almost got to me tho. When she got bit and fell down, I just started fast forwarding. I can’t see no baby getting eaten. Y’all ain’t about to get me.

    Why the Black sitcom family gotta be evil? Dammit. The Captain (aka Black Governor) had a permanent side eye. When the preacher saw that side eye he cut that testimonial off quick

    Ah man when Justin and nem pulled up and got out with that black baby, that side eye was on high alert.

    I can’t wait till they eventually fight, call it The Thrilla in Vanilla.

    Lastly, I’m a bad person because I thought Regina was the mayor from last season and I was confused as to why they were acting like they just met. IMDB set me straight. Sorry

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