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The Leftovers – S2E3 – Off Ramp

Previously on The Leftovers, ‘A Matter of Geography’

Just when we thought The Leftovers had abandoned the theme of gloom and doom, the Guilty Remnants return.

Last week, we noticed Laurie was driving Tom from his meeting with Jill at the diner. This week, we learn the two have become a cult-fighting duo. It appears they have a solid system where Tommy enters as a recruit and helps extract Guilty Remnant members that seem to be unsatisfied with the life they thought they would find inside the group’s ranks. He brings them to Laurie, who has set up a self-help recovery meeting to assist the refugees in their return to life outside of the cult.

The Leftovers - S2E3 - Tom

Images: HBO

Except… the Guilty Remnants is still a cult and Tom has always been an impressionable young man. He struggles to resist the lure of the propaganda that once trapped his mother. (You would think a therapist would have seen this coming, but Laurie has always seemed the self-absorbed type.)

Laurie has problems of her own, as she tries to keep her group afloat despite a complete lack of income. She is working on a memoir that she is sure will bring them financial freedom, but that’s not really paying the rent on her office space. It doesn’t help that her landlord earned his MBA from the Slumlord School of Business. She is able to measure little victories with each new extraction, but it is clear she’s hanging by a thread.

The Leftovers - S2E3 - Laurie

This thread snaps when Laurie and Tom return from meeting Jill to find the members of their support group huddled around Laurie’s belongings on the sidewalk. Tom tries to reassure everyone that meetings will continue in their apartment if necessary, but that is not reassuring members like Susan, who was actually living in the office space until they found a way back to their old lives. Laurie is little help in soothing the panic as she begins tearing through the objects littering the sidewalk. It appears the landlord evicted everything except her laptop, which held the only copy of her manuscript.

Laurie makes an appointment to speak with her former landlord in an attempt to appeal for his merciful return of her computer. Nobody is surprised when Slumlord denies ever seeing the laptop. So, Laurie takes the only logical next step – she breaks into Slumlord’s house and steals the laptop from his son’s hands. As she makes her escape, she decides to play a game of car bowling with Guilty Remnant pins.

Is Laurie coming unglued? It would seem. However, Kevin’s meeting with the police leaves us pretty confident she’ll get away with her act of vehicular homicide. Nobody cares what happens to the Guilty Remnants.

Things seem to be coming around. Susan returns to her home with a bit of family counseling from Laurie. Tom finds a new cult house to infiltrate. Laurie sets up a meeting with a publisher.

Unfortunately, the return to domestic life does not suit Susan. The final straw comes when she finds a note from one of the Guilty Remnants and decides she can’t go back but she can’t stay here. Sadly, her answer to the conundrum was to point her vehicle, loaded with her husband and son, into oncoming traffic.

The Leftovers - S2E3 - Susan and Laurie

Laurie is just about to meet with the publisher when she gets the call about Susan. She considers leaving but is called back before she can exit. It seems a book deal is almost definite, but then the publisher mentions changes he’d like to see. Apparently, Laurie was unable to translate any emotion into her narration. They walk her through the stories, particularly her role in Jill’s entrapment in the fire. They really want to know how these events made Laurie feel.

The answer is homicidal. Laurie launches herself at the publisher and is next seen in a police cell. They must have been feeling sympathetic because she goes home with Tom that night.

Tom’s luck does not run the way of his mother’s. His next attempt to extract a member from the Guilty Remnants results in his exposure as a double agent. He is beaten before awaking in the back of a box truck. Whatever he envisioned as punishment could not have touched his reality. Meg enters the truck and rapes Tom before having him dragged onto the road and doused in gasoline before leaving him with the instructions to tell Laurie she said “Hi”.

The Leftovers S2E3 - Tom on ground

Despite all of these events, Laurie and Tom are convinced they can still help the extracted cult members. If they could only find a way to fill the void left by the Guilty Remnants, they could return everyone to normal.

In the closing group session, Laurie spends time sharing her story with the support group. She discloses that she hasn’t been completely honest, there are parts she omitted to protect Tom. Now, Tom is ready to tell his tale.

Tom shares his story of life with Holy Wayne through the birth of Lily. Wayne was dying, told him where to take the baby to be raised, and offered him one final gift for his service. If Tom was willing, Holy Wayne would share his gift.

When Tom opens his arms to offer healing hugs; it is hard to determie who looks more content, Tom, or the ex-cult members.

The Leftovers S2E3 - Tom Hug

The Leftovers S2E3
  • 6/10
    Plot - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Performances - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Dialogue - 6/10
6.3/10

Summary

It appears the season was just too good to be true. So many things in this episode felt forced. Why would Laurie send Tom into the Guilty Remnants? The Susan subplot felt rushed and weird. Meg is speaking, raping, and just all out Patti now? Laurie was able to smile at the Slumlord but attacked the publisher? Did we have to bring back the Holy Wayne hugs, real or imagined?

Everything that seemed to have been put to rest from last season was all dug up in one episode. It is hard to imagine the show opening all of these issues to leave them hanging and that will detract from the more interesting tales being told in Miracle.

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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.

7 Comments on The Leftovers – S2E3 – Off Ramp

  1. Hey girl! FOR THE PODCAST:

    I want you to know I wrote this on Monday so I’d have it ready. I ain’t trying to get called out again!!

    I must say I’m really glad to see Laurie has completely left her GR ways and even started a support group. Granted it’s a new group so it’s gonna take a little while for her to get it right considering her first success story KILLED HERSELF AND HER WHOLE FCUKING FAMILY. This frickin show, man. I do wonder if the sleazy landlord will come after her. Anyway, I gotta say I do appreciate that publishing exec reading her for filth! He was right about everything! And nobody came to his immediate rescue when she choked him? He must be a dick normally. Who knows.

    Fine ass Tommy needs a hug his damn self. That is, after he washes that gasoline and Liv Tyler’s “essence” off him. She really raped him, dawg. That was crazy! I do appreciate that this show makes up for the gratuitous peen we miss in Game of Thrones. I see you evening the score, HBO. But now this dude thinks he’s Holy Tommy! He needs to sit down somewhere and figure shit out. He went from Holy Wayne’s cult to halfway entertaining the Guilty Remnant, to being a prospective cult leader! Who has the damn time? I just want him to call his dad back. Maybe Kevin can help him find chill because Laurie sure as shit ain’t helping.

  2. FOR THE PODCAST

    Is there a connection to being a bad mother and named Laurie on TV shows? Leftovers, Humans, TWD.

    Anyway I loved how Laurie used her GR ninja skills to sneak in take her computer back. And then was still hype enough to run over a couple GR with nary a fuck given.

    Also I don’t blame Laurie for getting that lady and her family killed. I blame the husband. Damn he was worrisome. All that damn talking and then making her drive. She just got back from a cult ease her back in. And imma need you to try a little harder to grab that wheel.

    Tommy got some of that fire nootsie and came back home talking bout “maybe they were right”. We know he just wanted to go back in for seconds. I wonder does Meg torture everybody like that?

    Also i got a televangelist feel from Tommy when he gave that give me a hug speech. That kinda shit makes you think maybe the GR ain’t so bad if everyone is as crazy as him. Guess to get over a cult you gotta get under a new one, Am I right?

    This episode was ok but I still wanna see more of the Family Matters crew in Miracle.

    Thanks

    Also am I a bad person for thinking Regina King was the mayor from last year? Nope. ok see y’all later

  3. FOR THE PODCAST

    First of all where is this show getting all these fine ass sistas from?! Gotdamn gotdamn gotdamn!!!

    This episode was filled with a lot of self loss and regret. The one thing I took from it is when you feel betrayed or leave something that you thought was fulfilling you and you remove it what do you have to put back in its place just as Tommy said. I don’t think Lori has dealt with those feelings within herself when she left the Guilty Remnant after the riot and she hasn’t completely come to terms with her own fear and loss and it’s causing her to lash out. She should have found that grimy fuck boy ass landlord and run him over though!

    At first I didn’t like the scene with the publisher when he was essentially doing a recap of the season finale. It felt like he was speaking to the audience like remember this? But really he was laying it all out to Lori about what kind of fucked ass ain’t shit mother she was! He was forcing her to confront it but in a very condescending way and she couldn’t control her anger so she lashed out. All that pent up anger she has about herself and the GR is causing her to unravel again and she herself is not to far from going the wrong way down the on ramp. But Susan did call it, Lori was angry.

    Speaking of… why in the world would Susan’s husband let her drive?!?!! (not to be sexist but speaking from a practical perspective). I was so tense during that scene because I knew something bad was going to happen. She obviously was not ready to go back to her normal life away from the GR and any little thing was going to push her over the edge.

    Meg on the other hand has gone all in and she got goons on call! I don’t know what the fuck “that scene” was about but that was goddamn terrifying. Between this and ‘Knock Knock’ I can hardly deal! But I wonder if she raped him to get pregnant, a GR baby hmm… now that would be fucked up!

    Is Tommy Holy Wayne 2.0?! Its likely but if he’s lying does that mean that Holy Wayne was telling the truth in the first place or was it all a lie? He’s obviously still running from something. Hence the drinking.

    Other observations/questions:

    Who is David Burton and what’s going on in Australia?

    How will the two story lines converge?

    Will we see scary ass Meg again?

    Why the fuck is every show it seems is using that damn Pixies song?! Twice this time!

    I can’t wait to get back to the main story next week and see how everything plays out.

    Love you guys

    Peace out.

  4. I could have done without this entire episode.

    Why couldn’t we have left the GR in last season and moved on? An occasional text from Tom to Jill like “Yep, me and mom are still squirrely” would have told me everything I wanted to know about life continuing in Mapleton.

  5. FOR THE PODCAST:

    I love that the double J’s got their feedback in quickly this week!! I think it’s safe to say we are all terrified of Nina jumpin in our ass!! Or that could just be me lol!!

    Anyways onto the episode!! I hate to say it but I’m loving this season!! I now think season 1 is like those long ass wordy chapters that railroad likes to distract you with before you get to the good 💩!! So good job leftovers I guess!! Also I feel I deserve a pie too, for totally watching last season preferably sweet potato bc that’s the only pie my blackness will allow me to eat!!

    The reason I loved this episode the most though is because it felt like my favorite Shonda Rhimes show private practice!!!! I loved how Lori turned into violet!! She not only was a counseling people but she was writing books about her trials and tribulations and the whole episode just gave me flashbacks to when I actually thought Shonda liked me!! Speaking of Shonda I hope she was screaming copyright infringement bc she deserves no happiness but I digress!!

    Then there’s Tom!! I was totally ok with being a double agent and saving people from those nuts!!! I think we can all agree whistle blowers are the worst though!! So then we go to a scene where stuff happened and I didn’t know whether to look away or rewind tbh!! I mean one thing is for sure Meg’s nootsie is the 🐐 bc I know I’m a minute man but Bruh lasted 30 seconds…? Also she’s totally preggers now right? That has to be the side affect of taking holy Wayne’s magical negro powers, anyone you smash is immediately knocked up!! Of course that could just be in my head!!

    Lastly was the rich lady!! Why did her husband let her drive?!?! Not trying to be sexiest but if you just came back from a crazy cult ain’t no way in hell you driving me!! I honestly wouldn’t even want her to cook for me!! Bc I’m paranoid!!

    Anyways sorry it was so long but I’m actually enjoying the show, can’t wait to hear the podcast!!

  6. I loved this episode. This show never fails to disappoint and the acting is always great.

    FOR THE PODCAST

    I hope I am not too late

    Each episode is better than the next. Laurie was on point. That greasy slime ball of a slumlord ain’t shit. I hate him so fucking much and I was so happy when she got her laptop back from the slime ball clone son of his. Both Laurie and Tommy acted there asses off. I am not here for that rape. I love this show and loved how Tommy are not giving out those “special” hugs. I will take one without clothes. I am interested in seeing how Tommy’s story will go (especially if he is going to fake healing abilities) and I wonder what is going on with Eddie Winslow. I hope I see him soon because I can see a parallel between the two if we are talking about “powers” Anyway, great episode.

  7. FOR THE PODCAST:
    I continue to love this show. I was glad to see what Laurie had been up to. I was surprised that her animosity towards the GR had now reached homicidal levels.
    I didn’t expect Meg to be about rape culture. What do think was her main motivation for that?
    I’m very intrigued by Tommy’s storyline. I think he believes he has this power since he didn’t hug Jill. Powers of persuasion can be strong, but I think this is something supernatural.
    I can’t wait until next week! I’m ready to get back to see this Evie disappearance storyline unfold. I look forward to the podcast.
    P.S. I hope we get a Garvey jogging scene this season, which reminds me…….WE GOT SOME MALE NUDITY! 🍆🍌🍒

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