Previously on The Leftovers, ‘Off Ramp’
Did it happen again?
Nora’s worst fear nearly comes to pass when she wakes up alone during the earthquake and can’t find Kevin. No, it’s not a lack of cable and Internet connections – though, that may be one of mine – but a second departure. All the signs are there, so why wouldn’t she jump to this conclusion? Kevin’s truck is still there but he’s not answering his calls. A stray dog (their dog?) runs free, much like they did in Mapleton after the Sudden Departure. And Erika tells her that Evie and her friends are “gone too.” Carrie Coon plays a mixture of panic, distress, and impending heartache so masterfully, it’s impossible to hold back a tear when Nora can finally vocalize her anxiety to the police, “are the people gone?” When Kevin does arrive safely, her reaction is perfect, relief with underlying frustration. Patti is right; he does have some explaining to do.
Kevin is honest, for the most part, with Nora and Jill about where he’s been, revealing everything except the cinder block he had tied to his foot. His phone is missing and he wants to tell the police about what’s happened, but Nora remains practical. Coming so close to losing him the night before, she’s going to do whatever it takes now to keep him safe. Implicating him in Evie’s disappearance is not an option. It only makes sense then, that the two of them would join in the search for Evie and use it as an opportunity to recover the phone. It doesn’t turn up as easily as hoped, though, but Nora leaves Kevin to keeping searching until it does.
For someone so convinced that a second departure was upon her just the night before, Nora seems suddenly resolute in her belief that it was just a “one-time thing.” She tells Jill of a case she worked on in the fraudulent claims department of the DSD, where she found a man, who was thought to have been departed, hiding out in Puerto Rico. He had taken advantage of the fear surrounding the Departure to skip out on his wife. While it’s clear this story and it’s non-departure outcome was for Jill’s benefit, to ease any fears she may have about what happened to Evie, it seems as though Nora was also trying to convince herself. Just because you say something out loud though, doesn’t make it easier to believe.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#4A7097″ class=”” size=””]“No safer here than anywhere else. Of that I am certain. There are no miracles in Miracle.” – John[/pullquote]
Still uncertain, Nora confronts Matt. Part of the reason the Garvey-Durst family chose Miracle is because Matt told them it was special, that it was safe. She needs to know that he wasn’t lying. John Murphy The people of Miracle don’t want Matt to talk about what happened but he tells Nora, “Mary woke up.” The first night they arrived in Texas, Mary could speak again, but it only lasted that night. Matt’s confidence in what happened seems to be enough for Nora to believe.
This woman’s perseverance is damn inspiring. She finds Kevin’s old handcuffs – oh my! Oh wait, this isn’t supposed to be kinky – and offers to literally lock herself to him while they sleep. Nora is in this for the long haul. This is love, not damage control.
Whatever you’re looking for, it ain’t here.
Despite Nora’s best intentions, Kevin’s connection to Evie’s disappearance is inescapable. His palm print is on that car’s window and it’s been pulled for further investigation. At least he was able to find his phone, thanks to Patti. Yes, finally, Kevin listens to Patti! It seems Kevin Sr. was wise to listen to “the voices” and Kevin Jr. should have followed this path sooner. He does start showing some trust in her, heeding her warning to “not get in that car,” when John offers him a ride. John is persistent however and intimidatingly so.
Instead of taking Kevin home, John drives over the bridge to a motel where Isaac is now living. The palm print on the car has John convinced that the alleged palm reader knows where his daughter is. Motivated at least in part by his guilt, Kevin tries to diffuse the situation – John is ready to bust in there with a bat – by offering to use his detective skills on Isaac. John pretends to be on board, but ends up giving Kevin a fake room number, which he doesn’t realize until it’s too late. John is so hell bent on his assumption that Isaac has the answers, he doesn’t even register the fact that he’s been shot. John refuses to go to a hospital, preferring instead that his wife be the one to treat him.
While John is asleep on the operating table we learn that, though Erika clearly stands by her husband, she does believe in some miracles. Evie was born 2 months before Michael, weighing just 1lb and 1oz. She believes no one would want to hurt her daughter and that her daughter wouldn’t want to hurt anyone else. The conviction and love in King’s portrayal is enough for me to believe that “Evie is exceptional.” But also, you’re exceptional, Regina.
Then why did you try to kill yourself?
Kevin is unable to ignore Patti any longer. She finally pushes him over the edge in saying that he couldn’t possibly love his family if he tried to kill himself. Ostensibly, Kevin doesn’t remember tying a cinder block to his foot and is crushed when he realizes his attempted suicide was real. If we needed yet another reminder of the next-level acting on this show, we got it with Theroux’s anguished delivery of, “I don’t want to kill myself.”
Patti then reveals the supposed fate of Evie and her friends but it’s confusing, and shame on any of us that thought it might not be. She says “they drove right by in their car listening to their music” and then vanished. Drove right by where? If they were driving somewhere, how did the car remain parked at the spring? Could this have something to do with the scene from Axis Mundi when the girls are driving, staring off into space? Dammit, Patti, we need more than that! The best part though? Patti ends that conversation by straight up Rickrolling Kevin.
Things are definitely about to change in Miracle. A fact Michael seems all too aware of when he decides to scrape the orange verification sticker off of the Murphys’ home.
- Can the man in the tower see Patti, or did he simply see Kevin talking to himself? I’m partial to the idea that he can see Patti and that it’s connected in some way to David Burton; the man he was sending a letter to, who claims that he has returned from the “other side.”
- Does Virgil have some supernatural ability? He’s shown some sign of intuition towards Kevin and his “situation,” and now Nora and her “loss.” My best theory so far is that even though John is determined to rid Miracle of supposed charlatans, he left Virgil alone because he’s somehow related to the Murphys.
- Does Michael know that Evie is gone because they’re twins? Or did his sister tell him something that no one else knows? This is one question that stumps me and I can’t wait to learn more.
- If Laurie told Kevin about Neil’s, uh, shit fetish, would that mean Patti is just a manifestation of Kevin’s subconscious? I hope not.
- What is Evie’s birthday present to John? It’s touching that he’s hanging on to it, waiting for her to return but damn, I really need to know what’s in there!
The Leftovers S2E4
This episode, while slightly (only slightly!) less riveting than the prior 3, was absolutely necessary for what it offered in plot advancement. Though it’s entirely possible we’ll get an episode with similar events from the Murphys’ perspective, it seems the two main families’ stories are now largely intertwined. Kevin’s acknowledgment of Patti offered us some information, but now that he’s spoken to her, will she be sticking around?
The Leftovers has always had a knack for stringing the audience along. Giving us little bits and pieces of information to satisfy our cravings, all the while leaving a new trail of unanswered questions. For example: now we know why the Reverend cut off Matt’s story in the first episode, but is the story he was telling even true? Did Mary really “wake up?” What about the question of Patti’s realness? She seemed to know exactly where Kevin’s phone was and that he shouldn’t get into John’s car, but was it all a coincidence?
Jill and Michael are forming a very interesting relationship. There’s some level of attraction (especially from Jill) but they’re also exploring whether or not they can really trust one another. Michael is hesitant at first, though he admits he thinks his sister is gone, but by the end of the episode he’s crying on her shoulder. I look forward to seeing more between these two, especially if it means we get more information on the larger story because of it.