We know Matt believes Miracle has lived up to its name by giving him Mary back for a night when they first moved to town. Since then, he has been repeating the same schedule hoping she will awaken again. His plan has not worked, but he remains constant in his hope that he can bring her back with this routine.
It is said the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions expecting different results. If this is true, the good Reverend Matt is walking a fine line between ritual and full-on crazy.
When Matt scheduled an appointment for Mary to have a new brain scan, he hoped to receive news that would prove she had come back to him. He hoped there was a documentable change since the night when she awoke. He did not expect to receive news that Mary is now pregnant.
After 10 years of infertility, Matt is thrilled by this unexpected news. He refuses to hear the administrator’s predictions that the Mary is highly unlikely to carry to term. He is more than willing to sign the form releasing the hospital of responsibility for giving Mary contrast during her test. His elation is only shadowed by the pointed remarks from the hospital administrator regarding consent for the tests. In her current state, Mary is unable to legally consent to anything. Without the ability to prove Mary was conscious, her pregnancy is a sign to the world that Matt raped his catatonic wife.
Just the same, Matt remains optimistic that Miracle will continue living up to its name.
And this is when we begin to remember Matt is just like Barney Fife. His heart is always in the right place, but this guy has an uncanny ability to fumble any situation.
On the way back to town, he stops to help what appears to be distressed motorists. In reality, it is a desperate father/son team looking for a way into Miracle. Matt and Mary are robbed of their wristbands, Matt’s hand broken and he is knocked unconscious in the process.
Matt is awakened by the calls of Mary imploring Matt to get them back to Miracle before “he” dies. She states she will lose the baby if they don’t get back soon but when he gets back to the car, she has returned to her vegetative state. The car won’t start and they can’t call for help because Matt dropped his phone in the toilet at the hospital.
After a long walk back to Miracle, Matt is able to convince the guard that they live in the town. Unfortunately, the guard inside is unable to locate any information on the Jamisons. He calls Nora but reaches Kevin, only to learn his sister is not able to sponsor him because she has been in town less than six months. This would be a great time to call Reverend Massey (his original sponsor) but instead, he fights with another man in line before sitting next to a man who seems capable of hearing Mary. Just when things seem to be hitting the height of Barney Fife-dom, Kevin and John arrive.
Sometimes, it is good to have Napoleon on your side. John immediately starts demanding answers to why Matt is zip tied with a broken hand and gets Matt medical treatment until Erika can help him in town. Matt and John exchange words about Evie and how dangerous things can be outside of Miracle. It seems as though Matt’s rough day is starting to smooth out when John begins questioning him about Mary’s doctor’s appointment. More importantly, he questions him about her pregnancy.
According to John, the results fell out of Mary’s purse and were given to him by a ranger. John is not about to have word on the street that Miracle has anything miraculous going down. He agreed to help because he owes Kevin but he insists that Matt tell everyone that Mary was never awake, even though that will equate to admitting he raped his wife. Matt agrees and seems to be willing to preserve his family’s return to town before he goes back into full Fife mode and starts asking John what happened to him to make him like he is.
Of course, John refuses to help him after this confrontation and Matt has to return to the pop up town outside of Miracle’s gates. He asks Matt for money because he plans to obtain entry from a man he met earlier who said he knew all of the backdoor ways to gain entry to Miracle.
Matt’s not ready for life on the outskirts of town. The inhabitants of the mobile pop up are drawn by Miracle but none have reached the desperation of the roadside bandits…yet. Matt is appalled by the sight of a naked man in stocks on display for the crowd. When told he could free him by taking his place, you can see Matt’s faith and his love for Mary are having a serious fight for top priority in his heart. Elmer, the man with the backdoor entries, requires $1000 to help. Of course, Matt is shy. He prays for a sign and sees a cross. After passing a Are You Really A Reverand test – he is promised $500 if he paddles a man while saying “Brian”. After losing every bit of cool he has held onto, he breaks an oar with a battle cry and retrieves his prize.
Despite being $60 short, Elmer agrees to show him the way. Matt and Mary have to enter a storm drain to sneak into town. Of course, because this is Matt, it is storming when they enter. Their grand return becomes a flush out and both are sent streaming back into the mobile pop up town.
Matt surfaces to hear his name being called. Finally, a true rescue has arrived. Nora and Kevin tell him to hide in the trunk with Mary. Nora is certain they will not check their vehicle. Matt is questioning her plan (because his have been so successful) when police sirens are heard pulling out of Miracle. Nora tells him “someone” called in an anonymous tip that the missing girls were in the camp. John may be formidable but I would pick Nora for my team anyday.
On their way back to town, they have to stop for an accident int he road. It is the father/son robbers. Dad is dead and Son is peeking from the trees. Matt reclaims their wristbands and asks Nora to watch over Mary. He states he shouldn’t have to hide.
Matt takes the boy and starts walking. He runs into John on the way out of town and says he will not lie about the miracle that happened in Miracle. When Mary wakes again, he will return. He lives the boy in John’s care and heads back to the pop up town where he takes the man’s place in the stocks.
In the end, Matt’s loves are able to share the top priority in his heart.
Summary If ever there was a perfect episode, this is it. Typical to The Leftovers, we have more questions than one episode can answer. Is Matt crazy or did Mary really come to? Will their miracle conception survive to become a miracle baby? Will Nora or Kevin see signs from Mary? Thanks to absolutely flawless performances, the story developed more intrigue with zero frustration.
The Leftovers S2E5
If ever there was a perfect episode, this is it. Typical to The Leftovers, we have more questions than one episode can answer. Is Matt crazy or did Mary really come to? Will their miracle conception survive to become a miracle baby? Will Nora or Kevin see signs from Mary? Thanks to absolutely flawless performances, the story developed more intrigue with zero frustration.