The Leftovers – “The Garveys At Their Best”

August 26, 2014

Season One, Episode Nine

the-leftovers-garveys-at-best

Grade: A

The Leftovers ended last week’s episode with a bomb, showing Jill walking through the doors of The Guilty Remnant and seeing Laurie’s expression. Leading up to this week’s episode, I was very excited to see where that was going to lead to and I was completely anticipating Kevin to go bat-shit crazy. But we don’t get that. Instead, we’re treated to a flashback episode that opened up brilliantly. Kevin’s jogging around town, sneaking a smoke from under a mailbox. He finally reaches home and walks into a beautiful, obviously expensive house. He has a conversation with a woman in the background deliberately blurred out. We know it’s not the Garvey house we’ve seen. It sort of looked like Nora’s house, since we know she does have a lot of money, but it’s not certain. Then as the woman comes into frame, we see it’s Laurie. We couldn’t have recognized her voice, but the reveal was great. And so I smiled and thought, it’s time for a flashback episode.

“The Garveys At Their Best” is such an interesting look at how things were just a few days before the Oct. 14 departure. Kevin Sr. is the police chief and he’s so respected that he’s won the Man of the Year award in town. But specifically focusing on Kevin Jr. and Laurie, their marriage is sure in a rut. It might not seem that way at first, but there is something off that’s not clear but is evident. That doesn’t stop them from loving their children. It was a delight to see Jill so close to her mom, and how Tommy was a huge part of the family. They looked like any normal family, doing things they don’t want, talking about adopting a puppy, driving to school, and saving their asses when one of them gets in trouble. They’re not perfect, but no family is. The Garveys are together and they’re your normal family.

After we’ve seen everyone smile a few times, we get into what this episode truly represents, which is how even before the disappearance everyone was still unhappy. Kevin and Laurie have obvious problems; Patti is seeking therapy from Laurie; Tommy is going through letting go his biological father; Nora is trying to get a job while dealing with her annoying children; and Kevin is all kinds of messed up. So what’s the point? Is the show saying that we’d rather be miserable with the ones we’re supposed to love, rather than be miserable alone? Is the worldwide event supposed to unite everyone? Or is it saying that before and after, you’re the same person. Whether you were the type of person to hide from the pain and suppress the feelings or the type that tackled it head on and did something about it, you’re the same.

And then there’s the deer, which holds more importance than simply a loose deer causing havoc around town. The chief wants to put it down but Kevin wants to save it. We’ve already had close-ups with deer from the show through Kevin. A deer tore through the Garvey kitchen and a pack of dogs attacked and killed a deer. So what’s the situation here? What does the deer represent? I think it represents the part inside him that’s afraid to break free from everything he knows. It’s the part that his dad talked to him about, his greater purpose and allowing the voices to dictate what he’s supposed to do. The deer keeps getting trapped inside of places, and while everyone else wants to shoot it dead, Kevin wants to save it and set it free. Will he stop trying to keep his inner demons hidden and soon let them free?

In a way, this was just as a depressing episode as any in The Leftovers. Seeing the way of life that every character misses: Nora with her family, Kevin with Laurie, Jill with her parents and Tommy, etc. And yet, all of these things that our characters miss, they all weren’t that great. And in those moments leading up to when 2% disappears, Kevin drives an out-of-towner to her hotel after she’s traumatized from killing the deer with her car. “Are you a good guy?” Kevin hesitates but answers, “No.” He knows it. So while he should’ve been by Laurie’s side at the doctor’s, she didn’t trust him enough to tell him the fact that she’s pregnant (though it seems like it might not have been Kevin’s).

Then we get to see the moment everyone disappears. We’ve already seen Reverend Jamison with his wife, and the woman who’s baby goes missing. But we finally see Kevin with the out-of-towner when she disappears. Jill and Tommy holding hands in a circle when a student vanishes, breaking their electrical charge. And the most shocking, the baby inside Laurie disappears (and likely without Kevin ever knowing about the child). It’s a powerful moment on The Leftovers. Needless to say, if this happened to us our lives would completely be turned upside-down too.

With one episode left to the first season, I’m excited to see what The Leftovers will leave us hanging with. Does Jill want to be a part of the GR or does she just want to speak with her mom? What is Kevin going to do now that Patti is dead? How will the community react when the GR pulls their latest stunt with the help from The Loved Ones? What is the next step for Tommy, Christine, and Wayne? Unfortunately, we have to wait two weeks.

Last but not least:

- “Sometimes you just have to pretend.”
- Patti sensed that something big was about to happen, but when she asks if Laurie feels it inside of her, she says that she feels nothing.
- Kevin pulls off a balloon saying “It’s a Girl!” from the deer. If he only knew.


Flickchart Battle: Captain Phillips (2013) vs. Source Code (2011)

August 22, 2014

flickchart-phillips-source

This post contains spoilers.

In this week’s match-up we have two outstanding films. In one corner, we have a based on a true story, drama-thriller starring Tom Hanks as the captain who was taken hostage by pirates in the Indian Ocean. In the other corner, we have a sci-fi thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal who plays a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man on a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. Let’s get it on!

I loved Captain Phillips. I knew I was going to like it but I didn’t know I was going to love it. Tom Hanks was on a pretty bad stretch for a while, with movies I didn’t particularly care for such as Angels & Demons (2009), Larry Crowne (2011), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011) and Cloud Atlas (2012). But what Captain Phillips had besides an incredible story was Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93). And with Greengrass, Hanks gives his best performance in a very long time.

What I loved about the film so much was how incredible its balance was. Not only did we get a look inside the ship and Captain Phillips’ ordering drills to prepare themselves for an attack, we get to see the pirates’ side of the story and how they saw the opportunity to hijack an American freighter as a gold mine. Even when they find out they were wrong, they knew they were too deep in the job to back out. It became a mission they would take to the grave. I never thought it would be possible to feel sympathy for the pirates, but an excellent performance by Barkhad Abdi made it happen.

While Captain Phillips was truly a thrilling film, Source Code was just as suspenseful but in a more entertaining fashion. Don’t let that fool you though, because as entertaining as Source Code is, it’s also an intelligent film that offers a look on the casualties of war, technology, and how thin the moral line can be. Captain Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) goes through a Groundhog Day-like event where he keeps reliving the same eight minutes over and over again. Within these eight minutes in the Source Code experimental project, he’s supposed to track down the person who bombed the train in order to stop an even larger bombing planned in a few hours.

What separates Source Code from other blockbusters is its layers. We learn about the urgency of this mission alongside Captain Stevens, but during his first few attempts we’re able to establish a real relationship between Stevens and Christina Warren (Monoghan), a woman he’s traveling with. On top of the mission and the relationship, there is also the question of who’s in charge of this mission, how it’s being operated, and what happened to Captain Stevens’ last memory when he was in Afghanistan. This film is packed with suspense and turns, and it does a magnificent job with its satisfying conclusion (even though it doesn’t entirely make sense).

So which movie is the winner? This is a tough choice for me to make because I love both films. The acting edge definitely goes to Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi, but in the director race I’ll have to say it’s pretty darn even. Sure, Greengrass got more acclaim, but the techniques that Duncan Jones used to balance multiple story-lines in a way that wasn’t confusing for the audience are just great. While Captain Phillips is based on this remarkable true story, I always have a soft spot for time bending, sci-fi plots.

With a match-up this close, I can only make a decision by analyzing how each film made me feel at its conclusion. For Source Code, we really get invested between Captain Stevens and Christina Warren, so to have this alternate universe created where Stevens prevents the bomb from going off is very satisfying. And I loved the whole “What would you do if you knew you had less than one minute to live?” question throughout. In the end, not only does Stevens get the girl but he also saves the world. As pleasing as this conclusion is, Captain Phillips simply punches you right in the gut and then sends tears pouring out of your eyes. It all builds up to the point when the Navy SEALs take out the pirates and then Tom Hanks works his magic and gives a devastating reaction while being looked at by a doctor. It’s impossible not to feel for Captain Phillips and all the trauma he just went through. The film does a great job with such a powerful ending.

So that’s my pick. Captain Phillips by a tight margin. This is one case where I’d likely pick Source Code to watch more often, but the sheer weight of Captain Phillips gives it the edge.

Winner: Captain Phillips


Fargo – “Morton’s Fork”

August 20, 2014

Season One, Episode Ten

fargo-mortons-fork

Grade: A-

-

“Lester, is this what you want?”

That question haunted Lester for the final days leading up to his inevitable death. But let’s back up and discuss the events that unfolded during the finale of Fargo. It’s always tough for TV shows to deliver a great finale. Is “Morton’s Fork” a great finale? Probably not, but it’s satisfying and that’s never a bad thing.

Going into the finale, we had two main characters that really dug themselves into a lot of trouble. The downfall for both Malvo and Lester was that they believed they were better than everyone else, and eventually they paid for it. Malvo, the skilled killer that he is, never imagined he would be caught. He’s so good at what he does and always deals with people he knows he can handle, that even though he’s prepared he allowed his enjoyment for killing to get in the way. I’m not completely buying that Malvo would’ve just walked away after shooting Lester’s wife in the back of the head. But I can believe that he was playing a game with Lester, allowing him to scamper away just to even the playing field a little bit for one more day. Maybe Malvo was even tipping his cap to Lester, “Good one buddy. You tricked me this time.”

One question that bugged me was why did Lester bring this all to himself? Why didn’t he just let Malvo be in Las Vegas? It’s because just like Malvo, Lester thought of himself as smarter and better than everyone else around him. It’s quite the transformation from the Lester we saw in the beginning of the season, but that scared, push-over of a man was gone. This was now the man who killed his wife, framed his brother for it, got his high school bully murdered, banged his wife, and got away with all of it. No wonder he was tripping on a high, especially after receiving the salesman of the year award. And the great thing about Lester’s story was that again and again, he was able to go toe-to-toe with Malvo and outsmart him. All the way to the very end, by setting the bear trap and breaking Malvo’s leg, Lester won. He survived the evil that Malvo represented, but the one thing he never understood was that he, himself, was another kind of evil.

If there is anything that Fargo is trying to tell us, it’s that being a good human being does pay off. Just like the movie, the good guys triumph. Here, with the stakes high and the suspense turned all the way up, it’s Gus who puts an end to Malvo. The mailman and the guy who questioned his very duty as an officer when he let Malvo go that one night, yes that good ol’ Gus. He’s the one who spotted the red convertible and he’s the one who made the choice to make things right. This also leads to the scene where Molly finally gets her relief with proof that she’s been right all along. Her reaction when she listens to the phone call between Malvo and Lester is perfect.

Of course, this leads to Lester being trapped and quite literally, he finally falls through the thin ice he was standing on. The final shot of the season shows us Gus, Molly, and Greta sitting on the couch watching Deal or No Deal. Gus is given the credit for capturing and killing Malvo, but he knows that all the credit should go to Molly. In the end, the good guys win and this great family is safe.

Last but not least:

- One scene that I loved was when Greta joined Lou on the front porch with her BB gun. 

- Something that Fargo did very well was pointing out to us who the truly good characters were, while the bad characters were muddled. I wanted to like Lester, and I did in the beginning, but he transformed into a monster. And while it was obvious Malvo was a villain, it was hard to root against him in the beginning because he did everything with so much confidence and charisma, I didn’t think he would ever be caught. And who wants to root for the losing team?

- Budge and Pepper end up getting killed by Malvo. They weren’t the best of FBI agents, but they did provide us with a few memorable scenes.

- Bob Odenkirk telling Molly he’s stepping down and making her deputy was beautiful. I couldn’t help but think of No Country for Old Men and how he just couldn’t handle all the crazy in the world anymore. He just isn’t cut out for it. I hope Molly at least keeps him in charge for obtaining additional snowplows when needed.


My 1,000th Post!

August 19, 2014

post-1000

Well it looks like I’ve made it to 1,000 posts! Honestly, that never crossed my mind when I first started this blog in 2007. All I wanted to do was jot down some ideas and opinions about movies and TV shows so I could look back somewhere down the line and relive them. I never thought it would become so much fun to the point I considered it a serious hobby of mine. And now here I am at one thousand posts. It’s an accomplishment I’m proud of and one that made me look back at all of my previous ramblings through the years. Here are a handful of my favorite pieces:

First Review: Veronica Mars Season 1 on November 14, 2007 (http://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2007/11/14/veronica-mars/)

veronica-mars01It all started with my first review, which wound up being Veronica Mars Season One. I remember hearing about this show when I was in college, but looking back now the only shows I watched during my college years were The Office and Arrested Development. After I graduated, I had a lot more free time on my hands and I recall thumbing through an Entertainment Weekly and the full-page ad for Veronica Mars struck my eye. I still had no idea what this show was about and because of the title, assumed it had to do with aliens of some sort, but something intrigued me enough to rent the first season and give it a go. And I never looked back. Though the first few episodes were a struggle, I’m glad I stayed with it because to this day Veronica Mars remains as one of my favorite shows ever.

Horror Movies Suck on October 29, 2008 (http://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2008/10/29/horror-movies-suck/)

horror-screamI love movies, but I’ve never been a fan of the horror genre. So around Halloween of 2008, I decided to express my opinions in a post I titled, “Horror Movies Suck.” I can’t say that this was one of my more-appreciated posts, but nonetheless it was a post I wrote with passion. While I still watch a horror movie here and there, I’m still not that impressed most of the time.

First Oscar Predictions Post on February 21, 2009 (http://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/my-big-oscar-post/)

oscar-statuesFor anyone who knows me or has read my blog, you know that I love the Oscars. While they don’t always recognize the best films every year, it’s without a doubt a celebration of film and the great work the men and women in front of and behind the camera do. The 81st annual Academy Awards was the first Oscars that I wrote about in the blog, and every year I have tried my best to do a better job.

The Top 6 Bands I Saw at Bamboozle 2010 on May 6, 2010 (https://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/top-6-bands-at-bamboozle-2010/)

bamboozle-girltalkAside from movies and TV shows, I love music and love going to concerts. Here is one of my favorite pieces I wrote, about my experience at Bamboozle in 2010.

Inception Explained on July 22, 2010 (https://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/inception-explained/)

inception02If you were anything like me, which was obsessed with Inception in 2010, then you most likely tried to decipher the many twists and turns of the complicated film. Well, I put all my thoughts into a post and it has become my most-read post.

My Top Ten Concerts of 2010 on June 22, 2010 (http://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/my-favorite-concerts-of-2010-part-2-10-1/)

bamboozle-gaslightIn 2010, I attended 30 concerts (19 of them in the last four months of the year), so I decided to list my favorites in a post. Even though I love every concert that I go to, these top ten most definitely will stay with me for a long time.

Blue Valentine and Match Point Made Me Lose My Faith on August 4, 2011 (http://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/blue-valentine-and-match-point-made-me-lose-my-faith/)

bluevalentine4You know when there’s a film that just stays with you long after the credits roll? Two films that did that for me were Match Point and Blue Valentine, and so I combined my thoughts into one lengthy post. This is definitely one of my favorite posts I’ve written.

High School Movies of 2012 on April 19, 2012 (http://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/high-school-movies-of-2012/)

21-jump-streetThere are always a bunch of high school movies every year, but in 2012 there were a particular handful that I enjoyed and wanted to compare. These included 21 Jump Street, Chronicle, Project X, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

The Finale for HIMYM on March 31, 2014 (http://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/how-i-met-your-mother-last-forever/)

himym-last-foreverOne of my favorite shows that I actually watched right from the pilot through to the finale ended this past year. How I Met Your Mother was a rare sitcom that balanced jokes and quirks with lovable characters and heart-felt story-lines. I must say that this show will surely be missed. And while not everyone shared my glowing reaction to the series finale, I think I have a very good case at my reasons why I loved it.

The Ultimate ’90s Kids Movies Bracket on April 7, 2014 (http://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/90s-kids-movies-bracket/)

90s-kids-movies-blogArguably the most tedious series of posts I’ve ever completed was the ’90s Kids Movies Bracket. What started out as a podcast idea among close friends, I decided it would be best to showcase our results in a series of posts. We started with 64 films and we narrowed it down to one ultimate winner.

So that’s 1,000 posts down and many, many more to come! For those who have been with me since the beginning, I thank you for reading my blog and commenting. For those who might have stumbled upon The Entertainment Blur, I hope somewhere within my 1,000 posts I have at least kept your attention for a few minutes. I will continue to strive for writing better posts and hope you all continue to take the ride with me. Once again, thank you!


The Leftovers – “Cairo”

August 18, 2014

Season One, Episode Eight

the-leftovers-cairo

Grade: B

After a few weeks without any major plot points regarding the Guilty Remnant, we get the biggest blow yet to the local cult in “Cairo.” Remember Kevin’s problem of blacking out? If you thought the dog bite was bad, he takes it to another level last night. Apparently after lying down in bed, he gets up, drives to the bar, talks with Dean, and while driving him home he spots Patti giving him one of her infamous “fuck you” looks, and then he just snaps. He jumps out of the car, attacks her, throws her in the truck and ties her up in a cabin he used to sneak off to when young. But he doesn’t remember any of it.

When he does snap back to reality, he’s appalled by what has taken place. At the same time, Dean is confused at the complete change of heart shown by Kevin and wants the “other guy” to come back to finish what they started, but Kevin is set on letting her free. That is until she claims she’s going to report him to the authorities and soon after he’ll lose his job as Chief of Police and likely will lose custody of his daughter. To Dean, there’s a very easy solution to all of this, but there is more conflict inside of Kevin’s head. This is the moment when he has to decide what kind of man he is.

This is as much as Jill’s episode as it is Kevin’s. Jill, the rebellious teenager that she is, certainly has it tough. Her mom has left her for the GR and her dad never has any time for her, being the Chief and all. So it’s no wonder she’s a damaged girl floating around town without much care to what happens to her. As proof with last week’s episode, she wanted to get into that fridge, not just to beat the record but with the slight possibility that she’ll disappear (or die). Just like Nora being shot in the chest with a bullet-proof vest on, Jill is hanging onto life by a thread. She wants to feel the moments leading up to her death, but when it becomes a reality she clings onto the last bit of life she can.

That’s why the relationship between Jill and Nora is so interesting. Nora has dinner with the Garveys and Aimee and naturally, Jill isn’t thrilled about her dad having his girlfriend over. Jill questions Nora about having a gun, and even looks inside of her purse with Nora’s permission. There’s no gun, but Jill’s not convinced. She winds up breaking into Nora’s house and discovering that her handgun was inside of a board game box in her daughter’s room. This causes Jill to break down and cry. At first, I wasn’t sure why she was so upset, but I think it’s because of how she can relate to Nora out of anyone else in her life. Nora lost her entire family to the events on Oct. 14; Jill has also lost her entire family even though none actually disappeared. Seeing Nora doing so well, and her father genuinely happy when he’s with her, was like an alarm going off in Jill’s head. Maybe it is possible to get past all the pain. Maybe it is possible to feel better from a never-ending hurt.

Except Nora still has the gun. Even though she doesn’t carry it with her, she still has it in the house, and that’s proof that she’s not entirely over her pain. And this causes Jill to cry because the one person who she thought finally had everything figured out ends up being a fraud in her mind. No matter how much Nora smiles and no matter how nice she seems, on the inside she’s still clinging onto the fact that her family is gone. It’s important to mention how Jill also fought with Aimee in the episode, because Aimee (unlike Jill) seems to be ignoring the great disappearance. But that’s who she is. She drifts wherever she wants to go; wherever she feels welcome. It’s just that Jill had enough of her bullshit. When you’re that depressed and going through so much, you can only relate to other people in similar situations. So Jill can’t put on a fake smile like Nora, she can’t pretend nothing is wrong like Aimee, and she isn’t as preoccupied as her dad. No wonder she entered the GR at the end of the episode.

This was definitely shocking, though not entirely surprising. Jill has no where else to go and thanks to Patti’s talk with Kevin, we get more of an understanding about the GR and what they represent. Do I completely understand? Like Kevin, I don’t. But they don’t want to keep living without constantly thinking about the great disappearance. They don’t want to pretend like they’re okay. They don’t want to move on from the incident. They want to live in its mystery, its fear, its desperate uncertainty. Could there be a more perfect place for Jill? I doubt it.

In the end, Kevin chooses to let Patti go and she’s surprised, but that doesn’t stop her from picking up a large piece of glass from the floor and stabbing herself in the neck. Poor Kevin. He does the right thing and admits he’ll turn himself in and face the consequences of the actions he doesn’t remember, and still he’s left with a bloody corpse in his arms. The more this happens, the closer he’ll get to believing his father. The big question is, what’s next? The Leftovers usually has a few weeks pass between episodes, but it seems like the Memorial Day plan for the GR is too big of an event to skip over. Which is good because I want to see how Laurie accepts Jill and what Kevin does immediately after Patti killing herself. And how will the community react from the GR’s stunt? I guarantee there will be violence.

Last but not least:

- More parallels between Kevin and his children: Jill takes a knife and cuts the dog loose while Kevin takes his knife to cut Patti loose.

- Patti confesses that Gladys’ death was planned, and how Laurie’s turn is coming soon. Since Patti has just killed herself, I guess Laurie’s the leader now? How long until she dies? Why would anyone want to be in the GR?!

- Meg throws a fit and attacks Reverend Jamison when he spreads more papers, this time targeting her mom (who died the day before the sudden departure). “Her grief was hijacked.” 

- Nothing from Tommy, Christine, and Wayne this week.

- With only two episodes left, I expect the penultimate episode of the season to be full of fireworks.


Movie Review: Magic in the Moonlight

August 14, 2014

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
97 minutes
Rated PG-13
Directed by Woody Allen
Starring: Colin Firth and Emma Stone

magic-in-the-moonlight-poster

Grade: C+

Woody Allen practically makes a movie every year. That being said, it’s just expected that there will be a number of memorable ones, and a good amount of stinkers. Unfortunately, Magic in the Moonlight falls under the stinkers. I understand what Allen was attempting to do with the film. If there was something I did love about the movie, it was its themes of skepticism and rational thought versus faith and emotion, but he was never able to execute these themes properly.

Starting with our protagonist, Stanley (Firth), a world famous magician, he’s brought in by a friend (Simon McBurney) to debunk a young female American who claims that she can communicate with the dead and has a specialty for reading people’s pasts. The extremely skeptical Stanley is almost too excited to exploit the American, Sophie (Stone), but slowly she begins to break him down with her charm, wit, and unique gift.

I’ll admit, the first half of the film is very good. It’s light-hearted and carried by Colin Firth’s performance as the arrogant magician who considers everyone below him. When Sophie again and again surprises Stanley, Firth is able to truly show a sense of shock and bewilderment. Before our eyes, Stanley becomes humble with his understanding of the world. From a man who thought he knew everything, he becomes a man who not only questions everything he believed, but he accepts that there might be a part of the world he cannot comprehend. In turn, he becomes a happier man and he has Sophie to thank.

But then the film runs into its major problem, which is a number of flimsy and predictable sequences leading to the very end. Instead of concentrating on its central themes, Magic in the Moonlight turns into a romance without any real chemistry between Stanley and Sophie. All of its charm and lightness is turned back into Stanley’s blackened heart for the world. And for almost no good reason at all, the conclusion sticks out like a sore thumb for clumsy and lazy writing.

For what it’s worth, I didn’t have much expectation going into Magic in the Moonlight, so I can happily take away its well-done first half and its themes. But overall, the film becomes forgettable and there isn’t any good reasons to ever revisit this movie again. For what it’s worth, I loved Midnight in Paris (2011) and Blue Jasmine (2013) gave Cate Blanchett an Oscar (along with two other nominations). Hopefully, next year Allen will return with another winner, keeping the pattern intact.


The Leftovers – “Solace for Tired Feet”

August 13, 2014

Season One, Episode Seven

the-leftovers-solace-for-feet

Grade: B+

Like father, like son. While it seems like Kevin Sr. is certainly crazy, isn’t that just a matter of opinion? When there is something happening that we cannot understand, we’re quick to throw the “crazy” word around it. It’s usually surrounded by cynicism and skepticism because for some, it’s impossible to imagine the possibility of miracles, signs, or to have faith in the mysterious. So is Kevin Sr. crazy? Is it crazy that the voices in his head told him that Jill was trapped? Coincidence or miracle? These are things that Kevin Jr. is currently going through, and he’s struggling to choose a side.

So Kevin Sr. escapes and Kevin Jr. spends most of the episode tracking him down. But Sr. is on a mission to show his son something. It ends up being the May 1972 issue of National Geographic. His reaction to this is the same as our reaction: wtf? What’s he supposed to do with that magazine? As far as we know, Jr. isn’t hearing voices in his head (yet), but when Sr. asks him about his sleep and his dreams, we know that Jr. is deep into those already. Which brings me to that dream that Kevin Jr. had. Dean’s outside of his house, claiming he trapped a rabid dog in the mailbox. When Kevin Jr. slowly approaches it, Tommy is walking inside of the house. On Dean’s pickup truck, instead of dead dogs there are dead GR members, including Laurie. There’s no way for Kevin Jr. to realize what the dream means, but there was plenty of intuition there, he just doesn’t know how to read it yet.

Speaking of Tommy, he’s told by Wayne to leave $3,000 cash under a certain mailbox. On Wayne’s side, he doesn’t look well and is alone with just a mattress in the empty room. During last week’s episode, Wayne hinted to Nora that he doesn’t have much time. Much time to what? Is he going to die? Will there be another disappearing act? Anyway, Tommy wait for the money to be picked up and follows the car into an apartment where there is another pregnant Asian woman! It winds up being another pair of people that Wayne has informed, just like Tommy, to keep safe and who have blindly obeyed his demands.

Through the first season, the Wayne/Tommy storyline has easily been the weakest, partly because of its vagueness and partly due to the unconvincing characters and their motivations. That being said, we finally get a little light shed into this storyline the past two episodes. We saw Wayne’s hug in action last week and this week we find out that there are more pregnant Asians with a handler. Again, this really just brings up more questions but at least it’s becoming more interesting.

In the end, it all comes back to Kevin Jr. who is going through a lot, especially with his dad chirping in his ear about following his purpose in life and to stop fighting and just accepting it. Though he rejects his dad and throws him back in the hospital, you can teel he’s beginning to make that turn. He’s flushing the medication down the toilet, agreeing with his dad that they blur his thoughts. And his reaction after seeing the National Geographic magazine on his kitchen counter (that Jill ordered) is priceless. He just might start believing in the crazy that he’s going through, but then again is he really crazy?

 

Last but not least:
 – The myth about the kid disappearing while in the fridge is great, and the way it’s films truly made me claustrophobic.
 – Something that I love about The Leftover is how it’s able to focus in on specific characters or stories while the rest of the world keeps moving on. Other programs would lead up to the GR protesting in the middle of the street, but not The Leftovers.
 – Things that I noticed that linked Kevin Jr. to his son Tommy: they both injured their left hand (dog bite and bullet) and they both smashed a cell phone. Also at the end of the episode Kevin and Nora have sex while Tommy walks in to Christine and her baby girl.
 – It has been a few episodes without any major GR development. I expect that to change very soon.


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