The Mindy Project – “We’re a Couple Now, Haters!”

September 17, 2014

Season Three, Episode One

mindy-project-were-a-couple

Grade: B

In sitcoms, when you have the main characters romantically linked early on in a show’s run, that usually leads to a lot of creative problems for the writers. In most (or all) cases, the tension building up to the moment is a lot more fun than when you finally get there. New Girl was great before Jess and Nick decided to date, once Jim and Pam (The Office) dated and got married their story-line was shot, and so on. So with a show that’s geared directly towards being a romantic-comedy sitcom, what’s next? Doesn’t the movie usually end once the main characters finally get together?

Mindy and Danny are still in their honeymoon phase, which involves a lot of smiles and sex. Unfortunately, while Danny likes to keep what happens in the bedroom private, Mindy likes to blurt to everyone about how incredible their sex life is. Naturally, this results in their first (of many for the foreseeable future) fight as a couple, but things go much deeper than anticipated.

After Mindy commits to Danny that she wouldn’t talk about their sex life, she stumbles upon a pink thong in his drawer. He’s embarrassed but Mindy assures him it’s okay to keep certain things from exes. One assumption leads to another and Mindy goes from believing the thong is one of Danny’s exes, to a stripper, finally to the result that the thong is for a male stripper and most likely Danny’s! Ah, how the plot thickens.

Meanwhile, Peter and Lauren’s relationship is threatened when Jeremy and Lauren kiss after spending so much time together planning a charity event. I’m not positive about how long this love-triangle story-line will play out for, but I guess it’s a decent B-story for the time being. And then there’s Morgan, who absolutely steals the episode with his hilarious one-liners, plus his Cousin Lou (Rob McElhenney from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). Morgan is the perfect blend of a ridiculous human being with a soft heart and compliments the other characters extremely well.

So where does The Mindy Project go from here? How rocky will Mindy and Danny’s relationship be this season? Is it going to shadow Jess and Nick’s bumpy road from New Girl’s third season? Or will it try to do something spectacular by breaking the trend and giving us some new insight to a successful sitcom couple? For now, they’re off to a pretty good start, but there is a lot to build on from here.


New Girl – “The Last Wedding”

September 17, 2014

Season Four, Episode One

new-girl-last-wedding

Grade: A-

The third season of New Girl was rocky, primarily due to Nick and Jess’ roller-coaster relationship inevitably leaving them contemplating if they could recapture the friendship they once had. It was a questionable decision for the show-runners to throw Nick and Jess together so quickly and so passionately, but we have seemed to weather that storm and now, for better or worse, Nick and Jess are back to being friends in great sitcom style. And that’s a good thing because when these characters aren’t involved with anyone, that’s when they can really shine through their silly one-liners and shenanigans.

So the gang are all single, including Cece who admits to Jess that she and Buster broke up. Also, we’re four months past the season three finale, and apparently all summer the gang have been attending weddings together, because that’s plausible or something. But it does set up a great plot for this episode: Schmidt wants everyone to score at the final wedding of the summer! Or as Jess puts it, she wants everyone to sex-fist their way through the reception.

At the wedding, Jess attempts to make a move on the best man, Ted (the hilarious Reid Scott of Veep) but has direct competition with Kat, played by the lovely Jessica Biel. Meanwhile, Coach, who has been very successful throughout the summer of weddings, has fallen into a trap when a handful of women he’s slept with are at the last wedding, usually leaving him with wine all over his suit. And then there’s the Schmidt and Nick duo who are discussing the possibility of a four-way. While it’s clear that Schmidt wants the four-way more than Nick, Nick is willing to do anything for his friend to get Cece off of his mind… even if that does include being in a “fog of war.”

What works about the season four premiere is that the gang are all single again, meaning they’re open to a lot more things and don’t have the consequences for their stupid actions. This is where New Girl is as its funniest. Oh, and it’s nice to have you back again, Schmidt. After your terrible love triangle story-line of last season, it’s great to see you ogling Cece again, though the whole “Cece is a goddess” thing isn’t going to work since you two have already done it dozens of times. Anyway, the silly is restored in New Girl but most importantly, so is the heart.

The bathroom scene between Nick and Jess was a reminder to us of why we loved this show from the beginning. Their chemistry and close bond is the perfect compromise with the whacky story-lines throughout every episode, and it’s great to see them so close again. Though this all only happens through TV magic, because no one can become best friends like that again after going through a tough break-up the way they did with each other, but for the show’s sake I’ll forgive them.

So while no one ended up going home with anyone from the wedding, they didn’t return to the loft lonely because they all had each other. Cheesy yes, but it’s the New Girl formula that simply works. And I loved the symbolic gesture of decluttering the refrigerator from all the wedding invitations. Let’s hope these characters remain single for a long time because it’s proven that when they start to date and settle down, so does the show.

New Girl Character Ratings:

Here’s something I’ll be doing every week, grading each individual character based on their involvement every episode.

Jess (B): She starts off with a bang because of her “sex fist” gag, but gets run over by Kat trying to win over Ted. I love Zooey, but having her stand next to the gorgeous Jessica Biel didn’t do her any favors. But it was great to see her and Nick rekindle their friendship while sitting in the men’s room.

Nick (A): The tap shoes were a brilliant ongoing joke, and one that fits his character perfectly. And it’s great how he tried to distract Schmidt from Cece by wanting to go through with the four-some, until Schmidt touched his hoof-hands. The icing on the cake was his attempt at a playful joke towards an engaged couple, “I hope they can’t have kids!”

Schmidt (A): The return of Schmidt was a delight, giving New Girl the much needed boost of one-liners. “It makes me angry and scared all at the same time, just like when I hear the phrase ‘Academy Award winner Anna Paquin.” – “I’m soft like a lady, you won’t even know.” – plus his great physical comedy when he’s trying not to do anything weird after talking with Cece.

Cece (C+): She’s broken up with Buster so that tension between her and Schmidt is back! Just that news alone is enough to give her the MVP of the episode, but other than that she’s practically invisible, aside from being absolutely beautiful. Hmm, I think I was harsh with my grade.

Winston (B-): Winston is sore from all his police training, but he does have a hilarious scene demonstrating to Schmidt and Nick using the salt and pepper shaker. Oh, and he also said this gem, “The only thing I want in my mouth is Mr. and Mrs. I.B. Profen, minus the Mr.”

Coach (C): Every girl that Coach talks to at the wedding, he’s already hooked up with. That’s impressive and extremely unlucky at the same time. Unfortunatley, that’s his only role this episode.


The Leftovers – “The Prodigal Son Returns”

September 8, 2014

Season One, Episode Ten

the-leftovers-prodigal-son4Grade: A

If you’re looking for answers then you’re watching the wrong show. It seemed clear from almost the very beginning that The Leftovers was never going to offer any type of explanation about how or why the people who disappeared did so. And for some people, that’s insanely frustrating. It brings back memories of how mysteries were left unanswered in that Lindelof and Cuse show from a few years back, but The Leftovers is a different breed of mystery. What the show is trying to say is that there are no answers to those unexplained phenomenons. What’s important is what happens next and how your feelings will drive you forward.

After the flashback episode we’re thrown back into the moments following Patti’s death. There are some brilliant shots here and without any words we feel what Kevin’s feeling. It’s a mixture of desperation and confusion on what to do next. He calls Matt and he arrives as soon as he can and helps Kevin dig himself out of that mess. Then comes our first great scene of the episode: Kevin reading from the book of Job before burying Patti’s body in the woods.

the-leftovers-prodigal-sonIf I haven’t said this enough, Justin Theroux pumps so much life into Kevin Jr., it’s a shame he’s not getting more recognition. Theroux reads the passage that Kevin obviously doesn’t believe in, but he’s incapable of holding back his tears as he’s slowly being broken down to that moment in the diner when he reveals to Matt why he truly thinks he wasn’t taken on Oct. 14 (which is another great scene from the finale). Why wasn’t he taken? Because he wanted to leave his family? Because he had sex with a woman he didn’t know? Because he’s not a good man? And he continues to remember back to that day and when he returned home, his family was there worrying about him and all he wanted to do right then and there was hold his family and keep them close. And that’s what he’s been trying to do ever since, but to little success. Tommy’s been gone, Laurie’s with the GR, and even though Jill lives in the same house she’s as distant as can be.

Meanwhile, Tommy goes through a crisis when Christine abandons her baby. Is that the last we’ll see of Christine? Probably, but it’s more a relief that the Tommy/Christine/Wayne story-line has come to an end. It has easily been the worst plot of the first season, but in the finale it all seems to come around full circle. That’s because after Kevin opens up to Matt, he sees Holy Wayne in the bathroom with an open wound and intestines popping out of his gut. I assume that Holy Wayne was one of the more frustrating points for people who dislike The Leftovers. Is he for real? Is he a phony? What’s his point? But when he asks for Kevin to make a wish, his face lights up as he tells Kevin that his wish is granted. And then a SWAT team busts through the diner and drags Wayne away.

All of this, the rebirth of Kevin from a man who knew he was bad, to a man who tried to hide the fact he was bad just to be good, to a man who now understands he craves to become a good man, it all leads up to the defining scene of the finale. At this point, Kevin and Matt just want to return home to something normal again, but what they confront is a Mapleton that has been thrown into chaos.

Without Patti, Laurie still agrees to carry through with the stunt of placing those Loved Ones bodies at all of the vanished homes. Though Carrie Coon didn’t have many scenes, she might’ve given the best performance with her mute screams of agony when she sees the replicas of her family sitting at the kitchen table. It’s surely a cruel thing to witness, having family members you’ve lost replaced by life-sized dolls wearing the same clothes. But it’s the whole purpose of the GR, to make sure no one forgets what happened. I’d say they achieved that.

the-leftovers-prodigal-son3While the town turns on the GR, shooting at them, tying them up and beating them, Kevin quickly turns on the cop-mode, throws on a vest, grabs a gun and tries to help out the GR. It’s clear that not even the police want to help out the GR at this point because everything that is happening to them they brought it onto themselves, but Laurie is still one of them so that forces Kevin in. And then after Kevin rescues Laurie from a man dragging her, she speaks her first words since joining the GR. “JILL!” She points inside the burning house and it doesn’t take Kevin too long to realize that his daughter is in great trouble.

These final minutes of the episode are shot perfectly. From the chaos in the streets to the burning wreckage of the GR community, and finally the after-math of it all. Kevin saves Jill and she hugs him back as they both glare at Laurie with disbelief she let that happen to Jill. The voiceover from Nora about to leave Kevin is incredibly heart-breaking, as those two seem to be the only two people who can save each other. But just as she’s about to drop off the letter, she picks up Christine’s baby that has been left on Kevin’s porch. And then something clicked inside of Nora. Holding that baby gave Nora a reason to smile and a reason to stay. Kevin, Jill, and the dog that bit Kevin in one of his blackouts are now united as Kevin’s wish is granted. Finally, he has a family.

Last but not least:

- The expression on Matt’s face when Kevin tells him that the woman he was having sex with disappeared was priceless.

- Tommy returns to town to drop off the baby, but he also sees his mom as she stared at the memorial. Will Tommy stay for good?

- What are we supposed to make of Kevin’s “dream”? Whatever the case, it was disturbing.

- What I love about this show is how it makes you feel. Not how many questions are answered, but how these characters try to keep living after such a tragedy. Whether it’s the “abandoned ruin of a dead civilization” like Nora penned, there is always something worth living for and everyone has to find that. Is it possible for Nora and Kevin to find that with each other? That’s what we have Season 2 for!


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.


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.


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