The Leftovers – “B.J. and the A.C.”

Season One, Episode Four


Grade: B

After an episode that concentrated solely on Reverend Matthew Jamison, we’re back to multiple story-lines that involve the Garvey family. It’s Christmas time and of course when the holiday is supposed to represent peace and happiness, it’s just another reason to mourn the ones who disappeared from the world. In the center of all the action is Kevin, who has plenty on his plate. Someone stole the Baby Jesus from the Nativity scene in town and Mayor Lucy demands that Kevin recover it. And if he can’t find it, then he’s to buy a new one and say he found it. Why? Apparently the mayor believes Kevin needs a public win, which is probably true. But in reality, everyone in town needs a win, not just the chief of police.

Kevin’s reaction to the whole Baby Jesus dilemma is interesting. While he does think of the idea of replacing a doll to be completely ridiculous and a waste of his time, there is a part of him that wants to replace the doll to preserve the small amount of faith that still exists within him. After everything that has happened to him and the rest of the world, there is still faith that remains intact and that Baby Jesus represents exactly that. So that means he’s unable to simply replace the Baby Jesus by buying a new one at the store. He needs to recover the one stolen. It’s going to a public win but more importantly, it’s going to be a moral victory for himself.

We find out that Jill and her friends were the ones who stole the doll, exactly what Kevin suspected. Jill’s still the rebellious teenager, smoking weed and drinking alcohol around a campfire, but even when she’s about to set fire to the Baby Jesus doll (Viking style!), she’s unable to pull the trigger. Honestly, I would’ve liked to see her attempt to shoot the Nerf gun accurate enough because I always let out a small chuckle at how it only takes one try to get it right (though I believe it was in GoT that showed that’s not always the case). Anyway, Jill’s reluctance to set the doll on fire shows how she hasn’t completely lost her faith yet either.

Then there’s Tommy, the other Garvey kid who’s traveling around with Christine and waiting for Wayne’s call to inform him what to do next. He’s babysitting Christine, defending her when people try to choke her, and also brings her to clinics to check on her baby. Tommy certainly has a lot of courage to do all of this for her and Wayne, especially when it was obvious how much he liked her during the first two episodes. But a lot has changed since then and over a month later he hasn’t heard a word from Wayne, nor from that smiley face cell phone he’s grasping so tight. This is where Tommy loses his faith in the cause (whatever that is, your guess is as good as mine at this point). But just as he’s about to break, with the GR watching him a few feet away, the phone rings with an automated message. It wasn’t Wayne, but it was enough to restore Tommy’s belief.

Finally we get back to Kevin. He allows Meg and Laurie in the house when he finds them waiting by the front door. Meg reads him a note on Laurie’s behalf, serving him divorce papers, but Kevin doesn’t accept it. He demands that she say the words herself if she truly wants a divorce. It’s an emotional scene that is topped by Jill walking in and handing her mom a Christmas gift, a lighter with the words “Don’t forget me…” inscribed on it. In front of Meg she throws it down a gutter but at the end she wants so desperately to have it back. This is symbolic to the back-and-forth feeling for what we want and what we have. Even though Kevin knows Laurie is lost and gone, he’s not willing to sign the divorce papers. Even though the kids steal the Baby Jesus doll, it’s replaced by another doll that Matt had. Can memories ever be replaced by new ones? Can loved ones? Because if they can be, then you can throw it out the window like Kevin did with the doll. Or you can continue to keep stretching with all your might, trying to remember the past even if it’s just inches away from your fingertips.

Last but not least:

  • It’s confirmed that Kevin cheated on Laurie during their marriage. With who? And did she disappear? That’s yet to be seen.
  • It was a bit surprising to hear that Tommy is Laurie’s son from another man, not Kevin.
  • Kevin and Nora. I wouldn’t mind them becoming some sort of an item in the near future. Though Kevin admitting to Nora that he cheated on his wife would probably be a deal-breaker for her.
  • I didn’t mention how the GR broke into people’s houses and removed pictures of the departed. It’s no doubt powerful and creepy seeing all those empty picture frames, but I’m sure everyone still has plenty of digital copies on their hard drive somewhere. Now if they wiped out everyone computers…
  • Kevin’s car dies and he has to switch to the truck left for him by the dog-killer. So we’re not completely out of the woods yet with that story-line.
  • The scene with the road littered with white body bags shipping bodies for people to bury was really eerie. But it’s what the crazy guy who attacked Christine mentioned. And Christine seemed surprised and happy, confirming the dream. But seriously, wtf?

One Response to The Leftovers – “B.J. and the A.C.”

  1. […] “B.J. and the A.C.” (S01E04) […]

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