This The Leftovers review contains spoilers.
The Leftovers Season 2 Episode 2
I mentioned this in my review last week, but I always hold The Leftovers in higher esteem after I’ve had time to really mull it over. Even though I had a lot of praise for the premiere, my impression of it has only gotten better. Few shows could execute a soft reboot as gracefully as The Leftovers has done so far, and the bold choices that have been made, such as focusing entirely on new characters for the first 35 minutes of the last episode, have worked extremely well and has only made the show more compelling.
The move this week, to pick up where season one left off, felt like a traditional premiere. Catching back up with the Garvey’s was time well spent, and having the events from last week’s episode weaved throughout was a neat decision. The performances this week, as always, were very compelling and I’m so glad to see Ann Dowd back as Patti, the hallucination that will slowly lead to Kevin’s unravel. Dowd is such a powerful presence, and to have Kevin dealing with a mental problem that plagued his father, something that he criticized and belittled, who knows how long he’ll be able to ignore that voice.
Watching the way Kevin dealt with Patti’s death was very interesting. I loved the scene of him being forthright with Nora about the situation. Just when it seems that Kevin and his new family have all the keys to happiness, he tries to “blow up” his life, mostly out of guilt, hoping it will end his visions of Patti, by getting himself arrested. His interaction with the cop with the eye patch had a black comedy quality to it that was pretty much missing last season.
Nora is still in my eyes the most interesting character on the show and I really like the way the writers have been consistent, portraying her as an incredibly impulsive person, whether its moving in with her new boyfriend on a whim, adopting a baby that she found on a porch, or spending three million on a house she’s never even seen. I’m not entirely certain that her and Kevin should be together and it will be interesting to see if Nora’s impulsivity will have dramatic consequences on their relationship.
I also have really come around to Jill, who is way more likable now that she’s not constantly sullen and angry at her father. Tom popped back up this week too, but only briefly. His stories were some of the weaker moments of last season; hopefully he’s given better material here to work with. I liked spending more time with Matt in this episode as well, and surely we’ll be seeing a lot of him in Miracle, which is just revealing itself more and more to be its own complex character. Learning about the quirks and procedures of the town will provide a lot of good moments of discovery. I’m incredibly interesting and going down that rabbit hole.
There’s still plenty of mystery this week, with Evie’s disappearance still unsolved, now made more curious when Kevin awakes in the spot of the missing lake with a cinder block tied to his foot. It’s still unclear how the Mapleton characters will weaved into the story and I fear that when we do spend time with them, that their plots will be overshadowed by the events happening in Miracle. Perhaps most intriguing was a theory poised about the disappearance that centers on location and the suggestion that more disappearances could be on the way.
I don’t really need the time this week to know that I really liked “A Matter of Geography.” So far, the Leftovers is making all the right moves and I can’t wait to see where we’re heading and if Damon Lindelof can sustain this quality.