Last night’s episode of The Leftovers — the season’s penultimate — was particularly insane, even by Damon Lindeloff standards. While we learned approximately nothing about Kevin’s fate post-Patty battle, we did get a terrifying glimpse into the mind and coke habits of Meg, as well as an explanation about Evie’s disappearance. As usual, though, the episode brought up more questions than it did answers. Here are a few of the loose ends that Lindeloff’s forced us to contend with for another week:
1. Why did Evie join the GR?
Did anybody else scream audibly at the sight of Evie in the back of that trailer? Just me, then? Anyway, we finally know where our girl’s been these past few episodes — she wasn’t kidnapped (at least not technically, though she may have been brainwashed), she didn’t Depart, and she sure as hell isn’t dead. Somehow, the Guilty Remnant got their hands on Evie and her pals and convinced them to fake their own disappearance, likely to destroy the people of Jarden’s permeating sense of safety. But it’s unclear just how the GR pulled Evie and Co. into their ranks. We know Meg and Evie met back when Meg first visited Jarden in search of answers about her mother — the two shared a bag of baby carrots, a sense of ennui about the town (“I’m sorry you didn’t find whatever you were looking for here. Nobody ever does,” said Evie), and a cheesy knock-knock joke about a pencil (the same one Evie told her father earlier in the season). Did Meg go back to find Evie after joining the GR? Did they both come upon the cult separately? Did Meg dream up the plan to have Evie pseudo-Depart? What’s the long game here? And why are they spreading bad knock-knock jokes?
Here’s a hint: In an interview with Variety this morning, Lindeloff suggested that Evie might have joined the chain-smoking cult because she’s a particularly disillusioned teen. “We were having all those conversations very, very early on and we decided the girls were really angry about [Jarden’s] exceptionalism. They sing the Miracle anthem but they sing it snidely and snarkily and with some degree of teenage rebellion. We’re like, ‘Yeah, they faked it.’ And obviously this is a horrible thing to do — it goes well beyond a teenage prank, to put your parents through this.” (He also provides plenty of thoughts about keeping mysteries alive in today’s media environment, the danger of revealing answers too soon, and, strangely, Picnic At Hanging Rock, which he cites as an inspiration for this particular plotline.)
2. What’s with all the secrets?
In last week’s Lynchian dream-isode, the mysterious man on the bridge in Jarden whispered a lengthy sentence into Kevin’s ear before Kevin carried little Patty to the well. When Patty innocently asked what the man had said to Kevin, Kevin replied, “It’s private.” Similarly, this week, after some serious prodding, Isaac the psychic-slash-palm-reader told Meg what her mother’s last words to her would have been. In both cases, the audience was left without a single clue as to what the hell was going on. Which is typical for The Leftovers, and typically frustrating. What we do know is that whatever Isaac told Meg, it caused her to a) lie to her own husband about Isaac’s supernatural abilities (“He’s not the real deal,” she said, even after Isaac correctly called out her mom’s aversion to walnuts) and b) spit dramatically onto the ground outside of the bus. Did Isaac tell her to leave a trace of her DNA in Jarden? Or was she just pissed off at Isaac, at Jarden, at the world, for being as pointless as the pencil in her knock-knock joke?