This Week’s ‘The Leftovers’ Was A Straight-Up Shakespearean Mindf*ck

Entertainment Features
08.18.14 41 Comments

For a ten-episode first season of HBO drama, The Leftovers, Damon Lindelof has managed to pack a lot of emotional wallops into a short amount of time, and after two very good episodes on the heels of “Gladys,” the series returned to the Guilty Remnant. And man alive, Lindelof did not pussyfoot around anything: He went for broke, giving us the biggest character death of the season and 47 different kinds of mindf**ks.

The A-plot in last night’s episode took place in Cairo, New York, which is interesting because “Cairo” could be heard on the walkie talkie during one of Kevin’s “dream” sequences in last week’s episode, and because it was also a topic in the National Geographic magazine mentioned in the episode. Things are connecting in bizarre and dreamlike ways, and therein lies the mystery of Kevin’s plotline.

How much of it is real? Or alternatively, how much of it is staged?

On the face of it, Kevin fell asleep in his home, and he woke up in his truck in Cairo, NY, only to learn that he picked up Dean, stumbled upon Patti, knocked her out, and brought her to a cabin, which is when Kevin somehow woke up in his car and stumbled back out to the cabin to discover what he had allegedly done.

But here is where it gets complicated: Kevin has apparently made several overnight trips to Cairo, if his once missing shirts (found near the cabin in Cairo) are any indication. There’s a lot of questions surrounding Dean, too. Dean is the dog killer. Dean was there when Gladys was discovered. Dean was apparently with Kevin the night that Kevin brought home the feral dog, and we’re not even positive that Dean exists! Patti has found no record of him. Patti thinks he’s a “ghost.” Dean says he’s a guardian angel. Who is to say that he’s not one of the voices that Kevin’s father said he was being sent?

I think Dean does exist — he’s a member of the community — but I’m not sure that the guy who goes out with Kevin actually exist. He may be Kevin’s split Fight Club personality. Maybe. Or maybe Dean is pulling all the strings and he’s making Kevin believe that he’s crazy. Maybe Dean is part of this whole f**kign conspiracy. Maybe Dean and Patti have been working together the entire time, maybe they staged the events in Cairo. Maybe this is how Patti wanted to die.

Truthfully, I don’t have a goddamn clue what’s really going on. It doesn’t make sense that Kevin would so carefully assemble his shirts on the trees. It doesn’t make any sense that Dean would leave him his truck. It doesn’t make any sense that there’s no background on Dean. The relationship between Kevin and Dean is definitely not what it seems.

But there’s also some suggestion that what went on in Cairo may have been a dream, too. The song playing at dinner with Nora? Otis Redding’s “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember.” And having all of this happen at a cabin Kevin remembers from camp in his childhood is just the sort of thing a crazy person’s subconscious would do.

It’s confusing as hell, but I am excited to see how it’s all cleared up.

What’s not confusing is that Patti told Kevin before she MURDERED HERSELF IN THE NECK that 1) she arranged to have Gladys killed for the benefit of the Guilty Remnant, and that 2) Laurie is either next in line (or scheduled to die soon). Oh, and 3) Kevin at least believes that Laurie left him for the GR because he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants.

Woah! So, I was right about Patti having killed Gladys, and maybe Glady was ready when she agreed to it. I don’t think she was ready to die once the stones actually began to fly. I think we’re also going to find out that Laurie was one of the people throwing those stones, hence the brief hesitation.

Meanwhile, does Laurie’s scheduled martyrdom change with Patti’s death? Does Laurie take over as the de facto leader of the Guilty Remnant now? What is it that the Guilty Remnant is planning with what appears to be stacks of Loved Ones (or replica corpses) on Memorial Day? I gather that they’re planning to dress them up and place them in the homes of their surviving relatives, which is why Meg was so giddy about what was going to happen to Nora.

That is some sick, twisted business.

Also, Meg needs to sh*t the f*ck up. On the other hand, we kind of understand what’s wrong with Meg now: She had her grief hijacked. She lost her mother the day before the rapture-like event.

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