Everyone has dreams. Dreams for a better tomorrow. Dreams for themselves, the world, the way we live: our own everyday lives. Realizing those dreams? That takes work. And effort. And passion. And maybe even a little bit of madness (hello, Kevin Garvey.). It’s important to remember those dreams lest you wake up one day to realize your whole life has passed you by. If anything is important to the folks on The Leftovers, it’s waking up and realizing what’s truly important. (Sorta.)
Originally, I wanted to title this ‘No, Patti, I don’t understand you,’ because I was feeling more lost than any child of Garvey we’ve met thus far. Because this episode? It was a head-scratcher, to say the least. We’re two episodes away from the season one finale, so Damon Lindelof and Co. are clearly setting the stage for something big and ominous. But what is it? And who’s got the right idea?
Everyone is in a state of stasis: they can’t really let themselves live (willingly or otherwise), while simultaneously unwilling to die, either. Well, except for Patti. Oh, Patti, Patti, Patti. For every possibly logical belief of the Guilty Remnant, there is a hell of a lot of nonsensical ballyhoo going on, too. And Patti’s explanation of their silence and the need for her own death was one of them.
Like the revelation that Gladys had been murdered by Patti. (A thing I had hypothesized as possible to my viewing buddy at the time.) Why? And how does that fit into the GR’s way of being? Because life is meaningless, and what we should’ve all been doing, apparently, is prepping for imminent death. Honestly, the logic of the Guilty Remnant is only something I can follow to a point. Because if life is truly meaningless, then why force other people to make the same choice as you? Why waste all that time and money when there’s some allegedly real crazy business coming down the pike? If you want the free will do smoke cigarettes in all white, why aren’t people allowed to decide that doing nothing is fine, too? Do our really want to involve people with half the heart for the stuff if what’s allegedly coming next is so serious?
And to what end does Patti’s death serve? She was so intent upon dying in that cabin in Cairo. And hers was a death she seemingly knew was going to happen. The way in which she handled the situation, none of Kevin’s actions shocked her: until he let her go. Was the goal to implicate him? To affect him in some way? To drive the point home that ignoring the Sudden Departure’s “meaning” kills us all? To give her death, above others, some sort of meaning? How can anyone be so sure of anything in this world of theirs, let alone why and how millions of people disappeared without a trace?
This, naturally, got me thinking. Is that the point of the whole of these cults? To change people and how they handle a tragedy this terrifyingly inexplicable? To rewire the world? To teach humanity that some things cannot and should not be moved on from? Why?
On an intimate, personal level, it is evident enough that this has affected people. Every person’s individual story has proven as such. No one is complacent in willful ignorance. No one is happy or OK. They’re merely getting on. Grief is a personal thing, and no matter how they handle it, it works for them. And either it will or will not prepare them for “what comes next” — if anything does. It is up to each individual to step up to that personal challenge.
Like Nora. Is she the fully cured, happy-go-lucky thing she portrayed to Jill? All sexy, Kevin-filled romps with rice krispie treats? No! But is her even having the gun a bad thing? I tend to say no, but I am not Nora. Nor is Jill. But Jill was not looking to prove Nora wrong with the gun battle. She wanted to believe that Nora was as cured as she said she was. For whatever reason the gun was a symbol of that. Jill wanted to believe that it gets better, but when she saw that maybe it doesn’t, she gave up and is on her way to becoming the newest member of the GR. Much to Laurie’s relief.
The one to really worry about is Kevin. After the escalated creepiness that was Shirthenge and all the events surrounding, it is evident that his dreams take him on terrible adventures: proof, perhaps, that Grandpa Garvey might not be so far off?
The most interesting aspect of all of the opposing sides is the imploration that the world needs to wake up. That, well, that feels true. The complacency people have in their own grief and purposeful misunderstanding of such an event, or ANY event that changes things, is unacceptable. In all of life. A wakeful existence is the only thing that keeps a person truly alive.
Maybe the cults all ave some part of the mystery right. Maybe The Bridge of Holy Wayne’s crusade is a thing. Check, maybe it’s Kevin, Jr. Maybe the GRs are right about an oncoming second onslaught (hey: that mass grave was reported as suddenly empty now, as was reported on the news while Meg watched on TV). Maybe the voices talking to Kevin Sr aren’t going to give up on him that easy. Maybe they’re all getting part of the message and need to work together to find a whole point.
Or maybe there just isn’t one. Maybe we just don’t understand, Patti. Maybe we never will.
– After all this time, why talk now, Patti?
– Meg’s outburst: anger at Matt or more at herself for committing?
– The mysteries of Josh the Dogman continue. Is he a ghost or an angel?
– WHERE IS TOMMY? I am worried.
– And WHAT in the actual …freaking heck is happening in Kevin’s sleeping hours? Seriously. That Shirthenge (as I’m calling it) was THE creepiest thing. And all those boots. WHAT is going on?!