After The Leftovers‘ surprisingly beautiful and meditative (and grounded) “Guest,” “Solace for Tired Feet” amped up its supernatural elements. Watching The Leftovers can be like watching several different shows at once; there are so many things about it that don’t connect, and each episode can almost feel like an entirely different genre. Fairly major characters are ignored for several episodes before appearing later, or everyone is left out of an hour when just one character is explored. It makes for very disjointed viewing, essentially acting as a sampler platter. If you don’t like the direction the show is going, just wait another week — it may be completely different. Hit the jump if you’re feeling crazy.
Kevin Junior’s hallucinations and dreams have been on the back-burner for several weeks, to say nothing of his connection (and issues with) his father, Kevin Senior. Senior coming to Jill’s aid when she almost suffocated in the fridge was reminiscent of True Blood, and the idea that if a vampire has had some of your blood, they know where you are at all times (and can feel when you’re in danger). There’s something magical here. Him saving her was no accident, though he doesn’t explain why after she dismisses his coincidental cover story.
This kicked off an hour of probably the most mystical Leftovers episode yet. Senior hears voices, which he says tell him the truth, and they are very adamant that Kevin posses a May 1972 copy of National Geographic. His escape from the mental health facility was so that he could track down this issue. After he came up short at the library, he searched online and then asked for $200 in order to buy it, writing the info down on a scrap he accidentally (or on purpose) left for Jill (which she ordered, making Kevin confront this benign demon again). Dogs also played a part: Kevin dreamt of them in a mailbox, and of shooting them with that dog-hating guy. At some point in the night, he brought a stray dog home and tied him up in the yard, sustaining a bite which Aimee helped him dress, none of which he remembers.
The point of all of this was for Senior to tell Junior that there’s something in the blood of this family that is special, or different, or important, and when “the crazy” starts to kick in, it’s just that it is your time — so you’d better give in. Junior is, naturally, confused and upset about these revelations, and rejects them. But there’s another interesting connection between Senior and Matt. Junior found the jar that we first saw in Matt’s episode, with the money Senior had left for Matt. He also mentions going to church, and making sure Matt visits him on Sunday. It’s an interesting contrast to the nihilism of the Guilty Remnant, but there’s still not a lot there to connect (especially since Matt never actually quotes from the Bible, but from the Apocrypha — presumably to keep things religious-y without actually pointing towards the Rapture).
Off in Gary, Indiana, Tom makes some interesting discoveries when he uncovers yet another white guy tasked with protecting an Asian girl whom Holy Wayne impregnated. While Tom drops off the money and ends up shot in the hand by LeAnne, the other “special” girl (of who knows how many), Christine delivers her baby in a bathtub on her own. (And it is worth noting that Tom sustained a hand injury similar to his father’s).
The Leftovers has asked a lot of viewers this season, hinting at many things coming together over the course of the season, but not actually revealing much. But it also hasn’t really done much — aside from its single-character episodes — to give us a reason to care about any of these characters, or even allow them to expand from being two-dimensional personalities. With only 3 episodes left in the season, that’s a heck of a investment with very little return week to week. But we’ve come this far. Let’s see what this damn May 1972 edition of a show is going to show us.
Episode Rating: B
Musings and Miscellanea:
— The best thing about this episode was that cool shot to open the episode.
— I did like that Jill finally had something more to do besides mope and pout, actually breaking the fridge record and, later, secretly helping out her grandfather.
— I am glad Nora and Kevin finally consummated their relationship, and now that Kevin finally got his rocks off, he seems to be in a better mood altogether.
— What is up with the dogs, seriously …
— When Senior was ranting in the diner, “don’t wake up! Go back to sleep!” I couldn’t help but insert “sheeple.”
— “I have to question their strategy: oh no, my family photos are gone, I’d better wear all white and start chain smoking!” – Nora, who remains the best (and also doesn’t care if Kevin is crazy, because she calls people over to shoot her, so).
— Why would you have a tattoo of a fly under your bicep … ?
— Interesting that Meg ratted out Kevin, and that Laurie really doesn’t care.
— “So?” – Laurie, me.