The Leftovers Recap: Losing My Religion

The Leftovers Episode 3

In this week’s serving of The Leftovers, Meg, Tom, Mayor Lucy — lotsa people go missing. But they haven’t joined the ranks of the Departed, they’ve just stepped away from the spotlight so that the series can dish out a Very Special Episode devoted to Christopher Eccleston’s Reverend Matt. And, in fact, it is pretty special. Read on, and I’ll tell you all about it…

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BEAT IT | As the hour opens, Matt is encouraging his (tiny) congregation to join him in praying for a brain-dead little girl named Emily when a brute of a man storms into the church, pummels him and stuffs one of his accusatory flyers into his mouth. Yet, in spite of his injuries, the Rev refuses to press charges. “Occupational hazard,” he tells Garvey, who seems to be an old friend. Afterward, Matt pays a visit to Emily’s hospital room and is informed by an orderly that, against all odds, she’s woken up right as rain. Holy crap! The prayers worked, thinks Matt. At least until the orderly reveals that Emily recovered the night before his sermon!

GET LUCKY | Later, when not dodging calls from his bank or being stalked by the Guilty Remnant, Matt heads to a casino to investigate a tip about a Departed dad who supposedly gambled away his kids’ college funds. There, he spots — of all things — pigeons landing on a roulette table. Is it a sign? And if so, a sign of anything more than that the casino should keep its doors shut? For now, we don’t know. And Matt soon has a more pressing matter to attend to, anyway: The bank has received an offer on his church, and the only way that he can keep it is to come up with $1 more than is on the table — $135,000 — by EOD tomorrow.

MONEY CHANGES EVERYTHING | Desperate, Matt pays a visit to his sister, who, it turns out, is Nora. She agrees to give him the dough — her benefit cash from the disappearance of her family — but only if he’ll quit printing his tell-all pamphlets. No way, he says. So no way, she says. At a stalemate, he — to hurt her? Help her? — reveals that her husband was cheating on her. “It’s the one story I will never publish,” he adds as if that somehow lessens the sting. As you’d imagine, as caring as she is, she sends him packing without a check.

THE GAMBLER | That night at Casa Jamison, we learn that Matt’s wife, Mary (Janel Moloney), has been in a vegetative state ever since they were in a car accident on that fateful October 14th. Between this, the imminent loss of his church and his apparently fairly regular beatings, the Rev is at his wit’s end. “Help me,” he beseeches God. And then a light bulb goes off in his head, and off he goes to retrieve a peanut butter jar full of money left to him by Garvey’s father. (It’s The Leftovers — you just kinda have to go with it.) Laurie catches him in the act but agrees to remain silent (ha!) if he won’t tattle to her husband that she was hanging out in their backyard. Deal. Next, newly armed with $20k and knowledge gleaned from another sign — pigeons perched on a red light — Matt heads back to the casino, gambles at the pigeon-approved roulette table and boom! Wins all the money he needs to hold onto his church. Even though he gets mugged as he’s leaving, nothing will stop him — he attacks and, as far as we can tell, kills his mugger to retrieve his hard-won jackpot. All he has to do now is go to the bank in the morning. Easy, right? Wrong!

BORN TO LOSE | On his way to the bank, Matt sees a GR member get clocked with a rock from a passing truck and stops to offer assistance. Since no good deed goes unpunished, the truck returns, and its passenger hurls another rock at Matt. (This dude has amazing aim, by the way.) When Matt awakes in the hospital following a dream that involves everything from his parents’ fiery death to having sex with Laurie, he makes a beeline for the bank, only to learn that he’s too late — he’s been unconscious for days! To add insult to injury, he then discovers that the new owners of his church are… the Guilty Remnant!

OK, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Is there a limit to how much you’re willing to accept on the basis of “I don’t get it, but it sure is fascinating”? Hit the comments!

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27 Comments
  1. BamaEd says:

    Well, I don’t get it and sadly I don’t find it fascinating. I want to, but I don’t. I had to turn it off halfway. I just don’t find the reverend or his story engaging at all.

  2. “I don’t get it, but it sure is fascinating”? You hit the nail right on the head.

  3. Ian says:

    I didn’t see the episode, and I couldn’t even make it through this recap to see if it had gotten any more interesting…

  4. Carter says:

    Started slow but I think it’s gotten pretty good. I’m digging it.

  5. Joe Petitjean says:

    Well you hit the nail dead on,I don’t get it. strange yet fascinating.

  6. Emily says:

    As someone who has read the book, I found the first episode a little disappointing. I know that it is hard to compare the two mediums. Each week has been getting stronger and stronger in my opinion. The preview for the weeks ahead looks fantastic and it seems they will hit a lot of the big moments from the book.

  7. Michael says:

    best episode yet! love the connection to the pilot but I did miss the main characters. fantastic episode and I will definitely continue watching

  8. Sh33va says:

    I really want to like this show, but the lack of explanation on an array of things are making it very difficult. I will watch next weeks episode mainly bc I’ll die from curiosity if I never find out wtf is going on…..

  9. Matthew says:

    Can we talk about why the good reverend had no urgency to check on his wife once he learned how many days he’d been playing vision quest?

    • G. says:

      I sort of wondered the same, but I assumed the unpaid maid is known and entrusted, and despite his stiffing her (though, no more, now that the 160K is all his…), I’m sure she’s still there at the house taking care of Mary — or at least, would have had someone else take care of her. She’s worked for THREE weeks without pay … this is not a woman who’s gonna leave Mary to die.

  10. My question was about his last look … was it just me, or was it very malevolent towards Patty and the G. R. as a whole?

  11. Boy, I hope this is not predictable Lindelof fare – predictable in that unpredictable weird stuff keeps happening that never ever really gets explained. He totally got me with Lost, and it was fascinating and new and soooooo good. But it seems were heading that same way again and I dunno if I can deal with that frustration again. I’m going to have to quit cold turkey when/if someone finds a hatch (or it’s metaphorical equivalent). :-)

  12. Fiona says:

    I don’t really understand why so many people seem to be so horribly confused by this show. There are many things that we’re probably not going to find out for a long time, so if you don’t like it or understand it, then just stop watching it. I personally thought this episode was amazing and definitely the best yet. I think it would be great if more episodes focused on one or two people at a time. It kept the plot really tight and interesting.

  13. LaLucci says:

    This show is going nowhere…slowly.

  14. Liam Tait says:

    I really like this show, the pacing is slow but its so beautifully shot I think when it is done it will make a great collection.

    Christopher Eccleston was phenomenal in the episode, but I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the cast return next week. It will be interesting to see how the cult evolve now that they own the town’s church.

  15. Walter Freeman says:

    “… he’s been unconscious for days!”

    Just “days,” you say?! Oh, Andy. Matt was unconscious for THREE days.

    (Obvious Christ allusion is obvious.)

  16. I’d wondered why the show had got Christopher Eccleston on cast only to hardly use him. Now I know the answer to that one. This episode probably counts as one of the most intense hours of TV drama I’ve ever seen. Even though most of the other characters were barely there, it still managed to pull a lot of threads together rather neatly. We also got answers I wasn’t expecting this early on the show. Despite that it was still a very hard episode to watch. I couldn’t handle more than 5 or 10 minutes of it at a time, and eventually skipped to the end as I was dreading what would happen.

  17. Scott says:

    I’m losing interest in this show quickly. I’ve got about 1 more episode in me before I call it quits. It’s just one gratuitous mystery after another with nothing to tie it all together.

  18. Jill says:

    It’s sad how lazy viewers are getting. It’s a mystery show. There’s going to be a lot of mystery. If it hurts your brain that much, watch something on CBS.

    • Mike says:

      My thoughts exactly.
      I especially love the mystery of it. It’s the best new show, in my opinion. Glad to have a show to look forward to on Mondays (I don’t live in the US) now that Game of thrones is on hiatus.

  19. Revulú says:

    THE JUDGE was driving the car that crashed into the reverend & his wife on Departure Day

  20. LaBete says:

    I’ve been DVR’ing this show, and hubby and I are just starting to catch up with it. It is sort of weird and wonderful! This episode, especially, was like a stunning short film about Rev. Matt. It was really good! One thing I’ve been wondering: is it normal for churches to be owned by a family? Shouldn’t it be owned by the Episcopal Church? Or is it run like a franchise?

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