The Leftovers Recap: Unsolved Mysteries

It’s a shame that more viewers aren’t able to focus on the weirdness of The Leftovers instead of its melancholy. If they could, the show — which, by the way, is pretty fantastic — might not already be known as the biggest bummer on television. In this week’s episode — only the series’ second — beleaguered police chief Garvey fears that his bagel has vanished into thin air, making it the first breakfast food to join the departed. And it only gets stranger from there…

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LIKE FATHER, LIKE… UH-OH | In fairness to Garvey, he has good reason to be concerned if foodstuffs are going around disappearing on him: He’s afraid that, like his institutionalized dad before him, he’s losing his marbles. It doesn’t help his case that the mystery man with whom he shot wild dogs last week was gone before anyone but Garvey saw him. Even worse, when the guy’s truck does turn up, it turns up in Garvey’s driveway! And the elder Garvey — who, it bears mentioning, argues with people who aren’t present (or at least aren’t visible) — says that someone has been sent to “help.” WTF? It gets more confounding. Later, the mystery man shows up on Garvey’s doorstep with a six-pack and news of another dog pack, and tells him, “We’re doing the Lord’s work, believe you me.” By this point, we might have thought he was a figment of Garvey’s imagination — kinda a Sixth Sense thing — only Jill sees him, too. Curiouser and curiouser…

MIXED NUTS | When not busy trying to keep his s— together, Garvey continues to target the Guilty Remnant and, during a visit to the pledge house, meets Meg. He hopes that her fiancé will convince her to go home, but the guy is so ticked that she ran out on him, he asks, “Why would I do that?” Meanwhile, none too pleased that the GR newcomer has kept the cop’s card, Patti “yells” at Laurie that she’s going too easy on her. But as far as we can see, Laurie is being pretty brutal. Every day, she strips Meg of more of her belongings, she refuses to share her cigarettes, and she instructs her to chop down a tree that’s as thick as a highrise. In the end, whatever she’s doing seems to work, too. Rather than flee the cul-de-sac, Meg renews her attack on the tree with the vigor of a pint-sized Paul Bunyan.

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GUNSMOKE | After we learn a bit more about “Holy” Wayne — such as he’s wanted on eight counts of statutory rape and has a thing for Asian girls like you-know-who — the authorities shoot up his compound, and Tom goes so far as to kill one of the Feds to protect Christine. On the run in the wake of the siege, Tom calls his dad but hangs up without leaving a message. (Dang — so close!) When Wayne joins Tom and Christine at their secret meeting spot, he offers to squeeze the poison out of his disciple, but Tom’s all, “Yeah, um, nah, I’m good.” Which only further mystifies Wayne. “You’re all suffering and no salvation,” he suggests. Regardless, he gives Tom a wad of cash and instructs him to lay low with Christine until it’s safe for them all to reunite again. Ditzy as she seems, Wayne insists that Christine is “important.”

CHASING SHADOWS | Last week, we just briefly met Nora, who is sorta famous in Mapleton because she lost her whole family in The Sudden Departure. This week, she tips over a mug at a coffee shop to see how much leeway the barista’s pity will buy her and gains a pair of stalkers when Jill spots a pistol in her purse. “A big one,” she tells Aimee, “not some bulls— lady gun!” Intrigued, the gal pals commandeer the Frost twins’ car and tail Nora to the home of an elderly couple. There — unbeknownst to her pursuers — Nora promises “Departure benefits” if the Pattersons will just answer more than 100 bizarre and awkward questions about their dearly Departed on tape. (We’re meant to think she’s some kind of insurance adjuster, probably. But it seems likelier, doesn’t it, that she’s running around interviewing other Leftovers in hopes of figuring out if there is any rhyme or reason to why the Departed were chosen.)

OK, your turn. What did you think of the episode? And what did you make of the way Mayor Lucy kissed Garvey Sr. — are they a couple? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. jo jo jo says:

    Loved this episode. I will be tuning in for some strange

  2. Wtactualf says:

    I tried to watch this show, but the amount of dead dogs…

    • You didn’t watch it..there weren’t any dead dogs in this episode.

      • Edward says:

        Well if you consider the one in the truck. Then yes there’s a dead dog in the episode

        • It was in a plastic bag and we didn’t actually see it.

          • B says:

            I personally don’t need to see the actual dog to be distressed by the idea of the dead dog. So…I don’t see how you can say there were none, just because technically we didn’t see the fur.

          • Doesn’t count. We only know its there because someone says it is. Being distressed by that is about as silly as being upset because there’s dead people in a cemetery. And even if there is’s certainly not an “amount of dead dogs”. But then trolls and spammers aren’t good at dealing with facts.

      • Robert says:

        Not much fur in episode 2, true, but a lot of plotting to do them in. Why? Because they have become a stray pack, and apparently Mapleton has no animal control officer.

  3. ashley says:

    Very weird show…but I like it!

  4. Jenna says:

    This show is full of WTF moments. I have no real idea what it all means, but I’ll tune in to find out. I’m not sure what the longevity of this show is because I need SOME answers soon. Weird, indeed.

  5. Cory says:

    I for one enjoy how strange this show is. Its a weird experience but not bad at all.

  6. Ross says:

    It has potential. It really does… there are certain things I love about it. But other aspects are just plain annoying. If there is one more scene with no talking from the Guilty Remnant (which given how “important” their story seems to be, there are probably a ton more) I swear I’m gonna scream. Their scenes just bore and annoy me.

  7. Linda says:

    Exciting and thrilling and it makes no sence. I am sure it all comes together somewhere? It would have been a good idea to hip us all to the reasons for the non talking ones or why the chiefs wife is there? Her man and kids are still there. So what’s her bag? Recruit for what? Poor son why and how did he get hooked up with the mystery man? FBI just going in and shooting up the place that wierd. I am a fan I loved “the killing” and ” The detectives” on AMCn HBO. these kind of whacked out story lines. I hope it doesn’t get stupid.

    • Dennis says:

      You have hit the nail on the head, Linda. Why don’t the writers let us in on at least one of their private jokes? There’s nothing hooking me into watching this thing from week to week. I’m going to give it two more episodes.

    • Lee Whitman says:

      So far the show has been following the book (by the same name) pretty closely. If it continues to do so the answers should start to arrive at the begging of the second third of the season.

  8. Dennis says:

    I think the writers are very much impressed with themselves and are going way to far out of the way to be cute. Maybe I’m wrong. There’s not one likable person in this town.

  9. TraciTV says:

    I tried. Watched first ep n half of 2nd ep. boring and uninteresting to me.

  10. Dan says:

    The only reason I’ve watched two episodes is because the Sheriff is so hot. He’s not hot enough to push me past the next episode if nothing else happens to hook me. I’m hoping Eccleston can pull it off but I kind of doubt it. This might be one of those shows that plays better when you can watch the whole season at once.

  11. Jason Stein says:

    What is up with Wayne, I don’t know if he wants to sleep with Tom or keep him around for massive con job down the road? And Hugs the pain away, that is creepy but it seems to work. And every time Wayne touches Tom, Tom just let’s it happen. Strange!

  12. Yuka says:

    I haven’t watched the 2nd episode yet. If there are no answers or indications of answers it may be my last. The opening episode hooked me enough to watch the second.

  13. Why is everyone so demanding of answers already? It’s the 2nd episode of the entire series. Settle down now.

    • Miranda says:

      It’s annoying that audiences have been primed to seek ANSWERS all the time, as if it’s the only reason to watch a show.
      Did anyone watching Game of Thrones expect to know who the ultimate victor to the Iron Throne was going to be in the first season?
      The Leftovers is clearly playing to its own beat. It’s a strange beat but I’m intrigued by it.

  14. VannaBug says:

    Love how the entire cast of Perfect Strangers were taken in the Sudden Departure!

  15. Bdog says:

    I am bailing on this show. Too many confounding mysteries which forms the basis of the whole plot. Sorry but Lost ruined these types of suspense dramas for me. I do not trust writers enough to commit to a show based on my desire for the whole thing to make sense at some point.

    • Robert says:

      Maybe if the audience bails early on and the producers have some money left, they can pick up and run with John from Cincinnati, which was just as mysterious and much more fun to watch.

  16. Miranda says:

    I’m pleasantly unnerved by The Leftovers. It’s clearly a contemporary quasi-fantasy that has all the elements of the real world I live in but it still feels so darn weird and otherworldly.
    This cast is also superb. I love that I don’t know what to expect from it, even though I’ve read the nvoel.

  17. CARI says:

    two words…
    FIGHT CLUB!!!!

  18. rybread says:

    Intrigued by the weirdness of the show. Still trying to familiarize myself with the characters. Come to realize that I do not like this group ( cult ) of people that has formed since the disappearances of the population. Can’t wait till the story line opens up more, and I hope we learn more of the departed. Show still has my curiosity

  19. philm35 says:

    The owls are not what they seem.

  20. Rene says:

    I love the show…. The leftovers keep you intrigued. I have gotten alot of friends and family to tune in Anxiously waiting to see What is up with Waynes character!!!!; keep it going