Its the end of the first season for the HBO rapture drama and let’s see how it fairs here on Tube Talk!
The Leftovers: Season 1: Episode 10: The Prodigal Son Returns: GRADE: D+
This episode and my opinion of it have been heavily influenced by momentum. Episode 8 was when Patti killed herself right in front of Kevin to put more guilt on to him for kidnapping and beating her and then the next week is a full flashback episode to events leading to the Sudden Departure and the next week it doesn’t even air because Labor Day the next day. The show was obviously really building to what went down in the finally but this sudden break hurt is a bit and I feel the finale would have been more impactful had we not had the flashback episode and just went right from Cairo into The Prodigal Son Returns. Pacing and momentum people, they can make all the damn difference.
Honestly, that’s what the biggest problem. The other one being what a waste of time this whole episode was.
This episode featured not only not fully committing to storylines, but more fucking awful Guilty Remnant bullshit!
So back to how momentum killed this episode, those corpses from episode 8? Yeah real dolls of all the people who disappeared. Those clothes they were laid on? To dress them on. Why? To put them in the homes of relatives they left behind as seen when Nora wakes up. Why? As Megan wrote down, to make them remember. While I recognize The GR is a cult of depression, I still don’t give a shit about them and this, this was honestly in my mind, stupid. I just really haven’t been entertain by them at all and have been increasingly become more frustrated with their appearances on screen as when they’re doing nothing but to piss the town off honestly. They are doing NOTHING!
Their actions caused a full scale riot where hey, the Jill joining the GR? Done. She goes home with Kevin after he rescues her from a fire at the GR home.
Say how about Tommy? Well at a rest stop, Christine abandons him and the baby there. He’s gone for the rest of the episode and leaves the baby at Kevin’s doorstep for Nora to find. But Wayne had to have been in the episode right? Yes he was. He’s found by Kevin in the bathroom of a diner that he and Matt stopped at after burying Patti’s body. He just dies from a bullet wound or stab wound or whatever as the government raids and finally apprehend Wayne has he dies. Oh and that opening is all we see of Tommy in the episode too. That storyline, just abruptly ends. Oh and Kevin’s slowly losing grip on reality, yes we get a weird as shit dream sequence that doesn’t effect the whole episode where he’s talking to his dad in the mental hospital and Patti straddles him and rides him a bit.
This finale had one redeeming quality in an opening montage of the characters set over a nicely scored piece of music.
The whole season, I’ve defended this show, even in some of its weaker moments cause its good far outweighed its bad and made for a better whole of it parts and it had an engaging story and the characters for the most part were truly interesting. The mystery had hooked me and well yeah we get a big ball of disappointing here which, you know, I’ll give it a benefit of doubt given it officially has a second season.
Though this is still a poor excuse of a season closer with how much they wrap up storylines quickly as to get to an ending. Its piss poor writing that’s slightly bearable with the really good direction and music here. This doesn’t fully let down the season for me, but man it damn near came close to just changing my whole opinion about the show. I maybe had a bit of high hope, but let’s think again how much HBO fucked up not airing this next week when it should have been given the end of Cairo and that the flashback episode maybe not should have happened at all.
The show is also deep down and exploration of depression, but there are often too many WTF moments that often can take you out and feels like pointless symbolism, but again, the characters for the most part and the great production quality was fascinating to me. Depression is the crux of this show, and depressed is what I felt as I watched the end of this episode for how terrible it was. I was waiting to enjoy this episode, I really was. I wanted too, but I just never did.
The Leftovers season one ended with a small, pathetic whimper.
EPISODE GRADE: D+
SEASON GRADE: A-