The Garveys and Dursts bring their baggage to Texas.
The Leftovers: Season 2: Episode 2: A Matter of Geography: GRADE: B
While maybe not as strong as last week’s hard reboot premiere, A Matter of Geography is a necessary episode for filling in the blanks between the season 1 finale and last week.
So we essentially pick up with Nora coming to Kevin’s house in the season 1 finale just as Kevin and Jill come home and just go from there. A new baby in their lives. Kevin admits to the situation with Patti and Nora with her weird thing of prostitutes shooting her. All is out in the open, except for the fact that Kevin is haunted by ghost Patti and just as Kevin’s dad is released from his psych ward. Yeah he’s out and heading to Australia, more like Hell’s Kitchen really, since he’s not gonna sit around and watch what used to be there and those are what get Kevin stirred up to just impulsively up and move. Also lucky in how Nora just got a shit ton of cash on her house from MIT scientists. Yeah a group of MIT scientists want to pay for Nora’s house for way more than its worth in order to research the Sudden Departure and their theory that it was a matter of geography. Had Nora been at the table with her family rather than in the kitchen, there’s some chance she could have been taken with them. Its interesting scene for not only more of Carrie Coon’s excellent acting but what this news does for Nora. It doesn’t exactly give her great clarity, which is something I think we’ll never get for the Sudden Departure, but also a reason herself to just start over even more than she was already by moving in with Kevin and Jill.
Back to Patti, what the hell? I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Guilty Remnant from last year what with their chain smoking existentialism and silence. How they will fit in here is gonna be either fascinating or frustrating given I’m rather fine with leaving them in Mapleton. Laurie appears to have left as evident when she picks up Tommy from his last meeting with Jill before she moves down south, also aware that Tommy left the baby on their doorstep, and with Patti’s ghost haunting Kevin. Also Liv Tyler, but that’s not for now. Patti’s haunting of Kevin at least gives Kevin something of a conflict for the season and also possibly coming to terms that his father might have been right in his delusions. Patti was the most fascinating part of the GR thanks primarily to the performance of Ann Dowd. Her interplay with Kevin is great as he slowly start questioning reality because of her. Its clearly not of guilt for burying her as she keeps haunting after Kevin’s pleaded his case to a one-eyed AFTEC agent. This should be interesting.
The trip to Miracle is anything but peaceful when they have to make their way through the vistors center and discover their rental burnt down. Well Nora then wins a house in a property auction, throwing them all into the deep end of the pool and because relating back to the MIT scene, she’s going to make sure she’s never in the wrong place ever again. She is gonna take control and guide her own path, even if she might not fully be in control.
Then we wrap back around to the cliffhanger from last week where Kevin is in the now dried up springs with a cinderblock tied around his ankle, most likely thanks to his sleepwalking and find the empty car Evie left her house in. The premiere and this could easily be reversed since the cliffhanger of last week hinges on the emotional investment built up with the Murphys from last week and well its jarring, but again necessary to see the loose ends of Mapleton wrapped up. Such as Kevin and Jill’s official adoption of Lily, which also lets us another way the Departure affected things when the agency guy tries to throw in another kid to them. Its an orphan sale! Its a small, but effective moment that actually might be the best part of the entire episode itself.
Things are most certainly changing for the show and how long it can effectively keep it up is to be seen, but based of the offerings we have right now of season 2, its off to a good start.