Dong showed on HBO. Progress!
The Leftovers: Season 2: Episode 3: Off Ramp: GRADE: C-
In the third episode episode of its second season, The Leftovers yet again takes a hard narrative change yet again as we’re introduced yet again to the narrative stallings on the Guilty Remnant. Again I see a purpose and understand them, but again they just didn’t work outside of Patti and well now Laurie. The GR actually only served to stall the narrative of the show and what better things were going on around them and here I thought it would be no more of them, but that’s not the case. Patti being around to haunt Kevin I like since it adds to Kevin’s PTSD as that’s a good part of his character.
Well the GR are back and amount for what’s the big stumbling block this season so far, yet responsible for one of its best things. Amy Brenneman’s Laurie does a full 180 here and gets fascinating. Her time in the GR was misguided as she seems to fully admit and is changing that by helping to write a book about her time in the GR to get the word out and has help with Tommy to go inside and recruit fellow members to their side. One member in particular is Susan who is an analogue in many ways of Laurie when she first joined the GR and represents a central theme of the narrative which is about the human need for faith and inclusion. Which is why some people bought into the GR, why Tommy would buy into Holy Wayne. The inclusion goes well into Laurie’s support group in of itself actually. The sense of regret is played by Brenneman perfectly and beautifully directed by Carl Franklin who brings across Laurie’s new life and attitude in stellar form. The moment when she retrieves her laptop from her dick of a landlord and runs over two GR members it shows she’s still in desperate need of work. Her redemption isn’t gonna be pretty at all. Laurie attempts to really fix things and even with the book it might not be easy.
Her scene where she just randomly attacks the publisher, I don’t get that at all. Its the one weak pot in her story since really what was the fucking point? She just heard Susan had cracked and killed herself and her family in a traffic accident and well then decides to attack. This show sometimes man. Though Susan’s story was great being a mirror of Laurie. Fascinating stuff there.
Now to Tommy who is still inherently uninteresting. While there could have been something a little bit, it just went away. tommy being sent into GR chapters again and again should have presented a conflict that he might be influenced by them to go and join and that does happen but yet again because of the GR in a way that makes no sense. Tommy is discovered and locked up in a truck where we meet Meg. Meg then takes off Tommy’s pants and rapes him and threatens to set him on fire before telling him to send a message back to Laurie. Tommy’s fight with Laurie doesn’t really amount to much. What did what Meg do that convinced Tommy so well? He’s so deep in Laurie needs to deprogram him in a small sense and keep him grounded. Tommy’s writing just hasn’t been interesting and the prospect of continuing Holy Wayne’s stick now as part of Laurie’s operation, thus making them no better than the GR or even Wayne could provide for some intriguing narratives down the line for the season, but the stuff in Texas is far more interesting.
Off Ramp is an episode the is fairly average for this show. There is some great stuff, but narrative decisions that boggle the mind and even upset you when they never really seem to add up to nothing at all. Which is the show in of itself in many ways. Laurie’s arc went from uninteresting to completely compelling. She’s one of the big saving graces of this show now and its put on full display and as is the direction, but the direction also leads down very confusing and uninteresting roads. Hopefully next week is when the show can get back on track.