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The Leftover’s Episode 6: Hugs Not Drugs


Welcome back everybody! I hope we have all enjoyed our weekend of binge drinking and accidently killing hitchhikers who asked too many questions. Speaking of which, I know this is really morbid but what happened to all the serial killers of the world?

It seemed like every decade from the 50’s through 90’s had at least one reign of serial killer terror; you had the Boston Strangler, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, Jeffrey Dahmer and so on. We haven’t had one in the last fifteen years unless I’m mistaken and it would be interesting to see how that would play out in today’s internet/twitter/social media world. I mean would each attack “trend” on twitter? Would people in that area be hashtagging something clever about it? It would be cool if we could come up with a victimless serial killer to see how it would play out in today’s world…ok that is my random thought of the evening.

So on to the Leftovers, which right now I feel this about the show:

I can’t seem to pull myself away from this show, even though I’ve basically bitched about it since week one. They really need to introduce a long-lost brother, or an evil twin or a secret pregnancy or at the very least a amnesia plot twist…something to pump some blood into this show. It’s hard to describe in words what this show needs, but basically it needs this:

Maybe the show really is not going anywhere and each episode is a character study on people going through trauma/grief. To me, I don’t think HBO would want just a depressing drama that is not plot driven, especially if the show clearly has no charisma like this one.  I joke about the outlandish, absurd plot lines they could throw into this show to make it better but really it does need something. I mean how many episodes do are we going to be hit over the head with that primarily focus on Sherriff Kevin brooding and trying to find some form of humanity in Mapleton?

I mean we get it, he and everybody else in Mapleton is F**ked up right now in the head, let’s take that thread and weave it into something cool, like a secret hatch with numbers that have to be typed into a computer to save the town from blowing up or something….I’m done being a douche about this topic, let’s move on to the show as its 8pm Portland, Oregon time.


We start off tonight with a commercial for “Love Ones”. Gotta say they did a good job with that, it looked and felt like every other awful commercial out there these days. I’m not sure what they were selling in that ad, but I loved the dude in the pink polo shirt pulling the ice chest out of the SUV in that awful “I’m the fun loving dad” commercial way.

So we start with Nora this week, doing her day job where she gets to question loved ones of the departed. There’s a good chance that if this really happened that this is exactly what insurance companies would do and it would be infuriating. We get a glimpse of Nora’s gun that I’m sure will come into play at some point as whenever a TV show or movie pan’s to a gun we know at some point it will come into play in some dramatic moment.


Nora goes to the store and we see her buy cereal. Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch is what she gets – funny I had her pegged as Sugar Smacks person myself. Maybe like the priest episode, this is going to be strictly a Nora episode. You’re not going to believe this, but she seems grief stricken and lost in her life right now.


Nora calls over an escort, not to sleep with mind you…but to shoot her as she wears a bullet proof vest…She reveals that she has done this before. The escort plays hard ball with the money that she wants but they settle at three-grand.


With the financial issue solved for the moment, Nora cranks some real heavy metal music and screams at pretty women to pull the trigger…The only thing missing from this scene was the escort screaming “ What’s in the box”


After the opening credits, we join Nora in court as she is formally divorcing her departed husband and letting the Judge know that he was getting down with their children’s pre-school teacher. She decides that she still wants to keep her husband’s last name – I’ve never understood why divorced women choose to do this. Other than changing your checks and signing a few papers, isn’t that the end of the hassle of changing your name back? Why would you want to keep a random last name from a man your no longer with?


The Sheriff makes a cameo and he still has the same goddamn beard growth that he has had in every episode. It’s never scraggly or anything, it’s always jussssssst right, which is annoying because if he’s supposed to be the “lost, depressed in his life right now” guy, then his beard would be a train wreck. Anyways, Nora asks the Sherriff if he wants to go to Miami with her and that leads to a bizarre exchange that ends with Nora matter-of-factly stating “ F**K your daughter” to the Sherriff Kevin stands by shell-shocked. Nora exits stage left.


Back in Nora’s office she meets with her boss to talk about the upcoming conference she has to go to in New York. Her boss questions her about some of her data from her client interactions. She gets defensive and off she goes to the city that never sleeps.


New York is rife with protesters and white gang members, although the white gang members here in NYC look like members of a Dungeons and Dragons group, not really the charismatic recruiters you would want I would think.


Nora checks into a really nice hotel. She is given a code of conduct paper to sign like she’s a senior in high school playing on the football team agreeing to not drink or smoke pot during the season. I guess the last conference got pretty wild. She finds out that somebody picked up her ID badge and she has a meltdown over this.  I hope she shoots the person who stole her badge…that’s the kind of jolt this show needs.


She goes into the conference and finds her name already signed on the sign-up sheet. Nobody does this to Nora and she looks like she is on the case. She eyeballs a random woman across the room from her and this women scampers away. Nora follows her into a restroom thinking that this woman is the identify theft perpetrator. It turns out she is not, she is just a chick that Nora got into a verbal altercation with at last year’s conference. They need to do a prequel episode on last years conference, its sounding like it was quite the event.


Nora joins the party elevator with a date-rape-y guy and a group of excited conference goers. They take the party into a room. People getting hopped up on booze and pills and it looks like these people are going to make some bad decisions tonight.


The party is getting out of control as Marcus(the date-rape-y) guy takes Nora down to show her what he does, which is create a mannequin thing that can be made to look like anybody(the departed) so people can have something to bury, have a funereal for and god knows what other sick things to do with. Nora then promptly makes out and dry humps the mannequin.


Nora gets loudly awaking by hotel security and gets 86’d from the hotel for allegedly destroying hotel property in the bar. Nora proclaims her innocence, but these security gents aren’t having any of it and she is taking out front and told that if she shows up again the cops will be called. Nora gathers herself, cleans herself up in a random bathroom somewhere in the city, goes to a Kinkos or something to forge a new badge…and promptly gets caught by security.


While being questioned by security, she makes a deal that she will leave the hotel if they walk her down to the conference to see if the imposter is there. With this agreement they head down and boom…the imposter is there. I was hoping for the imposter to have a Nora mask so we could get a mission impossible mask pull-off reveal:


Right before Nora was about to reveal the imposter, the imposter does it herself, revealing herself to be some sort of protester against whatever is going on in this conference (I’m still not sure what this conference is all about or what most of these people do). The Imposter is removed and Nora is giving free reign of the bar for the remainder of her stay at the hotel.


While at the bar Nora meets a famous author who I guess wrote some book called “What’s next”. He talks to her about his loss and Nora decides to crazy-out all over him, screaming and shouting at him. Another main character on this show that is vastly unlikable. That’s always a good thing when your show’s five main characters all lack likeability.


Leaving the hotel, Nora runs into a random dude, played by the guy who played the Red Dragon in the first “Silence of the Lambs” movie, Manhunter.

He claims that he can prove that the author Nora just encountered is a fraud. Nora is feeling apparently bored or adventures as she seems to be all aboard to join this adventure of proving the author that she has only known for twenty seven seconds is full of sh*t.


The Red Dragon takes Nora into a seedy room in some building and tells her it’s a thousand dollars to find out how he knows the author is full of shit. She pays through her Paypal account and she is taken to see the wizard of the Leftovers world, Holy Wayne who we last saw three episodes ago leaving his underaged girlfriend who he knocked up.


Wayne gives Nora a Charles Manson-esque type of speech to Nora and hugs out all her pain I guess. You see, all you people out there, Hugs..Not Drugs….I guess to solve everybody’s grief they just need to clone Robin Williams and have him to this to everybody:


We get a shot of a preschool class outside with a short haired red head that I’m guessing is the hussy that Nora’s husband was fooling around with. Nora goes back to the store and this time we don’t get any Lucky Charms, so we all lose.


Sheriff Kevin apparently is fully recovered from their last encounter stops by Nora’s house to ask her out for dinner. I guess he is ignoring the gigantic red flags that are engulfed all around her. Yes, he is a mess too, but come on…would you really want to go down the Nora road??? Can’t he go on E-Harmony or Okcupid or something if he just wants to get laid?


Nora back to work, asking her awful questions to clients, finally gets a “no” answer to the questions that her boss had inquired about earlier. With that “powerful” moment, the show ends…


So, I have to be honest. I didn’t hate this episode. This episode had some good moments, specifically the Holy Wayne angle, as his plot thread seems the most interesting and has the most potential to take this show out of the depressing pre-Prozac mode it’s in now. I guess as of right now, we are to believe that Wayne has special powers and if so, how did he get those powers?  Clearly he can’t be a good guy because he is knocking up underage girls, right? So I am interested in seeing where that angle is going. As far as the rest of the show, we need more likable characters. I mean Sherriff Kevin, in my opinion, is the only remotely likable character so far and that’s only because every other character is a stick in the mud.

Obviously the main plot of the show is dealing with a horrible, traumatic event, but we either need some hope or some intrigue to take us into the back stretch of this season. To me this season will be a disaster if the best thing that happens is Sherriff Kevin and Nora learning to love again and finding hope in being together… blah blah blah. Like I said earlier tonight, I want something crazy to happen with mystery and intrigue.  I’m not sure how many episodes are going to be(10-12?) but we are six episodes deep now, so we better get something next episode that is going to weave all the characters here into the start of some sort of badass scenario/plot. I’m still not ready to break up with The Leftovers… What did you all think?

  • stephanie wanamaker

    hi scott have to say your summaries are hysterical! I love the I wish I knew how to quit you video ! The show does move slow but as of ep5 it is getting better and the character study is fascinating! True there aren’t enough likable characters but I like Kevin and the Reverend and I can’t help but be fascinated by Nora I do think she has some morals she wouldn’t kiss Marcus as he was married! she does need a filter though when flirting with men! Never joke about fucking your daughter Geez! Her and Kevin might be able to fix each other in time

  • susan appleby

    If this show is going to be a serious reflection of grief, why not show any possibly actual helpful, or within the realm of possibility, treatments for grief resulting from this trauma.?