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The Leftovers, Episode 9: Pleasantville

s1e9scott6:50 p.m.

Welcome back, everybody; I’m actually excited for this week’s episode after last week’s episode which was the most intriguing episode of this show’s first season. The next two weeks for me are going to be consumed with television watching, as we’ve got college football starting, NFL season starting and then the TV movie that could tear our country apart in The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Movie.

They couldn’t have casted the part of Zach Morris with somebody taller than 4’7”? That kid looks like a modern-day Eddy Munster. I will say that the pushup-off contest with Mario Lopez and Dustin Diamond does look promising. It really does have the potential to be maybe the greatest unauthorized TV movie of all time, not that the bar is set extremely high in that category. I’m sure this site will be covering this movie more than ESPN covers a Tim Tebow story.

Back to the show at hand, though… last week we saw Patti, the leader of the white gang, take herself out of the show for some larger purpose that hasn’t been completely revealed yet. That whole scene at the cabin last week was crazy. We had Kevin playing the “I don’t remember things” card. What is the meaning of these “blackouts”? What is the meaning of creepy “dog hunter” guy? These are the questions I want to know. To get back to Patti and the white gang, though, what is their game plan here and how long are they going to put up with Liv Tyler and her shitty acting for? Based on Patti’s actions and those of Gladys, the woman who volunteered to get stoned to death, we know now that they are cool with dying, and that they have something bigger planned. I can’t figure out if the white gang is looking for individual attention with each of its members or the literal exact opposite of that and want to demonstrate that nothing matters in some grand philosophy.

It seems that Laurie is now going to be the de facto leader of the gang, which obviously seems a little too TV-contrived to completely buy that scenario, because now we will have her husband the sheriff on one side as the leader of the normal people trying to move on and pretend life is normal and on the exact opposite side we will have his wife as the leader of this extreme almost terrorist group trying to f**k up everything for everybody else…a little to contrived in my opinion…unless they start using a laugh track and fun Three’s Company music in the show.

The other subplots in the show seem less important with Nora, Jill, Aimee, and the minister than they did prior to last week’s show. The one plot that seems almost disconnected with the rest of the plot threads on the show is the Holy Wayne and Tom story. I have found that part of the show engaging, but I guess since they haven’t really revealed where they are going with that plot thread, it’s tough to gauge if its working or not. I have a feeling that this week we will get more explained and find out more about Mr. Wayne and his creepy To Catch a Predator ways. With that said, it’s 7 pm Portland, Oregon time, so let’s all get our weekly Leftovers depression on!! :

7 p.m.

Happy music to start the show, a welcome change…which probably means that something horrific is about the happen. We see Kevin doing a little jogging, and as a runner myself, I’ve got to say that he doesn’t look like the typical uncoordinated actor trying to run….and as I finish that thought, Kevin like any other good runner stops to smoke a cigarette.

7:12 p.m.

After the run, Kevin enters a nice house that isn’t the one that we are used to, and with that we see his wife Laurie talking and looking un-smoky. I guess that was a flashback of some sort. I wonder if Hurley is going to make cameo sometime this season? Does anybody else think this is a strong possibility?

7:15 p.m.

After the credits end, we reenter the flashback with Kevin and Laurie in their pre-departure life. To hammer the point home, we get Jill with braces slamming home that she is younger here.

7:17 p.m.

It’s flashback city tonight as now we get Nora in her pre- “hiring hookers to shoot her in the chest with Metallica playing in the background” life. She’s got a husband, two kids, and a dog…just a recipe for something horrible to happen on The Leftovers.  

7:18 p.m.

A little product placement for 7Up as Laurie practices her future “sit in silence” routine. A shrink calls her to tell her that she can’t cancel her appointment for tomorrow. Laurie cryptically states that she hasn’t told her husband yet. What she has to tell him, we don’t know yet. Maybe the Garveys were always unhappy together? Before we can contemplate that question we see Patti alive and waiting in some waiting-room for Laurie.

7:20 p.m.

Kevin and Jill are in the car with Jill sharing some cat video on YouTube which Kevin doesn’t “get” because Jill is so “young and naive” in this flashback…OK, we get it…pre-departure Jill was young and innocent.

Kevin hears screaming in a classroom and runs in to find that some deer careened into a classroom and destroyed everything, it looks like.

7:23 p.m.

We see Laurie the counselor counseling Patti the client, who is predicting that something horrible is going to happen. Laurie points out that she has made claims like this before. It seems that Patti was the town crazy person pre-departure. I guess her true calling was to become leader of a crazy gang that dresses up in white and commits self-harm to prove another larger point.

7:26 p.m.

We join Nora as she applies for job with the mayor (or the lady who will go on to become the mayor). I didn’t know mayors in small cities had to hire election teams. The meeting is broken up by Kevin’s father, the chief of police in Mapleton, pre-psychotic breakdown.

7:28 p.m.

Chief of police Scott Glenn calls a meeting with all of the cops to talk about the rabid deer and how it needs to be assassinated. Kevin wants to know if they can just shoot it with a stun gun or something instead of killing it, but his father isn’t having any of that nonsense, because when you see a deer you kill that mother f***er. Kevin next gets a call from Tom who says he f***ed up.

7:30 p.m.

Tom apparently got in some sort of fight with a grown up, so Kevin drives to that guy’s house and punches him. Then we find out that guy was Tom’s biological father? I guess more to come on that.

7:33 p.m.

Whoa, it’s Gladys’ pre-awful white gang member. She has fun little puppies that she is showing Laurie. Laurie starts crying…gross…I like her better when she’s a comatose mute.

7:35 p.m.

Back at the Garvey manor as they are preparing for his dad’s surprise party… I see the minister arrived for this, as all our favorite characters are here for the flashback party. It looks like the Garveys have it all…it’s too bad a freak Rapture is going to tear it all down.

7:38 p.m.

Back at Nora’s house we see her husband coming home probably post-hook up with the preschool teacher that we found out about a few episodes ago. By the looks of things, it appears that Nora already has an inkling about this situation.

7:40 p.m.

Kevin gives a heartfelt speech about his dad as everybody toasts and sings joyful songs. Life in Mapleton is perfect on the surface, but below the surface we know that everything is shit.

While sneaking a cigarette, Kevin is joined by his father who tells him to “knock off” the shit… I guess implying that he knows his son’s life is not the happy picture it appears.

7:47 p.m.

Kevin, back to running with the same music playing from the start of the episode, stops again to have a smoke. Some car has two ladies and a kid who drive by and ask “Are you ready?” When Kevin acts perplexed, they say they’re sorry and that they were looking for someone else….um…I guess more mystery, and while that exchange was still lingering, a random manhole cover explodes into the air…end of scene.

Kevin goes back home and gets confronted by Laurie about the situation with Kevin’s biological father who is named Michael, I guess. They get into a mini-argument. Kevin gets a call that the deer was found, and when he tells Laurie, he gets a lippy remark back and shouts “F**k you” to her. Really, as a single man, if nothing else this show is affirming my desire never to get married…Thank you, Leftovers…Thank you.

7:52 p.m.

Kevin goes to the house where the deer is caught; it somehow got upstairs into a bathroom with the door closed. The deer breaks through the door like it’s on four pounds of PCP, runs out into the street, and gets hit by a car. Kevin comes outside and sees that it’s still alive and promptly puts a bullet in its head.

7:54 p.m.

We catch up with Laurie in a waiting room with the minister’s wife (pre-car accident). I guess it’s a cancer specialist’s office. The minister comes out happy with his wife saying she will drive. I think this may be the day that they have their crash.

7:58 p.m.

Back at Nora’s house, we see why I’m also grateful that I don’t have kids… (This opinion may change one day, but for now…it looks horrible.) Maybe this episode is all about how horrible everybody’s lives were pre-departure. I mean, is there anybody’s life that you envy watching tonight? It’s like one giant anti-marriage/anti-having children ad. They should show this episode to junior high kids every year in sex ed.

7:59 p.m.

Kevin gives the woman who hit the deer a ride to her motel. I’m thinking all this is the day that the departure happened…not that I’m some genius, but wasn’t he banging some random girl the day it happened?

8:00 p.m.

I guess it’s not the cancer store but just a regular doctor’s office as we find out that Laurie is pregos. So Laurie was pregnant… I’m guessing this pregnancy does not end well.

8:04 p.m.

And it happens…Everybody gets all departurey …The creepiest one being probably the fetus inside of Laurie. Kevin’s booty call goes missing which we didn’t see the first time around…I bet that had to suck. With that final scene, the show ends for this week.


So I guess we’re down to the final episode. This episode obviously didn’t really move us forward, but it took us back to the miserable lives of everybody except maybe Jill, The minister and the Mapleton Winklevoss twins. I guess we will hope that the final episode is four hours long, because there are a lot of things that need tying up.

This episode established that Kevin and Laurie were already drifting apart. It established that their life was a façade, but before they could face that reality, the departure happened and now we know how they each processed that, with Kevin trying to carry on like nothing happened and Laurie joining the white gang led by crazy Patti and loco Gladys.

The one plotline that wasn’t covered, which I talked about earlier tonight, is the Wayne plotline. I guess we know that sometime after the departure, Wayne rose to prominence with his creepy hugs and cravings for underage Asian teenagers to knock up. You would think that Wayne would play a big role in the finale, but we know the white gang has something up their sleeves that is going to occupy a chunk of time, so it’s tough to see every question getting answered.

HBO has already said they are renewing the show for season two, so I ‘m sure we are going to get left with quite the cliffhanger in epic Damon Lindelof style. This show has come a long way this season and I’m very interested to see how they are going to end this season. Maybe this season will end with Kevin looking down that manhole cover that blew up to find a hidden, secret hatch????????