The Leftovers

The Leftovers Season 2 Episode 8 Recap | International Assassin

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Holy everything! What was that?! Or Holy nothing, that was all easily explained as a manifestation of Kevin’s subconscious. 

No matter which side of the divide you’re on, that was a bold, brash, and beautiful episode of television. So since Josh Wigler (@roundhoward) and Antonio Mazzaro (@acmazzaro) are at least two of those things, what better concierges to have on standby to lead you through this hostile hostel and to the well? (Don’t worry, no ghost children were harmed in the making of this podcast.) 

Josh and Antonio circle, spiral, and helix their way through the events of this episode — accordingly adorned of course — and get into talk of Jesus, Mary, and the Holy (Wayne) Ghost. Safe to say this podcast is in Jeopardy of becoming both an audiobook and a love fest. 

There are so many possibilities and so much depth that we can’t wait to get your take in the comments below or through our feedback form.

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  • @Wharfrat1625

    I found it intriguing that the man who is comfortable and self aware enough to ask his wife to defecate on him in an act of sexual fulfillment, is the sole individual who acknowledges to Kevin that he is in fact dead, and so are all the other residents of the hotel. Neil may be a bag of D’s, but he was a fascinating part of this story.

    Frankly I found the entire episode, and the show in general one of the most intriguing things I’ve encountered in my life. All the creative individuals responsible for this surely deserve any and all accolades being directed at them for fabricating such a masterful piece of art masquerading as a television program. That said, you guys did a magnificent job unpacking and exploring this.

    I am prone to enjoy most of what you do here, but this was really a very fulfilling 2 hours and set a new high water mark for the work you guys specifically are doing. I thank you both, once again, for turning me on to this show when you chose to recap it last year for otherwise it surely would’ve flown under my radar as it seems to be for most American TV viewers. Ironically I find myself anxious about it’s fate going forward because of it’s small audience, yet I don’t think it would have been able to take the creative risks it has if it were a smashing success. I think most people who find themselves here would agree, those risks have been incredibly well thought out, and subsequently deeply rewarding. And that juxtaposition, of this show’s lack of widespread acclaim and inability to capture a large audience, alongside it’s it’s incredibly thought provoking and complex storytelling is to me, a very interesting, if not at least slightly sad commentary on how and why people watch TV. Well done boys. So glad we got 2 more episodes. Enjoy your thanksgiving Pizzas and bourbon, and thanks again for giving us two hours to help work through all these feels.

    • Josh Wigler

      Thanks, friend! Lots of fun to talk about the show this week. Fingers crossed very hard for season three.

  • Jaxicat

    I have the feeling that Kevin Sr. will remember doing psychedelic drugs in a hotel room in Perth but won’t remember the specifics of the trip.

    Whether this was a real experience or not, this was the best portrayal of a dream experience that I have ever seen on TV. It felt like a real dream.

    • Josh Wigler

      Good call on Kevin Sr. Easy to see things playing out that way.

    • Drew Douglas

      I think it depends on how long Kevin was buried. If it was days, I’ll likely believe he was actually in some sort of afterlife. If it was hours, it’s likely a drug hallucination.

      Either way, an incredible ride.

  • Patti’s Guard

    Congratulations Kevin!

    • Josh Wigler

      UGH, can’t believe we didn’t talk about this. That was the first thing we said when we stopped recording.

  • Drew Douglas

    The only thing I noticed that was connected to the missing girls is their car. Pretty sure it’s the car Virgil meets Kevin in — and Kevin uses to get to the well.

    • TrentC

      Good pick off if it was their car. All of the talk about water, little Patti drowning in the pool, in the well. How about in Miracle when Kevin tried to commit suicide with the cinder block. Wasn’t there an earthquake that night when the lake drained? Did they check the underground cavern or drainage area under the lake bed?

  • I love when you two dont agree on episodes, It makes for great conversations.

  • TrentC

    Excellent episode and one of my favorite podcasts. I tend to agree with Josh on a wide variety of subjects, usually nodding my head or saying ah-ha when he postulates a theory or prediction about a show. This podcast however Antonio really nailed some possibilities and exposed others. Well done guys.

    I thought Inception as well early in the episode. Probably a good thing Josh doesn’t have my phone number because he’d be receiving texts from himself. When Kevin made the wardrobe choice, I felt that all four sets of clothes were aspects of himself as touched upon by you guys. Going further with that theory, maybe the ropes on the bridge were the other choices Kevin had made (priest, cop, guilty remnant) and those choices couldn’t allow him to go through with killing a version of Patti. When he finally donned the international assassin role, he could kill any and all versions, including childlike Patti.

    Speaking about supernatural vs science, I prefer to view episodes like this through both lenses. It was Kevin’s psych, but that world was being influenced by another power, outside of his consciousness.

    Ambiguity – I don’t mind that they will likely never tell us the story behind the departures. I do hope that when the series is going to wrap, they do offer us some sort of signpost on other things the characters have been through. There has been a lot already in two seasons and leaving every plot point deliberately ambiguous is kind of cruel. Writers and producers create scenes and dialogue for a reason.

    When David Chase ended The Sopranos with ‘that’ episode, I felt it was unnecessary for that type of television show. He knew it would generate anger, confusion and a lengthy discussion. It’s still being discussed nine years later on the internet as to what really happened. His response was – “It’s all there if you look for it.” My point is on a show like The Sopranos, was it really necessary to finish a great TV series with something so vague that it caused total strangers on the internet to argue for years? With The Leftovers I can live with some of the mystery. Not all of it though.

    I have to leave you with a question after all of the drivel above – How come Virgil picked that moment in time to kill himself? He’s had his demons for years and has likely attempted to help others. What makes Kevin so special to him? To me, that implies a huge connection to an overall mystery that Virgil has been waiting to experience or solve.

    Thanks for the podcast and thoughts, it really compliments the show.

    • Josh Wigler

      Hey Trent! I don’t think leaving the show ambiguous is cruel at all. In fact, I really hope it’s still ambiguous when all’s said and done. The last time Lindelof brought a show in for a landing with some measure of hard “answers,” it did not land well — for me, anyway. I hope that “let the mystery be” remains the guiding light for the rest of the series. I think it’s a strong statement, and it’s the reason why this show has been so beautifully focused this season.

      Great question about Virgil. I wonder how an answer to that manifests itself while still riding the line between science/faith.

      • TrentC

        I enjoyed Lost as well even with the hard left turn and bad landing at the end. I remember seeing a bearded Jack meeting Kate at the airport and we discover it was a flash forward. I thought at the time – Man, this is brilliant. I sure hope they don’t screw it up from here…

        Admittedly I do feel the same way about The Leftovers as you and Antonio. Part of me doesn’t want to see any attempt at a landing fearing a repeat of the above. While the other, darker part of me would like to see what was going on in the writer’s minds when they showed us this scene or that scene.

        The Leftovers has already given me that same feeling as Lost. Can’t really describe it in text but I know something magical has happened along the way. Every episode since season one, episode one has continued to build on the story. This show is like a house slowly being made out of bricks and each subsequent brick is turning out to be a different precious metal inside. The acting grows too. I can see four or five Emmy nods for just this season alone, sadly it probably won’t happen.

  • John Rumsey

    Great episode and recap. I do not claim to be as well read as the hosts and others on the thread but I had a curious thought on the disappearance of the 3 girls. Erica had mentioned that burying the birds did not always work, it failed many times but only worked that one day. Could have vie and her friends have been previous “experiments” of Virgil and Michael? I that is the case and it did not work, it may have caused Virgil to step up his game this time. Not sure what would explain motive but it was a thought I had.

  • JCMac610

    I was wondering what your opinion is on something. Although I found this episode to be a favorite so far, where is Aimee and Dean? We know Aimee was real. She was Jill’s friend. We were questioning what she knew and if she was possibly a guardian angel or watching over the Garveys’ in some way. Dean appeared to be in Kevin’s head and not real. We questioned if the voice on the phone when Kevin called the Cult Hotline, changed into Dean’s voice. So where are they now? Did Kevin no longer need them so they left and gave way to Patty? I feel like there was so much mystery surrounding these two characters and now it is as if they don’t exist. Will they once again come back (Dean in particular) to replace Patty? Again, just curious what you guys think. Big fan of your podcast. Love the analysis!

    • Josh Wigler

      Great question, and I was just thinking about this the other day while I was re-watching the pilot, before we recorded our Leftovers For Newcomers podcast. I’m a little whatever on Aimee, but very curious to see if The BBA, aka Dean, makes a comeback. Feels like there’s a lot more story to tell there.

      • JCMac610

        I agree. I have no interest in seeing Aimee again, but I am curious about the BBA. If he doesn’t make a comeback though, I am not sure I would miss him. I just felt like he was there and now he isn’t.

  • I’m watching this series for the second time. The first time, after watching “International Assassin” I was grinning with happiness through the entire episode. I loved it and really wanted to talk to someone about it. Unfortunately noone I knew was watching it and I could not figure out how to explain the episode to someone without them thinking I had lost my mind. After some googling, I found this podcast and was over the moon happy to listen to you both. After this episode, I have listened to all your podcasts and during my second watch, I listened from the beginning. Thanks for such exciting recaps and speculations. Also love your Game of Thrones and Justified podcasts.