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The Leftovers Season 2 FINALE Recap | I Live Here Now | LIVE Sunday 10:30e/7:30p

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We are not spared! No one and nowhere is safe anymore. Josh Wigler (@roundhoward) and Antonio Mazzaro’s (@acmazzaro) hands still hurt from applauding “The Leftovers” season finale, “I Live Here Now,” but thankfully they’re still talking, and in this podcast they deliver their instant reactions to the episode. The deeper dive on the finale will take place later in the week, but for now, Josh and Antonio give their knee-jerk hot takes on some of the major headlines from tonight’s events in Jarden, including what this means for a potential third season of the show. Let us know what you think of the finale and the podcast in the comments below, and be on the lookout for the longer “Leftovers” recap later this week.

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  • GeekFurious

    Obviously writing this before the episode, so perhaps this will seem clearer on Sunday but… am I the only one who feels Lindelof is very inspired by GAME OF THRONES/ A Song of Ice and Fire this season? The dangerous cult that cannot be stopped or reasoned with. People believing in unreliable information simply because they want to believe in them. Those people carrying out those beliefs as if they were inspired by a reliable prophecy. A coming doom that the audience is aware of while the characters are fixated on personal missions that distract them from a dangerous and common foe. The character perspective chapters of the novel and so on. Lindelof has been vocal about his love for the show and novels. He was a George RR Martin fan long before he even read A Song of Ice and Fire, and many of the themes in ASOIAF are in Martin’s earlier work.

    Am I falling victim to my own attempt at tying something together that isn’t there?

  • Andiamo

    If anyone is interested, there was a great interview with Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta on Fresh Air on 12/4.

    http://www.npr.org/podcasts/381444908/fresh-air

  • Antoni

    Cant Wait !

  • Edwin Johnson

    How are they going to be able to keep this momentum going (hopefully) into a third season? Where can all of this go?

  • Dustyn Bindel

    WohEmGee

  • Tom Palmer

    That was a magical hour and change of television. And the best of the season, and probably the year.

  • Noa Na’aman

    I think this can be a great series finale. They really made it work if they don’t get renewed. HOWEVER, I want S03 and I want it to follow the Murphys to a new town, where we meet another family. S03 can close the story for the Murphy family, and S04 will follow the new family to a new place. WDYT?

    • Tom Palmer

      sorry. I want more of Immortal Kevin Garvey.

      • Drew Douglas

        Same here. I like the Murphy’s but the Garvey storyline is still my favorite.

  • JCMac610

    A few knee-jerk thoughts:

    1- Why can’t Kevin Garvey die? He is invinceable.
    2- Timeline anyone? The time it took the girls to drive from their house to the lake, Kevin settled in at home, went to sleep, slept walked to the old man’s house, talked over a plan with him, got the cinder block and rope, walked to the lake, tied the cinder block to his ankle and still beat the girls driving from their house to the lake? Can anyone explain this to me? Do the laws of time and death not apply to Kevin?
    3- So Meg’s plan was simple. Open the gate to everyone and no one gets hurt. She just flat out told Matt her plan the day before. We were all over thinking it. Would she blow the bridge up? Three ropes, three girls…will the hang? Nope. Everyone just walk right in and party.
    4- What about the dog? He stayed with Kevin until he came back. Did the dog leave because perhaps Kevin is no longer a nine lives cat anymore and the dog is no longer needed?
    5- Does this mean John gets it now and can accept that maybe his town is a miracle if Kevin survived? And John better have a bromance with Kevin now considering Kevin appears to have no hard feelings over John shooting to kill him. “Nah it’s fine! You were just upset about your daughter. It’s a dad thing. I totally get it. We’re cool. No hard feelings.”
    6- The whole family is back together and happy. Miracle and Jarden fix everything. Matt wasn’t crazy. Mary woke up. Seems like a happy(isn) ending like last season. I hope there is a Season 3 and that HBO can give Damon a season timeline so he doesn’t have to keep ending each season with an ending. Other than what the town looks like when it is a free for all, what else can they do next season?

    • Charles Bikle

      Yeah, based on what we were shown, the timeline doesn’t make sense – I think this was a screw up by Lindelof and I’d be a bigger fan of his if he were a less sloppy writer.

      • Drew Douglas

        But we don’t know the girls immediately went to the water. They could have done any number of things before arriving there.

        I really have no idea but yeah, that’s one thing that doesn’t make sense.

    • Andiamo

      I’m still not convinced that Virgil molested John. John said he didn’t do anything to him, which could be a lie, but it could also mean that Virgil did something to someone close to John, and that hurt him. He may have had an affair with John’s mother, or father. It’s possible Virgil is actually the father of both John and Erica and John was raised by another man (a theme of the show) and they didn’t find out til later. It could be a lot of things. I’m very curious who Virgil’s adversary was who he had to fight after John shot him.

  • I would really love to see the feedback show of this season happening!

  • TrentC

    Haven’t listened to the podcast yet, some thoughts…

    I enjoyed the finale. Like most people I expected Meg to do worse. The scene with Erika and Evie on the bridge without dialogue was brilliant, I was on the edge of my seat. It was a letdown for me unfortunately. The grenade on the bus scene was a more jarring in terms of implied terror.

    Kevin has died a few times now and come back to life. Mary came out of her catatonic state. Is Jarden/Miracle the real deal in terms of magical happenings?

    The final scene in Kevin and Nora’s house. Happy ending or was everyone dead? Some chilling foreshadowing when John asked Kevin – What if no one’s there?

    As JCMac610 asked in their post, question #6. If Virgil is Erika’s father and he molested John, what happened there? When John was a child or after he knew Erika?

    I was disappointed Kevin went back to the Death-Hotel at first, then I warmed up to the idea. His first expression out of the tub made me giggle.

    The entire John/Kevin exchange at the end was heartwarming. I also think it means a whole lot more than we saw on the surface. I have rarely wanted a series to be renewed as badly as I want The Leftovers to come back.

    If it doesn’t….Antonio and Josh can come over to my house.

    • I freaking loved that John and Keven exchange from the hospital to their houses. John did not know what’s happening and he tried to deal with it in a very very wrong way; Kevin did not know either and he tried to hide from it. They were all both struggling, carrying their own pain. Kevin ended up in a house with full of people but who would know what’s gonna happen next? John might have ended up in a house with no one, but who knows what’s gonna happen..?

  • It was truly truly an ending that will bring up mixed feeling to many viewers. Garvey family ended with a kind of happy ending (although I’m not sure about the aftermath with all these people altogether) Murphy family on the other hand, is totally torn apart, and of course, the whole town is now out of control. Would it get worse? Or would it get better? It would not get worse all the way or get better all the way. Everyone in the town will have to deal with personal strugglings. Saying all these, I don’t think this will be an ultimate happy ending for the Garvey family. Yes, it ended on the brighter side, but the earthquake right after saying goodbye to John Murphy reminded me of last season’s the book of Job quotes:

    But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?
    He does whatever he pleases.
    He carries out his decree against me,
    and many such plans he still has in store.
    That is why I am terrified before him;
    when I think of all this, I fear him.
    God has made my heart faint;
    the Almighty has terrified me.
    Yet I am not silenced by the darkness,
    by the thick darkness that covers my face.

    God will continue to do whatever he pleases. Kevin could not bear it until now, however, I thought, by the end of this season’s finale, he now `understands` something, and although God will continuously make his heart faint, he won’t be silenced by the darkness.

  • Charles Bikle

    If there is a season 3, I think we’re going to see a HUGE backlash against the Guilty Remnant with the citizens of Miracle going after them, followed by the ATFC showing up and escalating things (probably with Kevin & co caught in the middle).

    • Miracle is not Miracle anymore. That should be an endless source for another storyline

  • Charles Bikle

    Also, given Tommy’s penchant for jumping head first into a new group after quitting the last one in disillusionment, I predict he’ll join one of the roving packs of wild dogs.

  • Jackie Tomayer

    What a great great season this was. I love that tommy saved Nora and the baby.

    • that’s what he would do when all the other whites are running for miracle :)

  • Antoni

    I loved the episode, I have a lot of fleeing thoughts about it, but ultimately I just loved the ride that the show has given me. I was engaged from start to finish, Kevin’s arc was great and delivered so well that I felt the same way he felt during the karaoke scene which is all you can ask an actor to do. I hope we will live to see Season 3.
    And great job on the Recap ! next stop – Better Call Saul just around the corner !

  • Drew Douglas
  • Tiffany

    For some reason the video isn’t loading for me,last night/today but I am able to listen to the podcast.

    • Josh Wigler

      The video feed didn’t work out last night, so unfortunately it’s just the audio.

      • Tiffany

        okay that’s cool,I was just wondering if something was wrong with my computer lol

  • Andrew

    Listening to the recap now, but I want to say this, I took the exchange that Kevin had at the “hotel” with the man about singing as a sign that this ISN’T the same Kevin.

    When Kevin says “this is stupid” – I thought that showed as “season 1 Kevin,” stubborn, close minded and not willing to take leaps of faith , but the fact that he actually DID sing, and not walk away, showed the evolution that Kevin went under this season. He has a much more open mind now and isn’t as close minded as he once was.

    • That’s a good point. Having pushed this little charming girl down in the well, Kevin surely has changed, at least he should live his life worth the value of one person. That said, living in the world where it seems to live is pointless, Kevin has more than a single solid purpose.

  • Antoni

    Just as there were many dresses for Kevin to choose in the International Hotel, there are many ways to go about building a show, especially one with a premise as intriguing and vast in possibilities as The Leftovers. This series I feel deserves to be Renewed and it saddens me that there are some media personas that would not want the series to go on because of fear of it becoming “repetitive” or whatever. Yes, I am pointing my finger at you Margaret Lyons from Vulture @margeincharge. I think there is people that will agree that Lindelof and the whole crew on this show have done a great job and deserve to end it on their own terms. If they believe there is more to tell in this story, I trust them. The creative counsel the show has received and the curiosity a lot of intelligent people have towards this intriguing world and world-building questions/possibilities it brings to the table lead me to believe there is a lot of ways in which Season 3 can be wonderful, and many more in which it could be awful. Awful will not be the case. The self-awareness, care and passion with which the writers approach the creation of this show, as well as the credentials I believe Lindelof has established make me believe that season 3 – if carefully build as this one – can be beautiful, marvelous and splendid in ways that season 2 wasn’t, and season 2 was beautiful marvelous and splendid. Whenever writers are forced to create content, or do not feel there is much they can do to explore the universe any further, or they get to full of their own success (GoT) that is when great shows stall in creativity, delivery or audience-awareness. None of these or any other reasons for TV show failures (or fan disillusionments – again – GoT) are present here. Lindelof not only is an experienced showrunner and has been there done that, he is also still an avid fan of TV who has seen how shows evolve and how they fail or succeed. The creative team believes there are more things to explore, and let them lead us into this world one more season as long as they feel the passion for it, and I think they do.

    • I totally trust the creative team of the Leftovers series in general. For those who are worried about that “repetitive“ problem or whatever can happen to typical tv series that renews over and over again and loses its own momentum, I think, we don’t have to worry about it because, the viewers, in the first place will abandon that show.

  • GeekFurious

    Looking forward to your analysis later in the week.

    If there was one scene that felt poorly realized it was the whole bit with the baby… UNLESS that has a greater meaning than just driving two characters together. Otherwise, it was super convenient that someone steals a baby and then just drops it and leaves it behind. Not just convenient but pointless. There were any number of less convoluted ways of putting Tommy and Nora together. They set that up early in the episode, executed the payoff to it later in the episode, and… that’s it? Weird.

    • John Mckinney

      I read the scene several ways. To some degree Lily has been an obligation for Nora rather than a choice, something that happened to her. While she chose to raise/adopt her, I think she felt obligated to raise her and on some level viewed Lily as a chance for redemption and wholeness. She was raising her for herself. When Lily is stolen and then abandoned, Nora chose instinctively to go after and then protect her from the stampeding crowd. Lily was no longer an obligation, but an actual choice and she acted in the interest of Lily.

      For Tommy, I thought the scene addressed his issues with abandonment. He’s a drifter and allows life to happen to him. Seeing Nora sacrificing her safety to protect a child that was not her own, had to be awfully powerful to him. Powerful enough to finally act instead of being a viewer on the sidelines.

      • Edwin Johnson

        I’d add that she was choosing which spouse from the radio broadcast she would be. The wife who wants to block out any future love for fear of losing it, or the husband who wants to start fresh to love again. Its a bit of an on the nose callback to the departure for her with the baby being ripped from her grasp.

      • Literally, over the series, Tommy has been witnessing too much abandonment, himself abandoned by his biological father, his mom leaving for the GR, Christine abandoning Lily, the dog abandoned.

    • From my second watch, I remembered that Tommy promised Holy Wayne that he will take a good care of that baby. Also there was a scene when Tommy noticed Nora, but now I am pretty sure that he is looking at Lily.

      Also Nora chasing this woman who stole Lily reminded me of Christine because Christine in Season 1 abandoned her own baby, but Nora is the exact opposite.

      All in all, for sure Tommy & Nora doesn’t seem to make a good match, but Tommy & Lily totally make sense to me.

  • Andiamo

    I was really interested in the exchange between Meg and Tommy when she asks him if he’s worried about his family. He echoes Patty saying “there is no family”, she looks confused and asks what that means, and he says I thought that was the point. She then says “that’s not the point at all”, then kisses him and says “family is everything.”

    So is this just another way of showing that Meg is distancing herself from the original GR? Is it her letting Tommy off the hook to go be with his family? (She told him last episode that he didn’t need the GR, he needed a family) Or is this just Meg continuing to confuse Tommy to keep him tied to her by letting him think she knows something he doesn’t?

    • Rhythm of Wisdom

      So glad you mentioned this, Andiamo. I’ve been wanting to mention some thoughts on this. “Family is everything”, I think, is the key theme of the Leftovers, esp. season 2. The way I see it, the Guilty Remnant represent the silent, yet pervasive influence that seeks to convince humankind that there is no purpose to life and that all attachment and connection is for naught. The opposite of this idea is believing in the sanctity and importance of family. Some points to support this idea:

      –Senator Patti felt Kevin hit the nail on the head when he said their purpose was to destroy families. She said that was it (note how ppl had been saying their message was confused – i.e., fans watching the Leftovers and not knowing what they represent).

      –I think in Season 1, a GR person writes on a pad something like, “There is no family”

      –Kevin struggled in Season 1 with the idea of being a stable family man. He felt that wasn’t “it” – it wasn’t enough for him. Kevin Sr. said at the surprise party during their one on one convo that Kevin Jr. was a good man and that this (family life) was IT (but in a good way – Kevin Jr. should be satisfied) – Later in that episode, Kevin tells the woman at the motel that he was NOT a good man. And of course he violates his family/marriage vow – which is part of why he feels turmoil and why he gets the GR on some level.

      –When Meg says “Family is everything”, she’s saying it from the perspective of, “We have to destroy family in order for people to see there’s no purpose to life”. The 3 girls “departing” is way of showing that to Jardin/Miracle. Remember the joke they share – knock knock, broken pencil – it’s pointless. Just like the way they want you to believe life is – pointless, with no purpose and meaning. Broken pencils. Broken families.

      –The opening scene of Season 2 – The cavewoman scene is ALL about the importance of family connection for humanity. There’s the expected, primal stuff like the woman risking life and limb to feed and defend her child, brutally killing the snake that tries to harm the baby. Note that snakes often symbolize a slithering, sneaky creature that harms or tries to trick humanity. Can’t be trusted – forked tongue. But the meaning goes beyond this. The family connection isn’t just about blood relatives. It’s the human connection. The fact that the mom dies and the stranger woman then picks up the baby and (we assume) cares for it as if it were hers shows us that there is an innate bond for humans to care for each other. To love one another. To find attachment in our relationships. This goes agains the GR philosophy.

      The Cavewoman scene is mirrored by the scene in the finale with Lily being taken by the woman who says “that’s not your baby”. That woman follows the GR like the others. She’s trying to tell Nora that that human connection between you and this child is false. It’s meaningless. So she takes the baby. But Nora comes to the baby’s aid and risks her life and limb for this helpless child, who just like with cavewoman 2, does not belong to her. But she doesn’t care – she will care for it like it is her flesh and blood.

      –More on the human family connection: The science fair. Remember the flashback episode in season 1 where Jill and Tommy were making a circuit. That was a representation of the whole human family. I’m sure if we look back, we may find that everyone in the circuit represented all the race (I’m not certain, but someone tell me if that’s the case). All the human hands together conduct the electricity, bringing light (which is goodness, intelligence, civilization, science). The departure ruptures this – when humanity is not connected and united, the light dies. The human family and the world it should create is broken. The GR latch on to this. For them the departure is proof that humanity is broken, that families don’t mean anything. They want people to see only the broken circuit. That the world humanity lives for, does not exist.

      –What was the departure that struck Michael and Evie? No one died. No one left on Oct. 14. But what did happen was their father was not around. He was doing a 6 year bid. Why – because he couldn’t let something go. (Not sure – maybe he couldn’t forgive Virgil and tried to kill him?) But for those twins, their dad being gone from them was the departure – it was the broken circuit. That ruptured their family. Their mom was impacted by this too as she was planning to leave.

      –Remember the woman who Tommy and Laurie helped leave the GR is season 2? What was the main problem she had adjusting? She could not reconnect with her family. Her husband and her son. It was mundane. She couldn’t find purpose in the family connection.

      In season 1, many people might not have figured out that the GR actually were villains. They were quirky. Maybe misguided. They told Mapleton that they were wasting their breath. But isn’t breath synonymous with human life? But the GR don’t appreciate human life. Remember when that old man fell with his groceries, Gladys and the other GR just walked over him. And in season 2, when Kevin jumps into the lake with the brick, the 3 girls don’t bat an eye. Life is like a broken pencil.

      But season 2 shows that, without a doubt, the GR are the villains. Not only are they villains, but they’re the arch enemies of humanity. If we neglect the family bond, they will grow in our subconscious, like Patti did with Kevin. The GR are hurt themselves. They’re broken, due to their family loss (Laurie losing her embryo) or Meg (losing her mom and not getting closure) or Patti whose family (Neil) was cruel to her. But Kevin overcame by denying life to that pain, deep down in the well of his consciousness. When he came out of that, he was a new man, clear, and equipped to try to help John get his Evie back.

      Just some thoughts. I could be wrong, but think when it comes to understanding the Leftovers, the human family is everything!

  • Edwin Johnson

    What 4 outfits would be in your closergatory?

    • Andiamo

      Lol. Good question. Your picture is hysterical by the way.
      1. Slacker
      2. Anarchist
      3. Doctor
      4. Photographer

      What about yours?

      • Edwin Johnson

        Oh thank you.

        In honor of Antonio I’d have the slacker hoodie.
        Probably a straight jacket
        International assassin
        And chef

  • Omega Kin

    Watching those kids just abandon their home & betray their family for a woman they knew for probably less than a month or so is a prime example why i will never have Kids. And i pity those who do since most turn out to be ungrateful bastards. Especially the teen ones.

  • A few more points to make from the second watch to share with you guys..:

    I want to see the earthquake in the show as God’s intervention.

    * As soon as Nora threw the radio player and said `fix that Jesus`, the earthquake happened and Mary came back.

    * At the end of first episode and the beginning of last night’s episode showing the earthquake when Kevin threw himself into the lake, the earthquake happened and he did not die.

    * Obviously, when Kevin came back for the first time, under the ground, the earthquake happened as soon as he killed the most powerful adversary of his.

    * The last earthquake doesn’t seem to make sense but I wanna interpret that as God saying `Welcome back Kevin` or `Now you know I do whatever I want to` kind of message.

  • Adam Kristensen

    Although a large part of me is glad Kevin survived and can participate in season three, another part is unsatisfied with the fact that he survived a bullet to the chest flat out. During the scenes at the hotel I really thought he was going to pass on, especially during the song when his closest people were shown in montage. If he *had* died, I think the emotional impact would have been larger and it could have brought the episode to the level of “International Assassin.”

    Regardless, this show is amazing and I agree it is the best thing on TV right now.

    • meta7gear

      Totally agree. Would have been an amazing ending if as he was singing it cut to the audience and everyone from the house had been there watching. I think if Damon had known that this was IT, that would have been the ending he would have chosen. It would have been clear that Kevin had died and there would have been a greater sense of finality to the the story. Just like LOST was more or less told through the lens of Jack Shephard, this story was told through the lens of Kevin Garvey. There may have been questions left unanswered but Kevin’s story was over.

      The coda that follows of Kevin waking up and walking through town, while containing some incredible performances from Theroux and Carroll leans a little too heavily on the audience to reset their expectations. Personally I still can view this as a final journey for Kevin and that him getting home is still representative of his journey into the afterlife, but well if the show gets renewed for season 3 then yay he survives and we can keep on having Kevin stories. I love the show, trust Lindeloff 100% but they’ve definitely missed out on what could have been one of the greatest finales of our time.

  • Hi guys! Couple of random strange thoughts I wanted to share. You both speculated on whether he’d wear any of the other suits in the future, and I wonder if now that Kevin has truly shed his demons, will he come out of it more.. “priest” like? Not that he necessarily becomes religious, but definitely that he becomes more spiritual, more at peace.. the peacemaker, the “wise man”, etc. If his old self was really more along the lines of the GR, then really, the only uniform he hadn’t worn is the priest. Could he be done with the uniforms then? Do the uniforms symbolize stages in journey to self love/acceptance? Not sure where I’m going with that but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Second, I resisted sharing this earlier in the season thinking it could never happen, but the way the season ended I had to share it. Toward the middle of the season I thought how I’d like to be a fly on the wall when Tommy & Kevin finally sit down and compare notes regarding the Holy Wayne stuff. What would they say… how would that go? How would everyone feel knowing their daughter Lilly is Holy Wayne’s baby. Does she also have [magical] gifts? I read a theory saying that Holy Wayne was real because he told Kevin he’d get that family… I actually think now Kevin will believe, and Tommy won’t.
    LTHYT (Love to hear your thoughts)!

  • Recovering Lawyer

    Oops, put my comment in the chat box by mistake!

    I started watching after your “what you’re missing by being an idiot and not watching” podcast (or whatever it was called) and was immediately hooked. I only slowed down in my binge-watching to listen to each of your post show podcasts. Great job in bringing attention to the show and great job covering it.

  • TrentC

    Just realized something….nobody died! Well, nobody we care about anyways. Except Kevin who has died three times now.

    And because I know Josh is far too busy to come back to this and read. The final scene’s tone reminded me of the last episode of Lost. I hope season three will arrive one day and dispel that horrible notion…

  • check out postshowrecaps youtube page, now we can finally watch the live recap video : )

  • We can clearly see the hole on Kevin’s wound, and it just reminded me of Jesus showing his disciples the holes on his both palms.. Unfaithful Matthew, then believed that Jesus had resurrected. Isn’t it a good parallel with what happened between Kevin & John? John chose not to believe anything supernatural, but seeing Kevin alive again and the holes on his belly just knocked him down to at last confess he doesn’t really know what’s happening.

  • Ben Brown

    It shows you how depressing that the show is when the biggest bromance moment from season 1 is Matt helping Kevin bury Patti. And the biggest bromance moment from season 2 is Kevin telling John that John can come to his house if his family left him, this being after John helped Kevin walk home hours after shooting him.

  • Charles Bikle

    Sure, the episode ended on a positive note, but you know that two minutes after the end credits are over, Nora said to Kevin:

    “She can stay tonight, but tomorrow your ex-wife has to leave.”

    • well, that’s not nice but Nora’s correct, it’s her house after all.

  • Rhythm of Wisdom

    Replied to a comment just not, but not sure if it will get lost in replies. Sorry for the length but here it is:

    “Family is everything”, I think, is the key theme of the Leftovers, esp. season 2. The way I see it, the Guilty Remnant represent the silent, yet pervasive influence that seeks to convince humankind that there is no purpose to life and that all attachment and connection is for naught. The opposite of this idea is believing in the sanctity and importance of family. Some points to support this idea:

    –Senator Patti felt Kevin hit the nail on the head when he said their purpose was to destroy families. She said that was it (note how ppl had been saying their message was confused – i.e., fans watching the Leftovers and not knowing what they represent).

    –I think in Season 1, a GR person writes on a pad something like, “There is no family”

    –Kevin struggled in Season 1 with the idea of being a stable family man. He felt that wasn’t “it” – it wasn’t enough for him. Kevin Sr. said at the surprise party during their one on one convo that Kevin Jr. was a good man and that this (family life) was IT (but in a good way – Kevin Jr. should be satisfied) – Later in that episode, Kevin tells the woman at the motel that he was NOT a good man. And of course he violates his family/marriage vow – which is part of why he feels turmoil and why he gets the GR on some level.

    –When Meg says “Family is everything”, she’s saying it from the perspective of, “We have to destroy family in order for people to see there’s no purpose to life”. The 3 girls “departing” is way of showing that to Jardin/Miracle. Remember the joke they share – knock knock, broken pencil – it’s pointless. Just like the way they want you to believe life is – pointless, with no purpose and meaning. Broken pencils. Broken families.

    –The opening scene of Season 2 – The cavewoman scene is ALL about the importance of family connection for humanity. There’s the expected, primal stuff like the woman risking life and limb to feed and defend her child, brutally killing the snake that tries to harm the baby. Note that snakes often symbolize a slithering, sneaky creature that harms or tries to trick humanity. Can’t be trusted – forked tongue. But the meaning goes beyond this. The family connection isn’t just about blood relatives. It’s the human connection. The fact that the mom dies and the stranger woman then picks up the baby and (we assume) cares for it as if it were hers shows us that there is an innate bond for humans to care for each other. To love one another. To find attachment in our relationships. This goes agains the GR philosophy.

    The Cavewoman scene is mirrored by the scene in the finale with Lily being taken by the woman who says “that’s not your baby”. That woman follows the GR like the others. She’s trying to tell Nora that that human connection between you and this child is false. It’s meaningless. So she takes the baby. But Nora comes to the baby’s aid and risks her life and limb for this helpless child, who just like with cavewoman 2, does not belong to her. But she doesn’t care – she will care for it like it is her flesh and blood.

    –More on the human family connection: The science fair. Remember the flashback episode in season 1 where Jill and Tommy were making a circuit. That was a representation of the whole human family. I’m sure if we look back, we may find that everyone in the circuit represented all the race (I’m not certain, but someone tell me if that’s the case). All the human hands together conduct the electricity, bringing light (which is goodness, intelligence, civilization, science). The departure ruptures this – when humanity is not connected and united, the light dies. The human family and the world it should create is broken. The GR latch on to this. For them the departure is proof that humanity is broken, that families don’t mean anything. They want people to see only the broken circuit. That the world humanity lives for, does not exist.

    –What was the departure that struck Michael and Evie? No one died. No one left on Oct. 14. But what did happen was their father was not around. He was doing a 6 year bid. Why – because he couldn’t let something go. (Not sure – maybe he couldn’t forgive Virgil and tried to kill him?) But for those twins, their dad being gone from them was the departure – it was the broken circuit. That ruptured their family. Their mom was impacted by this too as she was planning to leave.

    –Remember the woman who Tommy and Laurie helped leave the GR is season 2? What was the main problem she had adjusting? She could not reconnect with her family. Her husband and her son. It was mundane. She couldn’t find purpose in the family connection.

    In season 1, many people might not have figured out that the GR actually were villains. They were quirky. Maybe misguided. They told Mapleton that they were wasting their breath. But isn’t breath synonymous with human life? But the GR don’t appreciate human life. Remember when that old man fell with his groceries, Gladys and the other GR just walked over him. And in season 2, when Kevin jumps into the lake with the brick, the 3 girls don’t bat an eye. Life is like a broken pencil.

    But season 2 shows that, without a doubt, the GR are the villains. Not only are they villains, but they’re the arch enemies of humanity. If we neglect the family bond, they will grow in our subconscious, like Patti did with Kevin. The GR are hurt themselves. They’re broken, due to their family loss (Laurie losing her embryo) or Meg (losing her mom and not getting closure) or Patti whose family (Neil) was cruel to her. But Kevin overcame by denying life to that pain, deep down in the well of his consciousness. When he came out of that, he was a new man, clear, and equipped to try to help John get his Evie back.

    Just some thoughts. I could be wrong, but think when it comes to understanding the Leftovers, the human family is everything!

    • John Mckinney

      I think your points are furthered by the scene between Kevin and John outside their houses at the end of the finale. John was terrified that no one would be home and he would be alone in what was certainly the most vulnerable state in which we’ve seen him. And then Kevin reached out to him, reassuring him that he wouldn’t have to be.