Saturday, November 28, 2015

What I’m Watching: The Leftovers

The Leftovers: Season 2, Episode 8 “International Assassin” (B+)

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of complete departures from the regular storyline and episodes that take place fully within a character’s imagination (or something of the sort, since who knows exactly what was really going on here). But it’s hard to deny that this episode was immeasurably compelling, with Kevin waking up as Kevin Harvey, a slightly modified version of himself, in an unknown hotel room with fancy clothes in the closet and euros in his wallet. Nearly getting killed was a ferocious start, and coming down to the lobby to find Virgil working as a concierge was a shock. Reintroducing Patti as a senator running for president was one thing, but seeing Gladys as a giddy chief of staff and Wayne as a joke-cracking bodyguard brought back much more serious characters in a more entertaining and subsequently disconcerting way. Seeing his father on the TV in his room was a trip, and there was too much about what happened to Kevin in this purgatory experience of sorts that felt like it had to be real in some way. The most impactful interaction he had was with the man who turned out to be Neil, Patti’s ex-husband, who was played by Gary Basaraba of “Boomtown” fame. Escorting a young Patti to the well and pushing her in, only to find the adult Patty sitting at the bottom, was intense and disturbing. Drowning her seems to have led to his own rising from the grave, startling Michael and leaving me and other viewers anxiously anticipating the final two episodes of this season.

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