The Leftovers season 2, episode 6, “Lens,” does its best to confirm that the three missing people in Miracle, Texas are newly departed. But it shows us more about those who remain.
The Leftovers season 2 has hit its stride. In what is perhaps the best episode of the season, “Lens” not only offers some answers, which in the case of The Leftovers is not necessary, but garners performances that, if the Emmys were a fair awards show, would see nominations for both Carrie Coon and Regina King in 2016. That said, “Lens,” did provide answers to a few of Miracle, Texas’ questionable quirks as it literally shatters the glass of the world Nora and Erika try to convince themselves exists in Miracle.
While Nora and Erika took a good look at themselves by finally looking at each other, the audience received a rare gift — answers. Here are five mysteries that tonight’s episode, “Lens,” solved.
Why is Nora Durst so significant to the DSD?
The Department of Sudden Departure, the crazies who party at conventions and former employer of Nora Durst, send out their finest from Washington, DC to conduct a new questionnaire on the families of the missing girls. This one, however, includes new questions that may be relevant to what researchers are calling “Lenses.” And Nora Durst is one of them.
As it turns out, when a person is closely connected to a significant number of departures it may be because they give off some extra radiation or UV rays that causes the higher frequency of departures. When MIT bought Nora’s house to research the significance of its location, more significant research was also being poured into testing the actual people who lived through a group departure. When one such scientist shows up with tools to read the space around Nora, she pushes him to the curb. But the “cluster phenomena” sticks in Nora’s head. It took her three years to move past blaming herself for her family’s departure, but everyone seems to be bent on making her reconsider.
Who is the man in the trailer?
Why would anyone hate on the nice older man with a cane who lives in a trailer covered with Christmas lights and offers to buy a person of legal age cigarettes and Wild Turkey? Because he did something so awful to the Murphys that drove John to shoot him and Erika to cut him out of their lives. It turns out that he is not viewed as an innocent party in Miracle or John’s eyes.
The man is also responsible for the mysterious pie from the first episode that arrived on the night Evie and her friends departed. Another was sent in tonight’s episode, but Erika was able to catch the person leaving it on her doorstep. The young kid ratted out the source and Erika drove to his trailer to question the motive behind the gesture. There he reveals that he is not only a member of their family, but the person Erika has been taking birds from.
While there are still a few unanswered questions (What made John shoot him? Was this the man he went away to jail for? What is so bad about Michael spending time with him? How is he related to the Murphys?) at least we have some connection to hold onto.
Why does Erika bury birds in the woods?
According to Erika’s grandmother, when God was creating the universe he looked down and pointed to a small spot and Jarden, Texas was blessed. She went on to tell her grandchildren that if you were to take a bird, bury it in the woods, and dig it up three days later, the bird would be alive and whatever wish you made would come true. When Erika went out into the woods in the premiere of season 2 and dug up a bird, her wish was for her two children to be all right if she went through with her decision to leave John.
Erika believed deep down that Evie would not be all right with the change, but that Michael’s faith would keep him whole. No longer does Erika believe in wishes, blessings, or a higher power. What is real are the facts that her daughter is gone, her marriage is a lie, and she needs to get out of Miracle.
What is going on with the goat?
“No, no, Jerry.” Jerry, the goat slayer, killed a goat the morning of the Departure and everyone in Miracle took it as a sign that they were spared because of it. But what about the morning he sacrificed a goat in the diner and Evie disappeared that night? What does anyone’s superstitions matter now that girls have departed from Miracle? Miracle is no longer spared and Erika demands it is time to stop believing they are spared.
Who can you trust?
No one. That may seem like an easy answer, and, sure, there are probably some people who want to have faith in others, but tonight proves it is not possible in Miracle. John is beating people for selling lies, Erika is pushing away anyone who tries to help her, Nora is running so fast from her past that she is tripping over everything in front of her, Kevin is losing his mind, and Matt is pushing everyone away by putting his faith is something no one understands. Who is left to confide in?
Kevin is the only person reaching out for someone’s hand, but another force is pulling him back under the water he tried to drown himself in. When he admits to Nora that he is hearing Patti Levin speak to him, she is not happy. Why? What can push Nora away at this point? Then again, who’s to say Patti is wrong? She has yet to fail us so far.
Watch The Leftovers season 2, episode 7, “A Most Powerful Adversary,” Sunday, November 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.