Forget waiting for the season finale! How will tonight’s The Leftovers affect the future of the series and the show?
What would you be willing to sacrifice for a chance to free yourself from unimaginable burden? Nora Durst left her home and sought comfort in Jarden, TX. Matt Jamison left his pregnant wife in Jarden to seek a period of sacrifice and self-reflection among the members of the encampment. Erika Murphy set a plan in motion to remove herself from her marriage and last week condemned the town for believing in their superstitions. And last season, Patti Levin reached for a shard of glass and took her own life, freeing her from the burden of keeping the world in tune with the reality the Sudden Departure brought upon the world.
But Kevin Garvey made a decision that changes The Leftovers in a radical way. Kevin’s final day in Jarden, TX makes an interesting case for his final action.
Jarden, TX: Morning
Kevin’s downward spiral began early when he woke up handcuffed to the bed with Nora and Lily gone, and Patti in his room. Keeping with the pattern of the season, Patti’s warning proved to be true. Nora left after Kevin told her Patti was hanging around taunting him. Jill takes the departure as a sign that Kevin has not been honest about anything since they left Mapleton, including wanting to start a new family. After cutting himself free from the bed, Kevin finds himself screaming at Patti in public, which not only draws unwanted attention, but leads him to the firehouse looking for bolt cutters.
While Kevin is there, he submits his hand print into evidence for the manhunt John Murphy is leading for the mysterious print left on the car his daughter was last seen in. Patti’s warning as he exits the firehouse rings loud in his ears — why did you turn yourself in?
Jarden, TX: Mid-morning
Another member of the Murphy family takes Kevin to someone he knows will be able to rid Kevin of his pain. Michael takes Kevin to visit his grandfather, who we learn was shot by John in the stomach, chest, and groin after it was discovered he was a pedophile. It turns out, however, that this is not Kevin’s first trip to visit the man. In fact, the Garveys’ first night in Jarden saw Kevin arriving to seek refuge from Patti Levin’s presence. Not sticking around to hear all of the man’s advice, Kevin took some rope, a cinderblock, and headed to the lake.
Kevin’s sleepwalking attempt to take his life did not succeed, but the man offers another option to Kevin now that he is lucid. The only way to confront Patti is to meet her on her playing field — temporary death. Kevin sees this idea as an insane option and heads to the edge of town where another person offers a second option.
Outside of Jarden, TX: Early evening
When Kevin approached Laurie through the gate separating the town from the encampment, he had nothing to say to her, but when he recognized that Patti was nowhere to be seen in her presence, Kevin repaid Laurie the favor of his company by visiting her outside of town. In a hotel room, Laurie lays out her professional opinion of his delusions.
Patti is not real; she only exists inside Kevin’s head. The reason Kevin is safe around Laurie is simple — Laurie was Patti’s therapist for three years. There is nothing Patti could tell Kevin that Laurie could not disprove. In the face of tragedy and chaos, everyone looks for something to grasp onto, something to make them feel safe and comforted. Laurie and Tommy fled to cults, Nora stuck to routine, Matt stayed true to his faith.
Kevin is spiraling and sees Laurie as a temporary crutch to get him through the next few hours. But when Nora calls and brings him back to reality, another option starts to look more appealing.
Jarden, TX: Night
The final confrontation between Patti and Kevin goes down in a cabin covered with Christmas lights. What awaits Kevin inside is a lethal combination of poison that will stop his heart like a heroin overdose. On the table he offers a shot of epinephrine that will start his heart back up as soon as his confrontation ends. Patti appears as Kevin puts the toxin to his lips to offer one final warning — do not do it. Patti never asked to be tethered to Kevin, nor does she see a purpose in her presence. She does, however, know enough to see that Kevin’s decision will not turn out in his favor.
Patti was right one final time. As Kevin slugged down the poison, the mysterious Murphy grandfather poured the epinephrine on the floor and took a gun to his head. Both men are now free of their burdens. But what does that mean for The Leftovers?
Did Kevin believe this man would save him? Or did Kevin believe that he looked deep inside Kevin’s soul and saw someone who needed release from this life?
Watch The Leftovers season 2, episode 8, “Internal Assassin,” Sunday, November 22 at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.