Culture of Pop

The Leftovers Recap, Episode 7: Solace for Tired Feet

It won’t be long now.

On this week’s The Leftovers recap, we talk about how people are frustrated in Mapleton! They are in need of money, unable to have sex, are unhappy with their cell phones, have issues with mailboxes, and get stuck inside of refrigerators. Meanwhile, Reverend Matt is hanging up posters of Gladys’ face around town, with the slogan “SAVE THEM.” Yes, someone, please come and save all of these people from themselves.

The episode opens on Laurie and the Guilty Remnant folks tearing down said posters. She spies Jill and her friends across the street and the two exchange vacant glances at one another. Jill and her friends drive off to the woods where, in an effort to “honor” a cohort who disappeared while performing the same feat, they engage in a dangerous game of endurance by locking each other in an old refrigerator to see who can last the longest.

In town, Kevin and Nora are finishing a dinner date – which is revealed to be their fourth! Time really flies in Mapleton – and Nora invites him back to her house. Kevin texts his daughter to let her know he won’t be home, which she says is fine. And everything is fine until the handle on the fridge breaks off and Jill becomes trapped and begins running out of air. Her friends are unable to free her from the fridge, but then a savior arrives in the form of her grandfather who has escaped from the institution yet again. He breaks the door open and frees Jill, then continues his mad dash through the woods, leaving her friends perplexed as to the identity of the mystery man who looks like an older Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Meanwhile, Tom and Christine are now in in Gary, Indiana. Christine is really far along with her pregnancy, but is experiencing fevers and other undiagnosed issues. While looking in the pharmacy for something to help her out, Tom gets a call from Wayne. Wayne seems confused, distracted; he forgot that he called Tom. He asks Tom how much money they’ve got left (six thousand dollars) and instructs him to drop off half of the funds underneath a random mailbox in town. He once again asks Tom if he’s slept with Christine (which he hasn’t, and also, the woman is super pregnant at this point) and tells him that “It won’t be long now” before hanging up.

When Kevin and Nora arrive at her house, Meg and another GR woman are waiting out front. Kevin becomes instantly enraged and tells them that her house is off-limits. They stand undeterred. And then Nora turns the hose on them, which startles the GR women, but impresses the hell out of Kevin (and turns him on too). Inside her house, the two share a beer, but fail to take things to the bedroom, and Kevin in turn heads home with the promise of a fifth date with Nora.

At home, Jill starts asking Kevin questions about her grandfather and why it is that he was put away. He wonders why she’s suddenly so interested in him and she reveals that the grandfather escaped and she saw him in the woods. Kevin heads to what he thinks is the first place his father would go: the mayor’s house. She won’t let Kevin in to search for his dad and assures him that the man will not turn up on her doorstep. He’s been way too incoherent for her to even deal with during her visits to the asylum; instead she knows that he’ll be coming to Kevin.

Chief Garvey rallies his fellow officers at the station house to go out and find the former police chief while Kevin heads home and sets up cop-camp in his living room with his walkie-talkie and gun on the coffee table. He soon falls asleep (so it seems) and a strange series of events take place: there’s the sound of a dog/dogs whimpering outside his house, so he throws the front door open and sees Dean (the dog shooter) perched at the back of his pickup truck. Dean instructs Kevin to come and join him, that he’s captured a wild dog inside the corner mailbox; Kevin looks into the back of the truck and sees a group of lifeless GR bodies slumped together inside of plastic bags. He sees Laurie as one of the bodies. The snarling and growling in the mailbox grows louder; Kevin turns and looks at his house and sees Tommy in the doorway, who shakes his head disapprovingly at his dad before closing the door on him. Kevin reaches the mailbox and begins to slowly open the lid as the snarling becomes almost deafening.

Kevin is startled awake, lying face down and topless in his bedroom. His hand is bloodied and has been bandage. Down in the kitchen Jill and her friend Amy are having breakfast; Amy says she remembers the night before when Kevin brought a dog home, but he clearly is having an impossible time remembering exactly what happened, although he takes note of the wild dog barking uncontrollably while tied up in the backyard (so we know that at least the part about the dog was not a dream). He then gets a call that one of his officers was assaulted by the grandfather at the local library and then fled. A janitor at the library tells Kevin that his father was trying to use one of the computers and asked the janitor to lend him $200.

The grandfather then turns up at the Garvey residence (his former home) and Jill sees him in a tug-of-war with the dog in the yard for control of his shirt. She phones her father, but let’s the grandfather into the house. He tries to help Jill understand what’s going on in his head, and says he hears voices all of the time. At one point he seems to be speaking to one of them directly as Jill looks on in disbelief. In her father’s bedroom he takes stock of all of the prescription pill bottles on Kevin’s nightstand. The grandfather then asks Jill if he can borrow $200 from her, but she says she has no money.

Kevin returns home, puts his father in handcuffs and prepares to bring him back to the hospital. While driving through town, the father and son get into a fight and the car has to stop short because there’s a GR rally on the main street. The GRs have taken down the “Save Them” posters from the local businesses and turned them into their own signboards, with the word “DON’T” scrawled across them. The grandfather takes this opportunity to break out of the car and make a dash through the throng of GRs, losing Kevin in the sea of white. Back at the house, Jill finds a piece of paper that her grandfather left behind and then uses her friends the twins’ credit card to send someone $200.

In Indiana, Tom stakes out the mailbox. He finally sees a station wagon arrive and the driver take the cash that Tom stashed away. He follows the car to a motel and beats on the door demanding to see Wayne, who he incorrectly assumes is inside. However, he finds two far more interesting people in the room: a guy much like himself (who was also once at the ranch house) and another pregnant Asian girl. In disbelief Tom asks the duo about their experience. He shares with them the things that Wayne had said to him. Both men say in unison how “This girl is everything” in relation to their respective pregnant Asian ladies. It would appear that everyone here has been played by Wanye; but why? The girl demands to know which other girl from the ranch was pregnant. Visibly stunned, she gets up and leaves the room, and as the men try to make sense of their similar stories she returns with a gun and begins shooting. Tommy winds up getting shot in the hand and flees the motel as the girl screams about how Wayne promised her that her baby was the only one, and was “the bridge” (whatever that will come to mean).

At the Garvey’s house, Amy asks Kevin if he remembers the previous night. He lies and says that he does, so she challenges him and asks him to tell her again what he said while she was bandaging up his hand. Visibly agitated, Kevin asks her if she likes staying with them (which she says she does) and leaves it at that. He brings a steak out to the yard to deflect the dog’s attention and notices a trowel and small hole that’s been dug under the barbecue. In the hole he finds the peanut butter jar with the money and handbill about the judge who takes bribes that his father left for Reverend Matt’s use.

Knowing that wherever Matt may be, his father is sure to be close by, Kevin calls Matt and demands that they all meet up at the diner. When father and son sit down together it seems at first that they’ll be able to have a coherent conversation, but the father then presents Kevin with a National Geographic magazine from May 1972 and tells him that “you need to accept it,” presumably referring to the same “it” that afflicts the father. Is it schizophrenia, or is it something fictitious for the sake of the show and other-worldly? The father continues saying “what I hear, what they say is the truth.” He tells Kevin that the National Geographic is his invitation. Kevin counters coldly, “So now I have a purpose?” and the father tells him that context is everything. Thanks guys, that cleared everything up for us viewers at home.

The father soon flies into a rage and screams for all of the patrons in the diner to stay asleep. He’s then re-handcuffed and brought back to the hospital, giving Kevin a touching, tearful hug and kiss goodbye. Kevin retreats to Nora’s house, where the GRs are still on their post. He and Nora wind up having sex and the next morning he confesses to her that he might be going crazy. She comforts him by saying he’s come to the right place for that. Meanwhile, back at Guilty Remnant headquarters, Meg brings Nora’s file to Laurie and scribbles a note that Kevin is sleeping with Nora. She seems like she wants Laurie to be as outraged as Meg clearly feels for some reason. Laurie takes the file and writes back in all caps “SO?” That Laurie is certainly a stoic one.

When Kevin returns home he sees a copy of the same National Geographic sitting on his kitchen counter. He proceeds to throw it in the trash and demands to know where it came from. Jill responds that she bought it because she found the instructions that her grandfather left behind.

Tom returns home, having run from the motel and smashed his phone out of aggravation about Wayne’s duplicitous ways. Christine is not in bed though, and she’s not responding to him calling her name either. There’s a giant blood stain on the bed and a trail of blood leading to the bathroom, which Tom follows. He enters the bathroom to find Christine laying in the tub, looking exhausted and frail. She slowly holds up a baby, the umbilical cord still attached. “It’s a girl” she says.

So… maybe the next half-Asian baby to be born in a Gary, Indiana motel room will be the Messiah? Tune in next week! As Wayne said on the phone, “it won’t be long now.”

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