Let’s Talk About That Showdown (The Leftovers 2×06)

Image Source: HBO 

I must say “The Leftovers” has got to be one of the most underrated shows on television. We are dealing directly with the pain and self-hatred the people who were left behind really feel. Though the mystery of why everybody departed is certainly on the audience’s mind; we are happily distracted by the very real emotions of those who have lost so much.

Last week; Matt went through his own crisis of faith and though we only saw him in one scene this week… seems like he’s finally getting a grasp on his own life. He already managed to get himself free and clothed since the last we saw him. Side note: I won’t lie…I was hoping to actually see Matt convince the people to let him free but I understand; there’s only so many minutes in an episode. He is still insanely hopeful about Mary and even though him and Nora had a little bit of a spat; it’s nice to see the two of them really working together. He is her family after all.


Where’s Tom?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of Nora and Erika; I think I should just briefly mention that very awkward phone conversation between Laurie and Nora. It’s been a few episodes since we’ve seen Laurie and Tom. I’m not entirely upset about that fact. One episode was enough for a while. Last we saw; Tom was heading straight into a sea of troubles when he was starting to form his own “Wayne”-like cult.

But in this episode; Laurie calls Nora and asks if Tom is with Kevin and the gang. Um what? Laurie, keep track of your own son! You have one job! Nora says she’s never even met Tom and the conversation ends. The thing I don’t really like about this episode was Nora not telling Kevin that his son is apparently missing. I know they’re keeping some things from each other even though we started this season with both of them being brutally honest. I also know that Nora has a lot going on so I hope it will come up soon enough especially after Kevin’s honesty at the end of the episode.

But back to Tom; there could be a lot of things that happened to him. The number one thing that comes to mind is Meg. Meg, Meg, Meg. She’s so crazy. And she already kidnapped him for a spin to rape him and send a message to Laurie. She has it out for Laurie and it’s not like anyone would be shocked if she were behind Tom’s disappearance. But again this is Tom…..he could just leave for a number of reasons. Tom is always filled with angst and again; I would be surprised if he just skipped town for a number of reasons. I’d like to think he wouldn’t do that to Laurie. I’ve never been a big fan of Laurie but even I don’t want her son to quit on her like that.


Nora’s Quest for Answers

Though there were little tidbits of information regarding other characters; this episode focused heavily on Nora and Erika leading up to an unbelievably tense confrontation at the end of the episode. Two world class actresses going head to head if you ask me.

Nora goes through quite the journey this episode. She goes through a big journey in a lot of episodes but this one is leaving her with a serious enemy. Up to this point in this season; Nora came to Jarden needing to believe in miracles. She needed it desperately which has caused her to be rather delusional when it comes to the town. I think Nora still has a logical head on her shoulders but her judgement can be clouded every so often. She selectively hears what she wants.

As the episode goes on; Nora is confronted with the idea that she could be a “lens”; a person who actually causes other people to depart. It’s insinuated that she could have caused Evie’s departure and Nora doesn’t like it one bit. Nora spends the episode trying to use every single investigative ounce in her body to prove that she had nothing to do with anyone’s departures. I don’t blame her. How on earth can you deal with the knowledge that you could be the cause of so much pain and suffering?

She is told by the doctor on the phone that they believe whole heartedly that she could be possessed by the demon Azrael. Oh boy, this is certainly getting strange. It’s almost laughable at first but honestly at this point….I feel like almost anything can be the truth? Kevin is talking to a dead woman and Mary randomly woke up long enough to get pregnant and then never again so why wouldn’t Nora be possessed? You really never know.

Nora’s desperate search throughout the episode is pretty heartbreaking. You know why she needs to know the truth. She masks her intentions quite well but she is desperately trying to prove that she didn’t cause any of the departures. I don’t necessarily believe she did but this episode sure did make us all think about it.


Erika’s Truth

Now that we discussed Nora, it’s only fair that we move straight onto Erika. Erika has been having a rough time and by the end of this episode; she was brutally honest…..and it was thrown right back into her face.

Throughout the episode we’ve learned some new things about Erika (prior to the big truth session at the end). We found out that she is still trying to deal with John’s assertion of dominance over everyone. He’s beating up people who may have a hand in Evie’s disappearance. Little does he know the answers could be living next door. Honestly; how long is that hand print analysis going to take? But I digress. John is grasping at straws even though he’s trying to hold it together. He feels like he is doing right by beating up anyone who could have anything to do with Evie’s disappearance but Erika is not really impressed. She seems to just be going through the motions at this point.
Another aspect of Evie was meeting her father(?)….possibly uncle but I’m thinking father. He’s the man Michael goes to pray with. He also did something horrific in the past that led John to shoot him. I say it was something horrific because of Erika’s reaction to what he did…..not because John shot him. John seems to shoot everyone. It was something unforgivable in Erika’s mind but everything can be forgiven in Michael’s mind. In my opinion; Michael is a breath of fresh air in this show. He and Matt should seriously have some conversations about faith and love. Also, Michael and Jill are super cute….even if their families will soon be at war.

Seemingly Erika’s big moment happens at the fundraiser and I am so glad that someone finally said something….if for no other reason than I don’t want to see goats slaughtered in every episode. By the way; where did Erika actually take that goat? Just a question. Anyway; Erika let everyone have it. The idea that some routine will keep them spared (I couldn’t help but think about Matt’s routine with Mary through all of this) is pretty absurd and Erika wanted everyone to know that.

I was obviously very excited to see Nora go after Erika after her meltdown but I was naïve to think Nora had any motives that wasn’t in her own interest. Nora’s an interesting character for me. I like her a lot but she does tend to be selfish at times…..but I don’t really blame her. But by the end of this scene; I was #TeamErika. Erika poured her heart out. She was completely honest about her grandmother’s stories and why she thinks Evie is gone. The idea that Nora was ever a representative for DSD is baffling by the end of this scene. Erika was completely honest and Nora laughs it off essentially telling Erika that she’s being stupid. But that’s just Nora deflecting. Erika hit a nerve. A very real nerve. Erika talks about wishing someone away and they went away. In the moment where Nora’s family departed; she wanted nothing more than for them to be out of her life. It was only for a moment but that’s what she wished for. Nora mocks Erika but Erika spews venom at Nora with a death stare. Seriously this whole scene gave me chills. Nora just made a serious enemy in Erika.

Up to this point in the show; Nora has had the monopoly of being the victim. Even from the audience. We all feel insanely bad for her time and time again. We still do but this was the first time I felt that someone called her out on her selfish nature and I kinda loved it. At the end of the day; if I had to choose….I’m Team Garvey obviously but I love how Erika put Nora in her place by asking her about her children and turning the tables around. Erika ends the episode by throwing a rock through the Garvey’s window and the battle drums are sounding.


Kevin’s Finally Honest

I don’t think it was necessary to include the scene where Kevin is honest with Nora at the end of this episode. It’s definitely a scene that needed to happen but I kind of hoped the episode would end on Nora and Erika’s tense situation. Nonetheless it’s good that it happened. I do believe Kevin is in fact seeing Patti and he’s not crazy. Much like his dad isn’t crazy. I can’t help but stay extra alert when Kevin is forgetting babies or getting a random cramp during sex. Something is going on with him. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he was connected somehow to the disappearance of the girls….even if he doesn’t remember anything. The truth is going to come out somehow and it seems like an all out war is on the horizon for these two dominant families. At the end of the day; Patti is not pleased with Kevin telling Nora the truth….I’m not sure why. She seemed annoyed that he didn’t acknowledge her at first but now she’s annoyed that he’s acknowledging her too much? Crazy dead people can be so confusing at times.

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