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Know First Who You Are, Then Adorn Yourself Accordingly (The Leftovers 2×08)

Image Source: HBO 

Let’s all take a moment and take a breather. The last Leftovers was a lot to take in. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to watch it a few more times to actually understand it. For a long time The Leftovers has given us very little to be explained and in the second season, I was hoping we would get more answers than more questions. Now if I said I completely understood everything about this last episode; I would be a big fat liar. But it does seems like they are giving us answers….as bizarre as they are.

When the episode starts, Kevin wakes up in a hotel room (underwater in a tub to be exact) and here we go….the crazy train is pulling in and at this point it would be stupid not to catch a ride. Now going into this episode just from watching the first few moments; I was pretty positive that Kevin was in some sort of “other” place. Was this actually the place he needed to do battle with Patti? Is it something else entirely? Trust me; it crossed my mind that he entered the place where all of the departed people eventually went. Side note: what if the departed are having the same exact experience that “the leftovers” are having? And it was “the leftovers” who disappeared to them. That would be interesting but I digress.

Kevin wakes up and wanders into the bedroom portion of the hotel room and the TV is fritzing out. After that; he walks up to the wardrobe which has a little gold plate stating “Know first who you are, then adorn yourself accordingly”. My first reaction? Oh great; he’s going to make the wrong choice. To me, Kevin is this character that is quite tormented because his entire world keeps getting turned upside down. Even when his family was together; he wanted more and cheated on Laurie. So how is he supposed to know who he really is? Interestingly enough, he does not choose the cop outfit again completely stating that his life in Mapleton, NY is long behind him. He picks the suit; I don’t know if it goes much deeper than….the suit was the best damn option in that closet but apparently (as we later found out) he chose the option of being the “International Assassin”. Kinda seems like a really handy coincidence seeing as he is technically supposed to do battle with Patti. Sometimes things just really work out don’t they?

Soon, immediately a guy shows up with flowers and tries to kill Kevin. And it’s not the only time in this episode that someone just randomly shows up with the intent to end his life. Is this because he chose to be the International Assassin? Are these people tests? Or did Patti send them after him? Again, we’re delving into some answers here….but to be fair; they are very clear at all.

One thing I would love to point out about The Leftovers is (in my opinion) there amazing use of music. So many times this season; I have been completely brought into a different mindset because of the musical choices they have decided to use. This classical piece that I may be too ignorant and uncultured to know is quite unsettling but also a call for battle. I absolutely love it. Even if the episode does play it on repeat.

I loved the use of the bird in the hotel which was our first clue that Kevin has in fact journeyed to the other side where all dead souls come to….I don’t know figure out their purpose? I’m still a little hazy on that part. Like we know what Kevin has to accomplish while he’s there but what about everyone else? But the bird represents the dead bird in the box from the first episode of this season. The Leftovers is a show that demands your attention but if you really close in on some things and watch the episodes a few times over; it’s amazing. Granted that can make it quite the exhausting show to watch but those are my favorite types of shows.

Now from what I can tell about this “other side” is that this is kind of the staging area for heaven or hell? I could be completely wrong but I think people (maybe select people) enter into this place with some type of mission to accomplish. If you die in this place; you die for good but if you complete what you are meant to do in that place; you get to come back. And you get to come back as a changed man. What is Virgil’s purpose is to guide Kevin making his role as the concierge very fitting?

Now the scene where Kevin actually got to play the International Assassin was a load of fun. It was absolutely great to see the return of Gladys and Wayne. But now the whole sequences begs the question; were they really there? Or is this all just a fabricated reality meant for just Patti and Kevin? Are they special? Or are they a part of something bigger? Even though Kevin got a sit down with “Patti” I had a feeling this would not be the final showdown….just for shear timing of when this scene was taking place in the episode. There was a big chance that the woman in this scene was not actually Patti. I’m almost 99% sure. But I was still screaming at my TV telling Kevin to shoot her. Kevin is in a place full of dead people who may or may not be real; just take the damn shot, Kevin. Let’s be thorough with this shall we?

From the beginning of the episode; we can tell the little girl is very important. My initial thought when seeing her for the first time was that she was Kevin’s unborn child who departed and that was going to revealed later on. But the reveal was much different. Kevin saved the little girl from being drowned in the pool at the hotel and boy does that come completely full circle. We eventually find out that the little girl is in fact Patti. You know, just to make things a little extra hard for Kevin. This was all supposed to show that Patti is a person too. And maybe she’s been struggling just as much as Kevin but I guess we’ll get there.

So here’s the scene. The scene we’ve been waiting for in a sense and the scene that may actually gain Justin Theroux an Emmy nom. The idea that Kevin has to do “battle” with the little girl form of Patti is really jarring in and of itself. Kevin and Patti travel to a well and he is forced to make a decision before crossing the bridge to get there. He can either kill himself or cross the bridge and kill Patti. Those are the only two options. I feel like this little moment of doubt is strictly to remind the audience what needs to be done so we won’t get so upset when we watch the show’s lead kill a little girl. Kevin brings Patti to the well and this whole scene is very sad to me. And it’s obviously sad to Kevin who seems to go through a whirlwind of emotions. I think Kevin knows exactly what he has to do for his own sanity and to get back to the people that he loves. But I also think there is a part of Kevin who has really grown to care for Patti. She’s really been in this with him if it has truly been her all along. Everyone on this show is trying to grasp onto any sort of idea that there may be answers. Patti has been doing that just as much as Kevin has. We may just not have seen it. Kevin finally pushes Patti down the well but oh, it doesn’t stop there.

He soon hears Patti’s grown up voice calling Kevin for help and Kevin goes down the well to….well, he falls down the well to come face to face with his adversary one final time. They have a final moment together that I will admit brought tears to my eyes. I really have loved the dynamic between these two characters and I think if they weren’t so caught up in what should be or what could be; they could’ve made a great team. Maybe they do in fact make a great team. Patti breaks down because she is scared and Kevin holds her. Just when you think they’ll have a tender moment; Kevin drowns her in the water down in the well. I don’t think he wants to and I don’t think he went into this thinking it was going to be easy but it’s what needs to be done.

The next thing we see is Kevin crawling out of the ground with Michael looking down on him. Hooray Kevin! You survived bizarro world and came out on the other side! I’m assuming that means Patti is officially dead. Though let’s be honest, stranger things have happened. Maybe her purpose was to let Kevin kill her. Maybe she was an angel sent to guide Kevin to this victory. Again I don’t think we got all the answers. I didn’t leave this episode saying “Well, I got it all figured out now” but I definitely think the writers are going to take this risk to actually try and explain some of these things or at least give us a glimpse into the world they have created instead of leaving it in shroud of mystery.

This whole episode was a big leap for The Leftovers. It was a very courageous move on the writers’ parts. But to be fair; I love that about this season. This season is keeping me much more enthralled than Season One. Not that I didn’t like Season One. I’m sure if I went to some other blogs; I would find out that people didn’t actually enjoy this episode that much. There is such a high expectation for shows nowadays that people are normally looking to tear them apart for their faults rather than just focus on the story. But for me; this episode was a big hit. We got some answers and we saw Kevin do battle on the other side. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted The Leftovers to become. I’m not sure what direction I wanted to have the show go but for me; I am thoroughly entertained and I cannot wait for the next episode.

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