The Leftovers: Gladys
July 30, 2014 4:08 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

A brutal execution sets the town on edge, and more is learned about the Guilty Remnant.
posted by jbickers (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I thought this was a pretty good episode, for me, mainly because it's getting away from the uninteresting mystery (why the people vanished) to the really, really interesting mystery (what the Guilty Remnant are all about). The scene in the diner, in which the one lady talked, gave me the impression that the GR is a broad-brush satire of EVERY religion that requires absolute devotion in the face of some ridiculous particulars. I thought that was kinda underlined by the fact that when they went to drop off the bag at her family's house, "What a fool believes" was playing on the car radio.

An appeal to anyone who has read the book: Is this show at all sticking with the book's plot, or is it its own thing now?
posted by jbickers at 4:20 PM on July 30, 2014


I thought this episode was more interesting and actually made me want to continue watching. I noticed that this episode was cowritten by the author. The only other direct writing credit he has was on the pilot. He needs to write more episodes.
posted by amapolaroja at 9:57 PM on July 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I agree, jbickers, I'm really glad that we're dealing again with the natural instead of the supernatural. The whole bit with the ATF was really disturbing for me. On the whole, I really enjoyed this episode.
posted by Night_owl at 1:56 AM on July 31, 2014


The Guilty Remnant seem to be a monastic order in all but name — the vow of silence, the communal living arrangements, mortification of the flesh (through smoking).

It’s interesting too that the murder at the beginning of the episode is a stoning. That’s such a traditionally religious punishment.

On the whole, I don’t really understand this show’s stance on religion yet. There are times when it feels entirely rooted in a Christian world view, but on the other hand the supernatural elements we’ve seen so far aren’t what I’d expect of the Christian god. I wish I understood a little better where the showrunners are coming from, but the tension of not knowing is interesting too.
posted by Kilter at 6:16 PM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am so in love with this show. It doesn't exactly make sense, the central conceit is a bit silly and I hate the main cop actor. But everything else is just so great. The existential crisis, the dread, the nihilism. The show has a lot of very strong imagery that's not really like anything else, its own unique private language of emotional conveyance. It's stylistic uniqueness is a real strength.

The moment for me that really sold this episode was the little excursion by Patti. Particularly hearing her voice, her completely losing her shit in a vulnerable and yet strong moment. I've admired Ann Dowd's acting all through the series, it's awfully hard to ask someone to act without speaking, and she's done a great and unusual job with her role. And then to break form but in such a constrained, controlled way. And then to lose it in a baffling display. It all just felt really powerful and once again, unique, novel. It's nice to watch something fresh and surprising.

I could flip a switch and snark on this show. But that's why I watch Under the Dome every week. I'm in for the ride with the Leftovers, I think they've got something interesting going on.
posted by Nelson at 9:19 PM on July 31, 2014


One more thought; the way this show will lose me is if it feels like it ever has to explain the disappearance, all the supernatural stuff. I sure hope they just leave it a mystery. Right now it reminds me of the best parts of the Walking Dead, when they stop talking about the zombies at all and concentrate on the stories of the remaining people.
posted by Nelson at 9:21 PM on July 31, 2014


jbickers, I stopped watching after E2, but, yeah, diverging from the book in major ways, looks like they are going in a different direction.
posted by mlis at 10:57 PM on July 31, 2014


Did anyone else watch FlashForward, the 2009 TV show? It had a similar sort of odd premise, in this case that everyone on Earth blacked out and had a vision of a specific moment six months in the future. The show (only one season) built up to that moment when we had the Big Reveal about what caused the blackouts.

The part of the show that was so great was the existential crisis that glimpse of the future gave everyone. People saw they were going to be rich, or alone, or sick, or nothing at all. The strong parts of the show was about how all the characters dealt with this glimpse into the future, what it meant about them. That's the same weird emotion that I like The Leftovers exploring.
posted by Nelson at 10:28 AM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes! I really enjoyed FlashForward! I was really sad that it only lasted one season. And yeah, it's the same focus on character and characters that I enjoy in this show.
posted by Night_owl at 9:03 AM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


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