The Leftovers: A Matter of Geography
October 12, 2015 2:46 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Kevin, Nora, and Jill try to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the Mapleton riots but problems from the past keep resurfacing. The new Garvey clan gets a fresh start in the safety of Miracle. Nora makes an impulsive choice, while Kevin gets entangled in the Murphy family's problems.
posted by numaner (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I accidentally added the spoiler option "First Watch" and couldn't figure out how to remove it. But this is the current season so it's a First Watch for everyone!

Two episodes in and I'm really enjoying this season already. The line "Very interesting family, those Murphys. Hard to tell if they're part of your story or you're part of theirs." made me smile, a little too on the nose with the 4th wall, but I enjoyed it.
posted by numaner at 2:49 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Geez, I finally get some motivation to post and I'm beat by 10 minutes: "We see how Nora, Kevin, Jill, and Lily With One Ell managed to move from Mapleton to Miracle (and meet the Murphys)—but there is old business that Kevin won't leave behind. The post-Departure real estate bubble continues unabated."
posted by sylvanshine at 2:56 PM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

(Sorry, the above ends with an implicit smiley! I am a fatalist.)

Anyway, I started watching this show after the first s2 episode came out, and I've really enjoyed it at times and been frustrated at others.

I think the new approach to season 2 will make for consistently better episodes, although this second episode of the season still makes me feel like there are two types of episodes of this show: those that have a "throughline" and those that don't. The episodes last season that concentrated on single characters had this "throughline", where I forgot the passage of time and become engrossed: Nora's story, Matt's story, the Guilty Remnant episode focussing on Patti and Laurie. So did the first episode of this season (in fact, I felt the direction was probably the best to date; I felt completely immersed in Miracle, and the new characters).

On the other side are these "churny" episodes where we have things (over)explained to us or we are set up for the idea of another mystery (often falsely set up). "Churn" is when, to advance the plot, Kevin basically has to black out and abduct someone. I lament the passing of Patti's character (in both senses) now that's she gone from being nuanced, with an opaque but compelling motivation, to "bad ghost gal".

Classic churn is also everything about the Dean "mystery man" character and the damn dogs: did anyone else find any dramatic interest in Dean and the Dogs last season, even as that stuff appeared in numerous episodes?

Now the show's title music says "Let the mystery be", like a declaration of intent. There is room for mystery, but the mysteries need to arise from the motivation and psychology of the characters.
posted by sylvanshine at 3:15 PM on October 12, 2015

Mod note: Removed the "first watch" tag, carry on.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:38 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Again the music in this episode is just brilliant.

Also, I do believe that the town's special watering hole is the Pedernales River just outside of Austin.
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:55 AM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah the music in this show has always been spot on. The recurring tune that plays during crucial post-climatic scenes is always perfect.

I loved the first season. It's rare that a show is just so tight and well executed and well acted and well directed.
posted by numaner at 9:10 PM on October 13, 2015

posted by essexjan at 3:25 PM on October 16, 2015 [5 favorites]

Patti's back! I'm so happy. Ann Dowd is a hell of a good actress and it's a great character, I'm pleased to see her miserable self haunting Kevin.

I also really liked the reminders that civilization is completely bankrupt. The cops' disinterest in dead Patti, the rubber stamp adoption, the insane park service for Miracle. Reinforces the existential crisis of everything in such a personal way.

Also appreciated the stylistic duality of this show with the season opener. I appreciate them filling in the story in a linear, coherent way. I also appreciate the alternating emotional tone; at least I feel some connection to these characters. Continue to be impressed with the utter alienation of the emotions in the show, there's really no effort to meet the viewer and make them comfortable. It's unlike anything else I've watched on TV.
posted by Nelson at 9:34 PM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Continue to be impressed with the utter alienation of the emotions in the show, there's really no effort to meet the viewer and make them comfortable. It's unlike anything else I've watched on TV.

I agree - and more especially because the premise of the season "The Garvey's become new neighbours of the Murphy's in the small town of Texas" sounds so comfortable, pie.

I like the gradual reveal of Miracle - from being a site of an earthquake 30,000 years ago (maybe) to being a regular old small town - and then to becoming a crazily ring-fenced tourist trap and hell hole (with an equally crazy real estate market).
posted by rongorongo at 1:54 AM on August 11, 2022

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