The Leftovers: Guest
August 5, 2014 6:22 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

We learn a lot about Nora, the woman whose whole family Departed.
posted by scalefree (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Holy shit this episode was good. Nora brings a new dimension to the show. Everything that happened was pitch perfect; the way she keeps shopping for her family, her job, the conference, even the disturbing scene with the hooker. And now we've seen Holy Wayne in action. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Kevin & Nora together; she'll make an excellent sounding board & foil for him that he's sorely needed. If there was any doubt in me there isn't any longer. This show's got legs. I want to see where it goes.
posted by scalefree at 6:42 PM on August 5, 2014 [4 favorites]

I was starting to lose interest-but it has definitely pulled me back in. This was the best episode so far.

I would watch an entire series about the Department of Sudden Departures.
posted by JennyJupiter at 5:58 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Alright, I had decided to bail after the last ep, and haven't seen this one. I'm so tired of being jerked around, but you guys' comments have pulled me back and I'll give it a go.
posted by Sayuri. at 9:13 AM on August 6, 2014

When the show started it wasn't entirely clear where it was going. Would it be like Lost, always dangling mysteries in front of us like carrots to chase after but rarely if ever catch? That wasn't for me & that's not what it is.

Instead it's about a miracle. Not the kind we usually think of but a miracle nonetheless, a singular event that's simultaneously undeniable and inexplicable, an event that defies history but refuses to be ignored. How would people living in a rational world deal with an irrational event? It's a fascinating question & I like the way the show's trying to answer it.

Some interpret it in terms of an existing narrative, like the Christian Rapture. Some, like the GR, embrace the antithesis of existentialism, saying that life no longer can have any meaning in its aftermath. Some refuse to accept that it happened at all, getting lost in one conspiracy theory or another. The government, attempting to reassert reason & order, sets out to uncover a pattern, theory or narrative that can make sense of it for us while darker elements work to silence the rapidly growing fringe groups that seek to use the event to upend the established order to further their own objectives & narratives.

Can there be meaning in a post-Departure world? Can the Leftovers find a way to go on or is it the death knell for civilization itself as everything we thought we knew about the world unravels?
posted by scalefree at 8:52 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

Just watched this episode last night, and really liked it, with one major exception: I have a very hard time believing that Nora would be willing to go into that sketchy apartment building with the creepy tall guy. I understand that the plot required that she go there, but I still didn't buy it.

I am also reserving judgment on the "holy person who hugs your pain away" subplot, which feels too ridiculous to ever make sense, but I hope I am proven wrong on that.
posted by jbickers at 5:35 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

This episode was great. Like: really, really great. Like so great it worries me, because I can feel my 'Fuck You Lindelof, I'll Watch Your Show But I'll Never Trust You Again' defenses beginning to crumble.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:07 PM on August 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

> I have a very hard time believing that Nora would be willing to go into that sketchy apartment building with the creepy tall guy.

This bothered me at first, too, but then I thought: no, someone who's hiring sex workers to shoot guns at her would totally take a risk like that.

Also: Creepy Tall Guy = genre veteran Tom Noonan, who is always amazing, and always playing Creepy Tall Guy.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:10 PM on August 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

Totally loved this episode as well. Speaks directly to what I like about the show, the characters and the way they deal with the existential crisis. I don't care what happened, and I hope they never feel the need to justify the Violent Unexplained Event*. I just want to see the interesting storytelling it inspires. Much like episode 3, about Reverend Jamison, I love these character studies.

I was OK with the creepy building. It's just one of several bad decisions Nora takes in her nihilistic wallow; the hooker with the trembling hands and the pistol aimed at her heart, the random psychopharms with the Patrick Bateman character, the second dirty martini at the bar. She's broken and doesn't give a shit, so of course she wanders down the creepy walkup hallway to The Light.

There's a lot about this show emotionally that's just fucked up. Unnatural, inhuman, just horrible. Like when Nora blurts out "fuck your daughter", or the conference goers trashing the legacies. It's interesting to see such awful emotion indulged on screen.

* the premise of this show suddenly reminded me of Peter Greenaway's film The Falls. Similar setup; something strange and unexplained happens to many people, this is the story of the people who remain. Greenaway's film is too arty by half, too elliptical, but interesting anyway. Liking this for a more accessible treatment of a similar insane existential setup.

MetaFilter: Surely a live dog is better than a dead lion
posted by Nelson at 10:22 PM on August 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have a very hard time believing that Nora would be willing to go into that sketchy apartment building with the creepy tall guy.

She's just as nihilistic as the GR in her own way.
posted by killdevil at 10:01 AM on August 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Carrie Coon (the actor playing Nora) explains this episode.
posted by Nelson at 6:58 AM on August 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

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