The Leftovers: Lens
November 10, 2015 9:41 AM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Nora is irritated by unexpected visitors; Kevin's predicament becomes impossible to ignore; Erika finds an unlikely ally and reveals haunting secrets.

Alternate synopsis: Nora and Erika finally sit down and have a nice chat.
posted by Nelson (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I enjoyed this episode. Particularly the extended scene with Nora and Erika. Nice to see two women, strong characters well acted, have so much time together on screen doing something complicated. Also that leads to our first actual catharsis this season; Erika throwing the rock through Nora's window. Good on ya, Erika!

Erika's interesting; is she the only character on the show that doesn't have some horrible secret, some stain on her soul that makes her an awful person? She seems straight-up a victim of her husband John, and probably also the family member in the woods. She's a little complicit in John's violence but then she's his emotional captive, has no choice. Is she the only innocent adult on the show?

One thing bugging me, particularly this episode, where are the geologists? The first few episodes have all these minor earthquakes attributed to fracking. And then all the water drains out of the town's magic lake. Shouldn't there be a swarm of scientists trying to figure out what happened? We see investigators of all sorts of other things, including scanning Nora for demonic possession. How about someone go look at that fault rupture?

Also this episode is your reminder that the location for Jarden is a real place: Lockhart, Texas, the world capital of barbecue. Smitty's is one of the town's top BBQ places. I don't think of it as a breakfast joint really, but it does open early so maybe? Anyway nice to see it on screen, with a shout-out to the brisket. Now I'm hungry.
posted by Nelson at 9:48 AM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

On the one hand I'm surprised there's not more discussion here. Every time I watch one of these episodes, I feel like I'm going to come to Fanfare and see a ton of comments.

On the other hand, I'm honestly not sure what those comments would say, because I'm not sure what to say. The Leftovers is one of the most compelling things I've seen on television in the last year and yet I still don't know what to make of it. I have a hard time expressing why it speaks to me; I suspect it may have to do with my own conflicted experiences with faith and loss and grief. Whatever it is... man. Even when it doesn't all come together, the acting and direction are still remarkable, but when it works, it's... spellbinding.

It helps that these are some great actors delivering great performances. Carrie Coon in particular; Nora is such a fascinating character and she plays her so well. It's like she was broken and imperfectly reassembled; she still works fine mostly, but every time she moves you can see the seams where she doesn't quite fit together right.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:01 PM on November 10, 2015 [20 favorites]

So far, every episode this season has left me stunned. I can't wait to see what happens next, largely because I have absolutely no idea where all this is going. It's incredibly enjoyable to be left guessing and still trying to understand what I just saw at the end of the episode.
posted by bluloo at 6:36 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah I really love this show but don't know what to say about it.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:54 AM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I love the world that they've built around the departure everything from the National Parks dept. to the questionnaire. Mapleton was a community that didn't have a concerted plan for how to deal with the cults that sprung up in the aftermath. Jarden does, or it did.
posted by The White Hat at 8:40 AM on November 11, 2015

I have just binge-watched this season across three nights. I never saw Season 1, but a rough overview was all I needed.

Knowing Damon Lindehof is behind the show helped from the start, because you already go in with expectations for some creepy weirdness and symbolism, plus maybe odd timelines and hidden backstories. So it's surprising to me now that I was able to jump in this season and understand almost everything (Matt's story needed some research).

My thoughts to date:
* The religious symbolism is very on the nose. Episode one with all the garden of Eden stuff; Matt's episode with the book of Job and the themes of repentance and integrity under pressure.

* There is so much here that looks like it will be loaded with meaning. After Lost I'm a little skeptical that some of these things will be explained. I have been obsessively looking up the Apostles (particularly John and Matthew) to see whether it will be connected to those characters. And what's up with the goats? The goat-slaying, and then goats causing the car accident: are they connected or just coincidence?

* Patty scares the crap out of me, especially since we know she is capable of physically hurting Kevin.

* Erika has some secret, I'm sure; it may only be something to do with her relationship with the man in the forest (her father? John's father?).

* I am trying to get my head around the weird ...powers? that some people seem to have. Like the guy who repeated Mary's words to Matt at the Visitor Centre about having to get into Miracle to protect the child (although that one was just as likely a hallucination).

* What the heck is up with those pies? John was happy to give Mystery Pie to the new neighbours... did he think something was wrong with it? Or not? Because normal people don't give mystery pie away; they throw it out or get it tested or something. And since it was the forest guy making the pies, are they given out of love, or is there actually something wrong with them? It's potentially a whole Snow White scenario.

* I was SO disappointed that the "doctors" calling Nora were demonologists. I was expecting some really good scientific theory, but of course that's not going to happen. And a large part of this show is about how religious thought is, these days, as valid as the scientific.

I also love the world they have created, and the thought they have given to the way people would react to the Departure. Everything makes sense, even the goat-slayer guy. I just need more processor power in my brain to work it all out.
posted by tracicle at 9:15 AM on November 14, 2015

If this show were any stranger it would be unwatchable. As it is ...?
posted by Chitownfats at 11:52 PM on November 14, 2015

Just finished the episode. It's just so perfectly strange to keep you compelled without having overt expositions.

And god, just the acting, the cinematography, the direction, the music, it all comes together in the most fluid way.
posted by numaner at 10:38 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

This year, at the Emmys, instead of having the normal bit where they announce the nominees for Best Actress in a Lead role, showing clips of their work, then announcing their winner, and then having an acceptance speech, they should just play the entire scene with Erika and Nora and then let the two actors walk on stage, accept the award as a shared prize and high five.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:48 AM on December 10, 2015 [8 favorites]

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