‘The Leftovers’ Recap ‘Solace for Tired Feet’: Go Back to Sleep

Kevin’s father is on the loose looking to deliver a message to his son while Tommy finally gets fed up with Wayne’s cryptic messages and finds a shocking secret revealed in the latest recap for ‘The Leftovers’…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

When ‘The Leftovers’ was first announced and I heard about the premise behind the show, I was immediately intrigued. My anticipation only grew when I learned that Damon Lindelof, one of the creators and minds behind one of my all time favorite shows ‘Lost’ was on board as the show runner and co-creator. One of the staples of ‘Lost’ was an ultra engrossing story with a lot of questions, Easter eggs layers throughout every episode and a sprinkling of answers every great now and again. Much like ‘True Detective’ earlier this year, I’ve deduced that there’s something inherent in the human condition (or maybe just my human condition) to be attracted to shows with delicately woven plot lines and characters, surrounded by a haze of mystery, and a slew of clues laid out in each episode that you can spend hours devouring and contemplating until a week has passed and the next installment is on the air.

Following tonight’s episode of ‘The Leftovers’, I spent a solid 30 minutes searching and scouring Google for a pristine, mint copy of National Geographic from 1972 to find out what the hell was so important in that magazine that Kevin Garvey Sr. once burned down a library before ransacking another one and then paying $200 to find a copy to hand over to his son like it was the guide map to the madness that’s unfolded since the sudden departure happened three years earlier.

We’ve only met Kevin Garvey Sr. in person one other time this season while learning that he was institutionalized for having the crazies. He likes to talk to the voices in his head after they began speaking to him following the sudden departure three years ago. Before that time, Kevin Sr. was the chief of police in Mapleton and once he burned down the library and apparently harmed someone in the process, his badge was handed over to his son to take over the town while he was committed for psychological evaluation. Kevin Sr. has to deliver this magazine to his son so he busts out of the mental ward before helping to save his granddaughter along the way.

Jill spent the opening few minutes of this episode going through a right of passage with her friends deep in the middle of the woods. It seems back in October 2011 when the sudden departure happened, a boy was being bullied and locked inside a refrigerator but then he vanished along with the other two-percent of the world at that exact moment. So now kids visit this refrigerator and lock each other inside to see who can last the longest before begging for air. Jill is committed to breaking the record, but when she finally gasps for oxygen, the handle on the old appliance breaks off and her friends are in a panic to find a way for her to escape. At that moment, the door busts open and as the flood of sunlight washes over her darkened eyes, Jill sees the outline of her grandfather standing over the fallen refrigerator before he darts off into the woods while asking her not to share this info with her father.

Jill is torn on how to best serve her grandfather after escaping the mental hospital. She quizzes her dad on what he did exactly and when finding out that he did hurt somebody before going inside, she divulges that he escaped and he’s roaming the streets in Mapleton right now.

Her information just adds onto an already bad day for Kevin when he goes out on his fourth date with Nora and is finally being invited back to her house for some consensual sex after it appears both of them have gone without for the last three years. When they arrive at Nora’s house, Meg and another member of the Guilty Remnant are stationed out front, smoking away and staring down the owner when she arrives. Kevin tries with a whole lot of shouting to get them to go away, but Nora has the best plan yet. It’s clearly winter in New York so she grabs her garden hose and douses both of them in shivering cold water. Unfortunately, the all in white cult members aren’t the only ones who get showered in ice water because the moment all but shatters Nora and Kevin’s planned encounter so they call it a night and rain check it for another day.

Kevin then has to call an all points bulletin to find his father, who is now wandering around town and he has no clue why. He visits the mayor, who visited Kevin Sr. quite often since he was committed, but she reveals that her trips to the hospital stopped about a month ago because his rantings and ravings were clearly those of a disturbed mind and one she could no longer reach. She does assure him of one thing, however, that if Kevin Sr. escaped he’s only going to be searching for one person — Kevin Jr.

That night, Kevin falls asleep with the police scanner turned up full blast to hear any calls that may come through about his father. Moments later he’s awakened by a knock on the door and a dog barking violently just outside. When he opens up with a taser in hand, Kevin finds Dean outside with his rifle cocked and a mailbox that apparently contains the vicious dog in question. Dean charges Kevin with putting the dog down, but he can’t fire the rifle. He then spots Dean’s truck filled with dead members of the Guilty Remnant including his wife. The shock sets in and so Kevin goes for the mailbox to see what’s really inside. A slight pull down on the lever and a dog jumps forward as he leaps out of bed to reveal it was all a dream.

Or was it?

Kevin’s hand is chewed up by a dog bite, bandaged up and he’s laying on the floor with no clue how he got there. When he trots to the kitchen he sees a dog tied up to a tree, barking and gnarling just itching to get free. It’s there that Kevin runs into Aimee — Jill’s slightly too flirtacious friend, who informs him that she bandaged his hand after he brought the dog home the night before while talking about rehabilitating the pup. Remember, Kevin and Dean are on a mission to kill all the dogs in town because as Dean says ‘these aren’t our dogs anymore’ but apparently in his fevered sleep, Kevin attempts to save at least one.

Aimee’s looks give the indication that something else was going on while Kevin was sleepwalking and it’s nearly confirmed when she confronts him and asks if he actually remembers anything from the night before. She asks him to repeat what she told him while playing nurse to his injured hand, and Kevin’s only rebuttal is to ask if Aimee enjoys being in his house before he essentially runs away. Aimee definitely has eyes for the chief, but did he have eyes for her too in a moment of weakness while not of his own mind? Kevin’s dream sequences continue to be a foreboding of different things happening or about to happen in his life and the mailbox harkens to the next segment of the show with Kevin’s son Tommy still on a spiritual quest to fulfill his promise to prophet Holy Wayne.

The Leftovers Solace for Tired Feet 1

Now one thing that’s unclear about ‘The Leftovers’ are how far the time jumps are between episodes. Kevin and Nora say they’ve been on four dates together since first agreeing to go to dinner in last week’s episode titled ‘Guest’, which could mean two weeks or a month. Either way the last time we saw Holy Wayne he was taking Nora’s pain away after a painstakingly rough time for the former mother of two after her kids were zapped away in the sudden departure and her husband, who also disappeared, just so happened to be banging their kids pre-school teacher on the side. Well what a difference a few weeks make because Holy Wayne has gone from a run down motel where he was giving out hugs at $1000 a pop to the basement of some dingy basement where he’s currently sleeping on a makeshift mattress. He said his death was coming soon because he saw it, and maybe that day is drawing nearer as we speak.

Tommy and Christine are currently living in a shanty in Gary, Indiana, barely hearing from Wayne except for every couple of months and his prodigal child is about to be born into the world. Christine is sick and Tommy wants nothing more than for Wayne to call and relieve him of this duty he bestowed upon him when the compound was hit several months ago by Federal agents. Christine is running a fever and muttering things like “nothing can hurt the baby. He’s the one, the only one, he’s the bridge”.

Tommy decides to go and get Christine some medicine when the call he’s been waiting for finally happens. Tommy answers thinking he’s going to get some answers, but instead he gets more confusion and little resolution.

Instead, Wayne barely knows Tommy’s name and the only thing he can do is demand him to take $3000 of the $6000 he has left and to stuff it under a mailbox somewhere else in town for an unknown person to pick up. Tommy follows orders, but he’s had enough of Wayne’s cryptic messages and abusive language whenever they speak. Wayne can’t help but try to goad Tommy into an expletive filled argument as he inquires whether or not he’s fucked Christine yet. He also drops a biblical quote on him to once again tease about his own death. The passage is from the book of Job. Wayne says “naked I came from thy mother’s womb and naked I will depart”. The full passage may give a little more insight into Wayne’s future.

“And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD”
Job 1:21

The Lord gave Wayne the ability to take away people’s pain, but maybe he’s lost that special touch he once had or maybe all the pain he’s been soaking in at $1000 a shot is starting to rot him from the inside out.

Regardless of the messages and allegations of banging his lady, Tommy follows Wayne’s orders to take the money to the mailbox. But instead of just dropping it of and leaving, Tommy decides to follow whoever is sent as a messenger to find out what exactly is happening. When a young man shows up and grabs the cash, he follows him back to another part of town where he’s shacked up in a motel of his own. Tommy bursts in the door and demands answers and mostly demands to see Wayne. He then crashes through another door where he finds a young Asian woman, dressed in eerily similar clothes to Christine and when the money grabbing man puts a gun to his head, Tommy soon realizes he’s not the only one Wayne charged with a holy mission. Tommy watches his equal pound a few lines of cocaine as they commiserate about their shared time on the road as both men realize that Wayne impregnated a lot of the compound girls and it’s likely none of them are special. Well, girl No. 2 doesn’t like to hear she’s not the only one and she pulls a gun and shoots Tommy in the hand before he bolts out the door to get back to Christine.

Two things — first off the mailbox was the same one that Kevin saw in his dream and the dog inside that bit his hand is similar to the girl who shot Tommy in the hand after he followed the messenger with the money back to the hotel. Both father and son are afflicted with the same type of injury on the same hand. Maybe Kevin’s dreams aren’t just dreams after all?

When Tommy arrives back at his apartment, he finds a bed covered in blood and a trail leading to the bathroom. There he finds Christine clutching onto a little baby girl, sitting in a bathtub together, mother and daughter. Christine then tells Tommy “it’s a girl”.

Back in town, Kevin Sr. makes contact with his granddaughter before sharing a conversation together. Before he can make his escape, Kevin Jr. arrives and grandpa knows that his granddaughter gave him up. He’s not upset but instead tells her ‘good job’. On the way back to the loony bin, Kevin Sr. rattles on until he screams stop as his son’s car approaches a huge protest of members of the Guilty Remnant. It seems Reverend Matt has been taking his casino winnings and using to fund his own group of followers to basically pull the mask off the members of the ivory cult. He’s been posting signs up all over town with their slaughtered sister Gladys followed by the words ‘save them’. The Guilty Remnant want none of that so they’ve been pulling down the signs and rewording things to say ‘don’t save them’ and now they’ve gathered on main street to protest while blocking traffic.

The opening gives Kevin Sr. just enough time to escape and his son is once again befuddled about where to look next.

The Leftovers Solace for Tired Feet 3

Kevin’s search comes to an end when he finally feed the ravenous dog with a slap of raw meat and sees a stone pried up in his backyard. He opens the peanut butter jar and finds one of Matt’s flyers wrapped around a stack of $20’s as we saw in an earlier episode this season. In a rage, Kevin flies off to find Matt before running into his catatonic wife and his group of parishioners all printing the ‘save them’ posters. One of the members happens to be the concerned father from earlier this season who wanted his baby baptized despite his wife’s overtures against the ceremony. Kevin finally tracks down his dad via Matt but he’ll only surrender after giving his son something first.

At the diner where they meet, Kevin Sr. presents his son with a gift as he’s been instructed by the voices in his head. It’s the May 1972 issue of the National Geographic and it’s the guide that Kevin Jr. will need as he embarks on this new journey. He’s been chosen — the lucky ones, the people that weren’t taken that don’t get this same mission are asleep, but Kevin is important and he has to wake up and realize there’s more going on around him that just 140 million people disappearing. He tells his son he can’t just take the book either, he has to accept it.

Needless to say, Kevin rejects the offer before his father erupts and tells him to just go back to sleep and don’t wake up as he has to be dragged to the ground and restrained. After returning him to the mental institution, Kevin Sr. asks Matt to come visit him the following Sunday and then hugs his son one last time and tells him ‘they’re not going to let you off that easy son’. As he exits the hospital, Matt tries to pass along another message of his own but Kevin’s heard enough and simply tells the reverend ‘fuck you’. The passage that Matt was speaking before he was cut off was from the Quran — “Said (the father): “My (dear) little son! relate not thy vision to thy brothers, lest they concoct a plot against thee: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy!”

The context seems to say that Kevin should keep these visions (and maybe voices like his father hears) to himself or he’ll suffer the same fate as his old man.

Following a hard day’s night, Kevin retreats back to Nora’s and they finally release three years worth of tension with a passion filled night in bed. Outside, Meg sees Kevin go in to spend the night with Nora. When she returns to the compound with the file they have on Nora, she informs Laurie that this woman is banging her husband. Laurie’s response — ‘so?’.

Meanwhile the morning after, Kevin divulges that he thinks he’s going crazy and Nora makes him feel all better by telling him that he’s in the right place. For all the downtrodden, miserable feelings this show has spurt out like a garden hose on a cold winter’s day, Kevin and Nora getting together seems to be the one bright spot as they offer each other some levity in an otherwise grim situation. Of course in this town, happiness only seems to come in small doses so if I were these two, I wouldn’t get too comfortable with those morning after smiles plastered on their faces.

Actually, Kevin’s comes to a crashing halt when he returns home the next morning and decides to tell Jill about his night out with his new ‘friend’. Before he can say much, however, Kevin discovers that when his father was at their house, Jill picked up a piece of paper revealing the item he was searching for in all those libraries. The May 1972 issue of National Geographic and when Kevin spots it, he’s irate and takes it out on poor Jill. As she leaves in a huff with Aimee following close behind none too happy that Mr. Garvey was out doing the horizontal bop with another woman, Kevin watches his rabid dog jump up towards the window with another chomp just trying to take some flesh off the bone.

Kevin hasn’t rehabilitated anything yet and this ‘invitation’ has now haunted him from both his father and his daughter. The dreams he’s having are eerie reminders that he’s not always in control and with each passing night Kevin fears that he’s slipping into the same madness that claimed his father three years ago. Maybe he believes by ‘accepting’ this gift, he’ll be opening himself up to the same kind of demons that stole his father’s mind. Or maybe they are already planted in there just waiting to get out.

Figure It Out:

Some of the clues from this week that I will certainly be researching. Starting off with the May 1972 issue of the National Geographic (kind of like the ‘King in Yellow’ from ‘True Detective’ right?) — the issue appears sold out everywhere online. Maybe my conspiracy theories run too deep, but I’m starting to think the producers of this show bought up every available copy to further run the promotion for this series because as of now, none seem around to purchase while issue after issue both before and after this one are everywhere online.

The cover stories on that issue are as follows and you can see the cover below as well:
Yellowstone’s Hundredth Birthday – A four part report
Cairo, troubled capital of the Arab world
Living in a Japanese village
The spider that lives underwater
Have excavations on the island of Thera solved the riddle of the Minoans?

national_geographic_141_lg

Now a quick dissection of those topics lead most theories towards the article about Cairo — why you ask? Well a message sent out to followers of ‘The Leftovers’ on Twitter gave latitude and longitude coordinates that led to Cairo as seen on the map below.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 3.16.21 AM

Now Cairo also happens to be the name of next week’s episode of ‘The Leftovers’ so mystery solved, right? Not so fast. There’s also the mention of the Minoans, an ancient society from Crete that disappeared without a trace and there are only theories on what really happened to these people. Similar to the 1.4 million people on Earth who just vanished three years ago? This theory also leads back to Egypt again because there are scientists who believe that a volcanic eruption led to at least part of the Minoan society dying off and the after effects of this explosion reached as far as Egypt in the form of earthquakes or other geological events.

The only clear connection is from something Christine said to Tommy early in the episode when he tried to wake her up to have a cup of soup. “Spider that lives underwater” she uttered and that is a direct quote from the front of that National Geographic issue. The diving bell spider is the only species of spider that lives its entire live underwater while breathing air through a bubble.

Is it one topic or maybe all of them? It seems like there are several ways to point at that particular volume and theorize about how it connects to ‘The Leftovers’.

Also interesting to note, Aimee was watching the show ‘Perfect Strangers’, which is the same show Kevin Sr. was watching in the asylum before revealing that all of the leads from the series disappeared during the sudden departure.

Tune in next week for even more crazy theories as the voices continue to speak to me to stop obsessing about every nuance with this show.

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