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The Leftovers Review: The Departed

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What happens when Damon Lindelof of the famed Lost gets together with director Peter Berg of Friday Night Lights and they develop Tom Perrotta's novel about an event similar to the Rapture?

You get a complex, dark, but moving series of television. You get The Leftovers Season 1 Episode 1.

Justin Theroux as Kevin Garvey

Not only do I think this show will draw in many viewers, but I am positive it will draw in controversy.

Here is an event where 2% of the world's population has mysteriously disappeared into thin air, regardless of religion, ethnicity, age, race, culture... anything. Three years later - after countless debates between religious leaders, politicians, journalists and everyday people - there is no answer.

I get the Pope but Gary fucking Busey? How did he make the cut?

Bartender

What we're left with is a show about how people deal with a loss like this, a loss with no answers. Everyone's way of dealing is different. Some are angry, some are numb, some have joined cults and some are just bereft.

We're introduced to Chief Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) and are led to believe that he lost someone on that day. He in fact lost two people, but not in the way we initially think. Kevin is a police officer who is clearly struggling with his grip on keeping order and power in his life.

Are the animals hallucinations? The woman whose dog is shot said she hadn't seen the dog in three years. The guy who shot the dogs said "These are not our dogs." What do you think this is representative of? Is any of it real?

Kevin asks at the end "Am I awake?"

I see a guy who has to take prescriptions sleep meds to get through the night and I get the feeling he is waking up, or getting wasted on the meds and destroying his house, wandering and indulging in random parasomniac behaviors. Tie this in to the grief of his son and wife being gone and Kevin's head is definitely a mess.

But he's holding it together the best he can for his jaded and angry teenage daughter. That's how he copes.

As the episode progresses, we see the tie in with the two cults. Kevin's wife Laurie is in the GR. The Guilty Remnant dress in all-white and chainsmoke cigarettes while they follow around the victims' families and silently judge them. They are serving as the reminder that We Are Still Here. So what do you think made Laurie join that group?

I couldn't get a clear view of the flashback but that did not appear to be Laurie that Tom was having sex with when the event occurred.

And why does Liv Tyler's character seek refuge with the GR in the end? Does she think it will soothe her pain?

Chris Zylka plays Tom Garvey, who has taken off and is serving a prophet of sorts. A man who claims to heal people and receive messages. Then we see lash markings on Tom's back before he takes a naked dive into the pool and screams underwater.

The local government of Mapleton throws a day of remembrance and a parade known as "Heroes Day" because quite simply, what else are they supposed to do? Again, nobody has the answers.

They're heroes because nobody's going to come to a parade for "we don't know what the fuck happened" day.

Lucy

While this show is destined to become a hot topic where people will argue over the meaning, the intent, the conclusions, to me I see a show that is an sociological study on how people deal with unexplained loss. It is open to interpretation.

The only real question I have the audience is did it catch your attention? Will you continue to watch The Leftovers?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (26 Votes)

Leigh Raines is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Here is what I took away from Ep. 1 -- that our world ended in 1422 and ever since -- those on earth are really in HELL. No one every said that Hell is bad all the time . . . but this world we are a part of is Hell, just look at the new or the headlines around the world.