When was the last time you were awestruck by an hour of television?
That's how I felt after watching The Leftovers Season 2 Episode 5, which was simply one of the most powerful hours of dramatic entertainment offered in a long time.
Each week, it seems as if The Leftovers cannot possibly top what it has done before, and yet it finds yet another way to outdo itself. "No Room at the Inn" was stunning.
We've already been privy to the desperation of the people waiting to get into Miracle. Some of them will do anything to find their way into the tiny town with the hope of discovering salvation, if that even exists within the town were none were taken during the Sudden Departure.
This episode focused on humanizing their dilemma and bringing it to up close and personal by trapping one of the most kind and accepting people and his ill wife in with the throngs of the unfortunate awaiting entrance.
We were also given an inside look at what it would be like to love as deeply as Matt does Mary, caring for her daily when she's unable to care for herself. It's especially tragic since he took her to Miracle and received one (we think), because the has spent every day thereafter reliving the day in his own personal Groundhog Day with the hope it would flip the switch again and bring her back.
It's hard to imagine a life like that and to wonder whether it would be worse to have lost someone in the Sudden Departure, from which you would be able to move on and recover, or to lose only their very essence, leaving behind a body that you care for aching for the return of the full person you love so much.
In his attempt to discover whether her brain has shown signs of improvement, Matt learned Mary was pregnant, a miracle in itself. But with the town harboring any secrets of miracles for themselves and their desires to keep the crazies out (and can we blame them?), the only way to come back into Miracle after Matt has been tricked into losing their wristbands is to promise to lie about how Mary became pregnant in the first place.
It wasn't a surprise that Matt would opt to go it alone, trying to find another way back home, but after how easily he had been taken by the ol' broken down car on the side of the road trick, it was hard watching him be so gullible a second time around, not matter how lovely of a man he is.
Nothing he encountered inside of the Park should have given him an indication that anybody in there was on the up and up, but his heart is so clean and so pure, he had no choice but to give everyone with whom he comes into contact the benefit of the doubt. Certainly they'll do right by him.
Yet that's what makes Matt such a beautiful character. His unwavering faith that in God's hands things will turn out alright. It's hard not to believe that with him when they finally get into town and the father is dead, allowing Matt to claim their wristbands again.
But Matt doesn't just let that be the end of it. He's not going to lie per John's wishes. But he's not going to stick around, either. He believes there are things he has done for which he needs to atone. He's not a perfect man.
My first reaction when he left Mary with Nora and Kevin was that was a heavy burden to lay at their feet. That was until I saw the one he had gone off to take on himself. The only way the people at camp at Miracle Park were going to let a man out of the stockade where he had been put in order to repent was if someone else volunteered to replace him. Matt was that man.
If that didn't grab you right in the feels, you may not have many left. Matt Jamison is a giant among men.
The Leftovers Season 2 hot streak continues. It's one of the best written and most compelling dramas of 2015. It has done a brilliant job setting itself apart from The Leftovers Season 1, losing the gloomy feel and kicking up the emotional intensity.
I can't wait to see what's in store on The Leftovers Season 2 Episode 6!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.