The leftovers are departing. Laurie’s (Amy Brenneman) analysis of Kevin’s (Justin Theroux) Patti (Ann Dowd) manifestations summarizes the premise of the show. Everyone’s in Miracle, but all that’s really left is “us.” Scientific and religious theories compete for answers, but people prefer to believe in divine speculations versus more down to earth truths because it’s easier. Kevin chooses Virgil’s back door over Laurie’s more empirical advice to seek psychiatric help. Before he slugs the Patti antidote, he frames up Garvey Sr.’s advice to listen to the voices. But Garvey Sr. meant that the answers aren’t in what the voices instructed but rather that they initiated the journey to healing, permitting him to face himself. Overt symbolism aside, Kevin frees himself from the cuffs because Patti wasn’t in the way. Laurie, a woman of science, admits she chose a faith-based alternative, all of which have been commoditized like a resource in a boom town—or like a Comic Con for L. Ron Hubbard’s.
And I think The Leftovers won’t bullshit its audience in providing a final, scientific wrap-up to explain the departure. At the same time, the show isn’t out to belittle or scathe religion either (reference Laurie and Tom’s religious subterfuge) it’s only examining it from a dramatist’s point of view—how people behave when they need something. I thought Nora (Carrie Coon) and Kevin would only separate once they found inner solitude because right now they seem so co-dependent. Then again, Nora’s grail is security, and Kevin’s Patti is threatening it. When Laurie, with clarity as an ex-Remnant, replaces Nora, she’s still in the midst of departing, wanting yet another “way out” of Mapleton’s despair. But that scene is the best moment between them because they’re finally being honest with one another, smoking openly together, a vignette of personal resolution.
Kevin needs her help but doesn’t take it. I never understood the antipathy Patti has towards Kevin until Laurie offers another mundane explanation—that Patti’s apocalyptic complexes resulted from her abusive husband. And I don’t like Patti now as a character. She was more interesting when she was alive and didn’t say anything because she carried herself with hidden, profound indignation. Now, she’s just plain spoken, and utterly witless—shut the fuck up Patti. As a plot device, she’s Kevin’s “nothing,” but I think nihilism has so much more potential as a seducer. In other words, judging by only three episodes left, I would’ve liked to have seen Kevin become close to Patti, as she could’ve directed him to do self-destructive things while creating a conflicting dynamic with Nora and Jill, perhaps in the vein of “The Shining.”
And Michael (Jovan Adepo) is definitely in on Virgil’s spiritual cleansing of Kevin. Michael hung around and showed up directly after Virgil shot himself, right on cue in distress but without shock. What’s Michael’s motive? He was chided earlier by Erika for praying with Virgil. To cure Virgil’s pedophilia perhaps? There’s more to it, considering Virgil’s spiritual cleansing modus operandi—put someone to death, so they can resurrect, literally and figuratively. I believe Michael wants to witness something divine and watching Kevin rise from the dead would confirm it. In short, Michael thinks Virgil is doing holy work. I think Michael will drag Kevin’s body to the woods and try to bury it, but Kevin will awake, and rise like Erika’s bird. Will be cured? At least I think a turning point will happen in him. But will it be based in psychology or spirituality?