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The Leftovers “Off Ramp” Review (2×03)

18 Oct

The-Leftovers-season-2-episode-3-meg

“Well, let’s give them something.”

What’s great about The Leftovers is its ability to acknowledge the complexities of the systems we’ve put into place over the years, the systems that make up society as a whole. From a slightly more cynical viewpoint, believing in something can also be seen as buying into something. However, the key point here is: belief tethers us to something tangible or metaphorical or both, and there can certainly be value in a support group around us. The show isn’t so much concerned with critiquing belief systems like religion as it is explaining why they exist in the first place, and a telling encapsulation of this idea comes in this episode’s “THEY MAKE SENSE!” (in reference to the Guilty Remnant). It’s easier to have something to believe in, after all.

Throughout the episode, Laurie tries to get people to believe in the possibility of a “normal life”, but as we know already, there’s no such thing in this post-Departure world. Logic seems to elude most of the events that occur, and what you expect to happen may end up deferring to the exact opposite result. You might have someone like Susan, someone you expect to be healed, to be able to return to a life of normalcy with people who love her. However, that may end with her swerving into oncoming traffic and ending her family’s life right there.

Laurie attempts to get better, but the past is still hovering around her at every turn. The Guilty Remnant is the spot on her window that won’t go away, and she’s running over their members before breaking down because they won’t get out of the way. It’s clear that while she’s attempting to distance herself from her time in the GR, she’s still finding herself drawn to them in some way. We see that internal conflict front and center during the publisher scene, one that ends with her attacking the man across from her and killing her career in one blow.

And in the end, she and Tommy realize that what they’ve been doing isn’t as effective as they’d hoped. They have to give that support group something else to believe in, something that might be simultaneously complete BS and uplifting message. So, Tommy tells a story with a significant amount of embellishment, but you can see the hope and wonder in the eyes of the people listening. His outstretched arms will be met with people desperate to connect, desperate to believe…even if what they believe in doesn’t exist.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Amy Brenneman is fantastic in this episode.

-There’s a television news report that says something about a man emerging from a cave in Perth, Australia. This is definitely going to play a big role moving forward.

-That Meg-Tommy scene might be the strangest scene we’ve witnessed so far in this series, and that’s definitely saying something. I’m guessing she wants to get pregnant in order to use it against Laurie? Whatever the case may be, it’s going to be interesting watching Liv Tyler play this changed role for her character.

Birdman-esque drums there throughout.

Photo credit: HBO, The Leftovers

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One Response to “The Leftovers “Off Ramp” Review (2×03)”

  1. karzaner October 19, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    This Episode was so good!

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