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The Leftovers “Orange Sticker” Review (2×04)

25 Oct

The-Leftovers-season-2-episode-4-nora-kevin

“There are no miracles in Miracle.”

Once again, The Leftovers tackles the desire to explain the unexplainable, to feel 100% about various beliefs, actions, or events. “Orange Sticker” takes a look at people who believe one way, but ultimately crumble under the weight of the world they live in now. It’s an interesting episode both plot-wise and theme-wise, and it features an absolutely stellar Carrie Coon performance throughout.

Her acting skills are all on display during that wonderful opening sequence, one that packs a huge emotional wallop as we see the fear and uncertainty cross her face. She desperately wants to believe that the Departure won’t happen again, that the “Arc” won’t take on any more animals, but it’s clear that she harbors an underlying uncertainty about it all. Michael’s situation is similar: his belief in God informs his notion that his sister definitely isn’t here anymore, but he later breaks down in Jill’s arms when she asks “Are you alone?” (he also ends up scraping off the orange sticker). And as for Matt, we don’t know for sure whether his wife actually did wake up that one night, but he seems pretty sure of it. He tells Nora that he is completely convinced it’s real.

Convincing yourself of something is easier than that something being real, though. Kevin tells John that what he’s looking for is a “fresh start”, but John responds by telling him that what he was “looking for was to feel safe”. Later on, Patti describes his relationship with his family as “damage control”, as “clinging on to something because [he needs] to cling onto something”. In the end, this is what everyone in this post-Departure world needs: some kind of belief, person, or idea to cling onto, some way to feel safe for the time being. And when Nora handcuffs herself to Kevin, that’s the idea that she’s expressing.

As Jill says, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-The Patti stuff is pretty intriguing. It definitely makes the most sense to see it as Kevin’s mind talking to himself, but then what about that guy in the tower who might be able to see her? Also, fitting choice of music: Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

– “Ain’t nothing more dangerous than a man who don’t believe in nothing.”

-Seems like I was right about the suicide attempt. I feel so accomplished.

– “There are people who really wanna fuckin’ die.”

Photo credits: HBO, The Leftovers

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