The Leftovers “A Most Powerful Adversary” Review (2×07)

15 Nov


“It was finally over. That’s freedom.”

So far this year, The Leftovers has focused on the concept of faith, on why we feel the need to believe as we navigate the often illogical world around us. “A Most Powerful Adversary” reemphasizes that point, but it also delves into our desires to simply escape, to just end things and be free of the worries that have constantly plagued us. The central figure for this exploration is Kevin Garvey, someone who has tried before to escape and has felt a heavy weight on his shoulders since the beginning of this all.

Midway through the episode, Laurie delivers a telling monologue to Kevin as she sits across from him in a hotel room. “When the mind is in emotional distress, it will grasp at any construct that makes it feel better,” she says. “After the 14th, the whole world needed to feel better. We were all in emotional distress, so that made us susceptible to false belief.” She then asserts to him that Patti isn’t real, that he needs to go and get medical help in order to alleviate his struggles. Interestingly enough, though, this just drives him toward another “false belief” with Virgil: the belief that drinking poison will rid him of Patti.

This just illustrates the self-perpetuating cycle that people in this show get caught up in. They want to believe in something, but since they also want to escape the world they live in, they end up running around in circles as the weight on their shoulders crushes them even more. And that’s how we end up with Kevin at death’s door, unwilling to get medical help and end up in the same position as his father. As Patti says after his palm print gets taken down: “You went there to get free, and you got caught.” We also have Virgil, ready to escape from his past–we find out that he molested John, leading to John shooting him–ready to put himself down so that he can finally be “free”.

After all, the only time when Patti truly felt free was when she stabbed herself in the neck with a piece of glass. In a world where escape is constantly sought after, perhaps the only way to do so is to end it all. And even then, it may not be over.



-Ann Dowd and Justin Theroux are both fantastic in this episode. I’m hoping both will get some recognition next year.

-I loved Patti talking about the Wishing Cup/chalice and Kevin having to drink his own cum. In addition, I enjoyed the “borderline racist” comment about the “magical black man in the woods”.

-Note that Nora also attempts to escape in this episode.

Photo credit: HBO, The Leftovers


One Response to “The Leftovers “A Most Powerful Adversary” Review (2×07)”

  1. Anonymous January 4, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

    I want the dialog not comments

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