The Leftovers Recap: Scoff Ramp

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Hey, the Guilty Remnant’s back and weirder than ever. Apparently, Laurie has recruited her Son Whose Name I Should Probably Look Up At Some Point to go undercover in Guilty Remnant sects and find people who are doubting it to deprogram. Laurie seems to be getting a bit of an ego boost from all of this, as she’s writing a book about her experiences. How do I know she’s writing a book? Because she will NOT stop talking about it!

Anyway, we follow some blonde lady through her deprogramming, from the moment SWNISPLUASP (I think Tom?) writes her a note that it’s OK to get out to the inevitable moment it all goes wrong. She moves back in with her husband and starts talking again, with gentle encouragement from Laurie. Then, as anyone with a sense of dramatic pacing would assume, she ends up killing herself, her son, and her husband by swerving the car into the wrong lane and running headlong into a truck. This, of course, begs the question of why the husband had her driving in the first place. It seems like she could have killed her whole family a different way or we could have gotten a scene of her telling her husband she wants to drive and him objecting, but eventually acquiescing. The main point is, it ruins Laurie’s book deal, BUT LET’S NOT GET AHEAD OF OURSELVES.

First, we have another inevitable plot beat where Tommy (I caved and looked it up) is caught while undercover. He ends up strung up before Meg returns to rape him for a few seconds. At first, I was worried we were going to have some sort of Theon situation on our hands, but they end up tossing gasoline all over him and sort of threatening to light him on fire before Meg just tells him to say hi to Laurie.

The weird rape thing is another instance of something I’m pretty sure will never pay off that’s just weird for the sake of weirdness. It makes us ask questions, but that doesn’t really mean much when those questions don’t seem to have answers. And that’s not to say everything needs to have answer. For example, if we never find out what the deal with the cavewomen was, I think it’d be fine since it feels like a thematic note that advances discussion of the larger ideas behind the show. But the weird, specific actions the Guilt Remnant takes do start to feel cheap if we never get an answer to any of them.

For example, Laurie has a meeting with a publisher interested in her book and when she’s asked about the smoking thing, she just says that she was never told. Hey, The Leftovers, that’s both something I’d like to finally get the answer to, but also something I don’t care about enough about to only find out at the series finale or whatever. Though, I suppose it could end up being cute to get the answer in the last episode, I guess. She strangles that publisher when he pushes her too hard, which… couldn’t she just curse him out? The strangling felt like something Homer Simpson might do. And I love The Simpsons, but, you know.

Anyway, Tom apparently has Wayne’s power, which I like, since I wanted to see what would happen if that power was attached to someone who wasn’t a weird Manson Davidian dude. Let’s see what happens next week!

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