The Leftovers Recap: Lens-y and Carl


Worst episode of the season so far…. is the opposite of how I feel about this episode! With possibly one exception that I’ll get to later, every part of this episode found the balance between mystery, answers, and watching how people cope with the unknown.

Our episode begins with everyone’s favorite character, Scientist You’ve Never Seen Before. He needs to rush over to Miracle to scan Nora with some sort of Ghostbusters device, but she is having none of it! She quickly realizes that scientists are looking to study her because she might be a “lens,” or a person who amplifies the chances of others getting departed. That’s a lot to take on, so she tries to get herself on the no-call list, but then she meets someone else from the Department of Sudden Departures. He’s in town to confirm that Evie and her friends have actually departed, and he comes bearing a whole new ridiculous questionnaire. He also tells Nora about a Scientific American article that pretty much confirms, that, yep, she’s probably the reason people around her disappear.

She talks to a scientist who essentially confirms this theory, which leads to the only moment of the episode I wasn’t sure how I felt about. The scientist on the phone tells Nora that their theory for why she’s a lens is because she’s possessed by the demon Azrael. This is out of character for the show in that it’s either more jokey or more revelatory than anything we’ve seen up until now. If this is just a total red herring, I suppose I can let it go, but we are leading to something divine eventually, right?

Unless we’re never going to get any solid answers. That feels possible too. There’s no real answer that will feel satisfactory, but it would be nice to get some level of closure at some point, even if that’s antithetical to the ideas of the show.

But getting answers can be nice! Like us finally finding out why that guy keeps killing goats! There was a satisfactory answer (he killed a goat the day of the departure). In the meantime, Nora now has a feud with John’s wife, whose name I’m blanking on, due to a whole thing with birds. I’d go into more detail, but I had to sit around in a rental car with a dead battery for a few hours. You don’t want to hear about it.

Anyway, to sum up, great episode except for maybe that one thing, and here’s to hoping we get more answers and don’t have to go back to Laurie’s story. Though, to be fair, maybe it’s just her son that makes every story he’s part of a drag.