The Leftovers: “B.J. and the A.C.” Review
“THERE IS NO FAMILY.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Things were back to “normal” this week on The Leftovers as we got back to a more traditional, multi-character episode following on from that little detour into Matt Jamison’s tortured life. We have another significant time jump too, with these events taking place six weeks after the events of episode two. It’s a little bit difficult to estimate where last week’s episode sits in this six week gap, but considering Jamison seems completely healed of his injuries I’m going to guess it’s been several weeks.
The Garvey’s took center stage once again as we caught up with each member of their severely broken family. Kevin has now become almost fully focused on dealing with the Guilty Remnants, which may be a good thing considering their actions later in the episode. His grand scheme to entice them into trespassing so he could arrest them seemed a little too easy to succeed, so it wasn’t a surprise to see it backfire slightly when only a handful turned up while the rest broke into people’s homes and stole their family photos. Considering the world these people live in where so many loved ones have vanished, this is a rather heinous act to commit. We’ve already seen some very violent reactions to the Remnant, so if this gets linked to them in any way it will only escalate things further.
With Kevin’s plan not working out as planned, he received another punch to the gut when Laurie and Meg showed up at his house with a set of divorce papers. Fantastic scene all round, with Meg acting as Laurie’s mouthpiece while the realization of what was happening slowly dawned on Kevin. It was one of the most powerful and intense scenes of the series so far with great acting from everyone involved. Jill walking in towards the end added to the despair as she barely looked at her mother while handing her a Christmas gift. We know Laurie comes and visits the house in the middle of the night, so she obviously still struggles with abandoning her family. Knowing this, it wasn’t too surprising to see her return for the gift that she tossed away in front of Meg after leaving the Garvey residence. In her letter to Kevin she talks about being a broken person, but in the long run we may see her try to fix things with her family.
Jill had a little bit of a random week as she stole the baby Jesus from the local Nativity scene and hung around with her nihilistic high school friends. I don’t find her group of friends all that interesting, but Jill’s struggle is proving to be quite compelling. She may even be as broken as her mother, acting out just for the sake of it and doing the opposite of what people want and expect from her. I do wish she’d give her father a bit of a break though. All of her friends seem to realize Kevin is under a hell of a lot of pressure, so Jill could cop on a little and stop making things harder for him. Kevin has a certain amount of blame to take for that too of course, with his communication skills severely lacking. Again though I’ll expect this to develop more as time goes by.
Rounding out the Garvey family drama is Tom, who we learn is actually Kevin’s stepson. Tom is still trying to lay low with a now pregnant Christine, something they fail miserably at as they are attacked by a crazed half naked guy babbling on about dreams. Tom’s story is the most isolated so far, and it’s also by far the creepiest. Between Wayne, prophetic dreams, and now an overturned truck full of fake dead people, Tom’s seen some messed up things. That truck takes the cake though. Apparently a company called “Loved Ones” will make a model of your loved ones that disappeared in “the departure” so people can have a funeral and get some closure. It actually sounds like a noble gesture, but I assume there’s quite a bit of money involved, and seeing those fake corpses tossed out across the highway was a chilling sight. Tom is struggling hard with everything right now, reaching his drunken low point on a bus stop bench, pleading for a sign. He and Christine are dodging cops and crazy people right now, but something tells me the real danger will come when they reunite with Wayne.
The Leftovers got back to basics this week as we caught up with the Garvey’s, who are all still wallowing in their own personal quagmires of depression. While Kevin, Laurie, and Jill’s stories all intertwined in some way, Tom remains cut off from the bunch, protecting the slightly crazy Christine. Kevin’s feud with the Guilty Remnants is escalating, and now that they’ve taken their own plans a step further by stealing the townsfolk’s prized family photographs, it’s only going to escalate even further. I still have no idea where the overall story is going to go, but for now The Leftovers is progressing nicely.
I’ve heard many reports of people giving up on the show after the first couple of episodes, so I’m interested to hear your opinion on how the show is progressing. Have you been hooked from the very start or have you had enough of this chillingly bleak world? Let me know in the comments below.
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