Each week following episodes of season two of The Leftovers, Sophie Gilbert and Spencer Kornhaber will discuss new characters, old visitors, and whether smoking really is the best way to express profound nihilism.
Kornhaber: Kids these days. Yik Yaking and Snapchatting and Slendermanning and vanishing so as to serve as an invisible living reminder that life is meaningless and no one should feel any sort of warmth toward anyone else. I’m tempted to read tonight’s episode-ending revelation that Evie and her friends had run away to join the Guilty Remnant as a commentary on Millennial idealism, though the ideal at issue is the opposite of hope-changeiness. You could alternately argue that it’s utterly un-stereotypical for 2015 teenagers to rebel like this: They had to leave their iPhones in the car!
Either way, it’s a good twist, one that I didn’t see coming but that makes total sense in retrospect. The Leftovers this season has largely let viewers forget the extreme measures and ambition of the Guilty Remnant: The corpse manipulation, the self-stoning, and the assorted harassments that made up much of the first season’s action are foggy memories by now. The glimpse into Tommy and Laurie’s anti-Remnant efforts in the third episode almost mostly made you sympathize with the white-shirts; the nattering of ghost-Patti increasingly seemed like a personal expression of pain or Kevin’s psychosis rather than a tactic of an organization hellbent on expunging optimism from Earth. So from a viewer’s perspective, Meg is right when she tells Matt that Jarden doesn’t feel like somewhere the Remnant would go. But think about it for a sec and it becomes clear that it’s where the Remnant must go to complete its mission.