Recap: The Leftovers 2.4: "Orange Sticker"

Oct 27, 2015 by Sarah Moffatt

I was sort of bummed to return back to Miracle after such a course-altering episode last week in Laurie and Tommy’s world, but the search for Evie proved to be almost as interesting.

After being jolted awake by an earthquake, Nora runs outside to see what’s going on, just in time to see John and Michael getting in the car and driving away. Erika is standing on the porch looking concerned, and tells Nora their daughter and her friends are “gone.” Nora loses it and faints just as a dog runs by that looks an awfully lot like their dog that’s still supposed to be in quarantine. Are we seeing animals mimicking their owners again?

When Nora wakes up and can’t get a hold of Kevin on his cellphone, she automatically assumes “it” has happened again. She’s on the phone with 911, repeating over and over, “Did it happen again?” but the operator keeps asking, “Did what happen again? The earthquake?” I guess if you live in an area with no departures, you see The Departure in a different light than those who lost their entire family.

Kevin finally shows up and explains to Nora he lost his phone where Evie went missing during his sleepwalking episode, but he leaves out the part where he had a cinder-block tied around his ankle. Shame on you, Kev: What happened to ‘We tell each other everything’? Despite the fact that Nora’s never seemed bothered by Kevin’s highly suspicious confessions, he doesn’t seem to trust her the way she thinks he does.

The fact that Evie and her friends disappeared at the mysterious spring of “holy” water is quite interesting. Especially since the spring is now drained completely, which made people throw some elbows to get the last few drops. The spring is obviously very important since it’s the catalyst of so many story bombs, but what does it mean?

After the crowds leave, Kevin continues to look for his phone along with Patti, who’s becoming one of my favorite characters on this show. I think she’s the blunt dose of truth we need in a mix-match of chaos and confusion. While Kevin is searching through the mud, Patti plays the “warm, hot, cold” game the closer he gets to it. He finds it in the buried in the mud and realizes Patti might actually know a thing or two beyond what he knows or can know (i.e. the future), like when she told Kevin not to get in that car right before John pulled up to the empty spring.

Kevin ends up going with John to Isaac’s hotel room, where John hopes to settle the score. But Isaac is ready for him and he shoots John. It is so baffling to me how calm Erika is when John calls to say he’s been shot and she removes the bullet like she was fixing up a skinned knee. I don’t understand the dynamic between these two yet, but that’s probably the point. We’re not ready to understand those two and when we are, I’m sure we’ll see what we need to see.

When Isaac is scuffling with John, he says to him, “Nothing more dangerous than a man who don’t believe in nothing.” But after we last week, couldn’t we argue the same of a man who does believe in something?

Nora is enraged – probably more scared than angry, actually – and finds Rev. Jamison at the church to yell at him for telling her it was safe here. He counters that no one wants him talking about what happened (meaning The Departure), but this place is the real deal. He tells her about a night where his wife, who was paralyzed in a car accident the day of The Departure from a car wreck, came back and they talked for hours about what happened between that fateful day and now since she didn’t remember. But when we see her, she’s the same old blank-stare Mary. From what I can tell of previews of next week’s episode, which focus on Matt and Mary, I think we’ll find out a little bit more of their story, maybe even see part of the night Matt says she “came back.”

The most important moments for Kevin this episode happen in the last 10 minutes: Patti calls out Kevin for not loving his family, and Kevin finally snaps, speaking directly to Patti for the first time since right before she killed herself. Patti drops truth: People who love their families, she reasons, don’t keep secrets from them and they certainly don’t try to kill themselves by weighing themselves down in the spring to drown. She tells him some people just want to die, like them, which makes Kevin cry, so obviously what she’s saying resonates with him, particularly her last truth bomb: the girls have vanished.

After Patti walks away from Kevin, singing “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley (yes, Kevin got Rick-rolled) – which obviously means Patti is here to stay – the man in the tower from episode one asks Kevin who his friend is. Now, we’re not sure if this means he just was watching Kevin talk to no one or if perhaps the tower guy – who never seems to leave said tower – saw Patti himself. If he did see her, does that mean there might be a select group of people who have a deeper level we aren’t sure of yet? If this tower guy can see or hear Patti, that means we know of at least 3 people with the same thing going on: Kevin Sr., Kevin, and Tower Guy.

As Kevin returns home and crawls into bed with Nora, we hear a stripped-down (and really cool) version of Grease’s ‘You’re The One That I Want.’ Perhaps we’re being told Nora doesn’t want (need?) anyone else but Kevin needs to get it together before they implode?

I also really loved the moments Michael and Jill shared in this episode. They seem to be saving each other without really realizing it. Although, we did have a nice moment where Michael fixed the sink at Jill’s house where he wouldn’t tell her something to avoid sounding crazy since she isn’t religious. Jill thanks Michael for saving her, to which he replies, “Anytime.” I’m interested to see how Michael will save her in the future. Religiously? Physically? Both? When Jill sees the wrench Michael left behind, she returns it in time for him to break down in her arms about his sister (we found out they’re twins but she was born 2 months too soon). In the final shot of the episode, we see Michael scraping off the orange sticker that reads “Verified”, which he explained to Jill as something the government issued when it was confirmed they had no departures.

This brings up a lingering question for me: What happened to the people who lived next door to the Murphys before the Garveys? They have the “verified” sticker and no one else seems to be leaving when hundreds upon hundreds (maybe even thousands) are camping out and fighting to get into Miracle. Who would leave? Were they running from something, like the Garveys, or from someone? Maybe the Murphys, or John specifically?

As Jill so thoughtfully put it, “Whereever you go, there you are.”

Watch new episodes of The Leftovers at 9pm ET Sundays on HBO or catch them On Demand.

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