After two weeks’ worth of flashbacks, we’re finally catching up to the present time as The Leftovers continues its sensational second season.
We now know where everything fits in this season, which allows for the narrative to continue the threads began in the premier episode. Evie is missing. Kevin is sleepwalking. And Nora is looking for an explanation.
In ‘Orange Sticker’ we’re essentially seeing a parallel to last year’s standout ‘The Garveys at Their Best’, the aftermath of the sudden departure, because by the end of the episode it’s very clear that a second sudden departure has occurred. Whether it’s just Evie and her friends that have vanished, or whether this is a globalised case remains to be seen, but if it is just Evie this suggests that something is very off in Jarden, Texas.
As John rightly said, ‘There are no miracles in Miracle’.
The fact that Kevin was sleepwalking during the departure and attempted suicide surely ties in with everything that is happening. It can’t be a coincidence that he happens to jump into the lake where Evie and her friends were.
BUT – why didn’t Kevin depart either? Is this tied in with the wish that Holy Wayne bequeathed him last season?
Either way, Kevin is slowly losing his mind, as his hallucinations of Patti continue. The fact that she has information that Kevin doesn’t – where his phone is, what happened to Evie – suggests that she isn’t actually just a manifestation of his mind. If she were, surely she would know only what he does. This, coupled with the fact that the weird man in the tower can also see her, suggests that Patti may actually be there. Somehow.
Also strengthening this is the fact that Kevin didn’t know that Patti’s husband liked to shit on his mistress when they had sex! Only Patti and Laurie knew this, so she has to be real.
Carrie Coon continues to excel as Nora this week, as she rightly so assumes that Kevin has departed, and breaks down on the phone to the police. She is distraught, having believed her brother, Matt, the Jarden was special.
So it comes as a shock when Kevin turns up – she hugs him, and then storms off abruptly. Her later suggestion of her and Kevin being handcuffed together as they sleep will surely resurface later in the season.
I think she’s going to get an eye-opening glimpse into Kevin’s state of mind as his sleepwalking continues.
‘Orange Sticker’, to me, is all about laying the seeds for later in the season. Kevin’s handprint on Evie’s car is going to come back and bite him in the ass, as is John’s outburst on Isaac. After setting Isaac’s house on fire, and then later coming to attack him, John is slowly spiralling out of control too.
It’s interesting to see these parallels between John and Kevin – they are essentially the same person, and their eventual head to head is going to be awe-inspiring. It’ll likely be edge of the seat viewing.
Both Regina King’s Erika Murphy, and Christopher Eccleston’s Matt Jamison broke my heart this week, for different reasons. Erika is trying to keep a calm head over her daughter’s disappearance, and claims that she believes Evie is simply playing a prank and is hiding in the woods.
She can’t fathom why her daughter would have vanished, and King plays this sensitive part opposite Kevin with believability. I entirely invested in her pain. She, too, is going to go ape-shit later in the season, I think. I hope her grief is explored in more depth.
And Matt finally tells Nora, and the viewers, what is so special about Jarden. As predicted his wife, Mary, came back to her self on their first night in town, and temporarily regained consciousness.
After talking and crying with Matt all night, the two fell asleep in each other’s arms, and when she awoke the next morning she was back in her catatonic state. It’s only a matter of time until she regains consciousness once more.
Though this episode was rather slow in comparison to the opening few, ‘Orange Sticker’ delivered compelling continuations of the key narratives. Next week, I’m predicting chaos.