The Leftovers recap: 'Cairo'

Chief Garvey starts to get some answers while Meg breaks GR rules.
Ep. 08 | Aired Aug 17, 2014

PLAYING DRESS UP Patti lays out items—possibly being used to clothe Loved One dolls?—on the church floor.

Paul Schiraldi/HBO

With Patti MIA, the remaining GR are moving ahead with their plans for a Memorial Day eff-you to the town. The only annoying obstacle is Rev. Matt, who is handing out leaflets, urging GRs to return to the land of the speaking. Megan clearly isn’t familiar with the phrase "the pot-calling-the-kettle-black" because when she sees Matt’s come-home handouts for her that include a photo of her late mother, she loses it, screaming and bloodying Matt’s face. "You don't know me! You're everywhere! Leave us alone," she screams at him, before later complaining to her group, “He has [a leaflet] of everyone, on all of us. He can't do that. He can't just f---ing come here and do that."

She makes some fair points—though she seems to be overlooking the fact that Matt is just running plays directly from the GR handbook. At least he didn’t break into her house and steal something that she holds dear—like, her cigarettes. But her loss of composure is more than just a momentary slip. Megan seems unhinged, and not necessarily the most devoted GR at the present time. Did she commit to the cult too soon, while still recovering from the emotional trauma of losing her mother the day before the Departure? Though she rallies by apologizing to Matt in person, via pencil and paper, she keeps violating silence protocol with Laurie, and flips on TV news—"the mass grave was empty" says a reporter on the story titled, “Miraculous Resurrection Claim”—while she waits for Patti to return.

The empty graves will require further confirmation, but there are signs of a miraculous resurrection closer to home. After Matt accepts Megan’s apology, Nora—there to help with Matt’s vegetable wife, Mary—snidely remarks that Laurie’s next apology stop should be the Garvey house, where she owes her tragically neglected daughter at least a similar note. Laurie turns the other cheek—barely—but as the GRs exit, and before Matt or Nora can notice it, Mary begins to blink and flex her right hand as if she’s just waking from a nap. Makes some production sense: Did you really think HBO hired The West Wing’s Janel Moloney to stare vacantly through the entire first season?

At the park, near the town gazebo getting decorated for Memorial Day festivities, Jill and Aimee are sharing a blunt with the Ping-Pong twins. Jill is still angry about her awkward dinner confrontation with Nora, and a totally buzzed Aimee is having maybe too much fun recounting the evening. The first sign that Jill’s not having it is when Aimee mentions Nora “sitting in your mom’s chair”; Jill quickly corrected her, “It wasn’t my mom’s chair.” Was Aimee actually sitting in Laurie’s old chair, not Nora? The tension mushroomed, and after Aimee hands out one last piece of motherly advice about Jill and her dad, Jill provocatively asks the question: “Did you f--- my dad?

Technically, Aimee answered yes, but instead of guilt, she seemed heart-broken that Jill contemplated such a betrayal, much less expressed it. (In Jill’s defense, we all thought it, yes?) Aimee was hurt by the question, knowing that once Jill voiced it, their friendship and her place at the Garveys' table, was no more. So she wrapped her so-called admission in a crude, sarcastic taunt that no daughter would ever be able to forgive or forget. But did Aimee really sleep with Blackout Kevin? Aimee’s wounded reaction gave me doubts.

Jill is less bothered by the potentially irrevocable blowup because she’s obsessed with Nora’s sudden transformation into a well-adjusted human being. Jill is crumbling inside and out because her parents divorced and her mother is in a cult down the street. How could a mother who lost so much more—her husband and two young children—possibly be okay? She must be pretending, and Jill drags the stoned twins to Nora’s house to find the gun she claimed to no longer need. They break in, and Jill finds the revolver under one of her kid’s bed, in a box for the game of Trouble. Vindication? Disappointment? It’s difficult to tell what’s in Jill’s tears.

Back in Cairo, a panicked Kevin is completely losing his bag. And his shirts, apparently. While trying to get his mind right in the woods around the cabin, he stumbles upon the remnants of a campfire that features an aluminum bucket surrounded by a circle of dirty work-boots. Not far away are the white Mapleton P.D. dress shirts that Kevin was convinced were stolen by his joshin’ dry-cleaner. He’s clearly been coming to Cairo quite frequently lately, judging by the number of shirts he’s left hanging on the trees, and if those boots aren’t his, then Patti might not be the first victim that’s been tied up in the cabin. (By the way, did you notice the etching of the two deer on the cabin wall?)

Rushing back to set things right and regain his sanity by setting Patti free, Kevin finds that Dean has taken matters into his own hands by suffocating Patti with a plastic bag, an image ripped directly out of Kevin’s nightmare. They wrestle as Kevin tries to save her, and he finally breaks free of Dean’s grip and rips open the plastic bag, allowing Patti to breath again. "You are on your own, Chief,” says a disappointed Dean, who just wants to drink beers, pack fatties, shoot dogs, and kill the occasional GR. Just as he exits, he spits out, “Oh, shut the f--- up. I tried." Like Kevin’s father, Dean the self-proclaimed guardian angel hears voices, too.

NEXT: The truth about Gladys

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