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

Kevin is still in a bind. Patti has no intention of letting bygones be bygones, and she lectures him like he’s a child who can't possible understand her adult words and ideas. Every time he tries kindness, she throws it back in his face by needling him about Laurie or Jill. "Oh, it's a pickle," she teases. "Can't let me go. Can't let me die. Oh, what to do, Kevin? What to f---in’ do?"

Patti already knows the endgame, so she’s perfectly happy to indulge Kevin’s questions and lay out the GR’s entire raison d’être. "We strip away attachment fear and love and hatred and anger, until we are erased," she confides. "Until we are a blank slate. We are living reminders of what you try so desperately to forget: that we are ready and we are waiting. Because it's not going to be long now.”

Something is coming—soon. The GR think it. Kevin’s dad is convinced and wants his son to join the fight. And Holy Wayne is waiting for the blade to fall. (It’s not exactly my specialty, but some end-of-times believers claim that the anti-Christ will make his presence known three and half years after the initial Rapture. Mapleton’s Memorial Day falls very close to that timeline after Oct. 14, 2011.)

So what is the GR’s big plan for Memorial Day, the scheme that blabby Megan is relishing, wishing she could be there to see Nora's reaction up close? Let’s piece together Patti laying out the clothes in the church, GR observers keeping close tabs on when Nora and other Mapleton residents are home, and the envelope of cash that Laurie handed over for a trailer packed with people-size packages. I’d wager those are Loved Ones phony corpses, specifically designed for each Mapleton Departure, and the GR is planning to break back in to neighborhood homes, leaving lifelike dressed dolls of their loved ones as a painful reminder of their loss. Think that would set off the town against the GR? Because that’s exactly what they want—a spark that blows up into a bigger conflict.

That's what Gladys' stoning was all about. It may have looked like a retaliatory crime, but Patti relishes telling Kevin that she ordered Gladys' murder—with Gladys' approval. "She was okay with it," says Patti, who sees PR value in the false martyrdom. "And when Laurie's time comes, she will be okay with it, too."

Patti isn’t just talking the talk—she demands that Kevin kill her, quoting some Yeats to get him in the mood: "O vanity of sleep. Hope, dream, endless desire. The horses of disaster plunge through the heavy clay. Beloved, let your eyes have close and your heart beat over my heart. And your hair fall over my breast. Drowning love's lonely hour in deep twilight of rest. And hiding their tossing manes and tumultuous feet."

Kevin elects not to drink from that cup, but Patti already has everything she needs. At this point, after being kidnapped and brutally beaten by the police chief, who cares who actually thrusts the blade of glass into her neck. "You do understand," she says to him before cutting her own jugular and dying in his arms with a smile on her face.

Can Kevin still do the "right thing" now? Or will he be forced to bury all the evidence somewhere in Cairo? He’s going to return home to a completely empty house and learn that his daughter is now living in the GR house with his ex-wife. If he wasn’t on the cusp on insanity before, this might send him over the edge. There is trouble all over this world. So many of Patti’s words could haunt him, but the ones that echo loudest tonight are, "It's coming, so soon. And you are all ready. All you need is just a little push." Like the wild dog that Jill cut loose, Kevin's inner beast might be off the leash again.

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