Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Leftovers, Season 2, Episode 9: Ten Thirteen

Time to catch up with Meg – apparently taking cocaine. I don’t know if this is Guilt Remnant behaviour or not, but it may not be relevant as it appears to be a flashback to before the Departure and when she still planned to get married. There’s a definite sense that Meg – and her mother – are both driven women when they have a cause. At least her mother was before her heart attack over lunch. That’s just rude (and an extreme way to dodge the bill!). She died a day before the Departure.

Meg went to visit Miracle with her fiancé – before the Guilty Remnant and the town was, even then, turning into a highly restricted police state. They go on the tour which includes some of the more eccentric members of the town. She also seems to have a habit of visiting psychics – including the hand-print psychic Isaac who quickly grasps exactly what Meg’s issues are.

Meg wants to know what her mother wanted to tell her before she died – but Isaac wisely points out that her mother didn’t know she was dying, the chances are that whatever she didn’t have chance to say would be so very mundane and irrelevant – and ultimately will not help Meg. Meg dismisses Isaac as a fraud since she’s sure the words must be so significant – and Isaac reveals he knew what her mother was eating at the café

See, this is one of those moments when my whole “everything about this show could be woo-woo or could be part of the problems and hysteria of the characters” pushes me much closer to the woo-woo side.

He tells her whatever it was – and she returns to her husband claiming he was fake. She sits and cries on a park bench and is met by Evie who comforts her with carrots, bad jokes and the sad claim that no-one finds what they’re looking for in Miracle.

And now Meg is and her Guilty Remnant re throwing grenades onto school buses – fake but still way out of line. Even her fellow GR are not happy about that – especially since Meg starts talking. Meg has gone so far they (GR bigwigs?) talk back to her. They claim they fear authority backlash – but Meg doesn’t buy it, especially since they’re willing to “stone each other to death” (which puts a very different spin on the death of Gladys). She’s also not buying the cryptic nonsense – nor does she think the GR is achieving it’s goal of preventing people from forgetting. People are moving on and healing. She wants a more violent approach – and is buying bombs and setting up her own little inner-cult.

Meg’s house is also losing members to Tom Garvey and his hugging therapy. So she’s off to pay him a visit –and it looks a lot less like Tom using a cult to undermine the GR so much as him actually setting up his own cult. Which leads to Tom offering his rapist, Meg, a healing hug and she is all menacing about it.

This is when Laurie was still with Tom and she had lots of excuses for why they’re not running a cult, honest while Tom has all kinds of doubts. She hits him with some very harsh but very real truths – and she hits him. He turns and leaves, sleeping on a bench instead and hitting the booze. Because that’s not nearly subtle enough, we also see an abandoned dog

Tom drunkenly rampages through the GR house, screaming for Meg which eventually gets him brutally beaten and Meg appears. He says he wants his pain to go away and wants to join the GR – but Meg knows it’s not what he wants and is far more interested in where Tom’s family moved to. She’s off to Miracle looking oh so very scary in doing it.

She does decide to bring Tom on her little road trip. And Tom wants to talk about his rape – only he says “why did you fuck me” instead because we’re still denying that it was rape it seems and downplaying it as they drink and talk family history

And kissing. Yes, they’re going romantic with the man and his rapist.

They go to another enclave of apparent Guilty Remnant (they’re silent – which Meg has no patience for) and smoke – but don’t wear white. There they’re hiding something important – important enough for Meg to stone someone to death who may have seen it. She plans to leave Tom there – with a rock to throw.

Megan goes on to Miracle – ominously looking at the bridge – and runs into Matt who assumes she is free from the GR and he’s all friendly and welcoming. He does realise there’s more to what Megan’s planning than merely escaping the GR and there’s something ominous about how she describes Miracle as the safe place, the only people who are not hurting.

She asks what they’re all waiting for and ominously answers her own question: “you’re waiting for me.”

Tom goes nosying to see what Meg is hiding and finds three members of the GR – including Evie. Yes, Evie, we-thought-she-was-departed-Murphy.


I do think that people considering Meg “lucky” have an interesting and pointed viewpoint. She knows that her mother died – but this is a point we covered before. She knows why her mother died. A heart attack is an explainable thing, it’s even a thing we have some degree of control over. We even saw one of the waitresses trying to resuscitate her. She knew what happened, people tried to stop it happening, people knew what to do to try to do that (even if they failed). It doesn’t make it any less tragic – but it makes it understandable and less frightening.

Of course, Isaac has another take on how absolutely no-one would be sympathetic to the recently bereaved Meg in a world that is so wracked with even scarier grief. This also raises a question about people in the world in general – with the exception of people like Nora (who have lost multiple people and become almost icons and minor celebrities of a fetishised, obsessive grief) did anyone have a chance to mourn? Not just because the lack of certainty (and having to do things, as Nora did, like divorce Departed spouses) but because of a lack of the usual support structures we have for grief – when everyone is grieving, shocked and terrified, who can spare comfort and sympathy for the mourning?

Evie... well that was unexpected

So we have the road trip of angst and bonding with the man and his rapist? Really? Dancing? Drinking? Kissing? What is this, a rape-denial context with Grimm?!