Season Two SPOILERS for The Leftovers.
Some of the things I speculated on for the season finale of The Leftovers, Season Two happened the way I anticipated. Some of them played out in unexpected ways. Season Three is set to begin soon, and I’m really excited to see where it goes.
It was a relief they gave clarification of what happened between Matt and Mary in No Room At the Inn, that it was about loss and holding on against overwhelming odds. I was starting to question if Matt raped his wife while she was in a catatonic state. Christopher Eccleston was my first Doctor, which is probably why I want to think the best of him, and was really disturbed by this possibility with his character.
The people waiting outside the gates of Jarden behaved as I expected. Meg asked Matt what he thought they were waiting for. She nailed it. They didn’t want to feel safe. They wanted a chance to watch the people of Jarden learn that no one gets to be spared from grief and sadness.
Meg’s question to the guard is both cutting and narrow-minded. She wants to know how Jarden has the nerve to shut down on the anniversary of the departure. She suggests it’s like closing for Christmas when you don’t believe in the divinity of Christ; as if these people are disconnected from the pain of the world.
Not only do the residents of Jarden have to deal with losses outside of their community; they have to deal with overwhelming survivor’s guilt. Evie understands why the people outside the gate need to storm the gates of Jarden. She sees how the residents of Jarden hide from their understanding of the truth, that they weren’t chosen for a miracle because their hearts were pure.
No One Is Spared.
The particulars of Meg’s plan are different than I anticipated. I thought there would be more violence. Maybe that’s still to come. I thought they might use explosives on the bridge or set off a gas-line explosion. On the other hand, I wasn’t shocked when they just walk in. Meg implied all they ever had to do was want in badly enough. But it does make the decision to stone the boy to death, who saw Evie and the other girls were alive and well with The Guilty Remnant, even more shocking. If he didn’t see a bomb, they only killed him for seeing the girls. Worse yet, Meg might have killed him for no reason at all. Her motivations are often opaque.
Evie brings truth and knowledge to the people of Jarden, much like Eve found truth in the Garden by biting the forbidden fruit. The result of Eve’s action was eviction from the garden. Even if the people of Jarden aren’t physically evicted, the result is the same. Paradise is spoiled; if only by making people see it was never real.
Here’s my nagging problem: Why is Kevin Garvey spared? He drowns himself, and the Earth cracks open and drains the river to save him. He is poisoned and buried, but the Earth expels him alive. He is shot and should bleed out, but he sings karaoke in purgatory and earns back his life. He says he deserves to live. I suppose he deserves it as much as most people, but death isn’t something most of us get a choice about.
In the midst of this huge lesson about how no one is spared, Kevin Garvey gets to walk into a house filled with pretty much everyone he loves waiting for him. Maybe that’s the key. Maybe he wasn’t spared at all.