The fourth episode of the first season of The Leftovers plods along as the previous three episodes have done. Posing the question: do we really care about these characters? The day-to-day bleakness, the chain-smoking white-cloth-wearing Guilty Remnant, the plight of a vapid young girl pregnant with some self-proclaimed messiah’s child and the Chief of Mapleton’s woes with his town and his family.
The main plot of the episode is someone stole little baby Jesus in the manger during the Christmas season. Really? And turns out the unlikable daughter of the Chief stole the baby and tried to prove how cools she was by taking it to a party and defacing it and letting others do the same. Oh, but she draws the line at setting the doll on fire.
And then poor Chief Garvey thinks he has a great plan to finally arrest members of the Guilty Remnant. See, the town is having a holiday dance at the high school and as soon as they step on school property, he will arrest them.
Garvey gets his wish as a handful of the Guilty Remnant so crash the dance, albeit by standing just outside the school property line. He decides to arrest them anyway, but these few were just the red herring. The mute chain-smokers sent the rest of their crew to people’s houses, breaking into them and stealing people’s family pictures trying to prove their point that there is nothing left in the world and family means nothing.
Really? Why don’t they just live in their little smoke hazed world and leave everyone else alone. I cringe when one of them comes on the screen, waving my hand at the smoke I imagine emoting from my TV and hiding my eyes from their blinding white outfits.
Lest we forget, Garvey’s mute wife and member of the Guilty Remnant came to him with one of their charges – who can still speak until she is initiated – and had her read a letter to him that said she wanted a divorce. That is really cold.
Or the aforementioned vapid young girl that Garvey’s son is carting around for his “master.” The same self-proclaimed messiah who knocked the girl up and then left and told Garvey’s son Tommy it was his duty to care for her. Real nice move.
All things told, the episode didn’t give me any hope for this dire, bleak pointless series. HBO has picked some really big winners over the years. I guess it was time for a dud.