It's becoming harder and harder to care about the Garveys. Ostensibly, this week's episode of The Leftovers,"Solace for Tired Feet," was about crazy Grandpa Garvey returning after his escape from the loony bin to cause some mischief. Even describing the plots of The Leftovers as sitcoms doesn't help lessen the overall dreariness of the show.
Grandpa Garvey returns when he saves Jill from suffocating to death in a freezer. She and her twisted, horrible little friends are up to their signature brand of mischief and mayhem, which this week involves taking turns locking themselves in a freezer that bullies were using to torment some poor boy when he Departed. The freezer doesn't open from the inside and has a limited supply of air. Everyone who takes the challenge gets their name and time scrawled on the side of the freezer and Jill breaks the record (and almost runs out of air) just before her friends accidentally break the handle trying to open the door to let her out. The setup is 100% something out of a sitcom (except in the sitcom version, it would be a working, walk-in butcher's freezer and Jill would never actually appear in danger of dying).
After a pretty engaging opening, the Mapleton plot quickly devolves into Grandpa Garvey and Kevin Garvey chasing each other around town, digging up money, making threats and running into the Guilty Remnant, not necessarily in that order. We're supposed to care about the family dynamic, I guess, but it's getting harder and harder to care about anything on this show, least of all its I-guess-we'll-call-them-protagonists main family.
In fact, aside from Jill's almost death, the highlights of Mapleton this week include:
- Nora flirts with Kevin and says she's ready for sexy time. It's their fifth date and, yes, she's sure. Unfortunately, a run-in with the Guilty Remnant kills the mood.
- Meg as a 100% GR crazy freak. She's silent and chain smoking and appears to have stopped showering.
- Aimee continues to eye-screw Kevin Garvey (and seems jealous of his successful sleepover with Nora later in the episode). How long until something happens here?
- Nora and Kevin finally consummate. Mazel tov.
But outside of Mapleton, at least something more interesting is finally happening with Tom's storyline (which is to say, something is finally happening at all with Tom's storyline). He's still caring for Christine, who is now so, so very pregnant (eight months and about to pop). While on a medicine run for her at the local pharmacy, his creepy little yellow cellphone finally rings. It's Holy Wayne. Their conversation goes kind of like this.
Tom: OMG you finally called!
Holy Wayne: Who is this?
Holy Wayne: DUH! I knew that. I called you. I'm totally on top of this cult that I'm running. Lolz. Anyway how much money do you have left?
Holy Wayne: Cool! I need half of that, pronto.
Tom: But Christine is, like, super pregnant and I think we'll need that money for her.
Holy Wayne: YOU DARE QUESTION THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ…I mean HOLY WAYNE?
Holy Wayne: Good. Please go tape some cash to this vague location for me then. Byeeee.
Tom decides to make the drop, but he follows Wayne's pickup man, hoping to have a little FaceTime with the great and powerful himself. All he actually finds is another schmuck taking care of another Asian American girl very pregnant with another lil' Holy Wayne. He puts the pieces together (Wayne is not so holy after all, and he's been had) just as Asian American girl #2 shoots at him. She manages to get his hand. She doesn't seem to like the news that she's not as special as she thought.
Tom makes it home to give Christine the bad news but she's already figured it out. She's sitting in the bathtub, having delivered the baby alone (the umbilical cord still attached) and in a little bit of shock: The baby is a girl (not the boy Wayne has been talking about).
I'm just glad that Tom might FINALLY start making progress – in his life, in his plot line, anything really. I just want Tom to do something.