After almost every episode of HBO’s new drama The Leftovers, I am left even more confused about what the hell is going on than the week before — and I love it. In "Solace for Tired Feet," we saw police chief Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) lose his goddamn mind (again), and in his blackout Kevin has a potentially sexual talk with Aimee — his teenage daughter Jill's best friend. The audience doesn't know what really happened between them, but could Aimee and Kevin have had sex? I can’t imagine Kevin taking it that far, but I have no idea what he's capable of when he's not fully aware. And I don't think he does either.
The potential incident started when Kevin had a psychotic fever dream with images of dead Guilty Remnant members (GRs) in the back of a truck, his buddy Dean, and dogs seemingly barking from inside a mailbox. When he woke up, he had a bite on his hand and a stray dog tied up in his backyard. With no recollection of what happened, he found out from Aimee that she was there when he brought the dog in and she was the one who bandaged his hand. WTF?
Later in the episode, Aimee stays at the Garvey home while Jill goes out. (Viewers of the TV show still don't know what's going on with Aimee’s own home life.) When Kevin arrives home, she — rightfully — accuses him of not remembering what happened. Kevin then pulls the ultimate cop-dad diversion tactic. (As a daughter of a police officer, I can say that.)
No one — not even Aimee's portrayer Emily Meade — is revealing what Kevin said to Aimee. But could there have been more than just words that passed between them? And, more importantly, do we really need another fucked up thing happening on this show?
The topic of sex was a theme throughout the episode since it began with Nora inviting Kevin back to her place. Since the last episode — where Nora showed her side of crazy town and was hugged by Holy Wayne — Kevin and Nora have been dating. In one of the only lighthearted moments of the entire show (not involving the Frost twins), Kevin jokingly says he’s texting Jill about being nervous about having sex with Nora for the first time.
When they arrived at Nora’s house, two flippin’ GR members are broing down outside Nora’s house. And nothing ruins the mood more than Liv Tyler decked in white and chain smoking out front of your house. But, don't worry — Nora exacted some revenge:
A bit shaken up, Nora and Kevin didn’t get it on that day. Then, Kevin's former police chief, voice-hearing father escaped the psychiatric hospital. So Kevin obviously was even more unhinged and frustrated than normal, but would that lead him to have sex with his daughter’s teenage friend?
From what we’ve seen of Kevin morally, it's up for debate if that's something he'd do. He comes off as a man who has a code of right and wrong. But we know he has it in him to kill a roaming dog or two (or catch a dog, tie it up in the backyard, and not feed it), and also to cheat on his wife. But although Aimee has been mildly leaving the sex door ajar, Kevin never seems to become too inappropriate with her.
At times, Aimee can be a negative influence on Jill, but she's much more complex than that. She handles the dysfunctional teenage party scene better than Jill can — she's more comfortable in her skin. When they stole the baby Jesus from the manger, Aimee encouraged Jill to return for the sake of Kevin's sanity, and then looked disapprovingly on when Jill almost gave the doll a Viking funeral ceremony. Was her advice because she's morally responsible or because of her feelings for Kevin?
Aimee treats Kevin like a fellow adult, while Jill treats him like the teenage daughter she is. In her own way, Aimee supports Jill — and Kevin. This behavior sometimes leads to Aimee appearing to be more in the mom role of Jill's life than the friend role. And lord knows, Jill needs a functioning mom.
If Aimee is stepping into the mom role for Jill, is she also stepping into the wife role for Kevin? (Please say it ain't so.) And more disturbingly, could the dog blackout not be the first time?
One tip-off that indicates that maybe they had sex was when Kevin came home from successfully staying the night with Nora (GRs be damned!). The girls know he didn’t come home that night, and Aimeea appeared to be inappropriately upset at the concept of him staying with another woman.
I like Kevin Garvey too much (and Theroux is truly amazing in the part) to believe he’d betray the women in his life like that, so I'm hoping that Aimee just feels an unreciprocated connection to Kevin. Until more information is revealed, I’ll keep taking what the show gives to the audience week by week and try to see if one day I’ll understand all the intricacies these Leftovers are going through.