With just one episode left in the season, The Leftovers is spewing out answers at lightning speed…for The Leftovers, anyway. This week's episode, "The Garveys at Their Best," takes us back three years, to the day before The Departure. Everyone is happy and everything is bright and it's all so…un-Leftoversy.
The episode is all about making connections, linking some of the characters in ways we didn't realize and, of course, explaining some of the deeper traumas affecting the more disturbed citizens of Mapleton.
- Laurie is actually a psychiatrist and she's treating Patti. This really impacts how we view their power dynamic in the present day (well, still in the past, technically, since Patti is dead).
- Kevin had a run-in with the woman Nora's husband cheated on her with the day before The Departure. She was a teacher at a school that had a rough encounter with a deer that went crazy running through the building.
- Laurie was pregnant up until The Departure (she hadn't told Kevin or anyone else yet) and was talking to Gladys about an adoption.
- Jill and Laurie were super close. Like Gilmore Girls close. Jill was an upbeat teen who had braces and a sunny disposition and told her mom that she was the best mom in the whole world (even when she missed her unidentified school presentation two years in a row).
- Nora was applying to run the Mayor's campaign (one that even Nora didn't think she could win) because she desperately needed a break from her loving family. Now that extra explains her massive guilt upon losing them all (in the interview, she went so far as to promise the future Mayor that, as far as that job was concerned, she wouldn't even have a family for the next four weeks).
- Laurie was clearly feeling very conflicted about what to do with her pregnancy. She hadn't told her husband or family yet, but was considering an abortion or adoption. The Departure made the decision for her: Baby Garvey went missing on the day of The Departure, leaving Laurie to grieve her secret loss alone.
- Patti saw The Departure coming…kind of…maybe. During her session with Laurie, Patti says something dark and cryptic about coming badness. "I know why you’re telling jokes: Because you can feel it to, can’t you? I know you can. Something’s wrong inside you." Was Laurie's baby something evil? Does that mean the Departed were all bad seeds? The questions!
Major Character Shifts
One of the most interesting things about "The Garveys at Their Best" is a glimpse at the characters before everything went to hell and deep depression and anger issues set in.
- Jill used to be an ultra-perky teenage girl. Like, the kind of teenage girl who giggles uncontrollably over silly cat videos on YouTube and dances around her house in the morning and isn't afraid to hang out with her parents or seem uncool. Cut to now, when she's the kind of girl that Lydia Deetz would avoid because she's too dark.
- Tom was a generally nice kid with what appeared to be a healthy relationship with Kevin. He seems to have just recently learned the identity of his birth father and is slipping into a phase that probably would have blown over were it not for The Departure. Now, he's off the grid, refusing to talk to his loving father.
- Kevin was a smoker. He was beloved by the whole town, but still the kind of guy who would cheat on his pregnant wife. He's actually become maybe a better person (well, you know the part of his personality that doesn't black out and attack random citizens anyway), but certainly as less well-adjusted one.
- And Laurie, well…Laurie was talking and functioning and not a member of a scary cult. It's hard to really say specifically how she's changed, but it's definitely a lot.