The Leftovers Recap: It's Hard Being a Garvey
All three generations of Garveys are going through it
It’s a hard-knock life.
On Sunday night’s episode of HBO’s drama The Leftovers, it seemed that neither Chief Garvey, his father Kevin Sr., nor his stepson Tom could catch a break. Even daughter Jill came close to losing it.
Search and Rescue
The episode begins with Jill (Margaret Qualley) and her band of destructive young friends in the woods. An abandoned old refrigerator is the day’s preoccupation as they try to see who can stay locked inside the longest without air supply.
Bored and risk-hungry, Jill offers to beat the record time. And she does just that, but when the old box’s handle breaks, she’s trapped inside and everyone panics. All of a sudden the door swings open, and an old man helps her out. It’s her deranged grandfather (Scott Glenn), who then flees through the woods in his pajamas.
Chief Garvey (Justin Theroux) is working on having a personal life, dating Nora Durst (Carrie Coon). The two are getting along well, and she even invites him over to her house after lunch one day. But when they pull up and find two Guilty Remnant members, including Meg (Liv Tyler), Nora blasts them with a hose. Their presence kills the romantic buzz.
Back at home, Chief Garvey learns from Jill that his dad is on the loose and organizes a manhunt.
The Same Plight
Over in Indiana, we see how Garvey’s stepson Tom (Chris Zylka) is faring. His pregnant charge Christine (Annie Q.) is about eight months along and very sick. The two are holed up in a slum, but Tom tries to help as best he can, cooking for her and going to get her medicine.
On a pharmacy run, he gets a call on his cell. Finally, a word from Wayne. Sounding weak and speaking cryptically, Wayne (Paterson Joseph) doesn’t answer Tom’s questions or offer guidance. He just says to take $3,000 and leave it under a nearby mailbox.
Tom follows orders. Well, almost.
After the drop, he waits to see who grabs the cash. When a young guy shows up and takes the money, Tom follows him to a nearby apartment building. Wanting answers, he knocks on the man’s door before busting it down, yelling for Wayne. Once inside, he finds a familiar scene: a young guy like himself caring for a very pregnant young Asian girl.
Back in Mapleton, one of Garvey’s officers has a nasty run-in with Garvey Sr. The library has also been ransacked by the former chief. Garvey gets a call from Jill and heads home to find his father and daughter having quality time in his bedroom. Allowing his dad to put the handcuffs on himself, Garvey then loads him up in the car to take him back to the psych ward. But a protest in the street by the Guilty Remnant causes a distraction, and his dad leaps to freedom.
Meanwhile, Tom explains to the doppelgänger couple that they’re not the only ones. It’s devastating news for the pregnant girl, who believed Wayne when he said she’s carrying the world’s only savior in her womb. The girl picks up a gun and fires at Tom, shooting him through the hand before he’s able to escape.
He returns home to find an empty bed with a trail of blood leading to the bathroom. In the tub Christine holds up her newborn, umbilical cord still attached.
Like Father, Like Son?
In search again for his father, Garvey finds a clue in his backyard that leads him to friend of the family Father Matt. The priest tells Garvey to meet him and Garvey Sr. at a local diner. It’s a sad scene watching his father switch between talking to him and to the voices over his right shoulder. The man produces a collector’s edition of National Geographic, telling Garvey to take it as his induction to the other (crazy) side of life.
Despite his blackouts and creepy dreams, Garvey refuses to accept his father’s invitation to looneyville. Instead he asks his dad, “Where did you go?” and “Why did you leave me when I needed you the most?”
Angered by his son’s rejection of the “truth,” Garvey Sr. fights and causes a scene until his son is forced to take him down. He’s returned to the mental hospital.
Later that night, Garvey goes to pick up where he left off with Nora. The two share a passionate night together (and news of it makes its way back to his ex, Laurie, who’s bothered).
When Nora asks what’s eating him afterward, Garvey makes it plain. “I think I’m going crazy.”