The Leftovers Post Mortem
The season one finale for rapture themed show that was The Leftovers aired Sunday in the US and it was everything that we hoped for in a finale. Much like any meal from McDonalds it both satisfied us and left us begging for more. I for one definitely wanted to know more but must now endure a long wait for the next season where I know I will never find out what exactly happened to the 2% that disappeared.
For those of you who missed my post telling you to watch The Leftovers you might want to stop reading now and go watch the first season. Those who still haven't watched the finale you will also want to stop reading as I will be including spoilers. Everyone else...read on as I attempt to perform a post mortem on the fiery season one finale and this mysterious show in general.
Holy Wayne who are you?!
This character was introduced as some sort of conman, cult leader, messiah...person who appeared to have the power to take people's grief away with a simple touch. He also seemed to have a master plan involving impregnating young girls. I know...seemed legit.
Then they killed him in the finale and I don't even know if I'll ever get any answers about who he was or whether he really had powers!
The character got minimal screen time at best however the ramifications of his existence could be seen throughout the entire season as multiple characters seemingly unconnected were all connected to him. Not only that but even with his very little screen time the way he was portrayed was in such a way that you wanted to believe him and see more of what exactly he was doing. So much so I half expected him to turn out to be a genie in his final scene where his guts are spilling out but he offers up one final wish to Kevin Garvey which we can only guess was some sort of family reunion.
Oh Wayne...I hope this isn't the last we see of you but if it was you were one hell of a character.
Without a doubt the first season of The Leftovers started off a bit shaky in premise but continuously got better as it went on. Those who hadn't read the books (myself included) didn't know what to expect from this show based on the Rapture but it was hard not to be moved by what the show's reality presented, a world where everyone has experienced an irreparable loss and that has forever changed them and one that they may never get an answer about.
Why didn't they get taken/disappear too?
The show explores those who had been left behind, that 98% of the population who seemingly weren't worthy.
The focus is mainly on one very unique family, The Garvey's. A grandfather (former police chief) who is in a mental institution, a father seemingly also going crazy, a mother who's child vanished from her womb and joined a cult called the Guilty Remnant, a son who works for "Holy Wayne" and a daughter who since the event has become...well a teenager (she is pretty normal if I'm honest).
Viewers watched as different members of the Garvey's interacted with those around them and we (like them) tried to make sense of this crazy world. Just like them, we too kept getting the rug pulled from under us as the family and those around them were put through the ringer culminating in what was the finale where the son returns with a black baby which he leaves on his fathers doorstep, the whole town tries to kill the cult after they are forced to remember what they all want to forget, the daughter has to be saved from her own stupidity and the father...well the father goes slightly more crazy as he begins to see a woman he just witnessed bleed out.
After watching the entire season I have to say in the craziest sense that it all makes sense as much as it doesn't. Without having gone through the emotional journey that the characters go through it would be hard to understand the reaction that the town's people have to the Guilty Remnants actions or to understand that the father might (just might) not be going crazy. Yes there are still LOTS of questions but we knew going in we weren't going to get answers (or at least I did). Much like Lost this show is all about taking viewers on a deeply emotional and spiritual journey. You can't help but place yourself in characters shoes and go along on the journey. Practically everything within it is meant to trigger an emotional response from the amazing creation that is the opening sequence to the tiny flashbacks that give us an insight to the characters. Yes other shows do this as well but I think unlike other shows where the primary goal is to tell the story and cause an emotional reaction second, this show does the opposite as that is kind of the point of the story. The entire town (representative of the world) has all but forgotten (willingly) that they have lost and a small selection of the remaining "Leftovers" have made the choice to help everyone remember...no matter the cost. And it is beautiful, incredibly dark but so beautiful to watch unfold.
I have no idea how much of that actually makes sense but rather than try to pull meaning/sense out of the show I will instead say I can't wait for the journey that it takes me on next season as it has been one hell of a ride so far and I'd be lying if I said I didn't examine my own life through the lense of the show and I think I'm a little better for it...
As always I'll try to sum up the post best I can in one image...
Frustration that we didn't get all the answers, that we'll likely never get all the answers, that we have to wait for the next season...so many. But most of all frustration that a lot of people haven't watched the show yet so just don't understand....
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