The Leftovers 1.05 Review: “Gladys”

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This week was especially bleak on The Leftovers as the cold open depicted a very brutal stoning of a Guilty Remnant member.  Gladys wasn’t a notable character until her death which affects everyone, the Garveys especially.

When Gladys’ partner at their particular post outside of the gas station is gone for a second and finds her missing, Patti wakes up the rest of the GR members to join the search for her.  Oddly enough the dog shooter is out in the woods at the same time in the middle of the night.  Laurie even witnesses him shoot a barking dog, which will never not be a disturbing sight on this show.  We actually learn the shooter’s name is Dean later in the episode when he’s being questioned by Kevin at the crime scene since he was a witness when the GR found Gladys’ body.

Laurie actually discovered the body first and she’s visibly shaken by the gruesome scene.  When the GR is returning home to their development, Laurie suffers a panic attack and is presumably rushed to the hospital.  The ER doctor releases her with a sample of medicine for any future attacks, but if she needs more, she will need to see a psychiatrist for a prescription.  That might be where she’s headed after her day off with Patti.

Patti had picked her up at the hospital and drove her to a motel.  She got Laurie her own room to get some rest, and when she woke up, Laurie found regular clothes at her bedside and a note to meet Patti for breakfast.  Patti’s got an interesting story to tell her about how she treated Gladys to a similar day off just a year ago.  Somehow Gladys had received news of her son’s death and started doubting her commitment to the GR.  “There can’t be any doubt because doubt is fire.  Fire’s gonna burn you up,” Patti warns Laurie.  All this time Laurie had been given permission to speak but she chose to stay silent.

Laurie may have redeemed herself in Patti’s eyes by the end of the episode.  Matt Jamison had thought he was helping the GR by offering to pray for their lost member and inviting any of them to join him and his followers in the street.  There was a definite look of shock on his face when he saw Laurie walk out of one of the houses, which quickly turned into a betrayal when she blew a whistle to get police attention.  This just adds to the suspicion of a past between Laurie and Matt which is something to look forward to.

Kevin obviously has his hands full now with the investigation of Gladys’ murder.  First he’s dealing with the clean up of one of his officers prematurely calling the ATFEC department (short for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives and Cults).  He can’t reach this Agent Kilaney to call off any investigation on his end so he leaves him multiple voicemails.  Finally by the end he gets a call back from him but it’s too late for Gladys.  Her body was requested by an automatic email response sent from Kilaney to be shipped for further investigation for any cult involvement.  Kevin received a tempting offer from Kilaney to “eliminate the infestation” that is the GR similar to how we saw them storm Holy Wayne’s camp a couple episodes back.

Ultimately though, Kevin will always have a soft spot for the Remnant.  He thanks Kilaney for the offer but declines by saying he can handle it.  He obviously wouldn’t want to see Laurie get hurt, but he also seems to care for all of them.  When Laurie was away with Patti for the day, Kevin showed up at the GR houses with enough whistles to hopefully keep them safe from any similar attacks.  He knows they won’t listen to him about leaving people alone, but he’s hoping they’ll be smarter in the future.  If they keep instigating people with their constant silent judging, they can’t be surprised if more people choose to retaliate against them.

Kevin’s a mostly good guy.  He;s got his faults as everyone does, some of which may be quite dark but we’ve yet to learn about that side of him.  Maybe it’s the stress of his job and the state of the world in general, but he’s slowly losing his mind over the course of this season.  If it’s not a disappearing bagel, it’s something else.  This week that something else happens to be his entire closet of white work shirts.  He’s forced to wear the same dirty shirt at least two days in a row all because he can’t find his other shirts.

Much like he shook that toaster oven to find his missing bagel a few weeks ago, he lost his temper on the poor dry cleaner guy.  At first I thought the guy was too scared that the police chief is threatening him and just gave him any random white shirts he found, but I guess they were all really his.  How in the world they got there and why they weren’t in the computer system are just a few more questions to add to the bizarre list.  The alarm system in his house threw him for a loop this week as well.  It was always deactivated when he swore he turned it on.  If anyone needs a day off, it’s Kevin.

Jill is starting to mature as a character.  She wasn’t acting out or being a brat for once and actually sympathized for her dad when he told her he’s divorcing her mom.  Their family is far from perfect, especially with Tom and Laurie abandoning them, so it’s nice to see Jill not give Kevin a hard time.

There was one other notably strange thing to talk about in this episode.  Matt Jamison was brought in as a suspect in the murder because he was previously the victim of a stoning meant for the GR.  He clears his name with the aid of his support group/followers but he requested to see the body to be able to pray over her.  Kevin obviously finds that weird but finally gives in and drives him to the morgue.  On the ride over, Matt preaches of a story about Jesus and his apostle Thomas.  Kevin asks him what the story meant, and he answered, “it means it’s easier to stay silent than it is to speak truth.”  That quote pretty much sums up this episode including Laurie’s voluntary silence when she was offered freedom to speak.
What’d you think of the episode?

[Photo via HBO]

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