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Recap: 'The Leftovers,' Season 1, Episode 9 'The Garveys At Their Best'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 24, 2014 11:00 PM
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  • 13 Comments
Justin Theroux and Amy Brenneman in "The Leftovers"
Over the course of its first season, "The Leftovers" has quietly established itself as a show that is unafraid to continually shake up its approach to storytelling. With a vast sprawl of characters, supernatural elements and more, the creators have realized that a mystery isn't worth investing in, if you don't care about the people involved. And so, we've seen a handful of character based "standalone" episodes, that have deepened our understanding of their plight, and the reasons behind their actions. But nothing has been quite like this week's "The Garveys At Their Best," which radically jumps back in time three years to October 13th, the day before the Sudden Departure, and in a pretty riveting 50 minutes of television, shows the further links between these characters, and in most cases, the circumstances of their lives that made October 14th all the more devastating.

Recap: 'The Leftovers,' Season 1, Episode 8 'Cairo'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 17, 2014 11:00 PM
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  • 7 Comments
The Leftovers
Purpose. It's the word that's becoming something of importance to the characters of "The Leftovers." In last week's "Solace For Tired Feet," Kevin Garvey's (Justin Theroux) father tried desperately, in his own unhinged way, to lift the veil from his son's eyes, to get him to see the true reality of what's going on around them. But delivered within a package of crazy, Kevin either refused or simply couldn't see what his father tried to put in front him. And in this week's "Cairo" he's once again brought to the edge of understanding, with that word "purpose" reappearing, almost like a weapon, before the situation spins out of control, with even more left for Kevin to puzzle over and figure out.

Recap: 'The Leftovers,' Season 1, Episode 7 'Solace For Tired Feet'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 10, 2014 11:00 PM
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  • 6 Comments
The Leftovers
"I think I might be going crazy," Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) tells his new girlfriend Nora Durst (Carrie Coon) toward the end of "Solace For Tired Feet," and it's a realization that's been a long time coming. Suffering from bad dreams, lost time and sometimes unable to tell reality from the fevered images conjured by his brain, Kevin has somehow managed to keep it together, as much as possible. Even in the face of divorce, and losing a grip on his daughter, who continues to put her life on the line for thrills with her envelope pushing friends. And kicking off this week's episode, Jill (Margaret Qualley) is once again testing her limits, stuffing herself inside an abandoned refrigerator in the forest where a local boy once lost his life. She's looking to break the record for how long she can stay in there without losing her breath, and breaks it handily, but when her friends try to get her out, the handle snaps off the door. They panic, scream for help and try and call 911, but assistance arrives from an unlikely source — Jill's grandfather (Scott Glenn), last seen in a psychiatric hospital, gets her out, and says, "Don't tell your Daddy you saw me," before running back into the woods.

TV Review: Steven Soderbergh's 'The Knick' Starring Clive Owen

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 7, 2014 2:05 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The Knick
"No one handles the unexpected like John Thackery," someone quips in "The Knick." "It's where I live," comes the doctor's quick reply, and it's about as perfect a summation of the lead character of the new Cinemax show that you're likely to get. "Unexpected" is also a good descriptor of the series itself. While it's presented as a period based medical drama — and it certainly is, if that's all you're looking for — over the course of the seven episodes sent in advance to press (the first season runs ten episodes long), it steadily becomes clear that "The Knick" is so much more than that, and it's easy to see why Steven Soderbergh, who had retired from making feature films, couldn't resist getting back behind the camera. "Look, I was out. I read this thing last May, right before we were going to Cannes with 'Behind the Candelabra.' I read it and was like, 'Shit.' I was the first person to get it. I went, 'Well, the second person who reads this is going to do this,' " he said last month. And good thing this crossed his desk, because "The Knick" might be the best work Soderbergh has done in ages.

Recap: 'The Leftovers' Season 1, Episode 6 ‘Guest’

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 3, 2014 11:00 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The Leftovers
In the world of “The Leftovers” there is no character who has felt the weight of loss more than Nora Durst (Carrie Coon). Losing both her husband and children on October 14th — odds of 1/128,000 she cooly notes in this week’s “Guest” — have made her an odd symbol in the town of Mapleton. She's a human monument to the town's collective mourning, and a reminder even to those that did lose family members and friends, that their situation could be even worse. But three years on, Nora's grief — coupled with the revelations about her husband's infidelity — now weigh like an anchor around her neck. The more she tries to live with the pain or understand it, the more she is sent into a spiral of guilt and self-loathing that will take a miracle to overcome.

Recap: 'The Leftovers,' Season 1, Episode 5 'Gladys'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 27, 2014 11:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Ann Dowd and Amy Brenneman in "The Leftovers"
Loyalty is a bond that can be stronger than blood ties, but creating that connection requires a careful balance of trust and vulnerability to show that you can be both sensitive and stoic to the needs of someone else. But loyalty can also be dangerous, and that becomes clear in "The Leftovers' " fifth episode "Gladys," where we witness in rather chilling fashion how and why the Guilty Remnant stay so devoted to their cause even in the wake of horrific acts.

Recap: 'The Leftovers' Season 1, Episode 4 'B.J. And The A.C.'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 20, 2014 11:00 PM
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  • 10 Comments
The Leftovers
"There is no family," Patti Levin (Ann Dowd) mysteriously and somewhat gravely writes on her notepad, and it's a theme that will come to bear in "B.J. And The A.C." Christmas has arrived in Mapleton, and all police chief Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) wants is a little bit of peace for the holiday. And so he has reached out to Patti and the GRs to ask for a simple favour. There is a Christmas dance coming up, a fundraiser for the new library, and he would appreciate it if the GRs kept their distance. But his request comes with a threat — if they do show up, and things turn ugly, he won't step in to protect them like he has in the past. Levin's enigmatic is answer is the aforementioned quote, leaving Kevin to counter in exasperation, "What the fuck does that mean?" And the town will soon find out.

Recap: ‘The Leftovers,’ Season 1, Episode 3, ‘Two Boats And A Helicopter’

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 13, 2014 11:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Leftovers
With just two episodes so far, Damon Lindelof’s “The Leftovers” has already laid out a strong handful of mysteries, the central one being what exactly happened on October 14th that caused 2% of the world’s population to vanish. But as Lindelof has been stressing since even the show first aired, that instigating event is not the hook of the series. “If that’s why you’re watching the show, don’t watch the show,” Lindelof recently said. And as I’ve stressed over the past two recaps, “The Leftovers” is about the characters and consequences, and no better is this exemplified than in this week’s “Two Boats And A Helicopter,” which rewardingly breaks the format.

Colin Farrell Puts On Badge For 'True Detective' Season 2, Taylor Kitsch In Contention For Role

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 11, 2014 1:47 PM
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  • 41 Comments
Colin Farrell, True Detective
“The two scripts we have … I hate to jinx it … they are more exciting than the first season,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo bold said at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills yesterday about the second season of "True Detective." (via EW) But the question on everybody's mind is: who is going to take over from the fantastic performances by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson? Well, we might have our answer.

Recap: ‘The Leftovers,’ Season 1, Episode 2, ‘Penguin One, Us Zero’

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 6, 2014 11:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
The Leftovers
If the pilot for Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta’s “The Leftovers” established the landscape of the show — one where semi-supernatural phenomenon bump up against personal drama — the second episode, “Penguins One, Us Zero,” makes a smart play and narrows the focus. Unlike “Lost” which forever expanded the question marks around the central mystery, Lindelof pivots much more wisely here to the repercussions on his characters. For now, “The Leftovers” is less concerned with what happened and why, and instead on how it has altered the people still dealing with the loss and grief three years later.

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