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The Leftovers recap: A Most Powerful Adversary

Kevin prepares to die — so he can battle Patti on her turf.

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The Leftovers

TV Show
Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
run date:
Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston
Current Status:
In Season

Ever have one of those mornings when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Or more precisely, you wake up handcuffed to the bed and your lover has left you, taking your baby with her, and the imaginary woman in your head just won’t shut up about it?

“Gonna be a hard day, buddy,” Patti tells Kevin after he reads Nora’s Dear John letter. (“Mary and the baby are with me. Don’t call.”)

Patti had warned Kevin not to tell Nora about her, but Nora didn’t seem like the type to abandon him at the drop of a hat. After all, she has her own skeletons, paying prostitutes to shoot her in the chest. And she also had gone so far as to handcuff herself to Kevin at night so as to prevent his sleepwalking jaunts. Clearly, Kevin’s confession about his imaginary fiend doubled down on Nora’s disturbing conversation with Erika, so perhaps she was in her own precarious emotional state when she made the decision to pick up in the middle of the night and leave. Nora has demonstrated a streak of impulsiveness, but she didn’t seem like a quitter on something that really matters.

Jill doesn’t respond well to her father’s latest relationship muck-up. She runs to Michael at his church, and it’s clear that their relationship has accelerated off camera. Yes, we’ve seen them flirt over plumbing repair and exchange caresses in the front yard, but theirs is a full-fledged physical and emotional relationship. She rants about her father’s sleepwalking and new imaginary friend, peppering the pews with profanity. Michael calmly explains that he, too, talks to someone who may or may not be there — and he’s not referring to the Holy Trinity that Jill crudely blames for keeping them from having sex.

Jill has the right to flake out every now and then. In addition to the traumatic events of Oct. 14, her mother joined a cult, her brother disappeared, and her grandfather and father are hearing voices. Michael has quickly become her rock, a sanctuary of relative serenity. So it has to hurt when he tells her, in his calm tone of reason, that they haven’t consummated their relationship because he’s not sure he loves her yet. She’s flummoxed by his maturity and turns tail, “Thanks for the talk, reverend.”

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Kevin’s got two things on his To Do List. One, get in touch with Nora. Two, get the handcuffs off. He clipped the chain to detach himself from the bed, but he’s still walking around town with a suspicious-looking steel bracelet on his left wrist. He tries the hardware store, but when he screams at pesky Patti in the presence of the store manager and a little boy, he’s quickly asked to leave.

He’s nearing a breaking point — a breakdown — and when he’s back in the truck, he pleads with Patti to leave him alone, or at least tell him what she wants him to do. Glad you finally asked, says Patti. “In Cairo, Egypt, there is an ancient artifact…

Yes! Cairo, Egypt! It’s the May 1972 National Geographic Rosetta Stone from season 1! All the answers to The Leftovers are contained in the issue with the standing bear! Kevin listens intently. I’m on the edge of my seat. Go on, Patti…

“…It’s in a museum now. They found it in the tomb of Amenhotep. Scholars call it the Wishing Cup. You need to acquire this cup. It’s more of a chalice actually. It’s going to be heavily guarded, but you need to get it any way you can because once you do…”

Yes, I’m listening… Tell me, tell me…

“…you need to fill it with your come, Kevin, and then you need to drink it down — every last drop…”


“Jesus, Kevin! I have no f—ing idea what you’re supposed to do,” she says with a laugh. “I’m just as f—ing lost as you are.”

Screw you, Patti Levin. Screw you, Damon Lindelof and co-writer Patrick Somerville. That was just cruel on so many levels.

Actually, Patti, the Wishing Cup was discovered in King Tut’s tomb, but thanks for making me Google that. 

Patti goes silent after berating Kevin, and he turns to find Michael staring at him. His mild-mannered neighbor tosses his bike in the back of the truck and jumps into the passenger seat uninvited. Kevin is in no mood to chit-chat, but when Michael tells him that he knows all about Patti, that Kevin visited his grandfather one night and confessed his demons, he agrees to drive to the old man’s trailer on the outskirts of town. When Michael first mentioned Patti’s name, the possibility flickered that he saw and heard her, as well. After all, he did hint to Jill that he talks to someone who’s not there. Who’s his invisible companion? Was he referring to the Lord? It seems like someone less heavenly.

NEXT: Yea, though Kevin walks through the valley of the shadow of death…