Warning: Major spoilers from
“The Leftovers” Season 1, episode 9, “The Garveys at Their Best” are contained in this article.
episode was by far the best in the series so far for me. It was so good
in fact, I was moved to tears by the end. While at first, I didn’t
quite know what to make of seeing this world where Laurie and Kevin
Garvey were married, Jill was a happy-go-lucky teen and Old Chief G.
wasn’t yet crazy, but it quickly became a world I wanted to spend more time
From the second episode 9 opened, we knew this wasn’t the dark world we were used to seeing on “The Leftovers.” Happy music took us into the light of the Garvey world before the sudden departure. Interestingly enough, we find out even though Kevin seems to have it all with his perfect family in their perfect and giant house, he is incredibly unhappy and it is becoming increasingly harder to hide.
In the days leading up to the big event, it is revealed Patti had a feeling something terrible was going to happen and when she confessed to Laurie (her therapist, called that!) Laurie convinces her she thinks this because of the abuse her husband, Neil has put her through.
Before the departure, Nora is struggling to find her identity outside of being a wife and a mom, much like her current struggle, interestingly. She gets a job working for Lucy’s mayoral campaign and also has a run in with pre-crazy, Old Chief G.
Heartbreakingly we see Tommy’s struggle with wanting a relationship with his real father, who ran out on him and Laurie and seemingly wants nothing to do with either one. Tommy has a hard time accepting this and frequently finds his way over to his father’s home, where a physical altercation usually ensues, which Kevin has to bail him out of.
The scene that sets everything in motion for this episode is when Kevin and Laurie throw a Man of the Year party for Old Chief G. Reverend Jamison, who isn’t quite the man of God he is in current times, joyfully dances with his wife at the party and later talks about getting drunk. Kevin gives a touching speech about his father and everyone seems to really be loving life. However, Kevin puts on a brave face, but is struggling with some demons. Old Chief G. notices his son’s struggle and points out every man goes through this time where they have it all but they still yearn for a greater purpose, to feel alive again. But explains there is no greater purpose and he needs to be grateful because what he has is enough.
Then we reach the day of the sudden departure and see where everyone was the second it happened. Nora was at home, Tommy and Jill were holding hands with other teens at the school’s science fair, Laurie was getting an ultrasound because she is pregnant (Whaaaatttttt???) and hasn’t told Kevin. The moment the departure happens leaving Laurie staring alone at a now blank ultrasound was earth shattering. But by far the most shocking moment of all was Kevin’s experience that second the world changed. He was in the middle of having sex with an exotic and clearly scandalous woman he just met. Even more shocking is the girl vanishes mid act. Wow, now that is enough to make someone go nuts.
I have so much going through my mind now about this episode. So many questions answered. So many things are connected. Dying to hear your thoughts on this incredible episode.