The Leftovers: The Weight of Guilt

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

There's just one episode left to go in The Leftovers, and they didn't soften the blow this week.

We last left a terrible murder suicide plot that Sheriff Garvey was involved in with the Guilty Remnant, but let's set all that aside. If you were looking for some kind of resolution to that it wasn't happening this week.

Instead, we go back to the days leading up to the Great departure, and with it we come to a dangerous crossroads for this show. Will it cater to the Rapture crowd, or will it be something more. I don't know, but we'll find out soon.

Sheriff Garvey's dad, the former chief of police, went cuckoo for Cocoa Puff's sometime between the start of the show and the Departure. They've danced around whether or not he hears crazy people voices or real voices. Here we see him before all that, and the contrast is terrifying. Once again, we're seen how little it takes to push a man over the edge.

The bigger message is what we have done to be left behind (I tried real hard not to use that phrase). We see Kevin having an impromptu affair in which his sex partner departs mid-coitus. His wife watches the unborn baby she'd hidden from him suddenly disappear from a hospital monitor. Nora Durst is impatient with her family while waiting on a job she'd interviewed for, and suddenly they're gone.

The message is always the same; we each deserve our desertion for very minor crimes.

Now, either the show could explore the route of an actual divine judgment that punished sinners and Raputred their families as some sort of passive aggressive punishment. That's an option.

Or, we could look at guilt, and what it does to the human soul no matter the size of the transgression.

Alan Moor postulated that Henry Jekyll's sin was originally something as mundane as stealing a book, yet without inhibition that sin grew to the monstrous Edward Hyde. I think that's what we're starting to see as the series ends. Small guilts become the driving forces for The Leftovers.

It's their pain that keeps them going.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.