The Leftovers “A MATTER OF GEOGRAPHY” [2.2] | A-
“Very interesting family, those Murphy’s. Hard to tell if they’re part of your story or you’re part of theirs.” – Patti Levin
The telling of a story often makes the story. This is true for the first two episodes of HBO’s The Lefovers second season. As with the Murphy family in “Axis Mundi” we get an “introduction” and table setting for the Garvey family in “A Matter of Geography.” What is made quite clear as soon as the Garveys pull into Jarden, TX is the flip side of the Murphy story is both deeper and more complicated that we imagined, which at the same time both clears up, deepens, and yet muddles the Murphy story line. Writers Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta wrote a phenomenal line spoken by Ann Dowd’s Patty Levin.
The episode opens where season 1 ended as Nora Durst discovers the baby left on the porch by lost son Tom Garvey. From there an wonderful acted scene airs all the hidden troubles of Kevin Garvy and Nora Durst. The scene is a wonderful piece of house cleaning but also quickly establishes the deep connection between these two characters. Through Mimi Leder’s direction of powerful interchanges between intense close ups and sweeping wide shots we get a sense of place during each scene. The geography of the characters are not only being changed but the geography of the story is meaningful as well. As with most episodes of The Leftovers the title serves multiple purposes, a search for happiness for Nora Durst, the placement of those raptured, the setting of the Garvey’s, and even the fleeting scene between Kevin and is newly freed father who is leaving to Australia to start up the world again.
While the choice to introduce Jarden, TX, it’s setting, and characters last week many may find the backtracking to cover the Garvey family as a bit of gimmicky story telling but it is much more than that. We know where the Garvey’s will be but for once in this series, in which so many viewers focus on what is not seen or said, the show is providing an opportunity to, quite literally, enjoy the ride from Mapleton, NY to Jarden, TX.
- The direction by Ms. Leder is both inviting but chaotic. When a moment calls for it the camera stops and allows the moment or acting to resonate but through the episode there’s this feeling created to be be on ones toes. It is very much the feeling that Kevin Garvey is walking through the world with.
- John Murphy comes of like the creep he may be.
- The visual of what it is like to get into Jarden, TX was so well done.
- Patti Levin is one hard ass ghost. She does not let up. The irony that while dead she wants Kevin to talk but throughout season 1, she was the silence task master of the Guilty Remnant.
- So…Tom and Laurie Garvey are just hanging out in Mapleton?
- Also, come on Tom! Your sister bought you that burger…eat it!
Comment below and let us know what you thought of episode 2!