The Leftovers – “Cairo” – Review

Leftovers“Hush little baby, don’t you cry,
You know your mother was born to die
All my trials, Lord, soon be over
Too late my brothers, too late”
– “All My Trials” – Odetta

Last Sunday, The Leftovers, aired its eighth episode of the season, ‘Cairo’. Now that the powers-that-be over at HBO have given it a season 2 green light, I watch the show with a different mindset, thinking about how the characters actions now will affect their future beyond the tenth episode finale. ‘Cairo’ had some very good acting and some memorable scenes as well (that last scene was typical for this show and had my jaw on the floor). I must have watched the final five minutes a dozen times. I wonder how Kevin will react going forward?

We did learn a few things in Sunday’s episode that I thought were over and done with. For example, I actually thought that Kevin got his shirts from the dry cleaner a few episodes back, now we know he hung them out to dry in a forest in one of his crazed, late-night stupors. This means that Kevin did not need to go nuts on that dry-cleaner. Kevin is suffering from sporadic amnesiac moments where he loses bits of time here and there, but the big revelation, I thought, was what Patti revealed about Dean. In a moment of comedic relief, Patti exclaims that she is adept at researching people and how easily you can find just about anything about anyone, but has failed to find one thing about the ‘dog-killer’. “He is a ghost”, she says to Kevin, making Dean’s presence a lot more bewildering. Is he a guardian angel? Is he something else supernatural? I love the mystery surrounding this character and his relation to Kevin and can’t wait to get more scenes involving the two.

Jill’s downhill trajectory was a concern going into this episode and she hasn’t wavered in the slightest. Her friendship with Aimee seemed, oddly enough, to be the only anchor keeping her moored to the land of sanity (if Mapleton could be considered that). Jill wants to be ‘ok’, but she doesn’t believe that an ‘ok’ life is attainable after the SD. She constantly prods Nora at dinner to see if she still carries a gun with her wherever she goes. One of the twins said it best when he said that if they find the gun in Nora’s home, then it means having a life that is normal, free from the clutches the SD imposed, is unattainable. Ironically, they find Nora’s handgun in a toy box named “Trouble”. I like Jill’s scenes as they give us a glimpse into a life of a troubled teen post SD. I constantly find myself saying out loud “No, don’t do it” a lot whenever I see Jill about to do something ridiculous and/or dangerous. …like none of you say things out loud while watching TV…no?…just me?…oh. I honestly thought at the end it was Aimee that Megan was opening the door to, and after seeing who it really was I immediately said, “No, Why did you do it!” I can’t wait to see where that story goes from here.

Megan and Laurie was another interesting story this past Sunday. I love how the we get more depth to each character little by little, each episode. It’s really interesting to see how the smallest bit of history we learn makes such a big impact. Learning about Megan’s mother’s passing the day before October 14th explains a lot about her choices throughout the season. The Rev doesn’t miss an opportunity to put this kind of information into one of his fliers either. One thing I thought was very interesting was the look that Megan gave Laurie right after Laurie slapped her and got up. Megan had a small smirk on her face that makes me think there is a lot more to her that we have yet to learn. Almost like her relationship with Laurie is mirroring Dean’s strange relationship with Kevin. Could there be similarities between Megan and Dean? Maybe they truly are guardian angels and are watching their work grow and make progress. Maybe I am reading too much into that smile? Either way, I think there is more to it than what we have seen so far.

The episode began with Patti laying out clothes on the floor of the church. She laid them out as if picking out outfits for someone to wear the next day for school, complete with shoes and some accessories. It is not until near the end of the episode that we understand what is going on. Laurie meets some delivery men at the church dropping off a trailer full of large bags that the GR Members bring into the room where the clothes are on the ground. We can piece together what is going on through the various cryptic messages we see and here throughout the episode. I imagine those bags are either filled with “Loved One” models of the departured or actual bodies. As creepy as I think the GR and its member are, actual bodies wouldn’t keep for very long at all…unless the GR wants to truly make their mark on Mapleton. Whichever way they choose, I think they are going to dress them in the clothes they had on before they departed and display them in some fashion. I think this is what is meant by the message on the whiteboard at the GR office – “We Won’t Let Them Forget”. This is why the GR exists, right? According to Patti they strip themselves of all colorful diversions – which is why they wear all white. They get rid of all ties to the living world – love and hatred – which explains why they leave their families (this also explains the “There Is No Family” mantra Patti was spewing a few episodes back to Kevin) and also why they don’t speak. We learn from Patti that her fellow members want their lives, and also deaths apparently, to have meaning and purpose. This, in the final scenes, is what we learn in more detail through Patti’s conversation with Kevin.

The final scene between Kevin and Patti is one of the best of this season. Their final conversation brought to light so many answers to questions that have been looming since episode one. Patti’s last words to Kevin, especially her recitation of the W.B. Yeats’ poem, spoke volumes. She said this enough times, “You must understand”, almost as much to Kevin as she was to us, the audience. She wanted Kevin to ‘understand’ why she matters – why Laurie matters – and essentially, why The Guilty Remnant matters. The poem that Patti recites is the second stanza of, ‘Michael Robartes Bids His Beloved Be At Peace, by W.B. Yeats. The poem illustrates a farewell to love and also life. Did Patti know she was going to die, whether at the hands of Kevin or herself? Either way, she will be missed.

This was one of my favorite episodes of The Leftovers so far. Ann Dowd’s ‘Patti’ will surely be missed. I would love to know what everyone thought about the episode and the incredible use of symbolism and imagery throughout. Only one more episode until the finale!

Thoughts and Discussion

– The music from this episode:

“I’ve Got Dreams To Remember” – Otis Redding
“I Been Buked” – Alvin Ailey

– Did you notice…The title of Sunday’s episode, ‘Cairo’, is also the word we hear uttered into Kevin’s walkie talkie in his dream sequence from episode seven’s ‘Solace For Tired Feet’. Also, ‘Cairo’, was in the title of an article in the National Geographic Kevin Sr. gave Kevin Jr. in the same episode.

– Did you notice…Laurie sat in Patti’s desk chair near the end of the episode as if the creators were showing us that she is the new ‘Patti’, the new leader of the Guilty Remnant. It looked like she settled in there nicely too. Did she know that Patti was not coming back somehow?

– I think it’s time we all start to discuss theories for the show and the final two episodes. Could this past episode have been a dream sequence by Kevin? The song that plays while when we go back and forth between Patti in the church laying out clothes and Kevin setting the table for his dinner with Nora and his family is Otis Redding’s, ‘I’ve Got Dreams To Remember’. Hmmmm? What do you all think? I thought that was pretty interesting.

– Also, I’m glad Kevin found his shirts…hanging up like spectral beings floating in the wind. Incidentally, Cairo, NY is about 5 hours from Mapleton. Did Kevin drive all that way while having one of his ‘amnesiac episodes’ to put his shirts there? And wouldn’t he have noticed that the shirts he frightened the dry cleaner into giving him a few episodes back didn’t have the Mapleton Police insignia on the sleeves?

– And lastly…I found it strange that Patti could not find any info about Dean and, as a result, refers to him as a ghost. Dean then corrects her by referring to himself as a ‘guardian angel’. Is he really a guardian angel along with Megan being Laurie’s? Help me out here everyone, we have some theories to disprove, lol.

– I read the whole poem that Patti recites and you can see ideas relating to the end of times and the apocalypse. The line Patti says, “And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet”, refers to a section in an earlier part of the poem about four different horses…The Four Horseman Of The Apocalypse, perhaps.

– With Patti gone, will we ever find out who ‘Neil’ is and if that was his house she left a paper bag of her own feces at? Is that Patti’s, “Dear One”? Or is her “Dear One” someone else? (“Dear One” is a phrase, or term of endearment, from the other show I currently Review – The Strain)

– What exactly did Patti mean that Laurie would be ready soon? Is there going to be some big ‘Jonestown’ Mass Suicide event on the horizon with the Guilty Remnant?

Thank you for checking out my Review! Only two more days until the penultimate episode! Please comment below so we can discuss this episode and your ideas for what might happen in the final two! Have a great weekend everyone!