The Leftovers: ‘A Most Powerful Adversary’ Review

The Leftovers 'Hard Day'

“There is no Patti, Kevin. There is only you.” -Laurie

I can’t even. I could have never expected the latest episode of The Leftovers  to end like that and I’m still in complete shock over what happened. What in the fuck, show?! Seriously. I may never get over this one and either should you. Did they seriously just kill off one of our main characters? Did anyone even see this coming? It was an unbelievable hour of television and Patti was definitely right when she told Kevin it was going to be a hard day.

Kevin Garvey is obviously a troubled man and no one should envy him. He watched as Patti committed suicide in front of him and now sees her ghost, his new lover Nora just left him because of these visions, and his ex-wife Laurie is back in town to complicate things. The scenes with Kevin and Laurie were phenomenal and, having fully developed all of the characters in the story (which is no easy task), you can’t help but feel bad for the Garvey’s. They have been through a helluva lot up to this point and the ending of this one might prove that things always seem to get worse before they better.

I can’t even believe I’m saying this but this might be THE BEST episode yet from The Leftovers. This season has been flawless in every way and it appears to be getting better and better as the season progresses. And I still can’t believe that ending. It was just so surprising, so shocking, so mind blowing. And since we don’t already have enough questions on our plate, might as well feed us some more, even if some mysteries were answered.

So go make yourself a fresh glass of homemade lemonade and make an appointment with your therapist because you’re gonna need it after this one. Enjoy the review, fellow departed.

Fingers Crossed

We picked up where we left off last episode and it looks like Nora took off after Kevin told her that he’s bat shit crazy. Kevin is literally stuck to the bed too since it appears Nora didn’t bother to leave him a key to those handcuffs (although we find out later that she did, Patti was just blocking the view). While this episode is likely going to mean the end of Patti, Ann Dowd needs an emmy for her performance. She hasn’t spoke much during the second season but when she does open her mouth, I’m intently listening to everything she has to say.

"I hope she calls back."

Jill is super upset over the fact that Nora left. So much so that she starts yelling the word “fuck” in church! And who can blame her? 2% of the world’s population has disappeared and she’s just lost her second moms. I’d be cursing at God too. Now, I’m not sure how I feel about Jill’s relationship with Michael Murphy and things are going to get even more complicated for these two after the events that took place at the end of the episode. Something seems off with Michael and it looks like he may have more to do with our story than we first expected.

Hellllo

Kevin, meanwhile, is trying to get his handcuff off and heads to Miracle’s local hardware store to see if they can help. Of course, telling the shop owner’s kid to shut the fuck up isn’t going to help the situation, even if you were actually talking to your imaginary friend. Kevin finally loses his shit on Patti and wants to know what she wants from him. Some of you might remember from last season that there were references to Cairo, Egypt so it was no surprise to hear Patti tell Kevin that he must retrieve an ancient artifact called ‘The Wishing Cup’. She also explains that he needs to fill it with his cum and drink it down…ummmm, gross! Luckily, she was totally joking about this and it appears that Patti is just as lost as Kevin is.

Then our story takes a turn for the worst, although we don’t know it yet. Michael Murphy sees Kevin talking to himself and decides he’s going to get a ride with Kevin so he throws his truck in the back of his truck. Interestingly, Michael already knows about Patti because Virgil, his grandfather, told him all about her. So how does Virgil know?

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Also, what was up with all those lightbulbs in Virgil’s mobile home? Seems like that could be a giant waste of electricity if used improperly. I hate to be the guy paying his electric bill.

Surprisingly, we got more details about the night Kevin was sleepwalking and woke up with a cinder block tied to his leg. Kevin actually went to Virgil’s that night and told Virgil all about Patti. He also asked Virgil how he could cast her out. Virgil explains to Kevin that the only way he’s going to be able to do this is by going to “her place”, which is another way of saying he’s gotta die in order to get rid of her.

This also explains why Kevin tried to commit suicide using that cinder block the night he was sleepwalking. The question remains though: how did all of that water get drained from the watering hole? Could Patti have had something to do with this considering the fact that if Kevin dies, she likely dies with him? I somehow don’t think this was the case but I am really, really curious to find out what happened to Evie and her friends and how this watering hole dried up!

We also learned a bit about Virgil’s past as well. Apparently he had an adversary of his own, much like Patti, and Virgil explains that after he was shot in the chest, he crossed over and did battle with his adversary and vanquished him. Wait, what?! This is all very mysterious and very supernatural. Is it possible that Virgil and Kevin are just bat shit insane? I mean, crossing over to the other side to fight your imaginary adversary seems a little bit far-fetched, wouldn’t you say? That said, it’s pretty obvious that John was the one who shot Virgil but I still want to know what Virgil did to him in the first place. Answers always seem to lead to more questions and Kevin’s facial expression was exactly like mine at this point in the episode:

Kevin staring blankly

Where Is My Mind?

After his visit to crazy Virgil’s, Kevin immediately heads into the woods, yelling at Patti to get her ass out here! And she eventually shows up but as we all know, she’s only a figment of Kevin’s imagination. At least he was smart enough to go into the woods before confronting his imaginary friend:

Imagination Land

Kevin has obviously inherited this gift from his father who had similar visions and ended up in a mental institution because of it. Patti basically tells Kevin that she’s ready to do battle but Kevin refuses to listen to her which is probably the smart thing to do considering she’s all in his head.

Then, all hell  breaks loose when we find out that Laurie, Kev’s ex-wife, is at the town gate. Didn’t see THAT coming. Every scene with Laurie and Kevin was some of the best fucking acting I have ever seen. Amy Brenneman and Justin Theroux have amazing chemistry when they’re sharing scenes together and I swear it was impossible to not tear up a little during their conversation.

Laurie is looking for Tommy, and we find out the reason a little bit later, but Kevin hasn’t seen Tommy and neither have we, at least not for a while. Justin Theroux just stole this scene though, especially when Laurie asks him if he’s okay. You can just tell he’s so hurt inside by the fact that he is having visions and doesn’t know who to talk to about it without them thinking he’s a crazy mofo. It also didn’t help that the piano version of The Pixies ‘Where Is My Mind ‘ was playing during their conversation. We even got to hear the original track and I can’t think of a more appropriate song for what Kevin is going through:

I absolutely fucking love the soundtrack for Season 2. I literally have a playlist of songs queued up from this show so whoever was in charge of the song selection deserves an immediate promotion.

Kevin’s next stop on his quest to remove his handcuff is to the local fire department where he meets up with John. As it turns out, this was a terrible idea because John is taking voluntary palm prints to see if he can find a match to the one on his daughter’s car. We know the palm print on the car is Kevin’s but there was really no way out of this situation. If he refuses to provide his print for John, everyone is going to immediately suspect him. Of course, by the time they do get a match, it’s going to be wayyy too late given the crazy ending.

Guilty Hands

After getting back to his car, Patti tells Kevin that the only time in her life she was truly free was when she killed herself. And while we can’t truly relate to this on the same level as Patti, she does make a very good point. We’re all prisoners of society. If we don’t conform to the ways of the world, then we’re outcasts. And nowadays, everyone is offended by fucking everything so Patti does have a point that the only time we will be truly free in our lives is when we face death. More deep thoughts from a really deep show.

Kevin finally returns back home and has a heart-to-heart with Jill. She wants to know if Kevin is pretending to love Nora and I genuinely believe him when he says that all he wants is a family. I also genuinely felt his pain when he told Jill that he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next and broke down in front of his daughter. I think that is what a lot of us want in life. We want a family, we want people in our lives who we can trust, who won’t judge us. Poor Kevin 🙁

Dropping A Bombshell

Finally, Kevin realizes that he needs help and he goes back to his ex-wife Laurie, who also happens to be a therapist. This entire scene was The Leftovers at its best and, even though they have such a complicated relationship after the events in Mapleton, Kevin and Laurie are at least still good enough people to be there for one another. That is something I can’t say about a lot of people on this planet.

Everything starts making a little more sense when Laurie reminds us that she used to be Patti’s therapist. Kevin clearly got all the info Patti was telling him from his own self conscious. Laurie is straight up with Kevin. She tells him Patti is not real and that he’s actually having a psychotic break. Then Laurie says one of the most profound things I have ever heard from a television series. All I can say is that the writing on this show is some of the best ever. And it’s moments like this that really make you think about life.

Can I tell you about belief, Kevin? When the mind is in emotional distress it will grasp at any construct that makes it feel better. After the 14th, the whole world needed to feel better. We’re all in emotional distress. So that made all of us susceptible to false belief. To be taken advantage of.”

And really, with the tragic events of Paris and Beirut occurring over the weekend, I can’t think of a better quote to try to make sense of everything. We, as a planet, need to feel better and make sense of what is happening in this shitty fucking world. Laurie says, “Why do you think I joined a fucking cult” and who can blame her. Two words sum up this entire scene: emotionally draining.

A Cry For Help

We also found out that Tommy and Laurie were pretending all along when it came to the whole ‘hug’ thing. Tommy didn’t actually have the power to heal people, it was all make believe, and apparently he has disappeared because of it. So while we know why Tommy has vanished, we still have no idea where he went but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Guilty Remnant is involved.

Kevin invites Laurie to their new home. He wants her to stick around so he can get the help he needs and it seems like Patti is not around when Laurie is in Kevin’s life. I can totally understand why Kevin would want to keep her in Miracle given the fact that it solves his problem. Nora finally returns Kevin’s call and she is being a complete bitch about the whole situation. She doesn’t want anything to do with Kevin and I’m not sure I really understand why. The guy just needs some help and I can’t understand why Nora would turn her back on someone she supposedly loves. People suck, don’t they.

Luckily though, Kevin promises he can make Patti go away and wants Nora to come back. This was like a waterfall of tears. Watching Kevin pour his heart out to Nora and having her actually believe him was heartbreaking in every way. I am an advocate for a crazy thing called love and you can just tell Kevin loves Nora to death.

This leads us to the final scene where my brain literally exploded. After promising Nora that he can get rid of Patti, he heads back over to Virgil’s so he can finally fight his most powerful adversary. Basically, the plan is straight up sketchy because Virgil wants Kevin to drink some kind of poisonous cocktail that will stop his heart. This will allow Kevin to temporarily die and take care of Patti and Virgil will then inject him with epinephrine to revive him. This sounds like a terrible fucking plan. And even though Patti tries to talk Kevin out of it, he goes through with it anyways after Patti tells him that she wants him to go through with it. But Kevin has decided to take the advice his old man gave him…and he listens to Patti and drinks the poison.

"Goodbye, Patti."

At this point I’m all like “everything will be fine” until literally all fucking hell breaks loose and Virgil does this with the needle of epinephrine.

Virgil drains the needle

Wait, WHAT?! Did Virgil seriously just waste the only thing that could bring Kevin back? The answer is yes and at this point I’m speechless. But then this happens immediately after…

My Brain Just Exploded

…and my brain exploded, just like Virgil’s. Jesus christ, show! What in the fuck just happened?! I have so many questions about this entire scene. Is Kevin going to survive? Why did Virgil kill himself? And how is Michael Murphy involved in all of this? It’s fairly obvious that he knew what was going to happen but I’m surprised he just let his grandfather shoot himself in the head. Will Michael end up saving Kevin? I’m absolutely stunned and The Leftovers has once again proven that it is the best series on television.

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LOVES IT 
Mikey Likes ItThat was the most insane ending that The Leftovers has ever produced. First off, I did NOT see this coming. And I’m willing to bet that you didn’t either. I mean, the entire episode we’re left feeling bad for Kevin and his entire situation and this could not be a WORSE ending. I’ve never felt so many emotions from one 30-second scene: sadness, anger, depression, confusion and intrigue immediately come to mind. Second, I think I might be devastated if Kevin does not survive this! I have this strange feeling that Michael is going to bring him back to life but at this point, I have NO idea and it’s going to be a long ass seven days of waiting before we find out.

A Most Powerful Adversary also gave us some truly beautiful and touching scenes between Kevin and Laurie. Every single time they were talking, I was listening. It was also impossible not to feel empathetic to their situation, especially Kevin’s. I genuinely felt bad for the guy especially considering he just wants to get better so he can have a family. Like I said earlier, it was a waterfall of tears but as per usual, this show’s life essence is tragedy and how we, as human beings, cope with it. I don’t think there has been a better episode of The Leftovers to date and that is saying a lot because I have loved each and every episode this season.

And then there is the bigger picture! Where did Evie and her friends disappear to and how did all that water disappear? It seems like someone or something doesn’t want Kevin to die and that is the only thing making me believe that Kev is going to pull through this. But with only three episodes left, the only thing that could ruin this season is not providing enough answers after presenting us with oh so many questions. Such as:

-Will Kevin survive? How is Michael involved in all of this and why did Virgil kill himself?
-Where is Tommy?
-What did Virgil do to John to make him shoot him?
-How will Nora react to Laurie’s arrival in Miracle?
-Where the freaking hell is Evie and her friends?

This has been an unbelievably phenomenal run for The Leftovers second season, which has easily become the most underrated series of 2015. So what did everyone think of A Most Powerful Adversary? Did it make your brain explode like mine did? Are you contemplating seeing a therapist after this one? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading, fellow departed.

Lastly, be sure to check out the promo for next week’s episode, titled International Assassin, where me may finally learn what happened to Tommy. Enjoy!