The Leftovers: ‘Ten Thirteen’ Review

The Leftovers 'The Day Before'

“I can do this for real.” -Meg

The Leftovers took another break from the main story in Miracle to focus on Meg and the Guilty Remnant and, once again, it appears that everything and everyone is connected to this mysterious town of 9,261 people. Ten Thirteen was all about the day before the departure and we were finally given some back story into Meg’s mind and why she turned out the way she did. We also can put an end to the mystery of the missing girls as it appears they may have been responsible for their own departure after all.

Ten Thirteen was the second last episode of the season and, surprisingly, most of our characters in Jarden decided to sit this one out. Personally, I have fell in love with the way this series tells a new story each and every episode by strictly focusing on only one character. I certainly wasn’t expecting us to explore Meg’s story further with only two episodes left but this has worked so well for this series and the connections are endless when it comes to The Leftovers. Everything is officially set in place for the grand finale with all of our characters arriving in Jarden, Texas for one last hurrah.

Just like me, you probably have a million questions but we did finally get an answer to one major question. The Murphy’s are still looking for their daughter Evie but now we know that she was not a victim of another departure. She’s alive and well and appears to have big plans in store for us all after that insanely crazy twist at the end of the episode. I’m still in complete shock and, once again, the writers somehow managed to fool us all. Good job, show!

So let’s head to Miracle for shots and some of Isaac’s dirty tobacco and enjoy the review, fellow departed.

Miracle Meets Meg

Ten Thirteen started us off with a Meg flashback, played by the beautiful and incredible Liv Tyler, and she’s out having dinner with her mother on October 13th, the day before the departure. Her moms is about to tell her something super important but Meg really needs to pee. And by pee I mean snort some cocaine. While Meg is taking a bathroom break to get high on coke, her moms has a fatal heart attack and abruptly dies in the restaurant. Meg returns from the bathroom to see the restaurant staff trying to revive her but it’s pretty clear her mom is on her way to the big party in the sky.

"So...about that news?"

Now, imagine dealing with that! One day before the departure occurs, someone close to you dies under tragic circumstances. I’m not even sure how to make sense of this but I’ll think about it while I listen to Ella Jenkin’s Wade in the Water:

Once again, the soundtrack for this season has straight up crushed the competition (with the exception of Fargo, a series that is also showing off one helluva amazing soundtrack) and Ten Thirteen brought us more jams to add to our playlists. The use of Wade in the Water throughout the episode worked in every way.

We head into the future and catch up with Meg who is taking a tour of Miracle. It looks like all of our characters have some connection to the Jarden of Eden and I was thrilled to go on a tour of the town with Meg. First up, that random piece of uplifted road from the premiere. You’ll remember that piece of road being kept in a display case…well, as it turns out, it wasn’t caused by an earthquake after all. It was the result of a gas explosion in the sewage system that took place on the same day as the departure. Coincidence? I think not.

Meg has ulterior motives on this trip to Miracle, however, and she stops at Isaac’s, the fingerpainting fortune teller whom John beat the crap out of. Meg wants to know what happened to her mom and where she went after dying. She also wants to know what her mom was going to tell her before she dropped dead in the restaurant two years ago. So Isaac makes her some sort of chewing tobacco which he then has her spit out into his hands. Totally gross…if you’re a germophobe, look away now:

That moment when you realize you ate something that tastes like crap

My little brother used to spit out anything he didn’t like when we were young so it was pretty funny watching Meg spit this gross shit out in Isaac’s hand. Admit it, you totally know someone who did this when you were young! So Isaac warns her about her curiosity, explaining that when people don’t know they’re going to die, their last words are usually something stupid which might lead to disappointment. Meg thinks Isaac is completely full of shit until he tells her that her mother sent her salad back because she asked for no walnuts, something that only Meg could know. I’ll pass on those walnuts too. Of course, we never did learn what her mom was going to tell her and, I must admit, I really want to know especially considering Meg was in tears about it later.

We also find out that Meg had previously met Evie Murphy during her trip to Jarden and I did NOT see this coming. Evie offers her some baby carrots since it is apparently physically impossible to cry while eating them. I’m not a scientist but I challenge you to try this at home and see if it’s true or not. No choking, please.

“You got any ranch dressing to go with those baby carrots?”

Evie is able to lighten the mood with her baby carrots which leads to Meg telling the worst, and best, knock-knock joke ever: Knock knock? Who’s there? Broken Pencil! Broken Pencil who? Never mind, it’s pointless. I find it interesting how such a silly joke could have so much hidden meaning. That’s why we watch this show though, right? The whole idea of everything becoming pointless after the departure is a concept the Guilty Remnant has taken to heart and one that Meg will also soon start believing in. Plus she did this which was awesome:

Meg spitting

She was probably still trying to get the bad taste from Isaac’s wacky tobaccy out of her mouth. Liv Tyler was definitely slaying it throughout this episode and the fun is only just beginning. We flash forward to Meg, who is now one of the leaders of the Guilty Remnant, and she decides to stop a bus full of school children so she can do this:

"Schools out forever."

Wait, WHAT!? You did not just go there, show! I nearly lost my mind when this all played out but luckily for all of us, nothing actually blew up with that grenade. Apparently, the Guilty Remnant just likes playing extreme pranks. Or maybe not because Meg ends up in front of a jury of her peers who are not too happy about Meg playing these games. The GR doesn’t target children but no one got hurt so what’s the big deal? They also believe that violence is weakness but Meg is planning her own action on October 14th so it looks like things might be going out with a bang in Miracle on the anniversary of the departure.

Do Your Job

Go Hug Yourself

Meanwhile, Tommy is still doing his best to convert people from the GR with his brand new hug-giving ability which takes people’s pain away. We also know that this is all a scam and Tommy doesn’t actually possess any powers whatsoever. He gives Meg a big hug and she whispers to him that she can do what Tommy’s alleging he can do fo’ real! How is this even possible, I have no idea but I have a feeling she is referring to the GR and not a hug.

Later, Tommy and Laurie get in a fight about their scam. Tommy is pretty pissed off about the whole thing and he’s even more pissed after Laurie slaps him in the face like a boss.

Laurie slaps the shit out of Tom

Gotta love Laurie who never takes shit from anyone, including her own son. Tommy gets super drunk, possibly due to his mommy issues, and goes back to the GR’s hideout and starts ranting about the fact that they blew the whistle on him. He’s there for one person, that obviously being Meg, and she arrives just in the nick of time while Tom is getting beat down by the GR. Meg basically tells Tom to go hug himself but he begs her to rid him of his pain.

"Go Hug Yourself!"

Meg seems to know a bit about Jarden having already visited and lets us know that Miracle is the national park that surrounds and protects Jarden from those that have corrupted its exceptional properties. This scene was straight up BASS too with Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel’s White Lines (Don’t Do It) subtly playing in the background as Meg starts laughing maniacally.

It was just so good the way they cut from the end of Meg and Tommy’s conversation to Meg hitting the road using the beat of the song. Words can’t even do it justice. Did you also notice that Meg’s ringtone happened to be the sound of a chirping cricket? You might be wondering when we last heard a cricket chirping and we have to go back to the season two premiere, when John Murphy was obsessively trying to locate said cricket in the Murphy home. And as the end of our episode illustrated, this was no mere coincidence!

At this point, I have no idea what Meg’s up to but apparently it’s going to be fucking amazing. Her words, not mine! Tommy also wants to know why she had sex with him after the GR kidnapped him but Meg quickly changes the subject and the duo end up at a bar for some dirty shots.

Calling The Shots

We also had another jam playing, this time it was The Promise by Sturgill Simpson, while Tommy and Meg got more acquainted with some dancing. The acting has been superb throughout this season and this episode was no exception with Liv Tyler and Chris Zylka radiating with chemistry. I especially loved the scene in the bar.

And of course, the whole reason Meg slept with Tom in the first place was to get him pregnant. Obviously! Wait, WHAT?! Did Meg tell Tom that she was trying to get HIM pregnant? Well, my brain just exploded because I can’t make any sense of this. Is Tom a woman? Certainly not. Can men all of a sudden get pregnant after the departure? Don’t be ridiculous. So why did Meg say this? Bat. Shit. Crazy.

One Mystery Solved

Meg and Tommy arrive at the outskirts of Miracle and they are greeted by members of the GR. It looks like the Guilty Remnant is scattered throughout the USA and have become quite the organized cult. Unfortunately, some random was caught on their property after he made the bad decision of going off the beaten path. Meg ultimately makes the decision to have this random guy stoned to death. Yup, no way in hell am I ever messing with Meg!

Meg also appears to be hiding something in one of the buildings on the property. The GR is definitely planning something big for the 14th of October and, just like last season’s finale, shit is about to hit the fan in Jarden, Texas.

She is going to change everything

And more amazing music. Check out Magic by Olivia Newton John because you have to believe we are magic:

That song is about to be overplayed. So last week, we didn’t even know Meg was even close to Miracle, this week she’s planning something insanely huge on the outskirts of town and apparently there is only 48 minutes until the ball drops.

48 Minutes until October 14th

Things get even more strange when Meg is walking through the hippy village outside of Jarden and runs into Matt Jamison. They catch up over some tea but I think the most important thing to note here is that Meg is completely lying to Matt about leaving the GR when we know full well that is not the case. She also tells Matt that the people of Jarden, the ones who were ‘spared’, are just not suffering like the rest of the world. Uh oh.

So obviously something big is planned for the finale and I cannot wait to find out what that is. But before we can even start thinking that far ahead, Tommy sneaks off in the middle of the night to find out what Meg is keeping behind those closed doors. He ends up finding a trailer inside and all of a sudden, one of this season’s biggest mysteries has been answered!

"Hi!"

Wait, WHAT!? Meg and the GR were the reason Evie and her friends disappeared? How and why did this happen? We MUST have answers although we’re running out of time with only the finale remaining. With Evie writing her words rather than speaking, it is evident that she is part of the GR and will likely play a role in whatever “event” they have planned for the 14th. The question remains: What exactly do they have planned?

It looks like everyone has arrived in Miracle for the grand finale and I am expecting big things. I doubt all of my questions will be answered but will we ever get an explanation about the cave woman that started the season off? Did Mary Jamison really snap out of her coma when the Jamisons arrived in Jarden? And why did 9,261 people residing in Jarden remain safe on October 14th when 2% of the world’s population vanished into thin air? Answers now, show!

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LOVES IT 
Mikey Likes ItAfter last week’s mind fuck in the afterlife, this week finally explained this season’s biggest mystery which obviously left us with many more questions. This is The Leftovers after all and part of the reason for its success is this grand mystery that surrounds our characters. I am still in shock over the fact that Evie and her friends were members of the Guilty Remnant this entire time as I could have never predicted that. Meg’s back story was also mysterious in every way and it’s only a matter of time before we find out what she has planned for Miracle in the finale.

We know Meg and Evie met randomly two years after the departure during Meg’s visit to Jarden but how did Evie end up joining the GR and why? I guess it’s possible that the two girls had a friendship over the years that eventually led to them both joining the Guilty Remnant but I need to know why Evie would do such a thing.

Once again, Ten Thirteen gave us a brand new back story for one of our characters and they somehow pulled it off with only the finale left to tie things up. And this is the kind of brilliant story telling that only comes around every once in a while. The Leftovers has really done something amazing this season. Every character has been fully developed with almost everyone getting their own episode. The writing has been phenomenal and the story itself grabbed our attention from the beginning as we watched a young, pregnant cave woman become trapped outside of her home after an earthquake. The acting has also been brilliant with almost everyone giving stand-out performances, especially Regina King and Carrie Coon. This is easily one of the best series on television, folks!

So what did you think of Ten Thirteen? Did it make you want to slap someone in the face like Laurie did to Tom? Or are you ready to slam some dirty shots at the bar in an attempt to decipher this mystery? Let us know your thoughts and theories in the comments and, as always, thanks for reading, fellow departed.

And lastly, be sure to check out the promo for the season two finale, titled I Live Here Now. This is going to be so bittersweet for me given that we don’t even know if The Leftovers will be back for a third season. Still though, I can’t wait to finally get some answers. Enjoy!