Of Wolves and Charlatans: The Lurking Savagery of the Post-Departure World

Of Wolves and Charlatans: The Lurking Savagery of the Post-Departure World

The increasing futility and potential danger of clutching to pre-Departure symbols and institutions seems to be at the heart of The Leftovers, leaving each character in the position of establishing a new identity atop a barely concealed set of volatile, more primitive emotions. In Episode 1, Chief Garvey storms out of a pre-parade city council meeting with the warning that “Everyone’s ready to f**kin’ explode.” In Episode 2, the police department-mandated psychiatrist Kevin is ordered to see explains the presence of a blow-up penguin sitting in his office. The psychiatrist offers that, in his dealings with children, they often need an outlet toward which to redirect their aggression, so they attack the penguin. The penguin exists solely as the recipient of abuse, and the necessity of its presence suggests a lingering psychological problem in the patient – a benchmark for how much aggression still remains. The title, “Penguin one, Us Zero” suggests that the community is beginning to redirect its aggression toward the mysterious and ephemeral nature of the rapture at objects of convenience who do not fight back and who exist to be hurt. The community’s lack of acceptance for the mysteries of their universe and the rise of their latent aggression is evident in the character of Matt.

Read More
Who Is Kevin's Mysterious Visitor?

Who Is Kevin's Mysterious Visitor?

It's no wonder that Kevin Garvey's confidence was shaken in "Penguin One, Us Zero" – his late night activities with the "mystery man" were called into question by everyone around him: his therapist Anthony, boss Lucy Warburton, direct report Dennis and even his daughter, Jill. Viewers had their own theories about the lonely dog shooter… none of which bode well for Kevin's mental state.

Read More
Kevin's Bagel: Beyond a Burnt Breakfast?

Kevin's Bagel: Beyond a Burnt Breakfast?

One topic that had tongues wagging during Sunday’s episode of The Leftovers: Kevin Garvey’s disappearing – and reappearing – bagel. Questions abounded: Where did it go? What does it mean? Does it represent something more? The people of the Internet – recappers, Twitter commenters, and the Reddit community – all weighed in about the significance of the bagel.

Read More

'Penguin One, Us Zero' Writer Kath Lingenfelter Answers 7 Burning Questions

Kath Lingenfelter is a busy writer. Not only did she pen Sunday's episode of The Leftovers, "Penguin One, Us Zero," the scribe live-tweeted the hour, offering a bunch of insider tidbits that were both funny and informative.

Below is a round-up of seven answered questions from Lingenfelter's Sunday-evening missives.

Read More