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.

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Why Does He Persist? A Dream Analyst Interprets Matt Jamison's Dream

Why Does He Persist? A Dream Analyst Interprets Matt Jamison's Dream

Sunday's episode of The Leftovers, "Two Boats and a Helicopter," includes a dream sequence that touches upon Rev. Matt Jamison's childhood cancer diagnosis, the fire that killed his parents, the Oct. 14 car accident that left his wife in a vegetative state, and his pre-Departure sex life (complete with a surprise cameo from Laurie Garvey). What does it all mean? Dream analyst David Bedrick broke it down for HBO.com.

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