The Nativity figured prominently into the storyline of Sunday’s episode of The Leftovers. Here’s where I saw overlap between those figures from the Biblical story and the characters in Mapleton.
1. Laurie Garvey as Mary
Like the mother of Jesus, Laurie Garvey is a woman who feels misunderstood by her family and everyone close to her. However, deep inside she senses a righteous mission. She has given up normalcy for a higher cause. Laurie, like Mary, also has a son who has left to pursue his own righteous calling.
2. Tom Garvey as Joseph
Tom Garvey has been asked by someone holy – in this case, Wayne – to look after the woman carrying his only begotten child. It’s a task full of challenges. Both men are called to care for the woman they have been entrusted with, while unable to touch her in a sexual way.
3. Rev. Matt Jamison as a Wise Man
Rev. Matt Jamison – a man who we’ve come to know as broken yet wise – continues to search for one who brings truth. At the end of the episode, he brings a sacred gift to the nativity and is revealed in a posture of worship before the baby Jesus.
4. Afforda Baby Boy as Jesus
The baby Jesus – both in the show and in the Bible – is hidden by a woman, saved from a king who pursues his demise, and ends up sought after by many in the community. He appears in the manger only after the wise man and shepherd arrive, replacing the “manufactured idols” that came before him.
5. Kevin Garvey as a Shepherd
Kevin Garvey is the rugged guardian of the town’s sheep, who could fall prey to the wild animals that have been appearing throughout the town. In the midst of all the town’s chaotic problems, Kevin drops all he is doing to seek out the baby Jesus.
6. The Frost Twins as the Angels
Adam and Scott Frost seem unlikely angels at first glance. However, despite their stoner tendencies, the two actually are pure of heart and do the right thing. It’s these two angels who lead “the shepherd” – Kevin Garvey – to the baby Jesus.
7. Max as King Herod
Jill’s friend Max has it out to destroy the baby Jesus like the king, who sought to off him in the Bible. Max further links himself to Herod when he threatens to give him a degrading Roman soldier’s “helmet.” In the end, both are thwarted when a woman makes a quick decision that ends up saving the Baby Jesus.