As we saw in "Cairo," Kevin has gotten himself into the middle of a serious morality crisis. Heck, it could even be existential, given the circumstances of Grandpa Garvey coming to recruit him into some heavenly cause. But, given that he’s dealing with Patti now, after all, there was something amiss. Did you feel it, too? The slight uncertainty that…not all is as it seems? Of course you did. This is The Leftovers we're talking about. And it all falls on the Guilty Remnant, a group that, as we've seen, will do anything to keep their plans running smoothly.
What will happen on Memorial Day? We don't know, yet. But as for this Cairo cabin ordeal, I have a theory that the G.R. is up to something that will require Police Chief Garvey out of the picture for good. The G.R. aren't known for their subtlety, and as we've seen, they relish in the knowledge they have over their profiled Mapleton citizens. And it seems Patti enjoys getting her hands dirty with these people, even if it kills her. And that may have been the very purpose of this scenario, with the plan being that Kevin blacks out, kidnaps Patti, and kills her. Does this really seem like something Kevin would do, even in a drunken and disorderly state? I think not.
But what if – and this is theory, mind you – Kevin Garvey isn't actually going insane? What if Dean isn’t the “guardian angel” he claims to be? What if this is all a setup, organized by the Guilty Remnant? Here, I present my case.
1. Patti: The Martyr
There's not much we know about Patti, and it's a shame she had to leave the show so early into the series. But what we do know is that she's keen on bringing the G.R. more visibility, by whatever means necessary. Right now, they seem like a bunch of crazy cultists trying to make everyone feel bad about themselves, all the while smoking to the filter. But from what Patti has accomplished in this past season has had detrimental effects on the lives of Mapleton's community. And it seems all for one reason: awareness. Speaking of awareness, look what they got with Gladys' death. They got news coverage, which is like winning the lottery with a bloodstained ticket. And now that Patti confirmed that Gladys' fatal tree incident was planned martyrdom and that "she didn't mind," we know that the G.R. is capable of a lot more than smoker's cough.
But would Patti really endanger herself to frame Kevin? Well, let's think about what she and the G.R. have to gain from this sacrificial setup. The first benefit is, obviously, attention. The first thing I can see happening are Mapleton citizens starting to take notice. Another G.R. member brutally murdered? That’s bound to raise some questions and most likely will bring in new pledges for the chapter.
Probably the most important aspect is that Patti’s death shoves Kevin Garvey out of his job. He is monumental in the relationship between the Mapleton Police and the G.R., keeping the peace as far as we've seen and even protecting them because of his ex-wife’s involvement. If Patti’s body is found, Kevin’s leverage in Mapleton would cease, and the local police department would be down a leader, making them far less effective. And with Memorial Day right around the corner, this crippling blow to the town fuzz would make it a perfect time for the G.R. to strike. Why else would she be so eager for Kevin to kill her? When he refused, she pierced her jugular with a shard of glass. Because, it seems, Patti is the kind of person who thinks when all else fails, do it yourself.
So let’s say my theory is correct, and Patti just committed suicidal martyrdom for the sake of framing him. What about Dean, Kevin’s dog-hunting, dip-spitting best friend?
2. Dean: The Double Agent
The self-proclaimed “guardian angel” seems to always be at the right place at the right time when it comes to Kevin. This man is tough to read, and that’s definitely on purpose. Even Patti calls him a “ghost,” and rightfully so, as we know absolutely nothing about him aside from his bloodlust for the town’s mangy mutts. But as we’ve seen (or haven’t seen), he and Kevin have spent some serious time together. Killin’ dogs, drinkin’ beer, and kidnappin’ cultists. Best friends, right?
But you know what’s really strange? Kevin’s blackouts, and the senseless actions that accompany them, have only been happening since he met Dean. And don’t forget that, as far as we know, Dean has been involved of every single blackout that Kevin has experienced. The tied-up dog, the cabin in Cairo, maybe even the white shirts (more on that later). This brings up an interesting connection between Dean and the G.R., as he seems to pop-up a tad too conveniently. In “Gladys,” we found Dean discovering the pulped body of Gladys, right alongside the official G.R. search party. Why was he out there? He gave an alibi, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t lying. This leads me to believe that Dean is working with the G.R. He knows much more about Kevin than he should, like how he knew the cabin was from Kevin’s childhood. He could have easily learned this from our favorite G.R. member, Laurie. Did it start by shooting lost dogs to make the G.R. seem more convincing about society’s plummet into forgetfulness? Or is he purely there for Kevin? Either way, everything at the cabin in Cairo was…sketchy.
When Kevin goes to sleep, and the scene transitions directly to him waking up in Dean’s truck. Dean then goes on to tell him what happened the night before, accompanied with flashbacks of Patti’s face going splat on the hood of the truck. But how do we know that those were legitimate flashbacks, and not just visualizations of lies? The mind attempts to piece together lost memory as best as it can. If you don’t remember something, you try to create a memory where there is none. That might just be what those flashbacks are. Fake memories that Kevin is subconsciously creating based on Dean’s explanation. Confused? I’m only just getting started.
Let’s go into the cabin, where we find Patti tied to a chair, and Dean and Patti yapping in Kevin’s ear non-stop. Isn’t it strange that they – both Patti and Dean – seem to urge Kevin to kill Patti? If Patti didn’t plan this, and Kevin really kidnapped her and brought her to Cairo, she wouldn’t be urging him to “understand” by killing her, would she? And there’s Dean, egging him on. The entire scene felt more like an interrogation of Kevin rather than Patti, with Dean’s dialogue suggesting a mutual endgame. Before Dean finally leaves after putting Patti’s head in a plastic bag (which, by the way, is a very slow execution that could be easily stopped), he said, “I tried,” as if he directed it towards Patti. There will no doubt be some debate as to whether he was talking to Patti, out of frustration, or even to the same voices that Garvey Sr. is talking to. But for now, it seems contextual.
Now…what about those blackouts?
3. The White Shirts: Evidence
With my theory of Dean conspiring with the G.R., we have to look at the past blackouts. How did they happen? Well, as I’ve discussed with some others, he may have drugged Kevin while he slept. He did have those pill bottles, after all. Or maybe Dean just snuck up there and did it himself. The Garvey home’s security system isn’t foolproof. So involuntary drugging could be a very real possibility. And if Dean does know the security code (thanks to Laurie?) then that explains the white shirts pinned to the trees of Cairo. Dean could have snuck up there, stolen them, and posted them on the trees while Kevin slept in the truck and Patti was tied up. After all, Kevin noticed a relatively fresh fire pit as he ripped his clothing from the bark. It’s all too neat, if you ask me. But if Dean really is helping the G.R. destroy Kevin’s life and sanity, he’s doing it damn near perfectly.
Kevin’s purpose in the series’ action isn’t quite clear. We know Tom is escorting the baby of a prophet. Laurie is now a big cat in the G.R. chapter. And Jill is dealing with the distorted angst that the Departure doused over the world’s youth. Is Kevin truly a prophetic figure like his father, or is he the victim of some personal espionage? Let me reiterate that this is theory, not fact. I encourage any and all investigation into this theory, and if you prove me wrong, then at least we accomplished something together. But for what we’ve seen, there is enough evidence to show that “Cairo” was a turning point in the series. We see Kevin realize that something isn’t right, and that he still hasn’t given up his morals. And with his morals still intact, I say his sanity is, as well. We’ll just have to wait and see.