The Year of the Goat

“Jerry, no, you gotta get it outta here.”           

In the latest episode of The Leftovers, “Lens,” as Jerry whipped out his handy plastic sheet, nearly everyone’s reaction in Miracle’s populace, whether verbally or facially, was resoundingly: “Let him do it!” But then, finally, Erica let her pot boil over in epic fashion and helped to answer the question: What’s up with the goats? Watch the scene play out again after the jump.

While the goat slaughter in “Axis Mundi” was big, there are slight, seemingly insignificant goat moments in every episode but the Laurie-Tom episode, “Off Ramp.” We’ve all seen Jerry parading a goat around town on a rope. We’ve seen Jerry and a goat in front of the liquor store, walking by the grocery store, crossing in front of the scientist as he drives his rented golf cart. Personally, I’ve been watching for the goat as if it’s a game of Where’s Waldo?

Read More
Noah’s Ark in Miracle?

Noah’s Ark in Miracle?

Season 1 of The Leftovers was filled with animal metaphors and imagery. From dogs to deer, four legged creatures roamed Mapleton and added mystery and intrigue to the story the humans lived out around them. In this week’s episode, Patti Levin certainly had animals on her mind. Out of her mouth we heard “Lucky duck!” and “I was a scaredy cat,” as well as something about “the greatest scapegoat in civilization.” 

Here are some of the other animals we’ve already seen make appearances in Season 2:

Dogs

One of the most jarring images we saw this week was that of a dog dragging its leash behind, the owner nowhere in sight. Patti Levin told a story that featured a similar image. Dogs certainly had a significant role in the first season of The Leftovers. Will they figure in just as importantly this season?

Read More
5 Prodigal Sons in ‘The Prodigal Son Returns’

5 Prodigal Sons in ‘The Prodigal Son Returns’

In the Bible, Luke 15:11-32 tells the story of the prodigal son and his return to his family. The title of the season finale of The Leftovers, “The Prodigal Son Returns,” takes inspiration from this passage. As we’ve seen throughout the series, episode titles potentially contain multiple meanings…or in this case, multiple prodigal sons.

Read More
8 Essential Symbols in ‘The Garveys at Their Best’

8 Essential Symbols in ‘The Garveys at Their Best’

Though completely a flashback, “The Garveys at their Best” was full of symbolism and double meanings – much of concerning events to come. I’ve rounded up what I consider to be eight of the best of those symbols here with some explanation about why they’re so interesting. Note: These are all just observation and speculation, and I have not read the book (and don’t intend to).

Read More
Saint Hubertus: Holy Men, Deer and Dogs

Saint Hubertus: Holy Men, Deer and Dogs

“The Garveys at Their Best” opens with a bit of déjà vu, as Kevin is yet again face-to-face with one of the show’s most intriguing characters: a stag. We are unsure if Kevin keeps happening on the same deer resurrecting itself – or if it’s a different deer each time. Either way, there’s much we can speculate about the significance of the deer. There’s been a good deal of discussion about the role of animals in The Leftovers. What is significant and what isn’t has been debated over and again since the pilot episode. As the season has progressed, I’ve noticed a link between the deer and the dogs seen on the show. That link is Saint Hubertus.

Read More
3 Wild Reddit Theories About Mapleton's Wild Dogs

3 Wild Reddit Theories About Mapleton's Wild Dogs

As series co-creator Damon Lindelof has admitted, there’s more to the animals of Mapleton than meets the eye. In this week’s "Solace for Tired Feet," the town’s wild dogs once again rear their furry heads. Kevin Jr.'s new "pet" had fans on Reddit buzzing about what the canines mean for the Garveys and Mapletonians at large. 

Read More
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
7 Intriguing Reveals (and Resulting Mysteries) on The Leftovers

7 Intriguing Reveals (and Resulting Mysteries) on The Leftovers

When 140 million people around the globe – two percent of the world’s population – suddenly disappear off the face of the planet in The Leftovers, not only are the characters left wondering what the heck is going on – we, the viewers, are too.

Questions abound: Was it the Rapture? Maybe aliens? Perhaps some secret, quantum physics, off-book government experiment gone awry?

With the series only four episodes deep, the answer to what happened is still way up in the air. Nonetheless, though, courtesy of the townsfolk of Mapleton, The Leftovers has given viewers some pretty intriguing reveals to help solve the mystery. Here are the seven disclosures I’m finding most intriguing so far. (Fair warning: Spoilers below!)

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
What’s Up With the Animals in Mapleton?

What’s Up With the Animals in Mapleton?

Something is amiss with the animals in Mapleton.

Just to recap from the premiere: The town’s dogs are roving around in feral packs. And Kevin experiences a series of stag sightings: One (possibly taxidermied?) outside Mrs. Tunney’s house, one in his dream, and yet another in the street before it's ferociously attacked by a pack of dogs. And don’t forget: Kevin’s kitchen was smashed up by something... with hooves?

Read More
Fight or Flight? The Leftovers Cast Weighs In

Fight or Flight? The Leftovers Cast Weighs In

The Leftovers takes place three years after the Sudden Departure, a global event wherein two percent of the world's population disappears sans explanation. Before Monday evening’s New York City premiere at the Skirball Center, the series' cast and creators offered insight into the show's post-departure reality.

Read More