The Divine Comedy of Virgil and Kevin

The Divine Comedy of Virgil and Kevin

“You were the lamp that led me from that night/You led me forth to drink Parnassian water/then on the road to God you shed your light.”
—Statius to Virgil, Purgatorio 22.64-65

Written by Dante Aligheri in the 14th Century, The Divine Comedy is an epic poem considered to be one of the most defining pieces of literature about our ideas of hell and the underworld. Drawing heavily from the medieval Christian philosophies and theology of Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, the poem is divided into three sections, which are the three realms of the dead—hell, purgatory, and paradise. In the epic, Dante is guided through the various circles of hell and purgatory before reaching paradise. He has a wise guide throughout the journey. That guide’s name was...Virgil. Of course, it’s no coincidence that this is the name of the man who has offered to guide Kevin into the realms of death to do battle with his “most powerful adversary.” I would suggest that Virgil’s suicide was not a devious act of narcissism but that he killed himself to act as Kevin’s guide to the world that awaited him.

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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?

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The Devil in the ‘Off Ramp’ Details

The Devil in the ‘Off Ramp’ Details

In the midst of insanity, we can sometimes miss the particulars right in front of us. In this week’s episode of The Leftovers, “Off Ramp,” we were treated to a full hour of Laurie and Tommy’s story. So many moments of action, mystery, and astonishment played out that you might have missed some of the more subtle specifics the show gave us. Here are a few details I noticed in the episode that—who knows—may or may not have a larger role in future episodes.

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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.

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9 Excellent Reasons to Binge The Leftovers' 9 Episodes Before the Finale

9 Excellent Reasons to Binge The Leftovers' 9 Episodes Before the Finale

It’s time to binge on some Leftovers: On Sunday, Aug. 30, starting at noon, HBO2 will air the first nine episodes the series’ inaugural season back-to-back so that fans can re-watch or new folks can catch-up in advance of the drama’s Sept. 7 season finale. (Of course, you can binge anytime on HBO GO.)

To tee you up before the coming marathon, I assembled nine great reasons (warning: some are a tad cheeky) anyone – everyone! – should go back and watch The Leftovers’ first nine episodes again…or to binge watch and catch up on the show that’s gotten everyone else talking.

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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.

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10 Things We Now Know About the Garveys

10 Things We Now Know About the Garveys

“The Garveys at Their Best” rewarded viewers in so many ways that it was easy to lose count: Motivations were revealed. Mysteries were explained. The nature of relationships came to light. While we could examine nearly every significant resident of the Mapleton community, the insight we were given into the Garvey family is perhaps most fascinating.

Below are the 10 things we now know about the Garveys that I found particularly interesting.

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The 3 Abrahams in ‘Cairo’

The 3 Abrahams in ‘Cairo’

Genesis 22 tells the story of God testing Abraham. God’s test consists of Abraham taking his son, Isaac, to Mount Mariah where he is to sacrifice him and then burn his body on an altar. Abraham does as he’s instructed. He makes the journey, lays his son on the altar, and raises a knife to end Isaac’s life. But before he can bring the blade down, an angel grabs Abraham’s hand and stops him from completing the deed. The point of the story is meant to demonstrate Abraham’s commitment to God and his faith.

I saw this scene play out with three different Abrahams and three different commitments in the latest episode of The Leftovers, “Cairo.”

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May 1972 National Geographic: Underwater Spiders, Riddles & the Cairo Connection

May 1972 National Geographic: Underwater Spiders, Riddles & the Cairo Connection

“Solace for Tired Feet” provided several significant clues for the remaining three episodes of The Leftovers this season. While several minor clues were given, perhaps none were as significant as the clues we can find by examining the mysterious May 1972 issue of National Geographic that Kevin Garvey Sr. tells his son is an invitation he needs to accept.

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