I never saw the “Red Wedding” episode of Game Of Thrones when it happened. All I did was hear all about it the night it aired and felt the shockwaves of disbelief rumbling through social media. It rather dulled the impact when I finally did catch up with it during an epic binge watch to prepare myself for the most recent season. But now I know exactly how every one of you felt when Robb Stark and Catelyn Tully were (SPOILER ALERT) murdered after sitting through tonight’s episode of The Leftovers.
How else am I supposed to feel after watching Kevin essentially commit suicide, drinking a glass of poison at the behest of the grandfather of Michael and Evie who lives in a trailer outside of Jarden? And then watching Mr. Murphy spill out the syringe of epinephrine meant to save Kevin’s life before blowing his own brains out with a revolver? Unlike Game Of Thrones, this wasn’t in a book already and wasn’t something that the super fans saw coming. This came out of nowhere and, if you’re a dutiful watcher of The Leftovers, should have left you shaken.
As the dust settles, though, you have to assume that Michael, who returned to the cabin in the aftermath of the murder/suicide, is going to take Kevin over to his mom for help. However, what we also know is that, even if he is revived, he might have signed his death warrant already after submitting to let his palm print be taken and scanned by John. There’s no turning back now. And it’s up to the Murphy family to either forgive Kevin for not coming forward sooner or condemn him with little mercy.
We’ll also have to wrestle with the question of whether Kevin is really seeing and hearing Patti, or if he is having a psychotic break. If Patti is for real, why wasn’t she there when Laurie made her surprise visit to Jarden in her hunt for Tommy, and when she and her ex-husband discussed his plight? Why, a few episodes back, did the man living in the pillar seem to see her? With any other show, this might get wrapped up nice and tidy in a few episodes. With The Leftovers, there is absolutely no telling.
The only reason that I’m starting to side with Laurie, who thinks that it’s all in Kevin’s mind, is that when he was first presented with the solution of getting temporarily murdered to “do battle with his adversary,” Patti was all for it. But just before he took the fatal dose, she came back to try and talk him out of it. There might be a chance that the real Kevin is still there somewhere, trying desperately to keep himself alive.
The fallout from the events of this episode are going to be absolutely brutal—Especially if Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta simply decided to do away with Kevin for the rest of this and future seasons. But if my assumption is correct—that he’s going to be revived and will survive this—what a world he is returning to. He has to face how Jill and Nora are going to react to the presence of Laurie. He has to finally answer the question as to why his handprint was on the window of the car that Evie and her friends disappeared in. And most of all, he has to deal with his obviously addled mind and whether he can come back from the brink to live a “normal life.” Just as the many Game Of Thrones fans among us are waiting for the return of that show to see whether the death of Jon Snow at the end of the most recent season is legitimate or not, so it is with us Leftovers fans as we desperately wait for next Sunday. Pray that our fingernails, hair, and patience survives the week.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.