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Monday, July 14, 2014

The Leftovers: Exploring the Crisis of Faith

Posted By on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge HBO/WIKIPEDIA
  • HBO/Wikipedia

Imagine, if you will, that you spent your entire life in service to a deity with the belief that if you pleased him, you would be rewarded. Perhaps you are an ancient Mayan who sacrificed a live body so that you could present their still-beating heart to your god, but still the locusts come. Or you are a Hopi in what would one day be called Arizona, dancing to bring water from the sky which never arrives to nourish your crops. Meanwhile, the Aztecs or the Navajo, who have false gods and really bad senses of style, have been blessed with zero pestilence and verdant fields of maize. WTF?

"Two Boats and a Helicopter," the latest and so far best Leftovers episode, explores this idea. Reverend Jamison has dedicated his life to god, his church, and his wife, only to see everything unravel in front of him in the wake of the so-called rapture. When "poof" happened, a driver-less car slammed into he and his wife's car, leaving her in a catatonic state. Participation in his church dries up and he is unable to pay the bills, leaving the bank to foreclose. His efforts to save his church provide the scaffolding for the plot of this episode, which unfolds like a movie script written by Cormac McCarthy. It is divine.

click to enlarge Christopher Eccleston as Rev. Matt Jamison - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • Christopher Eccleston as Rev. Matt Jamison

Jamison's crisis of faith takes him to a dark place. Instead of doubting his god, he decides to investigate everyone who disappeared on that day, to see if it truly was the Lord taking away the good and pure and leaving the hopeless sinners behind. He digs up dirt on everyone -- one of the departed stole prescription drugs and sold them, another guy had an affair, etc.-- and posts flyers with the information all over town. See? He is saying. Jesus had nothing to do with this. Something else is going on.

"Two Boats" is an episode that can be watched over and over, much like Pine Barrens from The Sopranos. Let's hope this show continues with this amazing momentum.

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About The Author

Katy St. Clair

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