“I think I might be going crazy,” Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) tells his new girlfriend Nora Durst (Carrie Coon) toward the end of “Solace For Tired Feet,” and it’s a realization that’s been a long time coming. Suffering from bad dreams, lost time and sometimes unable to tell reality from the fevered images conjured by his brain, Kevin has somehow managed to keep it together, as much as possible. Even in the face of divorce, and losing a grip on his daughter, who continues to put her life on the line for thrills with her envelope pushing friends. And kicking off this week’s episode, Jill (Margaret Qualley) is once again testing her limits, stuffing herself inside an abandoned refrigerator in the forest where a local boy once lost his life. She’s looking to break the record for how long she can stay in there without losing her breath, and breaks it handily, but when her friends try to get her out, the handle snaps off the door. They panic, scream for help and try and call 911, but assistance arrives from an unlikely source — Jill’s grandfather (Scott Glenn), last seen in a psychiatric hospital, gets her out, and says, “Don’t tell your Daddy you saw me,” before running back into the woods.
And the search for Kevin’s father is the central thrust for ‘Solace,’ and it’s just one more thing on his son’s plate that he frankly doesn’t need. While things seem to be going well with Nora, they haven’t slept together yet, with the constant presence of the Guilty Remnant — of which Kevin’s ex-wife is a member — outside her home something of a buzzkill. And there’s the fact that though they’ve been on a handful of dates, they are yet to fall into a comfort zone with each other. There is something quaintly old fashioned about their burgeoning relationship, one that suggests they care too deeply about one another to just rent a motel room and get it on. But that’s not all. Kevin’s latest dream/blackout finds regular houseguest Aimee (Emily Meade) reminding him that he brought home a dog (that bit him in the hand) and tied it up in the backyard. She also tended to his wound as well. Kevin remembers none of it but unbelievably tries to convince her that he does. And the whole encounter, coupled with Aimee’s constant lingering looks at Kevin, hints at the very least she likes him, or at the very worst, there is another layer to their relationship Kevin may not even be aware of.
But the task at hand is finding his father, and eventually Kevin Sr. — after causing havoc at the library, and beating on Dennis (Frank Harts) — arrives at the Garvey home, where Jill secretly calls her father, before letting her grandfather inside. Kevin Sr. let’s himself get cuffed and goes off with his son when he arrives to take him in, but makes a break for it when they’re stopped by a GR protest against Rev. Matt Jamison’s (Christopher Eccleston) campaign to save them. Kevin Jr. loses his Dad in the crowd, but when he returns home, and feeds the aggressive dog that’s still out back, he stumbles across the note and jar of money from “Two Boats And A Helicopter” buried in the backyard, and putting one and one together, rightly surmises Kevin Sr. is with Matt. A rendezvous is arranged at a diner, and the meeting has the kind of mystery reveal that is pure Damon Lindelof (who co-wrote the episode).
Sitting together at a table, but with cops both inside the diner and outside too, Kevin uncuffs his father and patiently listens to what he has to say. And it’s mostly a lot of nonsense, but there are a few things that raise eyebrows. Kevin Sr. stresses again that he is not crazy, and that like it or not, his son now has accept what he has been chosen for, that his life now has purpose. Kevin Sr. pushes a May 1972 issue of National Geographic toward his son, and implores him to take it, that it’ll help him understand. But Kevin Jr. is understandably baffled, and reacts in anger, having his Dad hauled away, but not before the latter starts ripping up the magazine. But what makes that issue so important? As far as we can tell from our limited research, the cover story was about Yellowstone Park’s one hundredth birthday, while another story inside is about the ancient Minoan civilization. Yeah, we have no clue either, but Kevin Jr. will have time to excercise his curiosity. When he gets home, he sees the exact same issue in the kitchen, and learns Jill had ordered it after seeing it written down on a piece of paper her grandfather left behind after his brief visit. As to what those pages contain that’s so important, that’s left dangling for next time.
Meanwhile, ‘Solace’ catches back up with Tom (Chris Zylka) and Christine (Annie Q), still on the road and in semi-hiding, waiting for some kind of word from Wayne (Paterson Joseph). Christine is ill and about to give birth, and while Tom’s patience is beginning to wear waiting on Wayne, she has faith he’ll call, and come for her baby which she says will be the “bridge” to…something. And Wayne does call, though he’s not quite as inviting as he usually is. It’s not quite clear where he is, and he appears confused as to who he’s talking to, but he orders Tom take half of the money he has left, bundle it up, and leave it taped underneath a mailbox in town. Tom follows his instructions, but decides to stick around and follow whoever comes to pick it up, and he does, and what he finds out is shocking.
Tom winds up a seedy motel, where he breaks down the door of the man who took the money, and demands to see Wayne only to make an entirely different discovery that changes everything — another pregnant, Asian woman, who in age, size and build closely resembles Christine. She too was impregnated by Wayne, and like Christine, she believes her baby is “the one.” But when Tom tells hears about Christine, and that she too is carrying a baby from Wayne, the woman’s reaction is violent, and she goes for a gun and starts shooting, clipping Tom in the hand before he can escape, and drive off. By time he gets back to Christine, she’s already given birth in the bathtub of their grimy apartment, to a baby girl, but Wayne won’t know anytime soon, as Tom has given up on the healing guru, and smashed the cellphone he was given (one of two mobiles destroyed in this week’s episode, weirdly enough).
So is Wayne a healer or fraud? Perhaps he’s a bit of both. Like many cult leaders, he prophesized his own death (in last week’s “Guest“), and seems to have had more than one woman share his bed. And yet, there is something that still seems quite real about Wayne, and his powers, which even the pickup man Tom meets attests worked for him (as he snorts lines of cocaine). But there is also apparently some weight to the authorities’ assertions in “Penguin One, Us Zero,” that Wayne is a lawbreaking huckster with a bit of perverted streak, who has thus far just barely eluded arrest. With the season now headed toward the finale, here’s hoping we get more answers.
And the same goes for Kevin Garvey, who now that he’s ditched the array of pills prescribed to keep him on balance, will either face the true reality of what’s going on around him, or slip into instability. Or perhaps worst of all, to him, he’ll become exactly like his father.