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Review: ‘The Leftovers’ Season 2 Episode 9 ‘Ten Thirteen’ Builds Suspense With Answers

Review: 'The Leftovers' Season 2 Episode 9 'Ten Thirteen' Builds Suspense With Answers

Well, hello there Evie! Tom may not know who you are — thus lacking any grasp on the magnitude of his discovery — but we sure do. And boy, do we have a few questions for you. 

Much like last season’s penultimate episode (“The Garveys at Their Best”), “Ten Thirteen” provided a lot of background we didn’t know we needed. Meg got her time to shine after only a single brief (but memorable) appearance earlier in the year, starting with her life-changing lunch the day before the departure, then running us all the way up to present day. Meg has not only gone AWOL from the Guilty Remnant, but is orchestrating a violent “reminder” for October 14 — and only Tom can stop it. 

With a surprising number of cast members cleverly and carefully integrated into Meg’s story, “Ten Thirteen” unveiled a threat possibly more potent than what caused Season 1’s fiery finale. More importantly, it gave proper motivation to our villain; something co-creators Tom Perrotta and Damon Lindelof have taken the time to establish from the start. It’s no coincidence that Patti left the show last week, and now we have a new (but familiar) enemy to fear the very next episode. The puzzle pieces are starting to click into place. Next week we’ll see the whole picture, and — after an exquisitely crafted season so far, following up a perfect Season 1 — I’m betting it will be a thing of beauty. 

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: Review: ‘The Leftovers’ Season 2 Episode 8 ‘International Assassin’ Absolutely Kills It

Facts

1. Evie did not depart.
As we’ve been predicting for some time now, Evie is, in fact, alive. Now before we go patting ourselves on the back too hard, there’s no way anyone would guess she was living outside of town in a compound run by ex-(?)Guilty Remnant members and that she had become a lady in white herself! That, to put it lightly, is freaking nuts! After hearing her conversation with Meg, the transition makes perfect sense. (Give credit to Lindelof and Perrotta for keeping it to themselves and unveiling it so naturally.) Fed up with seeing thousands of citizens poor into her town looking for salvation only to go home even more upset than when they arrived, an impressionable teen could easily be swayed to thinking the GR has the right idea. Don’t live in denial. Embrace the pain to overcome it. And in doing so, show everyone what Miracle is really about. Hopefully Tommy, Kevin, Nora, Erika or even John can talk some sense into her next week, before it’s too late. 

2. Isaac was the real deal.
Oh, Isaac. I’m so glad to see you again, and I was equally excited to learn that you’re as real as psychics can get. We don’t need to know what Meg’s mom said to know Isaac knew the truth. Yes, it’s reassuring for fans of Darius McCrary and his empathetic Isaac, but it’s also a nice win for the believers in a week that grounded things in reality. Last week went further into the “other world” as we’ve ever gone, giving those who wanted to believe in the unbelievable weight to their claims, so it makes sense that this week would tip the scales back in the other direction. Evie didn’t depart. Tommy doesn’t have healing hugs. Meg is literally threatening to kill people. But, hey, at least Isaac has a pure gift. 

3. Meg took credit for the best knock-knock joke ever.
…and in doing so, she formed a bond with Evie that was never broken. How the two remained in contact over the years (or reestablished contact down the road) is a bit of a mystery, but the “why” was explained with Evie’s parting words. “I’m sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for here. No one ever does.” For a woman who’s trapped in the “angry” stage of recovery, hearing that no one who comes to Miracle is satisfied with their trip had to set Meg off. From that moment forward, she’s been getting more and more upset, pushing her limits (via denial) and then those of her adopted organization. The Guilty Remnant’s mission is to remind people of what happened, not punish them for forgetting. Meg, who had her grief hijacked (as we learned last season when Matt distributed those fateful flyers), wants revenge on society for ignoring and diminishing her pain. We’ll find out next week how, exactly, she exacts her revenge, which leads us to…

Questions

1. Is Meg going to kill Evie?
Here’s what we know: Meg thinks putting “my cigarette out in their fucking eye” is a better reminder than simply smoking it. She’s not afraid to target children, even if she didn’t actually blow up that school bus. She’s been contacting various heads of local GR chapters, enlisting others with a similar mentality, and there are rumors she’s purchased plastic explosives. When asked if she was planning her own action for October 14, Meg’s mind flashed to a silver trailer sitting on the bridge that leads inside Miracle National Park. That same trailer, or one very similar to it, was being protected with extreme paranoia by a group of GR members (or former GR members-turned-Meg-followers). Within that trailer is Evie and her friends. So…is Evie soon to be a not-so-living reminder?

2. Is Meg about to kill Matt?
Perhaps the most satisfying confrontation in an episode packed with tense verbal back-and-forths was when Matt surprised Meg at the campsite outside of Miracle. The last time the two saw each was rather rough, making it somewhat surprising Meg would even speak to the man she beat bloody in Season 1. Yet Meg has proven herself remarkably patient and convincingly duplicitous. Her conversation with Matt indeed was not “entirely honest,” as Matt eventually figured out. Still, even with his suspicions, Matt is ever gullible faithful when given the opportunity to believe there’s good in his fellow man. If he trusts Meg to lead him and anyone else in the camp back into town (as she eluded to when saying, “You’re waiting for me”), they all may pay the ultimate price. 

3. Why did Meg bring Tommy to the compound?
Or, another way to pose the question: Is Meg a master of manipulation, or does she just think she is? I’m guessing the next thing that happens to troubled Tommy — after getting the trailer door slammed in his face by Evie — is he gets another beating from the GR members. He’ll probably be held captive, or at least he should be kept on the compound. Otherwise, he’s close enough to warn people of what’s coming. Does Meg think he wouldn’t do that? Does she think he’s so upset with his mother and so burdened by his pain that he’s willing to take it out on the innocent? Maybe she could believe that if he’s thrown the stone she gave him at the captured biker, but he didn’t. He walked away. So what’s her master plan? Clearly she wanted to get as much information about his family as she could, hence the road trip. He could be some sort of bargaining chip when she’s confronted by/she confronts Laurie and/or Kevin. That would be my guess, but her abrupt dismissal of him is a bit confounding.

Theories

1. Tommy will save the day.
Don’t ask me how he’s going to do it — he could play along with Meg’s plan, try to sneak into town to find his Dad or many other options — but Tommy will not let Meg go through with her plan. Even if she’s not going to blow up Evie and her friends, she is intent on killing somebody(s). And while Tommy may be lost, desperate and oddly infatuated with Meg, he’s killed before and didn’t like the taste of it. He’s not going to do it again, no matter what price he must pay.

2. No one will die.
Call it unsubstantiated optimism, but I don’t think anyone is going to cross over to the other side in next week’s season finale. If Kevin can survive being buried alive, then surely the Garveys and Murphys can come together to defeat a renegade group of Guilty Remnant members from blowing up a bridge. (But just to be safe…*knocks on wood*)

3. The Garveys will reunite!
We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it at least one more time: The original four Garvey family members — Kevin, Laurie, Jill and Tommy — will reunite before season’s end. Again, they’re all painfully close to each other, proximity-wise, leading up to the season finale. Again, they’re all in search of family, forgiveness and hope. But this time, they’re actually being driven together by external forces. Evie is the connecting piece for them all. Kevin needs to find her to prove his innocence. Tommy needs to save her, and Laurie needs to save Tommy. Jill is a bit more passive, but her romantic connection to Michael — as well as obvious familial obligations — should keep her in the mix. Plus, she’s the only one who knows how to contact Tommy. Get ready, folks. We’ve been waiting two years for this, and I’d bet my weight in pennies it’s going to happen (keep in mind, writers don’t make much these days). Also, just to be clear, I’m not saying Kevin and Laurie will get back together. Nora will be back, too (I hope).

Grade: A

READ MORE: ‘The Leftovers’ Tom Perrotta on Taking Kevin to the ‘Other Side’ and If There Will Be a Season 3

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