'The Leftovers' Recap: 'Solace for Tired Feet'

By Vincent Lia,
A fridge, a bridge, and a National Geographic

"Solace for Tired Feet" brought the return to Mapleton's most dysfunctional family, the Garveys. The episode kicks off by treating us to some more of the exploits of Jill and her cohorts. This time, they take turns locking each other in an old refrigerator in the woods to see how long they can make the oxygen inside last. As has been mentioned before in these recaps, the depictions of teenage behavior in this show is one of its weak points. If you've already got me on board with the idea that 140 million people all vanished into thin air at once, I shouldn't then be rolling my eyes in disbelief over how the misfit kids pass their time.

Anyway, Jill takes her turn in the fridge and, somewhat predictably, the handle breaks off just as she's running out of air. Her friends do their best to pry it open but, as we learned from the last Indiana Jones movie, those 1950's refrigerators were built to sustain quite the beating. Just as Jill is about to lose consciousness her grandpa, Kevin Sr. (played by the Iggy Pop-doppelganger Scott Glenn), fresh out of escaping his mental hospital, gets the door open.

"Don't tell your father you saw me," he tells her as he makes for it in his long hospital robe.

Wisely, she disobeys his orders and tells her father of her grandfather's escape. Kevin Jr. immediately orders his officers to scour the town for his dad. They all understand the importance of finding their former boss, the last time he was free he burned down the town's library.

Kev Jr. goes directly to the mayor's house to find him. She doesn't know where his father is and informs him they haven't spoken in a month due to his worsening condition. She also suggests that his father is coming for him, not for her.

The next day, Officer Dennis finds Kevin Sr. at the library and, after confronting him, Dennis gets the pulp beaten out of him and Kevin Sr. gets away.

While Chief Garvey is tending to the matters at the library, his father pays a visit to Jill at the Garvey house. After a brief interaction between the two in which Jill shows the rare soft spot for her grandfather, Kevin Jr. shows up and cuffs his father to bring him back to the hospital.

While en route to the hospital, Kev Sr. bails from the car and makes a break for it, handcuffs and all, and escapes through a crowd of Guilty Remnant protestors.

Back at his house, Chief Garvey unearths the jar of money in the backyard that his dad left for Matt, the same one we saw earlier in the season, which puts him on the scent of his father's whereabouts. Kevin heads to the reverend's house, where he finds his wife and a small team organizing GR-protest posters, but no Matt. Kevin then calls Matt from his own house phone and arranges a meeting with his father.

The two meet up at a diner, where Kevin Sr. gives his son a specific issue of National Geographic, the May of 1972 issue, and asks that Kev Jr. accept it, as well as accept the crazy side of himself and let it take him over the way his father has let it take over himself. Chief Garvey declines, and his father is returned to the hospital.

In between all this, Kevin Jr. and Nora's relationship begins to progress. After their fourth date together, Nora invites him back to her place. Upon pulling up to her house, they find a couple of Guilty Remnant, Meg being one of them, lurking outside. Just as Kevin starts telling them to leave, Nora sprays them down with her garden hose. Considering the GR are hateable enough to inspire a stoning, seeing a couple of them get their cigarettes and best white linens dampened just felt good.

"Solace for Tired Feet" also brought us yet another crazy Chief Garvey dream. In this one, he checks on some noise coming from his front yard, only to find the dog hunter inviting him to fire off some rounds at a dog trapped in a mailbox. He turns around and sees Tom standing in the doorway, then over to the bed of dog hunter's pickup to find a slew of bodies of some GR members, one of whom is Laurie. He wakes to find a dog bite on his hand, an angry dog tied up in the backyard, and an interaction with Jill's friend Aimee that he can remember none of.

The same mailbox also presents itself in Tom's portion of the episode. After two months without contact from Wayne, Christine is well into her pregnancy, ill, and shacked up in some less-than stellar living conditions with Tom. In a feverish daze, Christine refers to her baby as "the bridge."

Wayne finally contacts Tom, and gives him instructions to leave $3,000 underneath a certain mailbox. Tom does as he's told, but hangs around to see who picks the money up and follows the recipient back to a motel. At the motel, he finds a young man like himself with a young, pregnant asian girl. The three come to realize they weren't as special or as unique as Wayne had suggested, and wonder how many others there might be. Deeply distraught to learn that her baby wasn't the only "bridge," the girl fires a gun off at Tom, and hits him in the hand as he escapes.

Upon returning home, Tom finds Christine in the bathtub holding her newly delivered baby girl.

"Solace for Tired Feet' is by no means The Leftovers' strongest edition, but it's serviceable. We get a couple of questions answered, and a couple more asked. Are we back to thinking Wayne is the phony we one thought he was? Are Kevin and Laurie truly over each other? And if so, does Kevin no longer have the same incentive to protect the Guilty Remnant? We're in the home stretch now, which is exciting for all who've stuck with the show to this point. Things should really start taking shape and we can begin to finally decide whether to put this whole endeavor under the category "worthy" or "unworthy."

Image courtesy of: Kristin Callahan/ACE/INFphoto.com



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