Quick Hits: The Good Wife, Homeland, Fargo, The Leftovers, & Quantico

Quantico, The Good Wife, Homeland, The Leftovers, Fargo, and Blindspot are all on my current list of shows that I try not to miss. However with my taking to the friendly skies in 16 hours. I’ll have to give these shows less than they deserve. Instead of full reviews, I’ll give you some highlights (if I can find any) , and mostly low-lights, as well as some golly gee moments  and mostly some gripes.[Edit] I am now in Minnesota, and despite the early beginning and the long day – these quick hits are still – a work in progress, and more meaningful, not so quick. Let’s start now,

The-Leftovers

The Leftovers –

Everybody is wondering what and where they all came from
Everybody is worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go
When the whole thing’s done
But no one knows for certain
And so it’s all the same to me
Think I’ll just let the mystery be

While those are the lyrics to the Iris Dement song, which also is heard behind the opening credits of The Leftovers second season on HBO,

I think those words are indeed at the heart of what this series is about. Which is to say and very much as the lyrics do – that I’m not sure, and I’m not in  a minority when I say this..

In Episode 3, called Off-Ramp, we meet Laurie (Amy Brenneman). Nowadays, Laurie is out of the Guilty Remnant (GR). as is her son Tommy. Together they are working to destabilize the GR. Laurie is writing a tell-all book about her time in the GR, and Tommy ostensibly remains in, as an undercover. His job is bring out some folks from the grip of GR, and Laurie’s job is that she runs a group therapy which helps people deal with the aftermath of the departures. Her real task is to help those folks recover.

Laurie looks and sounds like she’s not only made progress herself, but the episode implies that the counseling work the group does is both meaningful and is actually helping people cope. Laurie may be out the GY physically, but she still has the silence of the GR, and the menace of GR, within her. So much so that it is almost as if the GR is choking the life out of Laurie.

There are three major shocks in the episode, and their interpretation is up to the viewer. Brenneman was great in this episode, and she finally has become a character in the fullest sense.

But the underlying theme, or what lies at the heart of The Leftovers is that all the remaining people still need answers, and are not getting them. I was disappointed in this episode as it showed that while Laurie may be out of the GR, she’s no where’s near being even close to being a fully realized person.

Speaking something else not realized at all this time, was Jarden, aka Miracle, Texas. So they spent two episodes setting up Jarden for us – with all of its scars, and blemishes, and secrets only to abandon the whole place this. Why?

I’ve no idea so I’ll just let that mystery be…

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The Leftovers 2×02 – A Matter of Geography – Theories Which I Can’t Prove & Questions I Can’t Answer

The Leftovers second episode of the second season, called A Matter of Geography, didn’t offer much in the way of solid answers to all the questions. It was more like some answers to some questions. However, on balance, the arrival of Kevin Garvey and Nora and baby Lily, as well as Kevin’s nearly adult daughter, Jill, to the world of Jarden, Texas – serves to show that they’ve arrived in a place that is an even stranger world than the one they left in Mapleton, NY.

First of all, Jarden seems like it is run more like a city under martial law. Every thing is nearly under a form of lockdown. People need permits, passes, and ID bracelets just to get around. I understood the quarantine of the dog, but what I didn’t understand was why did Nora bid so extravagantly for a house that was just a few levels above abandoned and might seriously be called a fixer-upper.

The new money pit aka home sweet home

Some have said that she wanted to feel secure and safe. But did she buy a money-pit?

Now former Sheriff Kevin and family left Mapleton because he was going mad over his involvement with Patti’s Levin’s death. He even dug up her corpse and went out of his way to get stopped by the Smokey, so he would be found driving around with a corpse in his truck.

This isn't the yellow brick road, and where they're heading is not the Emerald City

This isn’t the yellow brick road, and where they’re heading is not the Emerald City

But the state troopers and the cult coppers seemed more than pleased, as they could clear the case of a missing person. Thanks, Kevin they said – you can go now. So they headed out to Jarden with their U-Haul. They had rented a house. They thought once they had cleared something that was closer to arriving at US Border Passport and Immigration Control, than a small town in Texas, things would get better.

I means what is up with this town –  is there gold in the streets or oil beneath the town?

But things were stranger here. Oh that house you rented, it burned down. Was that Isaac’s house? We got no answer to that. But they were out the money that had deposited for the rental.

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The Leftovers – HBO Series Begins Its Second Season Drenched in Mysteries

Like a needle in a haystack….

Somewhere, in the Season 2 premier of HBO’s The Leftovers, called Axis Mundi, there is a story. I make this comment because the season opener kept tossing mysteries at us, one after the other. It wasn’t so much confusing as it was bewildering.

If you recall The Leftovers from last year, we were told that on a particular day, 2% of the world’s population vanished. The people were not killed, or died in the natural sense – they simply vanished from the face of the earth. Season One was located in Mapleton, New York – a suburb of New York City, and the stories we watched, concerned a group of people that remained – The Leftovers.

This season begins in a place that would become Jarden, or Miracle, Texas. The place is called Miracle because, for reasons unknown, this town did not lose any of its population. In short there were no departures.

But when we first ‘arrive’ in this place, we are not in the present, or the near future. We are back in time – so far back, that we are in the pre-historic era – aka the caveman era.  In fact the first people we see are asleep in a cave around a fire.

One woman, who happens to be pregnant, gets up during the night to go out for a nocturnal pee. While she is out of the cave, there is an earthquake. Which somehow manages to completely seal off the entrance to the cave. Soon after the woman gives birth to a son. Soon after that, while foraging for food, she hears the baby crying, as a snake is slithering over the baby’s body, and she rushes back. She is able to save the baby, but in the process is bitten by the snake. The snake’s venom is poisonous, and the woman will soon die. But her baby is found alive by another woman.

The location is a pond or watering hole.

In an instant we are brought into the current era, and a number of girls are swimming in the water at this very same location.

1) Why start with the caveman era
2) What was the purpose of the birds which we saw circling in the air in the cavemen period, then we will see another significant bird later in the show, under a strange circumstance.
3) Was the snake symbolic of something?

So we are now in the present. Starting with cavemen and then turning it into the present seemed reminiscent of Kubrick’s 2001 when the ape tossed a bone in the air and it became a space ship.

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