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The Leftovers -- Season 1
#01 "Pilot" #05 "Gladys" #09 "The Garveys At Their Best"
#02 "Penguin One, Us Zero" #06 "Guest" #10 "The Prodigal Son Returns"
#03 "Two Boats and a Helicopter" #07 "Solace for Tired Feet"
#04 "B.J. and the A.C." #08 "Cairo" Season 2 >>


Penguin One, Us Zero

1x02 KevinQuestioningMeg

SeasonEpisode

12

Air dateJuly 6, 2014

Running time56:12

Production code4X5702

Written byDamon Lindelof & Kath Lingenfelter

Directed byPeter Berg

Images (45)

"Penguin One, Us Zero" is the second episode of Season 1, and overall the second produced hour of The Leftovers. It originally aired on July 6, 2014.

PlotEdit

In the wake of a series of disturbing encounters, Kevin pays a visit to a therapist. Tom finds himself in a precarious situation with Christine, a favorite of Wayne’s. A frustrated Meg is asked to part with pieces of her past. Jill and Aimee tail Nora Durst, who became a local celebrity when her entire family disappeared in the Departure.


1x02 ChristineAtGunpoint

Christine is held at gunpoint.

After deducing that Wayne Gilchrest is a national threat due to his involvement with US congressmen, a unit of ATFEC agents raid his farm in Nevada, killing guards and arresting his groupies. Christine attempts to flee, but is caught and held at gunpoint, with the agent threatening to shoot her if she does not reveal where Wayne is. Tom shoots the agent dead, and hides with Christine underground.

1x02 WayneSayingGoodbye

Wayne says goodbye to Christine and Tom.

The following day, Tom and Christine arrive at a kitchen where they find some of Wayne's followers, dead. Wayne arrives shortly afterwards, and acknowledges Tom's internal anguish following his murder of the ATFEC agent. Wayne suggests to hug the "poison" out of Tom, who refuses, leaving Wayne puzzled and visibly upset. Later that night, Wayne reveals that he must disappear, and leaves Christine under Tom's protection, warning him that she is "everything." He gives Tom a new cellphone, and warns them to never use their ID's. Back in his car, Tom has a mental breakdown when the car dies on them, while Christine promises him that it will be okay, according to Wayne.

In a dream, Kevin is woken up by Aimee in his bed, who leads him outside to a forrest, where the dog-shooter is observing Laurie. As she starts running, Dean shoots, and warns Kevin of a fire that is burning his feet. Kevin wakes up to the sound of fire, and discovers his erratic neighbour burned his Departed brother's belonging along with his fence. Later that day, Kevin is in a session with Anthony, his therapist, who questions him about his mental state, Laurie, and the "Mystery Man" that supposedly shot the dogs along with Kevin. It appears that Dean left before people arrived at the scene. During the meeting, Kevin notices an inflatable penguin, which Anthony explains is for kids who need to use it for aggression. Afterwards, Kevin questions his deputy, Dennis, regarding the search for the Mystery Man's pick-up truck. However, since they do not have a sketch of the man or a name, finding the truck is harder than usual.

Jill and Aimee walk towards a coffee shop, passing by Matt Jamison who hands them a new page from his tabloid publishing, proving that the Departed were not good people. At the coffee shop, the two see Nora Durst, the woman who lost her husband and two children during The Sudden Departure. They notice she has a gun in her purse, and are amused to see her pushing her coffee cup off the table to avoid paying for it, knowing the barista would recognize her and let it go. They decide to skip school and follow her, with Aimee taking Scott and Adam Frost's car, along with them, on the stakeout. As Nora walks out the coffee shop, she comes across Matt, and the two hug.

At the Guilty Remnant Pledge House, where the newest recruits adjust to their news lives, Laurie takes Meg to a nearby forest, where she instructs her to chop down a thick tree with an unsharpened axe. Meg, frustrated, gives up and returns to the Pledge House. She is soon visited by Kevin and Dennis, who respond to a Missing Person report filed by Meg's ex-fiancé, Darren. Kevin questions Meg, who assures him that she is with the G.R. on her own will, and does not need his help. However, she keeps his card. While there, Kevin also reports to another new recruit, Ron Jensen, that his family is looking for him.

CastEdit

AnalysisEdit

Recurring ThemesEdit

  • Dreams: Kevin dreams about Aimee waking him up to hunt G.R. members with Dean.

Cultural References Edit

Trivia Edit

  • The term "Moonie," which the townspeople use to refer to the Guilty Remnant, is a pejorative term used to refer to members of the Unification Church.
  • The G.R.'s obsession with painting things white is an invention of the show.
  • Kevin’s cell phone number is (645) 555-0197.
  • Patti’s unseen message to Kevin appears to include the words “fuck off.”
  • When Patti shuts Laurie’s laptop, Laurie is writing an email: “Dear Sylvia, We know how you’re feeling. You want to understand why you’re feeling that way. But you can’t. We can help. We can help you let go. The Guilty Remnant.”
  • The Mapleton Police Department is located at 2911 Main Street.
  • The disappearing bagel phenomenon apparently happened to writer/executive producer Damon Lindelof while working on the story for this episode.[2] 
  • The TV heard in Kevin’s house before Dean shows up is playing a report about butterfly populations rebounding.[2]

Book to Show Edit

  • Wayne’s last name Gilchrest comes from the novel, as does the “Holy Wayne” moniker. His middle name, Henry, is his departed son’s name in the book. As with Kevin, the show adds a “junior” to the end of Wayne’s name, although this was not specified in the book.
  • Wayne’s backstory is similar to that given in the third chapter of the book, “Special Someone,” including losing his son in the Departure, discovering his alleged power to hug the pain out of people, and his focus on college campuses and youths in his movement. In the book, Wayne is not in hiding; he was arrested in a Philadelphia motel with a fifteen-year-old, but she claims they were “just talking” and the charges are dropped, although the public backlash and embarrassment causes Wayne to move to a remote Oregon ranch. The show modifies this to have him go underground on his Nevada ranch to avoid “eight counts of statutory” in Pennsylvania. 
  • Although the book mentions an “early-morning raid” on Wayne’s ranch by the FBI and Oregon State Police (after one of his teenage “brides,” Anna Ford, runs away and goes public), it appears to have been much less dramatic than the raid on the show. In the book, Wayne is unceremoniously arrested and dragged to court in his pajamas. Wayne going on the run is an invention of the show. Likewise, in the book, Wayne sends Christine to Tom’s San Francisco residence two days before the raid. Tom is not present on the ranch for the raid, and never kills anyone in the book.
  • Wayne “selling his hugs to senators” is an invention of the show.
  • The book, like the show, never depicts what the moment of a person’s Departure actually looked like. The stylized main title sequence shows people floating up toward the sky, a typical visualization of the Rapture in Christian mythology, a concept which a pre-Departure Laurie mocks in the book’s Prologue. The sequence also calls to mind Mapleton’s Monument to the Departed from the book (depicted in the Pilot), which shows a baby floating up from its mother’s arms.
  • Kevin’s dream of Aimee coming into his bedroom is the show’s first reference to Kevin’s attraction to Aimee, a recurring source of internal conflict in the book. In the time between the Pilot and this episode, Aimee appears to have fully moved in with the Garveys, as she has by the beginning of the book (in the book, her mother departed and her stepfather makes inappropriate comments toward her when drunk).
  • The TV message that says, “The old world is gone,” comes from a slideshow the G.R. makes its members watch on Christmas Day in the book, where the caption is similarly displayed over imagery from the “old world.”
  • The “pledge house” is somewhat similar to Blue House in the book, a house for female Trainees and their Trainers, with somewhat more comfortable accommodations than the other dorms. The show’s G.R. seems much more co-ed than in the book, with both men and women staying in the pledge house. In contrast to the book, Laurie does not appear to live in the pledge house with Meg during Meg’s training period. By the time Meg is introduced in the book, she is not permitted to speak, except for a brief period before bed called the Unburdening when Trainee and Trainer are allowed to converse in order to ease the Trainee’s transition. The show’s idea that new members are permitted to speak for several weeks after joining does not come from the book.
  • The ax-cutting ritual is an invention of the show, as is forcing Meg to give up a possession each night (in the book, new G.R. members bring a “memory book” containing photos and memorabilia from their old life, although it not clear if they are permitted to keep these once becoming full-fledged members).  
  • The early portion of Jill and Aimee’s storyline loosely adapts the second book chapter, “A Whole Class of Jills,” including Aimee trying to get Jill to play hooky when Jill has a test and the two stopping into a coffee shop (in the book, it is Dunkin’ Donuts). However, the show diverges from the book when they encounter Nora. In the chapter, the Frost brothers try to pick the girls up and Aimee goes with them, with Jill choosing to go to school late even though she has missed her test. The show loosely adapts this into the girls hijacking the Frosts’ Prius.
  • Nora being close with Matt Jamison comes from the book, although it will be revealed in the next episode that the circumstances of their relationship are very different on the show from the book.
  • Meg asking for a cigarette is a departure from the book’s character, who hates cigarettes, with Laurie having to force them into her mouth at first.
  • Laurie’s “not a cult” note calls to mind a line from Laurie’s thoughts in the book: “The G.R. wasn’t a cult, as lots of ignorant people liked to claim.”
  • Kevin executing a search warrant at the G.R. compound calls to mind the botched search warrant execution in the book, when the police were looking for two little girls their “embittered, noncustodial” father claimed had been abducted, which led to G.R. members throwing rocks and bottles, and cops responding by fatally shooting G.R. member Phil Crowther. Following this, Kevin as mayor brokers a truce, with the police only accessing the G.R. complex for emergency situations. In the book, following Crowther's "martyrdom" (which seemingly did not happen in the show), the G.R. refuses to even let the police in for a murder investigation, and Kevin convinces the investigators not to use subpoenas or search warrants due to his priority on keeping tensions down, in contrast to the show where they seem to regularly check in looking for missing persons.
  • Meg’s last name, Abbott, is different from the book, where her last name is Lomax. In the book, Laurie has a former close friend named Miranda Abbott, who is mentioned during Meg’s first appearance in the book near the beginning of the chapter “Vow of Silence,” as Laurie and Meg review folders about various Mapleton residents.
  • The email Laurie is sending to someone named Sylvia calls to mind the outreach done in the book by Jill’s former fourth grade teacher Holly Maffey, who initiates an IM conversation with Jill to try to recruit her to the G.R.
  • In the book, the Frosts graduated the prior year but still hang out around the high school. In the show, they are still attending school (with Scott complaining that they are missing first period).
  • The federal government providing a departure benefit is a detail from the book (called a “survivor’s benefit” in the book, it is said that the government stepped in after insurance companies ruled the Departure an “Act of God”). Nora receives such a benefit, which is supporting her in the book, and she is currently not working. Nora’s job with the DSD is an invention of the show.
  • In the book, Nora develops a fixation with her departed son Jeremy’s favorite show SpongeBob Squarepants, watching episodes twice a day and writing journal entries about them. Similarly, in the show, she appears to listen to an album by the children’s cartoon group the Chipmunks in the car.
  • Darren says he postponed his wedding for three years for Meg. In the book, Meg and her fiancé Gary postpone their wedding after the Departure, primarily because Meg does not feel right getting married without her departed mother present.
  • Darren’s tirade is reminiscent of Gary’s reaction when Meg and Laurie come to his house on Christmas Day in the book.
  • Wayne’s implied bisexuality is an invention of the show, as is Tom refusing to let Wayne take his pain. In the book, Wayne hugged Tom when Tom first attended one of Wayne’s lectures, and the experience was a large part of the reason Tom became a devoted follower.
  • Wayne having told Christine everything is going to be okay is a detail from the book.
  • The character of Kevin Senior is an invention of the show. In the book, both of Kevin's parents are deceased, and Kevin is said to have inherited a chain of liquor megastores. In the book, Kevin lives in a house he bought after selling the business, whereas in the show he lives in his father’s old house. 

Music Edit

  • "The Leftovers (Main Title Theme)" by Max Richter makes its debut
  • "Shoe Fits" by Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes (playing in the coffee shop when Jill and Aimee enter)
  • "Family Circles" by Max Richter (Kevin talks to Meg)
  • "Thank God for Sinners" by Ty Segall (playing in the Frosts' Prius as Jill and Aimee tail Nora)
  • "Alone" by Ty Segall (playing in the Frosts' Prius as Aimee goes into Nora's car)
  • "Dona Nobis Pacem 2" by Max Richter (end of episode: Kevin opens the bagel warmer; Meg chops the tree)

Goofs Edit

  • A May 2014 calendar is visible next to Kevin when he talks to Darren, clearly incompatible with the winter weather.

References Edit

  1. Damon Lindelof on 'The Leftovers' Finale, the Show's Future and His ...https://www.nytimes.com/.../damon-lindelof-on-the-leftovers-finale-the-shows-future-...
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.watchingtheleftovers.com/blog/2014/7/9/penguin-one-us-zero-questions-answered