Violet recaps Season 1 Episode 3 of The Leftovers, which focuses on Father Matt Jamison, played by Christopher Eccleston, who is trying to do everything he can to save his church. Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts on the episode.
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Episode Recap of The Leftovers, Season 1 Episode 3: Two Boats and a Helicopter
The episode begins with Father Matt Jamison, played by Christopher Eccleston, delivering a sermon at his Episcopal church. Meanwhile, as we hear the voiceover of the sermon, we get flashes of him cleaning the church, and seeing two members of the G.R. standing outside. Then we see that the church has only a handful of people there. A man enters and punches Matt in the nose, then crams a flyer reading “She Sold Drugs” into Matt’s mouth.
Later at the hospital, a police officer spells out what happened: the guy who punched Matt must have known the girl on the flyer and didn’t appreciate what Matt had to say about her. Kevin Garvey takes over when Matt says he’s not going to press charges. It seems that the two know each other, and that Matt may have been friends with Kevin’s dad.
When Matt gets on the elevator, he receives a phone call from FDR Bank, but rejects it. He then goes to the hospital room of the girl that his church prayed for that morning, and learns that she’s okay, and that she’s now gone, as she woke up last night.
Matt returns to the church, and has a message on his answering machine from FDR Bank. As he’s cleaning up, a man enters and asks Matt to baptize his baby. Matt performs the baptism, but the man asks to keep it confidential. The man does offer up some information about his co-worker who disappeared on October 14 who gambled away his paychecks and cleaned out his kid’s college fund.
Matt goes to the casino to investigate this man, and convinces a pit boss to help him. While there, some pigeons land on a Roulette table, and the dealer has to shoo them away. Matt returns to the church office and prints out flyers about the man.
Matt goes to his car, and finds two G.R. members standing nearby. He gives them a box of donations and tells them to tell Patti that she’s wasting her time. He gets back in his car and receives a call from FDR Bank. He tries to decline it, but it answers anyway. Jim asks him to stop by the bank. He does, and Jim tells Matt that there’s been an offer on the church. Apparently the bank had already foreclosed on the church, but Jim had told him he could stay as long as no buyers came forward. Jim tells Matt that the only way he can keep the church is to come up with $135,000 before the end of the day tomorrow.
Matt goes to Nora Durst’s house. It turns out she is his sister. He asks to borrow the money. She is offended that he wants her to use the benefit money she received for her husband and children, but tells him if he stops making his paper, then she’ll give him the money. He gets defensive, then tells her that her husband was having an affair with the kids’ preschool teacher, and has receipts from the hotel, but that he’ll never publish that story. She tells him to get out.
Matt returns home to find Roxanna, the caregiver, upset that he hasn’t paid her in 3 weeks. She says she can’t do this anymore if he doesn’t pay her. It turns out his wife, Mary, is a vegetable. He lovingly gives her a bath and gets her ready for bed. He puts out a cot for himself and lays down next to her and breaks down crying. Then he looks at art on his ceiling and has a sudden idea. He calls Roxanna back over, and tells her that when he gets back he’ll pay her everything he owes her.
Matt heads over to Kevin’s backyard, and finds Lorrie on the swingset. He says that Kevin’s dad left something there for him. She writes a note asking Matt not to tell Kevin she was there. He digs up a wad of cash and a flyer about a corrupt Judge. After he leaves, he comes to a red light and there are three pigeons sitting on top.
He goes to the casino and changes out the money for chips – $20,000 worth of chips to be exact. He goes to play on the Roulette table where he saw the pigeons sitting, and bets it all on red. It comes up as Red 3. A couple comes to the table. Matt bets red again, though the woman bets against him. Matt wins again. Then a third time and wins, giving him a total of $160,000. He cashes out. When he goes back to his car, the man that was at his table tries to rob him, but Matt beats him up pretty bad.
Matt goes back to Kevin’s backyard and returns the $20,000 he took. Then he takes down street signs containing the name of the Judge that was on the flyer he had dug up.
As he drives down the road, he sees some kids drive by and throw large rocks at members of the G.R. He gets out of his car to see if they’re okay, then the kids back up and pelt a large rock at Matt’s head, knocking him out.
He has a vision of himself walking into a filled church. Then suddenly he’s at the doctor’s office, and the doctor tells him he sorry but, “it’s spreading.” He gets a flashback to when his parents died in a house fire when his sister was 7. Then we see a flashback to October 14. He and his wife were in a car accident when someone disappeared while driving, and ran into them. Then there’s a sex scene of him and his wife, but the wife turns into Lorrie, then the other G.R. woman, and the bed catches on fire.
Matt wakes up in a hospital bed. He asks the nurse what time it is: 4:30. He rushes over to where he left his car. The money is still there. Then he hurries over to the bank, but it has just closed, and the security guard tries to shoo him away. However, Jim lets him in. Matt tries to give Jim the money, but Jim breaks the bad news: it’s too late. Matt came in on Monday, but today is Thursday. The buyer already took possession yesterday.
Matt walks over to the church and sees G.R. members painting it white. He and Patti exchange a long stare.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 3 of The Leftovers: Two Boats and a Helicopter
I have to say, this was my favorite episode of the season so far. Admittedly, I might be a little biased, being that I am a big Doctor Who fan and Christopher Eccleston was my first Doctor, so he holds a special place in my heart. But even if that wasn’t true, I felt that Christopher Eccleston did an amazing job this episode. Even though this episode really only focused on one character, this was the first episode that really captured my attention from beginning to end. I found myself rooting for Matt, though my heart sank when he woke up in that hospital bed because I knew it would be too late, despite all his efforts.
Before this, we only see Matt’s character as some sort of crazy religious fanatic guy, which is honestly the only capacity I thought we’d really see him in, but this episode we get to know him a lot better, and see what his motivations are. It’s so tragic that his wife was made a vegetable as a result of the events of October 14 when a car’s driver vanished and thus the car crashed into their own. It makes you wonder how many other people who disappeared were driving at the time, and what other dangerous tasks the departed were doing when they vanished. So far, other than this, we haven’t really encountered any stories where someone’s disappearance directly caused harm to others, though you know it must have been a common occurrence.
I also was a little off about why I thought he was putting out these flyers, or his “paper” as his sister, Nora referred to it. I had thought he was trying to distribute these flyers to prove that lots of people who disappeared on October 14 were actually bad people, and that therefore this couldn’t be the Rapture, because only good people would be taken in the Rapture, so this couldn’t be God’s work. That would make sense because it seems like people have left the church since they figure they weren’t good enough for God to take up in the Rapture, so why bother? Or if God took their loved ones, then why would they want to worship him any longer? But it seems more like he’s trying to prove that everyone who disappeared were not the “heroes” as they are being portrayed as, and that he wants to separate the bad people from the innocent people.
Interestingly, we find out that Kevin’s wife, Lorrie, apparently likes to hang out in his back yard at night. I wonder how often she does that, or if this was actually the first time? Maybe his drunken visit made her rethink her decision to join the G.R.? It seems like she really misses her family and wants to come home, but this is the closest she can get. I also wonder how easy it is to leave the G.R. once you join.
Speaking of the G.R., why do they want the church so bad anyway? Did they just want the land because it was cheap? Or did they purposely target the church because they want to eradicate God and religious beliefs? Hopefully we’ll get to learn more about the G.R. and their agenda soon.
From the preview for the next episode, it looks like we’ll be back to the format of the first two episodes, where we mostly follow Kevin and his family, but get a mix of characters. I was kind of hoping that we’d start to focus on different characters individually and get to know them better. But maybe we’ll return to that in the future.
In any case, I felt like this was a very well done episode all around. Well, except for the part when some upbeat music starts playing when Matt was returning the money to the spot where he dug it up. That just felt weird and out of place.
Josh’s Thoughts: The Leftovers, Season 1 Episode 3: Two Boats and a Helicopter
This was a rough episode of The Leftovers. Matt Jamison seems to have fallen on tough times since his parents have passed. He seems bent on proving that the people taken were not all good people, perhaps to prove that there is hope for the people left behind–the leftovers. It surely doesn’t seem like a Christian thing to do, in my opinion though. I would think that a Christian would take it on faith that what ever caused the “Rapture” happened for a reason, and that faith would be his driving force. Not the desire to prove something to be untrue.
He sure does have a rough journey this episode though. He gets hit with the foreclosure, comes up with a brilliant plan to save the church, wins a massive amount of cash, is robbed, then kills said robber, gets a concussion from chucked rock, and manages to lose the church due to being unconscious at the time of the church’s sale. I would be pretty furious if that was me.
The kicker is who took his church from him–the GR immediately begin painting his beloved church. I have a feeling Mr. Jamison is not too happy to see this going on. He has his money though. Perhaps he will buy another church. I really enjoyed watching his character this episode. Hopefully we get to see more of it.
Scenes from The Leftovers, Season 1 Episode 4, B.J. and the A.C.
Here are scenes from the next episode of The Leftovers, titled B.J. and the A.C.: