Josh recaps Season 1 Episode 6 of The Leftovers, titled Guest, which revolves around Nora, and her job at the DSD. We learn she has some inner demons she is battling despite the calm exterior we have seen so far. But can Wayne help her out? Check out how those two connect in this week’s episode recap for The Leftovers!
Don’t need the The Leftovers episode recap for The Leftovers? Click here to jump directly to Violet’s thoughts on the episode!
To see Josh’s thoughts on this week’s The Leftovers episode, Guest, click here to get directly there!
Episode Recap of The Leftovers, Season 1 Episode 6: Guest
The Leftovers begins with Nora finishing up another of her claims for DSD, then creepily watching some kids at a school, and their teacher–the teacher who probably slept with her husband, and buying a wide variety of cereals at the market, restocking her shelves at home. Then she makes the decision to hire a prostitute. But what Nora wants is something different than what you would think—she pays the hooker to shoot her. Nora puts on a Kevlar vest, and puts some heavy metal music on–then screams at the hooker until she shoots her. She falls back unconscious onto an air mattress. The hooker flees, and Nora reawakens.
Later, Nora has decided to divorce her departed husband. She decides to keep the same last name though. On her way out, she bumps into Kevin, who ironically is also there for a divorce. She spontaneously invites him to Miami, which turns really awkward real quick. She apologizes and turns and leaves quickly.
Heading to work, she meets with her boss, and Nora is supposed to be going to a panel discussing her job. The boss asks her about a specific question on the questionnaire she reads to potential benefactors, number 121–but we are kept in the dark as to what the question is. She seems to have 100% “yes” answers to that question from who she has interviewed, which is odd according to her boss.
Nora heads out to the conference, and outside the hotel, there are numerous protestors. She checks in to her hotel, and heads to registration for the conference she is attending. Her attendance badge is oddly missing, and she is forced to take a “guest” badge. Nora is a bit miffed, but the woman who helped her is not able to provide any assistance.
She checks the sign in sheet, and sees someone has signed in as her name. She heads into a lecture, and spots a familiar woman. The woman flees, to the bathroom, and Nora confronts her. Turns out to be someone she had insulted last year.
She heads to the elevator, and winds up on the “party wagon”, and is taken to a suite to party. She gets pretty drunk, and hopped up on some pills. At the party, she meets a guy named Marcus who makes mannequins in the image of the departed for a living, and makes out with a mannequin that looks like Marcus. She parties the night away, and wakes up the next morning pretty hungover. She gets a knock on the door from security, who accuses her of trashing a mirror in the bar of the hotel, and tosses her.
She heads to a bathroom, cleans herself up, and attempts to sneak back in. Unfortunately, she is caught pretty quickly. She is taken to the head of security, who doesn’t believe Nora’s story. Nora asks to be let into her panel, to prove that someone is impersonating her. The man agrees, and they head down, walking into the panel that has already begun, and a woman is sitting in Nora’s seat, wearing her badge.
Nora calls the woman out just as the panel is about to get underway. The woman immediately admits she is not Nora, and begins her tirade against the DSD–Department of Sudden Departures–the place Nora works. The woman is escorted out as she screams her beliefs.
Later that evening, Nora is at the bar, drinking when she is talked to by a man–who turns out to be an author of a book who lost four people. His book was given away at the convention. But Nora isn’t having anything he is selling. She screams at him, until he leaves, then she leaves herself.
On her way out, an older man approaches her, and asks her, “Do you want to feel this way?” He offers to her to prove that the author she screamed at is a fraud, which winds up having her following him into an apartment. Turns out it is $1000 to get the answers about what happened to this author. She obliges, and that is when she meets Wayne–the hugger. He hugs her, and seemingly sucks the pain away.
She heads home, and resumes her life, seemingly happier. At home, Kevin shows up. He asks her out to dinner.
She continues her work, asking her questionnaires. We see #121, which asks if the “Departed” is in a better place. The woman answers no. Nora’s first “no” to 121.
Josh’s Thoughts: The Leftovers, Season 1 Episode 6: Guest
This was an intense episode of Nora focused episode of The Leftovers, and a very interesting one. I like these episodes where we focus on one character, learning more about what makes them tick in this new world. She certainly has had a lot of baggage since the “Departure”, since all of her family disappeared except for her. It is no wonder she turned to nefarious ways to dealing with it, such as having herself shot to dull the mental anguish.
The real question this episode is this: Does Wayne’s “hug-power” actually work? I thought he was running a scam prior to this episode, but maybe there is some magical touch with Wayne. If he does have some “magical” touch, what does that make him? Is he an angel? Does he have something to do with the Departed that we don’t know about yet? We already know he has a cult, but there has to be more to him than that if he actually can hug the mental pain away. I am curious to see Nora’s progress through the show, to see if the pain is actually gone, or what.
The other big thought I had this episode, was the significance of question 121, and what exactly Nora’s involvement with that question was. When Nora was getting all yeses to that question, was she influencing her interviewees to say yes? Or was it that Nora was reflecting herself so much in the questions, she marked yes herself? Unfortunately, we will not know, as we did not see anyone else asked that question prior to the woman at the end of this episode.
It looks like moving forward, we will see some relationship form between Kevin and Nora. They both got divorced on the same day, it must be fate, right?
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 6 of The Leftovers: Guest
I liked this episode a lot. Not only did it focus on one character, Nora (like the last episode I liked a lot which focuses on one character, Matt), but we also got to see what is going on in the world outside of the small town of Mapleton, New York, or whatever place Tom happens to travel to. Here, we got to see how things look in NYC. I liked that we got to know Nora a lot better. Before, she just seemed like some weird woman. Okay, so she still seemed weird this episode, but in an interesting way.
When that guy brought her to that apartment, and then into that room where Wayne was, for a second I thought that the truth behind the author’s fraud was that he didn’t lose all the people he claimed to have lost at all, and that he was actually hiding them away somewhere, and that this man sitting in the corner was one of his family members. But then I quickly realized it was Wayne. Wayne? What a tie-in! I never expected his path to cross with Nora’s. And she’d never even heard of him or his ability to hug the pain away. What is up with his hugging power? It’s just another one of those examples in this show where it’s mostly reality, but then just a hint of the supernatural going on. Had Nora actually heard of him, then I would be less reluctant to say that he had any real power, and might lean towards the explanation of a self-fulfulling prophecy – that people believe Wayne can hug the pain away, and so their subconscious makes it happen. But Nora was not a believer, and it seems that Wayne’s hug worked on her. When she returned home, it appeared that she had finally moved forward with her life.
I’m not sure what the significance of Question #121 was though, or why she kept getting only “yes” answers, until after her session with Wayne. Was it merely a coincidence, or something more? How could she have influenced people to answer “yes” before in such a way that they no longer feel compelled to answer “yes”? We’ve seen her in action before, asking questions of the elderly couple who lost a mentally handicapped son, and she seemed to ask each question in a straightforward manner. So I’m curious as to why the sudden change?
In any case, I’m liking this show a lot, even though it seems like we’re just left with more and more questions!
Scenes from The Leftovers, Episode 7, Solace for Tired Feet
Here are scenes from next week’s The Leftovers episode titled Solace for Tired Feet: