Unlike the past episodes of The Leftovers, this episode focuses on a concept of closure but not in a way you’d expect. Like episode 3, “Two Boats and a Helicopter,” which focused on the oh-so lovable Matt Jamison (and calling back to its ancestor, LOST), “Guest” explores the inner machinations of Nora Durst’s character and no one else.
Unfortunately, this episode does continue the trend of disregarding any real sense of continuity, however Carrie Coon has been given her chance to really shine. She shows Nora Durst to be stone cold, merciless yet vulnerable. We see Nora drop her iron curtain-tier guard multiple times during the episode, in some instances they require a large suspension of disbelief… of course, if you’ve been keeping up with this show, you’ve had to have had willing suspension of disbelief this whole time to even tolerate the events that have transpired within this show’s span. The beginning to this episode definitely comes in at the second strangest thus far. We see Nora Durst having a night in, with her flipping through her town’s rag; the kind of rag with numerous advertisements regarding “massage therapists.” Nora decides to give one of these numbers a call and what’s seen next is something that makes 50 Shades of Grey look like child’s play. After the encounter with the escort (by the way, she ends up paying her three grand), she goes to work the next morning like nothing has happened and then she heads down to New York City to speak at the second annual DROP (Departure Related Occupations and Practices) where we see a face that’s been keeping scarce. One observation that stuck out to me is the fact that you see Guilty Remnant around the event and Nora’s encounter with one of them will leave a mark – are the GR possibly a national or international phenomenons?
“Guest,” in the end, showcases Carrie Coon’s acting abilities and it does re-instill some faith in me that this show is going to redeem itself hopefully by the end of the season. You’re kept on your toes and you get to see the humanity in some people (especially Nora) who have less than appetizing jobs in the eyes of the public and otherwise. Aside from the pilot, this is the only other episode I watched multiple times (one time in Spanish). It didn’t quite elucidate anything for me, but the character of Nora, to me, is that interesting to watch. Were Nora’s actions brought on solely because of her surface anonymity as the “Guest” or was this a lapse in judgment? We’ll most likely never know. In the coming episodes, I hope to see much, much, more of her and what she’s going to do after her life-changing, and expensive, encounter.