Review: HBO’s The Leftovers – Ep 3 – Two Boats and a Helicopter

By the time this goes up, episode 4 of The Leftovers has probably already aired or is airing. It’s been a hectic week on my end, and this episode was a lot to take in and analyze. That aside, this might be the first time I’ve seen a Protestant denomination portrayed in television in quite a while.

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I’ve let what I’ve seen simmer with me for roughly a week now. A colleague of mine, before the episode aired, flashed me an IGN review on his phone with Matt Fowler giving the episode a perfect score of ten. Naturally, I grew a bit more curious and became more open to the idea of watching episode 3. You could call me a bit weary after witnessing the tsunami of disappointment that was the second episode. The perfect score didn’t phase me as much as it did raise my expectations – I still went in with plenty of skepticism. I had read other reviews and they were basically echoing Fowler’s sentiments, calling it something along the lines of “the best episode yet.”

By far, this channeled the LOST ethos the strongest. “Two Boats and a Helicopter” solely focused on the plight of our beloved Episcopalian reverend/village idiot, Matt Jamison, while other main characters were piecemeal, or just simply non-existent in the episode. Like LOST did, you get your precious hour to attempt to connect and form a bond with the subject. You develop sympathy for the man who’s thrown up and passed out his racy tabloid posters of the Departed. He’s trying to find a connection with how one disappears but he simply cannot find one. He seems distraught that he was not taken so he attempts to reconcile it by airing out the scandalous deeds of whatever “wrongdoers” he can find – he doesn’t want these people viewed and worshiped as heroes. Maybe he wasn’t taken because he was a “good” person? That can’t be it though because his sister, Nora Durst’s, family was taken away, along with babies, children, and other “good-doers” or “innocents.” He’s torn. Not only that, but the man is about to default on his mortgage regarding the church. He needs to come up with over 150K in the matter of a day or else he and his church are toast – a mysterious buyer has come along that the bank cannot fend off.

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“I’d literally rather get crucified right now.”

In a short period of time, we’re able to see why Jamison does the things he does. We’re able to see the other side of the coin. We see his pain and how he’s a human just like everybody else in the town of Mapleton, New York. We’re able to see that he’s not just another William Randolph Hearst. You may not agree with what the man is doing, but he stays true to his standards and values, and I can’t help but respect that. Your heart is going to get broken, and put together again, and broken over and over and over. Jamison is most likely going to persevere as one of the most polarizing characters on this show. The ending to this will leave you angry or perplexed or maybe both.

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Like Father Jamison, I’m hungry for some good material.

Now episode 4, let’s not ruin a good thing here and show us the money.

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