Review: HBO’s The Leftovers Ep 5 – “Gladys”

Oh, Gladys… Couch Co-op readers, I had this episode kind of spoiled for me a couple weeks before it even aired after a hapless Google image search to get some great pictures for one of my esteemed television reviews. Mind you, when I saw this I was extremely confused because it almost seemed too great of a photoshop and I didn’t understand how that picture already leaked. Whatever, we’re moving forward.

"The pizza is here."
“The pizza is finally here.”

The big event of the show happens within the first couple of minutes and it’s brutal to watch. If you can read context clues, I bet you already know what it involves. I’ll put it this way: remember Walter White’s… cleaning up of the jail? Take that montage and intensify that by about ten fold and you’ll get the first scene in this episode.

Look at those eyebrows.

I came out of this with mixed feelings – so far it’s been hot or cold with each episode, but not lukewarm. I finally feel like this show is starting to get off the ground in terms of story development, but some of the character development (which still has some time, of course) has a long way to go. Kevin Garvey is probably my favorite character on the show, currently. He’s very rounded out at this point, and most importantly I feel like he’s the most human of all of the characters presented thus far; I’d have the Reverend be in number one but since he puts out the flyers that just can’t be happening at the moment. The explanation for all the silence within the ranks of the GR has yet to be disclosed, eventually though that should be happening… right? Laurie’s mouth in a constant state of openness is irksome, but I suppose that’s the point. She looks brain dead, but she is able to convey emotion adeptly through her eyes and eyebrow shifts which is straight up skillful acting; if she didn’t do any of that, you’d view it as the easiest acting job in the world. Like the other episodes, though, I leave The Leftovers with more questions and no answers and it’s as if this episode completely ignored the last scene of the previous episode. It feels like I’m watching a sitcom, because there’s just no real feeling of continuity.

The Leftovers still has some time to give up the goods and really hook me, but at this point I’m still watching it out of my commitment to reviewing this show for the site and my want to watch this outside of that aforementioned reason is waning more than building. If this ends up getting canceled, I am not going to be wailing. I’m really just not emotionally invested in this, because the show hasn’t really given me any character to do such a thing or any situation that warrants such. As a reviewer, like a captain on a sinking ship, I’ll be sticking with this show until it hits the rocky, cold, dark, unforgiving bottom of the ocean.

"Look, if this isn't about David Lynch, I'll arrest you both right now."
“Look, if this isn’t about that David Lynch call, there’s gonna be a couple counts of aggravated assault.”

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