Kevin Got Rickrolled on ‘The Leftovers,’ And Other Clues You May Have Missed
For anyone who thought Damon Lindelof was about to explain one of his many mysteries, well, they just got rickrolled.
In Sunday night’s The Leftovers, “Orange Sticker,” (spoiler alert) we finally got some explanations of all the mysterious happenings going on it Jarden, Texas. But they definitely shouldn’t be taken at face value. The ever chatty Patti (Ann Dowd) showed up more frequently this week than the season’s previous three episodes, following Kevin (Justin Theroux) around to drop a dark, yet hilariously executed story about her awful ex-husband and give some insight on the questions set up in the season premiere.
In “Orange Sticker,” we pick up where the events of the season premiere left off, which found Kevin waking up in the emptied Jarden river with his foot tied to a cinderblock and Evie and her two friends suddenly vanished from their car beside the river. In Episode 4, an earthquake in Jarden wakes Nora to find Kevin missing and neighbors John and Michael rushing out of their home to find the missing Evie. Nora, assuming the worst, thinks a Second Departure has occurred. That could be true if you believe Patti, who at the end of the episode tells Kevin that Evie and the girls vanished, warning that things are about to change in the Texas town. Patti also explains to Kevin that his cinderblock incident was a result of him attempting suicide. Kevin’s distraught and in disbelief, but in tears by the end of the episode. So is it all as simple as another departure and an ultra-depressed Kevin trying to end his life?
After telling all of this to Kevin, Patti walks away singing, “Never gonna give you up / Never gonna let you down, and desert you.” Oh yeah, Patti just rickrolled Kevin. And just in case you don’t believe the episode writers were intentionally winking at Rick Astley’s lyrics, Lindelof already admitted it. So where does that leave things? For one, Patti could simply be screwing with Kevin, giving him the most obvious explanations, likely to further some ulterior motive. Though it’s still unclear what she plans to use Kevin for, she seems to be pushing him further away from the contentment of settling into his new family life to wake him up to the reality of the world, in good ol’ Guilty Remnant fashion.
But Sunday’s episode revealed even more that’s given way to many new interesting connections, symbols and theories:
Is Virgil the guide through the afterlife?
We finally learned the name of the elderly man who lives in the mobile home decorated with string lights. This is the same man who prayed with Michael a few episodes back. Virgil meets Nora in the convenience store and, apologizing for her loss, seems to have more knowledge than most. You might also remember he approached Kevin in Episode 2 saying he could help him with his “situation,” which could mean a variety of things. Redditor lvc97 pointed out that Virgil’s name could be an allusion to the poet in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, who guides Dante through Purgatory and Hell. Perhaps Virgil, like Holy Wayne, was blessed with a special ability and will help guide the characters through their post-Departure suffering.
Pay attention to numbers, once again.
Let us not forget that The Leftovers is created by the man behind LOST. Once again, numbers are likely very important in this show, the most prominent digits so far being Jarden’s population of 9,261. While the town is searching for Evie and her friends, Nora finds Matt leading a prayer circle where one woman says “We are the 9,261.” But shouldn’t that number be less now that four people, including the three girls and Isaac, who left after his house was burned down, are gone? Redditor arob87 noted that with the addition of Kevin and his family, the number has now balanced out. Was it the addition of the Garvey family that forced the town to lose four bodies to get them in? Perhaps 9,261 is a special number that mustn’t be adjusted.
Fan site Watchingtheleftovers.com has a few other theories behind the numbers. One is that 9+2+6+1 = 18. The Hebrew word for “life” is “chai,” which has a numerical value of 18. This number is also significant to Hinduism, as the Bhagavad Gita has 18 chapters within the Mahabharata, which is comprised of 18 books. Perhaps there’s a link there. Or, if we add 92 and 61 we get 153, which could refer to the “miraculous catch of fish” from the Gospel of John in the Bible (side note: it’s also likely no coincidence Lindelof named one of his main characters John.) In it, apostles caught 153 fish after a long draught, which followed the resurrection of Jesus. The fan site predicts that this could connect to a possible resurrection of Holy Wayne (perhaps the man whom emerged from the Cave in Perth last week).
The cycle of life and death.
Speaking of resurrections, could the opening sequence of Season 2 give us any insight to what happened to Evie? In the opening scene we saw a pregnant woman leave her cave in the middle of the night, only to become the sole survivor after an earthquake trapped the rest of her tribe in the cave – a symbol for the one left behind after her loved ones departed. But these deaths bring on the birth of her baby. Later, a hawk lead her to a tree of eggs where she eats one only to become bitten by a serpent. The woman eventually dies only to soon after become resurrected, thus continuing the cycle of a death leading to a birth.
Fans will notice that the very next scene showed Evie and her friends swimming in the Jarden river, which appeared to be the same location of the cavewoman’s death. Could Evie and her friends’ disappearance have been a sacrifice to save Kevin from dying in the river? Perhaps the earthquake was the event that threw this cycle into motion once again, with the “death” of the girls giving “life” to Kevin. If we take the hawk into consideration, this also may align with the Murphy’s, since Erika has something interesting going on with birds in that buried box of hers. Is she planting dead birds she discovers and bringing them back to life in this box?
Given Evie’s name, the most obvious reading of the cavewoman prologue was as a reference to the Garden of Eden where the woman (Eve) was tempted by the serpent. Jarden also sounds similar to Garden. But redditor Jacksrbetter thinks the town name and the sacred water within it could be a reference to the Jordan River, which the Israelites, after years of wandering, crossed to finally enter the Promised Land. Are the residents of Jarden simply stuck in a waiting period to cross over into the afterlife, or a better life on Earth?
Did the Departure give way to resurrections?
Jen Chaney of the New York Times wrote in her review of the episode that possible resurrections, or the discoveries of those who were thought Departed, may have to do with location. So far in the series, three different people who were believed to have vanished have been found in other parts of the world. There’s Mark Linn-Baker of Perfect Strangers who supposedly faked his Departure until he was found in Chihuahua, Mexico. In Episode 3 someone by the name of David Burton was found in Perth who claimed he had been resurrected, and this week Nora told us about the husband who faked his Departure and ended up in Puerto Rico. Chaney theorizes that since two of these areas are below the northern hemisphere’s Tropic of Cancer and one is under the southern hemispheres Tropic of Capricorn that the actual Departure may have just sent people to another location. Perhaps everyone will be found eventually.
Australia is a possible clue.
The country has been referenced multiple times so far this season. For one, it is where mystery man David Burton in Perth was supposedly resurrected. The man in the Jarden tower also addressed a letter Burton in Australia, which he gave to Michael to mail. Kevin’s dad Kevin Sr. said in the second episode that he was going to Australia. And, lastly, the man testing the water in Jarden, Dr. Goodheart, also sounded like he had an Australian accent. Perhaps all the answers lie down under. Whatever is really going on, let’s make sure to not trust Patti. She’ll probably just keep trolling us.