“Am I awake?” asked police chief Kevin Garvey in the series premiere, as he watched a pack of wild dogs tear apart a noble buck. “You are now, aren’t you?” replied the Mystery Man, who likes to shoot dogs.
We quickly learned that Kevin might not be the most-reliable witness in The Leftovers, despite his position of authority with the town. His bedside table is overflowing with pills, and he sees things that may or may not really be there. In the second episode, titled “Penguin One, Us Zero,” it becomes apparent that his behavior isn’t going unnoticed by others around him, and the only real suspect in the dog killings is him.
Before he can wake up one morning, he dreams that his daughter’s flirty friend Aimee is in his bedroom, inviting him to follow her outside. She leads him into the woods—we suspect it is a dream because he’s shirtless and there’s snow on the ground—and the Mystery Man is there with his rifle. But he’s not scoping for dogs; he has a woman in his sights. She moves through the trees at a distance, and he pulls the trigger. Is it a member of the Guilty Remnant cult? Is it his wife, Laurie? It’s no doubt a dream, because Kevin then looks down to find his feet on fire, which wakes him up to find out that his deck fence is actually on fire. Either way, though, Kevin seems to be in hell.
He’s not alone, of course. His son, Tom, is a member of the Holy Wayne cult that thinks a messianic black man can hug the pain out of people—though his loyalty to the cause might be compromised by his infatuation with Christine, the pretty young Asian-American who is one of the gems in Wayne’s harem that Tom’s been assigned to protect. Wayne’s well-documented taste for teenage girls draws the attention of the Feds, and Tom is there the night armed agents storm the group’s secret compound. One agent corners Christine and threatens to shoot her, unless she tells him where Wayne is hiding. A shot rings out, the agent drops. Tom shot him. “I’m sorry,” he says. “She’s important.”
NEXT: Is the Mystery Man in Kevin’s head?