The fuse was lit. Evie and her two girlfirends weren’t Departed or missing — they were with Meg and her more virulent strain of the Guilty Remnant. There were missing explosives and visions of a potentially dangerous Airstream trailer positioned on the bridge into Jarden. Meg is a warped zealot, intent to “corrupt [the town’s] exceptional qualities.” Tommy didn’t seem too bothered by his proximity to evil — no girlfriend is perfect, amirite?
The season 2 finale turned back the clock to the season premiere, revisiting the awkward birthday barbecue where the Garveys first met the Murphys. But now we know that Evie and the girls aren’t young innocents who disappear into the night. Evie gives her adoring father his wrapped birthday gift with the instruction not to open it until she returns. She piles into her friend’s car with the radio jamming. But as soon as they’re out of sight of her parents, the mood inside the car turns somber. We’d seen them flip the switch before, teasingly flirting with Dr. Goodheart at the reservoir and then driving back home in silence earlier that day. Evie shuts off the radio, and the driver sheds a tear and muffles a sob. They’re nearing the point of no return. Evie wipes the girl’s tear away and corrects her in formal handwritten GR-ese: “Don’t.”
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What kind of person does it take to be so boldly and convincingly two-faced — to fake being a loving member of a family, to sing like an angel in the chorus, to feign enthusiasm for pitching the softball with dear ol’ dad the same day you plan to vanish? The word psychopath comes to mind.
When the girls arrive at the reservoir, they find they’re not alone. Kevin has already claimed one end to play Marco Polo with a cinder block. They watch him take the plunge and then go about their business setting up the non-crime crime scene and prepping for their all-nude cross-country championships.
The timing of their awkward late-night encounter seems slightly confusing. After all, Kevin and Nora were not even home yet when the girls took off from the Murphys’. Kevin still had to go home, fall asleep in a brand new house, wake up, sleepwalk to Virgil’s place, get the whole “most powerful adversary” speech, pick up the cinder block and rope, stagger into the unknown wilderness, and find the reservoir he’s never been to before. The earthquake, according to what John says in the premiere, occurred sometime after 3 a.m. To be fair, for all we know, the girls drove from the Murphys’ to a friend’s house and then chilled in the basement for six-plus hours.
The bubbling water of the quake-shaken reservoir cuts to Kevin’s resurrection, digging his way out of the shallow grave Michael buried him in. He’s been dead for eight hours, and he’s very, very thirsty. Patti is truly gone. Virgil was correct, and his superstitious hocus-pocus worked. He helped Kevin win, and all he had to do to complete his atonement was blow his head off. Perhaps that’s what he truly deserved…at least in this life.
Michael wonders if Kevin saw Evie at the Hotel Limbo, and his question triggers another memory. Prying Patti out of his life has suddenly enabled him to recall his sleepwalks, and he remembers seeing the girls that night at the reservoir.
Back at Michael’s house, John is getting an early start on Oct. 14, the fourth anniversary of the Departure. His morning brew is more Irish than coffee — he’s drinking again. Erika urges him to finally open Evie’s present, and when he resists, she just grabs it and tears it open… It’s a dead cricket. What a great gift for the dad who has everything — that annoying cricket that drove him nuts in the premiere. But recall that the premiere ended with Erika sitting alone in the dark at her dining room table, waiting for John and Michael to return with good news about Evie…and a cricket got the last word.
Erika remembers. She crushes John’s delight in the gift by explaining why Evie had to have found another cricket to put in the box, a suggestion that John doesn’t appreciate. “Why would she do that?” he says. “Because you wouldn’t let it go,” Erika answers.
I’d love to tell you I understand the whole cricket in a box. The only thing I can piece together is how Erika’s comment hinted that this wasn’t the first time that John let himself get distracted to his detriment by something that he just wouldn’t let go. Could it have something to do with the crime that sent him to jail for six-plus years? Did his feud with Virgil start out with something as insignificant as a cricket, and Evie just hoped to convince him of its demise to stop him from getting carried away? That doesn’t seem contemptuous enough for Evie, so I’m not convinced. Perhaps Evie was just being cruel so that every time her father heard a cricket for the rest of his life, he would feel the pain of losing her all over again. She’s sweet, isn’t she?
But crickets are known for being good luck, and moments after his harsh words with Erika, John opens his door to learn that the palm print on the car matches up with the new guy next door. He grabs his gun and bangs on the Garveys’ door. Laurie answers, and Jill joins her to explain that Kevin isn’t around. (Notice how Jill shrugs Laurie’s motherly arm off her back and then holds her shoulder like the mere touch left a burn?)
“Print matched,” says Kevin, who walks up behind John and the park rangers, along with Michael. John is fired up, but Kevin is calm and reasonable. He tells the ladies that things are fine and they should stay put while he’s driven away for a chat. John can’t believe that Michael is hanging with this dude, but Michael urges his dad to listen to what Kevin has to say.
Michael walks home without saying a word to Jill. Erika greets him at the door, and he explains he was with her father. We’ve known that Virgil was persona non grata and that Michael wasn’t supposed to spend time with him, but it’s been unclear, at least to me, whether Virgil was Erika’s father or John’s. And what does this confirmed relationship mean, exactly, for when Virgil talked about the terrible things he did related to “that foul machinery below the waists which transgressed the laws of man”?
Nora is not having a good day. Lily is crying, and Mary needs to be fed. Maybe some music will help soothe Lily, she thinks, so she switches on Matt’s stereo, which has the Bellamy Brothers cued up from his failed efforts to awaken Mary. But it’s not Nora’s pace, so she switches to talk radio, where a preacher-like guru tells a caller that a new baby can’t fix the hole in his wife’s heart after the Departure— only Jesus can. Nora seems to disagree, and she slams the boombox onto the floor: “Fix that, Jesus.”
And with that, the earth shakes again, and when things settle…Mary speaks: “Nora, what are you doing here? Where’s Matt?”
Cue the godly church music! A miracle in Miracle! And…more importantly, Matt Jamison is not a sick bastard who raped his comatose wife. Never doubted you for a sec, Reverend.
NEXT: What’s in the trailer?