What do you do after making the worst impression in the world? After you offend your new flirt? After you’re accused of non-objectivity by your sandwich-chomping boss? When you find protestors outside your annual conference, and when your badge has been given away and you’re left with a generic entry into the party you really wanted to avoid anyway? If you’re Nora Durst, you start behaving badly. Despite having signed the hotel civil behavior clause. Despite having an inkling of how bad it was going to be. Despite having a very self-satisfied youngster throw himself at you the second you walk in the door, immediately ragging on your blank ID and trying very hard to be cute. Calling his bluff (“Don’t ask me what I do!” he brays, and you reply “Okay,” and start walking away) is probably the smartest thing you’ve done all day. But then he’s in the elevator you stumble into later, and the peer pressure that ensues is maddening but enticing. And admit it or not, you are actually looking for fun. You should be having fun. You just can’t let yourself have any fun, because that would be wrong considering you’re still waiting for your departed family to somehow, miraculously return, hopefully the same way they left, in an inexplicable instant. The swinging party that ensues finally explains those plastic corpses on the highway, at least (for that is what Billy Magnussen* does, naturally). Why he has a dummy of himself, who has clearly not departed, is another question, but it allows Nora to make a pretty funny joke at his expense, and win status in the eyes of her new peers, so much so that when she is rudely awakened the following morning and kicked out of the hotel by security for breaking a mirror in the bar, even she almost wonders for a second if she actually did it in her drunken state. But as she sobers up she realizes an imposter is on the scene, and she vows to herself to restore the natural order of her world. The detail into which we go with Nora’s quest is analogous to the time we spent on the previous best episode with her brother Matt, who lost his church and his consciousness and his health but found a way to care for his wife and a new place in his world. Nora needs to do those things to, but since losing her family was already her bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. How satisfying it is to hear the hotel manager’s “oh shit” when he humors her to the point of going to her panel, where they actually do find a crazed impersonator causing problems. She gets a free pass from that point on, but that doesn’t solve all her problems. That’ll take Wayne. Who’s hiding out in a seedy New York tenement, taking PayPal payments for his version of absolution. Nora ends up in his lair due to the ministrations of a procurer, but, hey, it’s better than paying a dominatrix to shoot you in the chest, isn’t it? 66% cheaper, too. Does Wayne really heal her? He healed the author of the book promoted at the conference, whose glib homilies deeply offend Nora (though in an aside he admits he hasn’t bothered to read the book). Since he has her number (and the number of all the abandoned ones) so clearly, she accepts his embrace. And when she gets home, she stops stalking her husband’s mistress. She buys real food for her fridge (not just replacing exactly what was there on 10/14 as it spoils). She saves (rather than deleting) a very conciliatory message from her brother (who had also offended her greatly). And when Kevin shows up at her door with no hard feelings (she insulted his daughter on her very bad day), she agrees to a date. Those two crazy divorcees. Haven’t hey earned some happiness? *also this episode is perfect because Billy was Casey Hughes on As The World Turns, and Ellen Parker/Maureen Bauer from Guiding Light shows up manning the conference registration table, too! This show is giving Law & Order a run for its New York soap/stage casting! The Leftovers 1.06 "Guest"5.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.