It has to be a perfect score if it has the best acting you’ve seen on TV all year, doesn’t it? In a quiet scene, in a parlor, seating across from each other on comfortable chairs, with no histrionics, no table flipping, no physical interaction at all, Regina King and Carrie Coon quietly try as hard as they can to kill each other on the spot. With words, and questions. It’s a definitive moment for this season, in a show about impossible, infinite ambiguity. Because Nora needs Erika’s daughter Evie to just be missing, and Erika knows that it’s much more likely that she Departed. And this is a judgment on an occurrence that is not allowed in Miracle, one that upsets the apple cart completely. So it’s pretty important, and these two actresses spar like their lives depend on it. It’s actually a pleasure to watch, though it only intensifies the feelings of anxiety and worry that typify this and every episode this season. Coon commands a big portion of the rest of the episode, though both women are forced to deal with an intrusive scientist at the beginning. We follow him silently, passionately arguing all the way, as some new discovery demands for his presence in Jarden, and his journey results in him whipping out his equipment in front of both the Murphy and Garvey households. Erika barely has the chance to figure out what he’s up to, before he disrupts Nora’s fragile peace, and winds up with his bag of tricks tossed down the stairs and himself forcefully ejected from her property. “I’m trying to help you” he mouths through the window, but what gall, what passion, what insane belief drove him so inexorably to her door? You’ll probably crack up when you find out, just like she did. Erika has her own issues to cope with that day, because there’s a fund-raiser for her missing daughter and the other missing girls that night. And she’s starting to feel like it’s pointless, and that all the nonsense that goes on in Miracle is little more than pointless and annoying superstition. She’s fed up with the fantasy, and that may include the fantasies of her marriage. Because, as she admits to Nora during their confrontation, she was planning to leave John, and the only thing that stopped her was her children not understanding. Now we can understand this, because he has a history of violence. We know he burns down houses and beats up people he dislikes, but we find out this week that he shoots to kill, and that he’s willing to physically throw the usurers from the temple. Dr. Erika often ends up patching up his victims, as she does the gentleman that saw Evie and her friends the day before they disappeared, who was caught selling the local water at an exorbitant rate. Did he deserve stiches and bruises for his affront? No, but Erika takes his injuries in stride with all she knows about her husband. Nora seems to be coping well with life in Jarden, over all. She takes Mary to visit Matt outside the town boundaries, with no worries about getting back in (Matt has solved the pillory problem and is quite content ministering to his new flock), and then she takes her to the fund raiser, though Kevin warns her it might be seen as a slap against the Murphys (since John denied her and Matt re-entry already). She also befriends a new insurance worker in town, who wants to give Erika the interview to determine whether her daughter’s departure was real. And this is how the fight occurs, because Nora steals his test and administers it herself. Unfortunately for both, Erika passes. Which means Miracle is not Departure proof. Which means Nora might be just what Penny from Lost (okay, Sonya Walger playing some sort of scientist) told her she was when she finally answered the phone. Apologizing for the aggressive scientist who showed up at her door, Dr. Penny explains that they think Nora has been chosen by the demon Azrael to act as a kind of lens aimed at the departed, and Nora cackles and immediately ends the call. I mean, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. An intrepid team of scientists aiming their MIT-level equipment at articles of faith and religion? It’s like the plot of one of those eighties movies where everyone’s readouts and oscillators and gizmos seem to record the supernatural at first before they explode and are used by demon hordes as weapons. Is that where Leftovers is going, or are we meant to laugh hysterically, too? And isn’t Azrael an angel? Of course Kevin picks this moment to come clean about his own crisis of faith and sanity, Ghost Patty. Nora can barely handle it, but the good news is: Patty didn’t want him to do it. And anything that fucks up Patty’s plans is alright with me. The Leftovers 2.06 "Lens"Shawn's Rating5.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.