The Leftovers: “Cairo” Season 1 Episode 8 Review

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An eventful hour took us into the end of the season as Kevin blacks out and kidnaps Patti, leaving the GRs looking for leadership.

There was some painful irony toward the end of the episode when Kevin’s actions actually led to Laurie gaining more respect and power among the GRs. Cairo as a whole felt very together. Each story being told complimented the others. Plus, any episode without Tommy is a good episode.

Things appear to be going pretty great between Kevin and Nora at the beginning of the episode. That is, until Jill keeps questioning Nora about her gun. The dinner scene where Nora offers her purse to Jill to search was appropriately awkward.

Meanwhile, Laurie finds Megan screaming at and punching Matt in the middle of the street. This series is capable of strong dramatic moments simply by a GR speaking.

These two events set in motion an episode that was a narrative game-changer for The Leftovers.

Kevin suddenly wakes up in the middle of the woods with his dog-killing partner Dean. He then finds out that they kidnapped GR leader Patti the previous night.

Justin Theroux played Kevin freaking out wonderfully. With Dean, and eventually Patti as well, pushing him to make a decision, this was a very tense storyline that was paced perfectly within the rest of the episode.

The climax was a bit shaky and threw around a lot of vague ideas, but it was certainly still shocking. It turns out Patti was responsible for Gladys’ death, and that there will be more, practically threatening Kevin with Laurie’s life. She also explains that the only way Kevin can get out of there and return to his normal life is for him to “understand” what Pattie and the GRs are trying to accomplish.

Then she kind of sort of explains it. He claims not to get it, which, I don’t see how he could, Patti talked only in riddles. The general gist was that the GRs exist so people don’t forget October 14th, which isn’t really that surprising.

More surprising was when Kevin claimed not to understand and Patti slit her throat with a piece of glass.

While Patti was away, Laurie had a lot of work to do fixing Megan. Eventually, all the GRs seem to be looking at Laurie as a leader. For some odd reason, I found myself rooting for her to be in charge.

Meanwhile, Jill had kind of a rough episode. As if she wasn’t already one of the least likable characters, she keeps pushing the Nora gun ordeal after she searched her purse at the dinner table. She even tells off Aimee, who later seems uncharacteristically upset by the situation.

But when Jill breaks into Nora’s home, she does in fact find the gun, leaving it out to tell Nora she knows. I will say I did not expect Jill to go to the GRs right after. This is an exciting turn mostly because of what it’s going to do to Kevin and Laurie’s respective situations.

Cairo was a strong entry of the season, making it feel like we are coming to the end of something. What that is exactly is vague at the moment, but Patti’s death won’t likely just be blown over. This once struggling show has pulled itself together for what has to be an interesting finish to their first season. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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