The Leftovers Review – Orange Sticker


The Leftovers is finally getting back to the core story of season two. The fourth episode of the season entitled “Orange Sticker” explores the immediate aftermath of loss and opens old wounds. Harrowing performances all around make for gripping scenes as the character try to make sense of the extremely unnatural situations they find themselves in. Fortunately for us, the viewers, for the first time in this season we’re getting some answers.

Nora Durst wakes up at the time of the earthquake to find that Kevin isn’t anywhere to be found. Much to her dismay, his truck is still in front of the house and he’s not answering the phone. Based on her previous experiences, she understandably thinks that Kevin has departed. Carrie Coon crushes this scene by seizing due to shock, pain, confusion and depression. It was one of the most poignant scenes of the season.

Meanwhile, the town of Jarden is looking for clues to about the whereabouts of Evy and her friend who still haven’t turned up since the earthquake. Half the town wants to help, and the other half wants to fill their jugs and water bottles with what remains of the Jarden lake’s “holy water.”

Patty continues to show up to haunt Kevin whenever he’s alone. She digs at Kevin’s personal thoughts and shares her own history in a creepy, yet humorous, fashion. It becomes increasingly apparent that Patty is way more than just a figment of Kevin’s imagination. For starters, Patty mentions things that Kevin would have no way of knowing. She also points out the location of Kevin’s cell phone; the very cell phone he spends much of the night looking for.

So Kevin has some sort of link to the afterlife or spiritual world just like his father. That’s just what Kevin needs in his life.

Unfortunately for Kevin, the authorities pulled a handprint off of Evy’s car. That handprint is a ticking time bomb ready to destroy Kevin and John’s budding friendship. The authorities haven’t identified the Kevin as the owner of the handprint, but they are bound to eventually. So now, John just assumes the handprint belongs to Isaac, the soothsayer from the premier who got the brunt of John’s rage when he burned down his house.

A drunk John drags Kevin along for the ride while he heads out of town to pay Isaac a violent visit. John proceeds to beat Isaac’s door down, but Isaac shoots him in the gut before he gets into the house. Kevin and John get John’s wife Erika to patch him up. During that late-night medical work, we learn that after Jarden had zero departures, many kooks came out of the woodwork claiming to be mystics. John takes it upon himself to weed out the residents of Jarden by getting them out of town.

While the Murphy family is in complete disarray, Jill and Michael begin a bonding session. Michael has been MIA from Evy’s search and rescue team. Michael is quietly becoming one of the most important characters in the entire season. He’s connected in the sense that he knows the secrets of The Leftovers’ universe. He admits to Jill that he isn’t searching for Evy because he knows she’s gone. He thinks she’s gone like the rest of the departed, and that doesn’t seem to bother him.

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In a last-minute one-on-one between Kevin and Patty, Kevin finally acknowledges her presence which opens their dialog. Patty reveals two key bits of information. 1: Kevin did indeed try to kill himself at the lake. 2: Evy and her friend departed. They just vanished like the rest of the departed. Jarden isn’t special or safe. Don’t tell Nora, or it may break her.

“Orange Sticker” was home to a few strange scenes that will surely show their importance later in the season. Virgil makes his second appearance when he talks to Nora in a general store. He tells her that he’s sorry for her loss. Keep in mind, he’s never met her. If you don’t remember Virgil, he briefly talked to Kevin at the Jarden welcome center. He mysteriously said that he could help Kevin with his “problem.”

The second scene was of Nora and her brother Matt. Matt revealed that his comatose wife Mary awoke during their first days in Jarden. They sat and talked for an entire night and fell asleep together. When he woke, she was comatose again. Nobody seem to believe him, but it Matt is all-in on Jarden’s magical powers.

The episode’s title “Orange Sticker” refers to stickers that the government placed on each house when it was confirmed that nobody had departed from that residence. The final scene of the episode shows Michael scratching off the Murphy’s sticker. There’s not a doubt in his mind that Evy has departed.

HBO Binge Grade: A-

Lingering Questions:

How did Kevin get to the lake without his truck? Did he walk? That probably will never get answered.

The holy water of Jarden is gone and then the town had its first departures. Did the water really hold power?

How many more episodes until we get back to these storylines?