The Leftovers – No Room at the Inn Review


The Leftovers stops beating around the burning bush and goes full religious in “No Room at the Inn.” It makes sense that this episode would follow Episcopal Priest Matt Jamison. Even the title “No Room at the Inn” refers to the bible story of Joseph and Mary looking for a place to stay while Mary is carrying baby Jesus.

While Jesus was considered a miracle baby, Mary (Matt’s wife, not the Virgin Mary) and Matt may have a miracle of their own. Last week, Matt revealed to his sister Nora that Mary awoke from her coma on the first night the couple arrived in Jarden. And of course, on that night the two were able to have marital relations. If what Matt says what is true, Mary slipped back into her coma the next day and reverted to her state from the day of the departure, except now she is with child.

The episode begins with a heartbreaking montage of Matt going through the exact same motions of the day when Mary woke up. He plays the same song. He gets meat from the local market to make puree for Mary. He brushes her teeth and cleans her. He eats a microwaved burrito, before finally tucking her in and saying he loves her. But now he’s video recording her while she sleeps just in case he’s able to get the proof he needs.

It’s heartbreaking not just because he’s going through great lengths to care for the woman he loves. It’s because you can see this man of faith slowly lose his faith with each passing day, until the final day when he grabs her mouth and screams at her. Goodbye video recording and goodbye the hopes that she’ll ever wake up again from her vegetative state.

In a last ditch effort for answers, Matt takes Mary out of Jarden to a doctor for her semi-annual check up to see if there’s been any change in brain function. There hasn’t, but that’s when they discover the pregnancy. Matt and Mary’s situation is already starting to turn heads at the hospital, as people realize there would be no way for Mary to give any kind of consent to sexual relations.

Things finally start to be looking up for Matt who has gone through some hard time throughout the season and a half of The Leftovers. Then it’s all derailed when Matt makes the mistake of trusting anyone outside the limits of Jarden. A man’s car is broken down and Matt stops to help. In what was a clear setup to the outside observer, the man hits Matt with a wrench, breaks his hand in order to get his bracelet off and heads to Jarden with his son and their newly acquired bracelet. To make matters worse, they cut the engine in Matt’s car. Matt and Mary are stuck five miles outside of their hometown.

After a long trek back to Jarden, Matt and Mary are stuck in the bureaucracy of the town’s residency laws. They need someone who has been a resident for longer than six months to be able to vouch for them and say they are indeed residents. That rules out Kevin and Nora. John comes to the rescue. Well, that is until John becomes “there are no miracles in Miracle” John, who has been even more set in his ways since the disappearance of his daughter.

John got a hold of Matt’s bag which had the medical papers about the pregnancy. John doesn’t believe the story of Mary waking up for one night. Instead he believes the horrible, but more realistic version that Matt raped her.

John tells Matt that he’ll have to tell everyone in town that she didn’t wake up, but that he was sad, lonely and confused, and that’s what happened. Matt agrees, but then ruins his chances of getting back into Jarden by asking what happened to John to make him feel this way. John leaves and Matt is stuck with the unsavory people in the camp outside the city limits.

If you ever wondered what type of people inhabit the camp outside of Jarden, this is the first real glimpse of it. They are people without a home. In biblical terms, it could be a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah full of unsavory acts and characters. I think the encampment is going to be a fairly important setting going forward, as it raised more questions.

Matt is able to raise funds to pay a man who can get him into a “backdoor” of Jarden, and he does so in probably the strangest way I’ve ever seen. A woman needs a man of God to hit another man with an oar as hard as he can while saying the name “Brian.” The man being hit is all for this, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. After a few halfhearted attempts, Matt breaks the oar over the man’s back to collect his reward. No answers are given past that, but I hope to learn more in the future. Your guess is as good as mine.

In classic Matt fashion, the back door ends up being a sewage drain and they try to make it through during a rainstorm. The plan fails and Matt is about to give up all hope when Nora appears in the camp to smuggle them back in by placing the two of them in the trunk. But the car is stopped by a brutal car accident. The people involved in the car accident are the same man and boy who stole their wristbands. The man is dead, but the boy is very much alive.

Matt takes this as a sign from God. He gives the boy his own bracelet and gives Mary back her’s. Matt asks if Nora and Kevin can look after Mary for a while. Matt is off to live in the camp outside the city limits and be the shepherd for the people who are in desperate need of one.

It’s a perfect end for Matt’s time in Jarden. He never really had a place there. He belonged to a church, but wasn’t preaching. They lived in a shack. He really had no purpose. He purpose lies outside Jarden, where he will try to save the people who need it the most.

HBO Binge Grade: A

Lingering Questions:

We saw a super brief cameo of the man who kills goats in Jarden. We still don’t know what his deal is. There seems to be a goat problem in Jarden. What’s that about?

Will Mary miscary? There’s a 90% chance she will.

Did Mary actually wake up or was Matt hallucinating?

Not a question, but it’s perfect that Matt said he favorite book of the Bible is the Book of Job. In the book, God makes a deal with Satan that Satan can try to do whatever he wants to Job, but it will not shake Job’s faith. Satan takes his wealth, health and family, but at no point does Job ever curse God. So fitting that Matt, who is forced to constantly keep his faith in the face of hardship, loves the Book of Job.