Following a bit of a detour in last week's episode, "The Leftovers" episode 5 explores the ideas of faith and belief following a brutal murder. Here are our biggest questions following “Gladys.”
Who Are the Guilty Remnant?
After a day of doing what the Guilty Remnant do, including ignoring an elderly man who has fallen, Gladys is taken from a gas station, taped to a tree and stoned to death. Her murder leads to a day off for Laurie and Patti, a failed attempt at an imposed curfew and a better look at the Guilty Remnant.
The group's larger purpose is unknown and fans may be getting more frustrated with the lack of answers. The GR preach about no family, while the Rev. Matt Jamison says they are already dead. Patti seems genuinely affected by Gladys' death, which leads to an interesting breakfast for her and Laurie.
Meg is right, some residents were bound to do more than just curse at the Guilty Remnant. The rock-throwing scene from "Two Boats and a Helicopter" was an unprovoked attack against the GR, and the group will retaliate. Patti seems concerned that Laurie is not committed to the group, but she proves her worth to her leader by the end of the episode. Laurie uses a passive way to attack someone who is against the group, when she uses the whistle to interrupt Jamison's prayer for Gladys, but that could escalate, as hinted at in a recent preview.
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As Gladys' body is transferred to the ATFEC, we learn a little more about the world beyond Mapleton. The Guilty Remnant is not the only group to form following the Sudden Departure, which makes sense. The way the Agent casually offers to kill them in a raid is a scary thought that Garvey refuses to consider.
Gladys’ murder strengthens Meg’s resolve and she has taken her vow of silence and is full member of the Guilty Remnant.
Is Kevin Garvey Going Crazy?
The Reverend and Garvey have a great relationship and Jamison continues to serve as an excellent foil to the anger that's beginning to boil over. Garvey, as the chief of police, has to protect the residents of Mapleton, even if they happen to be members of the Guilty Remnant. His plan for a curfew does not go over well and it looks like he is continuing down a dark path based on his drinking and anger. Unlike his recent solo quests, figuring out what happened to his bagel in episode 2 and the recovery of baby Jesus in episode 3, Garvey's attempt to track down his white shirts in "Gladys" explores the darker side of this character. Garvey is an angry drunk and forces his way into the dry cleaner who happens to find the missing shirts.
In "Gladys," we learn that Dean can be quite the prickly ally as he challenges Kevin during the council meeting. Dean is definitely real and he continues to shoot all the stray dogs. As his relationship with Dean gets more complicated, Garvey's relationship with his daughter gets simpler. Jill cries when she see her father, thinking something happened to her mother, but becomes bitter over that fact, saying her mother would not cry over her. By the end of the episode, Garvey tells Jill he is getting divorced and the two share some emotional progress. Jill should become a more interesting character as she gets further away from being another depressed teen on television.
Garvey has drinking and anger issues, and "The Leftovers" continues to play up the ambiguity of his darker moments. The conversation about "exterminating" the Guilty Remnant could be seen as a figment of Garvey's imagination and his sanity has been a focal point on more than one occasion.
What Does It All Mean?
Perhaps the biggest question fans have regarding "The Leftovers." The mystery surrounding the Sudden Departure, the Guilty Remnant, Wayne, Garvey and the residents of Mapleton has been built up effectively, but there are few answers.
"The Leftovers" continues to layer each episode with plenty of symbolism. The casting of rocks, fire and Jamison's passage from the Bible are just a few examples from "Gladys," but there are not enough answers just yet to see where the symbolism leads, for the viewers and the characters. So far, the central hook, good storytelling and great cast has made "The Leftovers" a good hour of television, but as the show enters the second half of the season, expect to see a few more answers and just as many questions.