"And I smoke."
If the Season 2 premiere of "The Leftovers" was about starting over, then episode 2's task is reminding fans of the HBO series' roots and its characters' demons. After introducing a whole new family -- the Murphys -- in a whole new town -- Miracle, Texas -- in episode 1 (not to mention that cavewoman prologue), "A Matter of Geography" returns the focus to the Garveys and answers viewers' most burning question -- just why did Kevin (Justin Theroux) and his family end up in Texas?
The episode begins with a flashback to Mapleton where Kevin arrives back home the night Nora (Carrie Coon) finds their new baby. Rocking the baby to sleep, Kevin, Nora and Jill (Margaret Qualley) get to talking about their darkest secrets because, as Kevin says, they "don't really know each other." Kevin confesses to hiding Patti's (Ann Dowd) body after her suicide, adding, "And I smoke," for good measure. Nora admits to hiring prostitutes to shoot her. Somehow, the conversation ends in laughs, with Kevin and Nora relieved to find that neither has been scared away. Their makeshift family is starting to bond.
Cut to two months later, and Kevin and Nora are finalizing Lily's adoption. However, Kevin is not quite right, using headphones to drown out Lily's crying at the laundromat. He just cannot seem to find any peace, even as his new family starts to come together, and no amount of home improvement projects brings any relief -- not for lack of trying.
The problem might be guilt. Kevin has been seeing visions of Patti, so he digs up her body. Then he gets pulled over by a cop with the body in the back of his truck. He does not mince words with the officer.
"There's a body in the back of my truck," he says.
Meanwhile, Jill has lunch with Tom (Chris Zylka), who brought Lily to Kevin's doorstep in Season 1 -- Kevin still does not know. Lily begs Tom to come back home, or at least to let her tell their dad he is OK, but he refuses. "Nobody is ok," he asserts.
Then Nora gets some big news. Someone put a 6-million-dollar offer on her house -- the asking price was $400,000. That makes Nora curious. Apparently a research team from MIT wants to study her house. They have a theory about the Sudden Departure -- "It's a matter of geography." They think if Nora had been sitting at the dining room table, she would have departed as well. Nora asks what the purpose would be of finding out, to which they reply that they want to protect people from a reoccurrence.
Back at the police station, Garvey gets off easy for the whole Patti's body situation. The police chief clearly has no affection for the Guilty Remnant and has no interest in taking Kevin to task for her murder, even if he is guilty. "Do you want to blow up your life?" she asks Kevin, clearly striking a chord. "If not, then go home."
When he does return home, his father is waiting and acting (relatively) normal. He is also moving to Australia. That gives Kevin an idea. At dinner that night he suggests they leave Mapleton.
The next thing fans see is the Garveys and their trailer arriving at Miracle, Texas, but things do not immediately go smoothly. Their dog has to spend 60 days in quarantine before they will let it into town and -- oh, yeah -- their rental house burnt down. Since Miracle does not allow anyone into town without a designated place to live or a very-hard-to-obtain visitor's bracelet, things are looking grim. So Nora runs to a nearby housing auction and makes a 3-million-dollar bid.
After a night spent with Rev. Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston), they move into their new home, right next to the Murphys. However, even thousands of miles away from Mapleton, Kevin is still seeing visions of Patti, and now she is talking to him. Needless to say, he is a bit on edge. So when the power goes out after their barbecue with the Murphys -- as seen in the premiere -- Kevin snaps, yelling: "This is not what it was supposed to be."
After the outburst, Jill explains that Nora needs to be in Miracle to feel safe. He apologizes, but he can not work up the nerve to tell his new partner about the visions. He makes good with Nora, but Kevin is far from good.
Hours later, Kevin wakes up next to the flapping fish in the nearly dried-up lake where Evie Murphy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) went missing in episode 1. He stumbles around, confused, and finds Evie's car but sneaks off before John (Kevin Carroll) and Michael Murphy (Jovan Adepo) can spot him at the scene. Patti gets the last word.
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