Miracle is drawing the whole Mapleton gang down to Texas in "The Leftovers" Season 2. First, it was Matt (Christopher Eccleston) and Mary (Janel Moloney). Then, Kevin (Justin Theroux) and Co. showed up not too long after them. Now even Laurie (Amy Brenneman) has made the trip! But episode 9, "Ten Thirteen," reveals that before any of those characters ever set foot in Jarden, the town got a visit from another Mapleton resident -- Meg Abbott (Liv Tyler).
First things first, though. The episode begins, not with any answers or clues as to what comes next for Kevin Garvey after episode 8's hallucinatory trip to the "other side" to battle Patti (Ann Down), but with a flashback to the day before the Sudden Departure -- Oct. 13. Meg is getting lunch with her mother, who wants to pay for her wedding, to Meg's chagrin. It is still years before Meg will join the Guilty Remnant, but she is obsessed with another kind of white -- cocaine. She keeps sneaking off to the bathroom during lunch for another bump, and after one such trip returns to find her mother dead, not from the Sudden Departure, but from a sudden heart attack.
Fast forward one year and Meg is in ... Miracle! She takes the guided tour with her fiance, but the real reason she is there is to seek out a new psychic on the scene -- Isaac (Darius McCrary), the palmprint-taking medium whose house was burned down by John Murphy (Kevin Carroll). He steers Meg away from the palmprints -- those are for people who want to know their future -- and instead has her chew a mysterious, gum-like substance. Meg wants to know what her mother was about to say to her when she went to the bathroom before her mother's heart attack. Isaac tells her it will not help ease her pain, but she insists he tell her anyway.
For the second week in a row viewers get the "Lost in Translation" treatment -- fans also don't know what that man said to Kevin on the bridge in episode 8 -- but whatever Isaac told her, Meg is clearly disappointed after her visit. She sits down on a bench in the middle of town, where she is comforted by none other than Evie Murphy (Jasmin Savoy Brown)!
"I'm sorry you didn't find what you were looking for here. No one ever does," Evie tells her.
Then the show returns to the present, where Meg is deeply frustrated with the Guilty Remnant's inaction. In addition to talking freely and frequently ditching the all-white wardrobe, she has taken to scaring school bus loads of children with fake grenades -- yikes! The cult's leadership is not happy.
"Violence is weakness," she is told.
Meg does not agree. She believes the Guilty Remnant are taking it easy on everyone and letting them "forget." The leadership questions her about rumors that she is planning her own action of Oct. 14, but Meg denies it.
She, of course, is lying. Meg sets off for Miracle, where she has big plans, but she is not alone. Tom (Chris Zylka) is with her.
Chris could not stand constantly lying to people about having Holy Wayne's healing powers. When Meg visits during one of his group's "meetings" and tells him she can heal people "for real," he snaps. He gets in an argument with Laurie that night and shows up at the Guilty Remnant's headquarters the next day, seemingly willing to punch his way to Meg. She instead takes him on a road trip to Texas.
Tom is eager to know why Meg raped him earlier in the season. He gets his answer when they stop off at a Honky Tonk bar. The two have a palpable connection. Meg seems to like cryptically shepherding the lost soul, and Tom appears intoxicated by Meg's nihilistic confidence. After a few shots of whiskey, they kiss and hit the dance floor. Meg tells Tom she had sex with him to "get him pregnant," before walking out of the bar.
Eventually, the pair show up in Miracle, but the Texas-based Guilty Remnant is not exactly the enlightened operation Tom has been seeking. To his horror, the militant GR faction is stoning a mountain biker who happened to stumble too close to their compound and catch a glimpse of their Oct. 14 surprise -- they are hiding something big in a locked shed.
Meanwhile, Meg wanders into the camp of religious fanatics under Miracle's bridge. There, she runs into Matt! At first, he is ticked by the coincidence of seeing her all the way in Texas. However, he gets nervous when he realizes it is not a coincidence at all. Meg has a question for Matt: What are all the people in the camp waiting for? Matt cannot answer her, but Meg does not need him to.
"You're waiting for me," she tells him.
Back at the Guilty Remnant compound, Tom does some snooping. Inside the locked shed he finds a trailer and, inside the trailer, he finds Evie Murphy and the two other missing girls! He, of course, has no idea what his discovery would mean for the folks in the town. When he asks who they are, Evie, literally taking a page from the Guilty Remnant's book, writes "It doesn't matter" on a piece of paper before shutting the door in Tom's face. If Tom only knew how much it did, in fact, matter.
"The Leftovers" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.