Summary: Nora wakes up without Kevin and panics but is relieved when he returns. The next morning, Nora and Kevin go to help search for Evie. Kevin tells Nor about where he woke up at night. John and Kevin go for a drive and John attacks Isaac, suspecting that he did something to Evie. Kevin stops anyone from killing each other but John is shot and has to be operated on by Erika. Kevin is stuck dealing with the imaginary Patti who tells him that he tried to kill himself last night. She also reveals that the missing girls vanished.
The Good: This was a faster paced episode and was more exciting than usual while still containing several emotional and powerful scenes. The Leftovers continues its hot streak in the second season.
After 3 episodes we finally get to see the fallout from Evie's disappearance and it does satisfy. As expected there is instantly a manhunt to look for the girls. Kevin does manage to escape the scene but he did leave some evidence so it's clear that there will soon be a conflict between Kevin and the Murphys which should be very interesting.
It was great to see a tense sequence in this show when Kevin was at the search site. we never knew when someone may turn against him or if some evidence would be found to incriminate him. We were then treated to an even more tense scene where Kevin rode in a car with John and we didn't know what was going to happen. It was an excellent example of tension as we were left at the edge of our seat because we didn't know what John knew and if he was going to kill or torture Kevin or something along those lines.
I also heavily enjoyed the opening sequence and Nora's story in this episode. She came to Miracle to feel safe, that was established back in "A Matter of Geography" and yet after the first night she ended up having to face the possibility of another Departure, which was a concept introduced to her right before leaving Mapleton. Her panic is wonderfully done and Carrie Coon was sublime as always. It also led to a great episode story as we see Nora come face to face with her fears that Miracle is no different from the outer world; a theme that was examined prominently in John's story as well.
Speaking of John's story, it was a highlight in this episode. We get to see his grief take control of him as he violently goes after Isaac with a wonderful story continuation from "Axis Mundi". It fits what we know of John's character to be so impulsive but he remains sympathetic due to having lost his daughter. This show does a very good job of making all the main characters sympathetic in some way.
Other than those main stories, we also have Kevin's story but I will explain what I enjoyed in detail later (see: Best Moment). Kevin's story was wonderfully interwoven with all the others and as such it featured several prominent emotional moments with characters. And those were present outside of the Kevin story too. The best scenes for sure were Nora/Jill, Kevin/Patti, Kevin/John, Kevin/Erika, John/Erika and Nora/Matt. All of these scenes had emotional resonance to them which made them really stand out.
The Bad: Nothing was actually bad. The Jill and Michael story left a lot to be desired but I wouldn't call it bad and it could very well become more interesting later on.
The Unknown: There were a fair amount of questions from this episode.
Did the girls actually vanish as Patti said? Can we trust what Patti says?
Is Patti actually real? How else does she remember what Kevin saw? Unless she is Kevin's inner self for his blackouts.
Who is Virgil? What does he mean about Nora's loss? He said he could help Kevin before so does he try to help Kevin directly or just anyone? Is he even sane?
Why did Kevin try to kill himself? Is he actually that unhappy?
How will Isaac play into the rest of the story? Did he have something to do with Evie's disappearance?
Did Mary actually wake up or did Matt imagine it?
Could the pillar man see Patti at the end of the episode? Does that mean she is real?
Best Moment: The Kevin story built up so nicely to that end scene with Patti. Patti's presence delivered throughout the episode and kept pushing Kevin to a breaking point where he finally started to talk to her a little about the suicide attempt which hung over the episode almost like the elephant in the room. Kevin clearly wanted to pretend like it never happened but he's forced to face it at the end. Justin Theroux acted superbly and delivered a very powerful "I don't want to kill myself" at the end of the episode and Ann Dowd delivered a great performance in pressuring Kevin. The scene came together so well.
Character of the Episode: Kevin for his wonderful storyline that culminated in a great scene.
Conclusion: This was another powerful episode that delivered on my expectations for sure. This season hasn't hit the high points of last season so far but it has been much more consistent and every episode has been a winner. This episode was more of the same enjoyment and I look forward to seeing more from this season.