Summary: In Mapleton, Kevin and Nora officially start a family and adopt their baby. Kevin decides to leave Mapleton and the family moves to a rental in Miracle. However the rental burns down and Nora is forced to buy a house for $3 million. Kevin isn't happy with the new house but he decides to try to make it work for Nora. Kevin goes to sleep and suddenly wakes up in the spring where Evie disappeared with a cinderblock tied to his leg.
The Good: This was the kind of episode that I expected in the premier. That's not to say the premier was bad, but this is more like what I was expecting which is good.
I liked the change shown in Kevin and Nora's relationship as it shows that they are both really trying to make things work. The scene early on where Kevin and Nora tell each other their deepest secrets was really good and made sense considering the state of their relationship. It gets them started on the right boat and shows us that they want to prevent anything from getting in the way of their relationship. Jill's presence was good too as it helped show that she is starting to get back to how she was before. More on that later though.
I really loved the contrast between Kevin and Nora's relationship and Kevin and Laurie's. Kevin faces predicaments similar to ones we have already seen him face back in season 1 and he is very different in his response to Nora and he is catching himself because he so desperately wants everything to work out. Kevin having to go somewhere earlier than he thought mirrors the scene in "Pilot" when Kevin has to go to the meeting and then Nora buying the house mirrors Laurie wanting the dog from "The Garveys at their Best". This is a very effective way of showing the change in Kevin's mindset and how different this relationship is from what came before. But it also shows that Kevin is usually a worse guy than this, and if the real him comes out then the relationship may be over.
I loved that the events of last season still loom over Kevin in this episode. Watching Patti kill herself was pretty traumatic for him and I'm glad to see that he's not going to be freed of that guilt any time soon. The choice to have Patti appear to him in a hallucination was wonderful as it draws on Kevin's possible craziness which he showed in season 1 and it also serves as an effective reminder for the past Kevin can't leave behind. Looks like Patti is still doing her job as a member of the GR. I also really liked that Kevin had to dig up Patti and tried to face some penance for what he did. Kevin says he doesn't want to blow his life up, but is that really true? Kevin may have imagined Patti in his life because he didn't face proper justice for what he did. And perhaps him waking up in the spring (see: The Unknown) was after he tried to kill himself in an attempt to face up to killing Patti.
The best part of this episode (see: Best Moment) was Jill speaking with Tommy at the diner. It was a short and easy way for us to touch base with Tommy and Laurie since they weren't the focus of this episode and it let us know that they are doing something together now. It was great to see that Tommy and Jill still had a good amount of love and affection for each other as siblings despite what went down and it was nice to see them meeting together. Furthermore this scene gave us a subtle and very satisfying conclusion to Jill's season 1 arc as she finally tells Tommy that she is okay. Now it seems her main storyline will involve her broken relationship with her mother.
Kevin and Nora officially adopting Lily was a nice scene and opened up this episode with a lot of hope, something that's pretty rare on The Leftovers.
The Bad: I wasn't happy with Nora buying the house with all of her money. It didn't feel very realistic and it felt like the writers were just trying too hard to make us understand that Nora really wants Miracle to work for her.
It's a little annoying to get no follow up to last episode's cliffhanger. This reminds me of episodes of Lost where they have a cliffhanger but then spend another episode without progressing through the cliffhanger because we need to see other characters' perspective. I didn't like it on Lost and I don't like it now.
The Unknown: Lots of questions again, but not as many as last episode.
What research has the government done on the Sudden Departure and what do they know about it? Is it possible that the Sudden Departure could happen again? Did we just witness it happen again with Evie?
Is Patti real? We still don't know if Kevin Sr.'s voices are genuine. It does seem more likely that she's an imagination of Kevin's though.
How did Kevin Sr. get released? Why is he going to Australia?
Why do so many people live outside of Miracle? Are they trying to get inside?
Who is that man that Kevin encountered at the visitors centre? What did he mean with what he said? Does he say that to everybody?
Why is the house so broke a destroyed? Did John evict somebody from that house too?
Did Kevin try to kill himself at the end of the episode? Did he cause the water to disappear and also cause whatever happened to Evie?
What happened to all of the other characters in Mapleton like Lucy, Aimee and Dean?
What are Laurie and Tommy up to?
Best Moment: The Jill scene was excellent and did a good job of closing out on storyline and opening up another. I hope we get to catch up with Tommy and Laurie soon.
Character of the Episode: Kevin for trying to make things work in his new family.
Conclusion: This was another solid and enjoyable episode. There wasn't as much mystery as the previous episode but this did provide some effective catch up with what our main characters have been up to and the problems they are experiencing.
Just a high school student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.