Summary: Laurie and Tommy have created a sort of cult to free people of the GR and let them return to their lives. Tommy has infiltrated the GR to do this. Laurie is writing a book about what happened to her to try and get some money. Tommy is discovered by the GR and is taken away and raped by Meg who threatens him. Laurie's book fails after she attacks Peter, a potential publisher. Tommy ultimately tells his cult that he is the next Holy Wayne and can take peoples pain away.
The Good: This was really good and I enjoyed most of it. Tommy and Laurie's new cult was a logical step for them to take having both just escaped from their own cults. It made sense for Laurie to use her therapist skills to try to free the people of the GR so they can move on with their lives like she did. It's a good thing that she's doing which makes us support her and want for her to. Engaging with and supporting characters can be the key between good and great television, as evidenced by the riveting success of "Two Boats and a Helicopter" so it's nice to see the writers are still focused on keeping the characters gripping.
Laurie's arc in this episode was also really well done. She kept trying to do things the right way, but the stress of her situation forced her hand and we slowly see her getting more angry with every scene she's in. It starts with the robbery of her laptop and culminates with her attacking Peter for making her face her feelings again. It's sad and a mini tragedy of sorts to see Laurie fall so far, and in the end she has to rely on Tommy to keep her organization together.
A highlight scene of the Laurie arc was her scene with Peter when she attacks him. She had just received news about Susan's accident a moment before so she was obviously under some stress already but then when Peter tried to get her to face her emotions again she snapped. When watching the scene, you can see Laurie get more and more annoyed when Peter keeps suggesting things that clearly missed the point she was trying to make in the book, but when Laurie was placed back into the tragedy she witnessed last season it was clearly too much for her to handle. This scene also led to a nice scene between Laurie and Tommy where Laurie cries out in his arms.
I also really enjoyed this episode's story about Susan who joined the GR. It proves a point that people's pain is often caused by many things and it can't be dealt with in as simple of a way as Laurie was trying. As Tommy said at the end of the episode, they have to give something back to fill in the holes that are in these people. Susan's story was a hash way of getting Laurie to realize this as we see Susan get taken out of the GR and back to her family. But her problems and pains persist and she is only able to get rid of them by killing herself along with her family. It's a really sad scene that serves as a wake up call not only to Laurie but to us as well.
Lastly, Holy Tommy was a wonderful development. It's unclear if Tommy is saying the truth or not (see: The Unknown), but that only adds to the wonder of this scene. What is made clear is that it doesn't matter if Tommy is telling the truth or not, but people believe him and this can be a big change for Laurie's cult. I'm glad that the Holy Wayne storyline has now paid off in a big way since I thought it was the weakest storyline in the previous season. But now it seems we can really connect to Tommy this season if he's lying or not as we can understand how he feels about what he's doing.
The Bad: Two episodes later and there is still no continuation of the cliffhanger at the end of "Axis Mundi". Sure, this episode was definitely outstanding and was a worthy episode to hold off the cliffhanger's resolution, but it's still frustrating to wait so long to see what happens next.
I wasn't a fan of Laurie's robbery. It seemed way too easy and it was ridiculous that it was shown in such a flippant manner without any consequences to it at all.
I didn't like that there was a very limited follow up to Tommy's rape. That scene should have been treated like a bigger deal than it was but instead we only get one scene of Tommy being angry.
The Unknown: Not as many questions in this episode, but we had 2 really big ones.
I will start with Meg. There was so much intrigue in that storyline that I was tempted to put it in the good, but there are too many mysteries for me to put it there. And of course I wasn't a fan of the rape. What has Meg been up to since season 1? Has she been promoted in the GR? She does seem to have much more control than she did before. Why did she rape Tommy? Will she oppose Laurie directly?
Does Tommy really have Holy Wayne's powers? Does Laurie believe he has these powers? Or is this all just a hoax for Laurie and Tommy to give the former GR members something to replace what they have taken away? Either way it works, which is the great thing about this show. Every answer you can come up with satisfies from a storytelling perspective.
Best Moment: Tommy's speech at the end of the episode was excellent. It gave us a reason to finally care for his character and also gave us a very interesting mystery to think about for the future episodes.
Character of the Episode: Laurie for having to go through so much before finally having some success.
Conclusion: This was a very strong episode, though it did have a few flaws. But outside of the flaws, the quality was damn good which earns this episode a fairly high score.
Just a high school student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.