Review: The Leftovers: "Two Boats and a Helicopter"

The Leftovers has its break out episode

August 07 2014

By Tyler Hall


Christopher Eccleston's Reverend Matt Jamison takes the focal point of this episode, the third of HBO's new series The Leftovers this past Sunday, and the result was nothing but gratifying. 

After two unremarkable episodes to start the season (both directed by Peter Berg), former Lost showrunner Damon Lindeloff upped the tension for week three. The Leftovers is based on the book of the same name, written by Tom Perrotta, and is about the world aftermath after a rapture-like event causing 2% of the world population to mysteriously vanish. The show focuses on the ones who have been left behind, with no understanding of what or why it happened or if they will ever come back.

"Two Boats and a Helicopter" in deed feels very much like an episode of Lost. The one POV character throughout this episode allowed for a deeper understanding and for more drama to be pulled from the story. Many of Lost's best episodes were similarly the intricate one main character monologue episodes.  The ridiculous questions being asked, with no answers close to being realized, also make this show feel very similar to Lost.

I was particularly impressed with the roller coaster sympathy act the writers were able to put me on. Matt Jamison will be particularly hateful at moments and appears to only want to relay to others that God did not cause this rapture for his own selfish reasons. Without spoiling anything, appearances can be deceiving. Just how unlucky the guy is makes it difficult to stay angry at the man, even if he can often seem petty. 

I also enjoyed this episode because of the role of God and what consequences take shape from our actions were explored. We do not know if God takes form in the show but it is possible to see idea take form that he could. And even the idea that he could have a place in this show creates even more questions that need to be answered.