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The Leftovers Recap: Season 1, Episode 7, “Solace for Tired Feet”

It pauses to establish the constellation of conflicts driving the first season of The Leftovers to its conclusion.

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Photo: HBO

After the powerful one-two punch of “Gladys” and “Guest,” “Solace for Tired Feet” is a useful respite, pausing to establish the constellation of conflicts driving the first season of The Leftovers to its conclusion. It’s a measure of just how thoroughly the series has won me over that the episode manages to work through this abundance of plot without slipping into the labored, distracted mode of “Pilot” and “Penguins One, Us Zero.” Indeed, “Solace for Tired Feet” leavens its rather harrowing tale of (seemingly) false prophets with lovely, funny details, like the image of Nora Durst (Carrie Coon) spraying two members of the Guilty Remnant with a garden hose. The Leftovers once strained to be taken seriously, but it now approaches both light and dark with an easy, expansive confidence.

Take tonight’s cold open, which finds the humor in an otherwise unnerving interlude. That rusted-out icebox in the woods is awfully macabre, invoking the memory of a young man who departed on October 14th while locked inside, and the panicky moment Jill (Margaret Qualley) endures after the door handle breaks off is a rare glimpse of the emotions roiling beneath her usually unflappable surface. But just as quickly as the tension builds, it finds release. Kevin Garvey Sr. (Scott Glenn) swoops in to save the day, and Jill delivers her response to a friend’s question (“Who was that?”) so coolly that I couldn’t help but laugh: “My grandpa,” she says flatly, as if it were nothing out of the ordinary. Jill’s grown on me over the course of the season, in part because I’ve come to admire her calmness in the face of what can only be described as a traumatic adolescence, but “Solace for Tired Feet” also begins to suggest that she’s become a much more complicated and mature person than the brat who stole the baby Jesus in “B.J. and the A.C.” She displays kindness toward her grandfather, offering him a sandwich and ordering the issue of National Geographic he seeks, but she also recognizes that he needs to be in treatment. (Her willingness to keep those useless twins around is another matter.)

Jill’s relative stability stands in stark contrast to just about everyone else in “Solace for Tired Feet,” which witnesses each ideological faction in post-Departure society grow increasingly edgy. Reverend Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston) and his small band of committed Christians stir up trouble with the Guilty Remnant, plastering Mapleton with posters depicting Gladys’s stoic face above the words “SAVE THEM.” (GR responds in kind by scrawling “DON’T” in scarlet ink on the posters and staging a protest that shuts down Main Street.) Tom (Chris Zylka) discovers that Christine (Annie Q) is not the only woman Holy Wayne (Paterson Joseph) impregnated, reinforcing the impression that he’s merely a charismatic fraud. “Nothing can hurt the baby,” Christine says enigmatically. “He’s the one. The only one. He’s the bridge.” Given that Wayne’s stripped to his underwear in a narrow, empty cellar, disoriented and desperate for money, it’s unclear what the endgame is, but needless to say he appears much diminished from the empathic healer of “Guest.” Was he right to predict his own impending demise?

“Solace for Tired Feet” ultimately offers cold comfort to those in search of an explanation for the Sudden Departure, framing the ostensible “truth-tellers” as the victims of a profound derangement. Watching the elder Kevin Garvey speak to the voices in his head, his gaunt face reflected in a diner window, registered as the heartbreaking consequence of looking for meaning in the meaningless. His faith in the power of the May 1972 issue of National Geographic, the episode suggests, is analogous to Holy Wayne’s dishonesty and Matt’s self-righteousness: Against Jill’s unshowy acts of kindness and her father’s dutiful commitment to family, religious convictions that require hurting others appear silly, and more than a little sad. At least for now, The Leftovers stands with Kevin Jr. (Justin Theroux) in the understanding that no fragment of text, no parable or morality tale, can adequately express the messiness of human endeavor. When the reverend begins to recite from the Bible, Kevin summarizes the central theme of “Solace for Tired Feet” in three words: “Fuck you, Matt.”

For more Leftovers recaps, click here.

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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