"Don't wake up. Don't anybody wake up. Go to sleep.. go back to fucking sleep!"
After the frantic pace of recent episodes "Gladys" and "Guest", you would think that The Leftovers would come up for some air. Quite the opposite. With only three episodes left in the first season, "Solace for Tired Feet" brings no solace at all to viewers and in fact continues to take us further under the current as the events in Mapleton start to intertwine and come to a head. This latest episode starts off with Jill and a group of her friends trying to see who can last the longest locked inside an old refrigerator in the woods. Some pretty terrific games that these kids are into, huh? Well, Jill breaks the record but the handle breaks off when her friends try to let her out and chaos ensues. Enter the character that perhaps we least expect to see at this moment, Kevin Garvey Sr., who has apparently broken out of the secure psychiatric facility that he was voluntarily remanded to soon after the Sudden Departure.
In contrast to the previous two episodes, "Solace for Tired Feet" has an expanded focus but it does still tend to orbit around Kevin Garvey. Whether we're talking about his budding relationship with Nora Durst (one of the bright spots in the series so far), the strange chemistry with Jill's friend Aimee (Emily Meade), the jumbled and somewhat-tied-to-reality sequences with Dean (Michael Gaston) or the unsettling conversations with his father, Kevin is unwittingly the nucleus of all of this chaos. And that's not even mentioning his ties to the Guilty Remnant or the mess that his son Tom is wrapped up in.
Speaking of Tom Garvey, we learn (somewhat shockingly) that he is just one of many spokes in Holy Wayne's plans. Not only does he discover that there are other people like himself who are doing what Wayne has told them to, but apparently there are also other girls just like Christine (young, asian and pregnant?). I think that we as viewers of the show are supposed to be in the dark about Wayne and his motivations and abilities (supernatural or otherwise), but he has certainly been portrayed this far as an unsavory character which is very much at odds with the talent that he somehow possesses. Christine may have been having another vision when she was babbling phrases like 'there are spiders underwater", and I'm sure that we'll find some parallel to this later in the series, but the most important thing that we can garner from this episode is that Wayne has more than one baby and they are being referred to as 'The Bridge'. For whatever reason, Wayne seems to be in hiding and trying to make the money last until these babies have been born. This may be coming pretty soon, as at the end of the episode Christine is revealed to have given birth to her daughter.
Throughout the season so far, we have seen so many references to Kevin's possibly psychotic state (disappearing bagels, missing shirts, Dean, etc.) but at every turn he proves himself to be sane after all. In this episode, we see the real, tangible result of what Kevin perceives as a dream in the bite on his hand and the dog he has tied up outside. Aimee seems to have had a whole conversation with Kevin while he was blacked out, or having an episode - and in fact I'm not sure that Aimee is exactly what she appears to be. We haven't learned much about her and her back story but she seems to know some things about Kevin that he doesn't know about himself. Odd. Anyway, the whole episode culminates in a conversation that Kevin and his father have at a familiar diner.. for some reason an old issue of National Geographic seems to be some kind of token for Kevin to accept a new reality that may be happening to him and already happened to his father. Are things exactly as they seem, or could everything be completely different? Although Kevin does not want to, he ultimately does seem to accept that he has some new kind of purpose or connection waiting for him to explore when he grabs the magazine (not at the diner, but one that had been ordered by his daughter at their house on behalf of Kevin Garvey, Sr.).
Good luck to the citizens of Mapleton as things play out over the next couple of weeks. Things are about to get even crazier than they already are.. and that was already pretty nuts!