Show: The Leftovers.
Episode: 5,”No Room at the Inn.”
Written by: Damon Lindelof & Jacqueline Hoyt.
Running Time: 51-58 min.
Another amazing episode from The Leftovers writing and production staff this season, and arguably one of my favorites so far which centers on Matt Jamison and his latest set of trials yet again as he is confronted with both unexpected news regarding his wife and being unable to get back into Miracle after returning from an annual check-up.
Much like the first season, the Matt-centric episode is filled with the familiar struggle and turmoil that illicit sympathy for this man who never seems to cut a lasting break in his life. The tight sequences of each escalating trial the man is besieged with, commingled with seeming moments of giving the guy a breather from the bad luck only to have it lead to more misfortune, yo-yo’s the viewer in a sense of constant dread about the man’s fate.
The episode does an amazing job of keeping you guessing and gives an excellent catharsis to the episode at very end when he takes to the rack, oddly fitting for this particular character in his personal arc, and at the same time setting a sequence of events into motion for the other characters, particularly in regards to his sister now in an escalating anxious family situation.
There was some decent score choices this episode, displaying the standard fare of superior understanding of conveying extra meaning and plot enrichment with their audio that is part and parcel of this show, particularly this season, tuning the audience spectacularly.
If there was anything negative about the episode, it did have a feel of repeating the success of the last season’s Matt-centric episode formula, but the previous episodes have assured that this isn’t too much of a repeat of the first season, at least not overtly if there is. As long as established growth and progression is displayed for his character and not forgotten in the next season or further into this season, then it shouldn’t be an issue. This was a needed episode plot-wise anyway and well-constructed despite being repetitive in formula.
Overall an enjoyable drama filled episode that added an extra layer of world building, character building, and smartly utilized its technicals and actors to convey both the narrative and moral of the episode splendidly.
*Episode Promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UEZgsaMh8Q
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