'The Leftovers' Season 1, episode 5 - 'Gladys': Ann Dowd exposes some Guilty Remnant secrets

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ann-dowd-the-leftovers-patti.jpg Warning: Major spoilers from "The Leftovers" Season 1, episode 5, "Gladys" are contained in this article.

In this episode we catch a little glimpse of what life is like for the mystery group the Guilty Remnant when their world is shaken by a hate crime. That opening scene where Gladys is stoned to death was probably one of the most graphic to be shown on TV in awhile, and heartbreaking to watch. Finding her body proved to be too much for Laurie to take, so Patti (Ann Dowd) -- being the standup gal that she is, picks up the cue her friend was in trouble, and they blow town for a day.

When Patti tells Laurie they are taking a day off from the G.R., things really start to look promising. Patti's casualness as she sat in the diner in her regular clothes and greeted a horrified and confused Laurie was amazing. How is Patti able to let her guard down with such ease?

Dowd tells Zap2it, "She is so deeply sure that this way of life is the only way. So taking a break from it, Patti is not in any way at risk of falling back to the way things were. That holds no meaning, no pull for her whatsoever -- so going there for a brief period is very comfortable and necessary thing to do."

Laurie's impending divorce, family conflict and internal struggles get the best of her in the episode, and honestly it really seemed like she was going to crack and either run home or speak up. Dowd says Patti recognizes her cry for help.

"Laurie clearly is struggling and Patti wants to know how bad it is. How vulnerable really is she?" Dowd says. "She's a very important part of the Guilty Remnant, Laurie. She's very important to Patti, so she wants to see if she can avert a disaster -- and how best to do it is first on the list."

patti-and-laurie-leftovers-gladys.jpgUnfortunately, Laurie doesn't speak on the day off, and then at the end when she whistle screams at Jamison, its' disappointing. It would have been super interesting to see her maybe leave the G.R. or stand united with him. Speaking of Jamison -- while the good reverend has forgiven the G.R. for taking his sacred church from him, he does bring up a good point in the episode when he tells Chief Garvey you can't kill the G.R., because they are already dead.

Dowd says the G.R. looks at things in a different light. "The big difference between the people in the Guilty Remnant and the rest of the world is that we have accepted that the event has occurred and that doesn't make us dead," she says. "It makes us just still, and by still, I mean aware and not in denial." 

Dowd also says this mentality is the basis for all the wacky rules and customs the group has.

"There's a stillness and there's a quiet in choosing not to speak. Anything that distracts us from just accepting what has occurred and just trying to live with that, without distraction," she says. "That's my understanding of the white as well as why do they smoke? Well, health is not an issue, is it? It's all over."

Chief Garvey had it rough this episode and is finally really showing some emotion. It was hard to watch the townspeople all veto his proposed curfew -- that actually seemed like a reasonable idea. He is missing his white shirts, fighting with his alarm system and coming to terms with his divorce, all while trying to investigate Gladys' murder. Let's face it -- we don't blame him for turning to the bottle. He eventually got someone's white shirts back from the dry cleaners -- they can't be his, right? And he told Jill he loves her in their first attempt at a father/daughter moment.

We got another glimpse of the weird bald man with the dogs and shotgun -- a.k.a. Kevin's non-imaginary friend. Still have no idea five episodes in on what his significance to the story is whatsoever.  Curious to see how his character comes into play in the remainder of the season or if he is just there to tease.

What did you think of episode 5? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo/Video credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO