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“What did I say I wanted?” he asks Dean, about this other version of himself that apparently got drunk at a bar and decided to “take care” of Patti.

“You said it was time to end it,” Dean tells him.

“I don’t want to hurt her,” Kevin says in horror.

“Oh yes, you do,” replies Dean. “After what she took from your town? There has to be consequences.”

Here is what I thought of when I saw all this: the “memorial service” Patti lays is mixed up with the dinner Kevin lays, and in that, I can’t help but think of it as an inversion of the Christian practice of Eucharist or communion, in which the celebrant usually reads from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

The GR feel themselves judged already (they have named themselves the “guilty remnant,” after all), and they are quite sure that those around them are not judging themselves rightly and hence, they have to do the judging for them. (Nothing more judgemental than staring at people and smoking silently.)

But the Apostle Paul receives something from the Lord and then turns around and delivers it to the church. And what he received was that they might eat and drink in order to proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. The GR, by contrast, smokes to proclaim their faith—they literally have that on a poster in their house—but their faith is not that someone is coming and all shall be made right, but rather that nothing shall ever be right again. They aren’t looking for salvation: they want to make sure everyone knows that there isn’t any salvation coming, and you can’t even save yourself.

They are, in effect, the anti-resurrectionists: not just that Christ was not resurrected, but that nothing else will be: that there is no future resurrection of all creation, but only a slow descent into fire and ash.

“We strip away the colorful diversions that keep us from remembering,” Patti tells Kevin. “We strip away attachment, fear, love, and hatred, and anger, until we are erased. Until we are a blank slate. We are living reminders of what you try so desperately to forget. And we are ready and we are waiting, because it's not gonna be long now.”

Watch This Way
How we watch matters at least as much as what we watch. TV and movies are more than entertainment: they teach us how to live and how to love one another, for better or worse. And they both mirror and shape our culture.
Alissa Wilkinson
Alissa Wilkinson is Christianity Today's chief film critic and assistant professor of English and humanities at The King's College in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn.
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