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She quotes W.B. Yeats to him, then. It’s the second stanza of this poem, “He Bids His Beloved Be At Peace,” and the first stanza seems awfully apocalyptic:

Hear the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake,
Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white;
The North unfolds above them clinging, creeping night,
The East her hidden joy before the morning break,
The West weeps in pale dew and sighs passing away,
The South is pouring down roses of crimson fire:

O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream, endless Desire,
The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay:
Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast,
Drowning love’s lonely hour in deep twilight of rest,
And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.

And then she does something very like what Wayne did to Nora, but in a much scarier way: “Kevin,” she says. “Kevin. Kevin Garvey. You dont have to hide from me.” (Doesn’t he?)

But then the leader slits her own throat and ends her own life, not to save the celebrant, but to condemn him.

So where does this leave Kevin? Is he a prophet? An instrument in the hands of the GR? Or something else? Patti is sure her selfish sacrifice—of herself—is enough to make him understand. Whether or not her blood, left literally on his hands, will push him into a new role, is still to be seen.

Other Thoughts:

  • Laurie appears to be the de facto leader, now, appointed by Patti to the role.
  • The binder Laurie pulls out of the desk drawer, the one filled with dossiers on the townspeople, is labeled “M.D.” It took me a while to realize that was for “Memorial Day.” It’s not clear if it’s the whole town or just people in the town who lost someone—that would seem likely.
  • Is it just me, or is Dean in cahoots with the GR?
  • Just a note to point how far off book the show has gone now, which does successfully make it intriguing. They’ve taken elements from the novel but twisted them around to create a new mythology. It is interesting, though, that while the novel itself seemed to scrub its universe of mystery, ultimately giving us a Mapleton in which everything is meaningless, this version is loaded with symbols of something in the beyond. In other words, meaning has shifted to something transcendent. If that’s a function of grief, then, well: this says something interesting about us.
  • Notice all the knife imagery.
  • This whole episode, or at least the cabin stuff, plays out like a dream sequence—it’s even implied by the lead-in that Kevin is dreaming it, and the Yeats quote from Patti begins “Oh vanity of sleep.” If it turns out to have been a dream, well, then: something very weird is going on, though not entirely out of line with the craziness that went on for the prophets in the Old Testament.
  • This episode is titled “Cairo,” supposedly for Cairo, New York, where the cabin is. But Cairo was also mentioned over a walkie-talkie in an earlier episode, and Egypt does keep coming up, including a reference in that National Geographic magazine. Egypt is of course very important in Biblical imagery, but I’m not willing, yet, to take a guess on what that’s all about.
  • I’m mystified by Matt now, and reminded by his actions which infuriate Meg so much that he is bent on making sure people don’t forget the departures, either. I am, however, relieved that his character has remained very far afield from the cardboard-cutout angry preacher man of the novel.
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.
Previous Watch This Way Columns:
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