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A few more notes:

  • I'm noticing increasingly how silence is used in the show: it's about absence, sure, but there's also a sense in which silence forces you to talk. When someone is silent, you can either fall silent or keep talking, and a lot of people who hate awkward silences opt for the latter. This is something the GR is rather good at: just keeping quiet and staring at people, whose certainties and platitudes turn to anger, resentment, or confusion—and, sometimes (as with Meg), to a sort of conversion. Tom's phone has also gone silent in this episode, both when Kevin calls him and when he waits for Wayne. The Psalmist, too, was no stranger to silence.
  • About those car brakes. There's a few theories about what on earth is going on in this town. Obviously, mysterious things do happen, and it's entirely possible that the supernatural exists in this universe after all. (I mean, people disappeared.) But it's also possible that—with the exception of the disappearances—these things are just weirdly coincidental. It depends on your outlook. For now.
  • There was that very brief flashback in the very first episode that seemed to suggest that Kevin had cheated on Laurie before the disappearances; now that has been confirmed, we'll have to wait and see if anyone is involved whom we know.
  • On a craft-based note, I am growing more and more impressed and pleased with how the writers (including, to his credit, Perrotta) have taken the story past its source material and breathed life into character and plotlines, tightening them up, making them mean more than they did. And I'm impressed with the religious ambiguity; Perrotta's novel seems to indicate a universe in which, beyond the disappearances, there is no mystery, no transcendence, nothing beyond us and whatever we do to get through life. The show leaves room for interpretation, and that's what good art does: it isn't complete till the viewer completes it. So, kudos to this team.
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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