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Monday, August 4, 2014

The Leftovers: Stolen Identities

Posted By on Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 12:06 PM

This has to be the precise time in the history of this show that viewers start to abandon ship. They are there one week and then “poof!” they are gone. Pretty ironic, no? But things have gotten so high-concept, so up in the head of the writers and producers, that the audience seems to be left out in the cold.

This week Nora headed to NY for a conference on The Departed. Someone has stolen her identity and she vows to find the interloper who stole her nametag, but until then she decides to party with the other conference-goers and takes a magic pill that makes her incredibly high. She meets a guy who makes exact replicas of Loved Ones who have disappeared, love dolls for the bereaved I guess. This episode is obviously based on the works of the philosopher Walter Benjamin, and his The Work of Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction — the idea that a copy of something, however close to the original, is not the real thing. The fact that someone is impersonating Nora all over the conference underlines this. 
click to enlarge Benjamin: The thing is not the thing - WIKIPEDIA.ORG

She ends up paying $1000 to the hugging guru, who despite charging a pretty penny to drain people of their pain, can’t seem to afford a clean shirt. He hugs away the trauma of losing her entire family, maybe (hard to say, though the cut away to the next scene shows her smiling). This is all great because she’s heading towards a romance with the sheriff, ol’ Kevin (Justin Theroux) who really, really needs to get laid. (Why do I keep seeing the tortured love scene from Monster’s Ball though when they finally do it?)

Oy vey, what a slog.  
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Katy St. Clair

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