Week 8 and I am still winning. I am so surprised that my success has continued, but I don't think it'll go on much longer – I have some tough competition coming up and some significant bye weeks.
Well I didn't do much for Halloween this year even though I ended up with a three day weekend. Things have still been pretty busy in my life and so I didn't get much gaming in, I didn't hand out candy to the kids coming to the door, and pretty much didn't get a lot of the general leisure time recently. I think that's OK because as I mentioned in a previous post I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I did get a chance this weekend to do a slight bit of reading, play a couple games of League of Legends, and watch a wonderful episode of The Leftovers.
Gaming over Analysis
In League of Legends I've been all over the place in my gaming performance. I really haven't had any time so the only thing I've been able to do is play a few games – I haven't taken the opportunity to review any of my games for places where I can improve. This has resulted in me being very inconsistent in what I'm doing in the games I'm a part of. I've fluctuated between climbing the ladder to being in promos for bronze 1 to being down at the dregs of bronze 3, where if I lost one more match I'd end up in bronze 4. Right now I sit at one game away from promos for bronze 2 and I'm not sure if I'm going to put in the effort before the season is over. I probably will actually, but I'm just a little frustrated and haven't had much time to assess my gameplay.
The little bit of reading that I've done has been to start reading Stephen King's The Stand. It is no longer the Book-of-the-Month since it's November now, but I started anyway and even though I read it a while ago I'm enjoying it so far. I'm only a few chapters in but the story has really come flooding back to me and I remember quite a bit of what took place. That's a testament to how well the book is written I think. Characters like Stu Redmond and Larry Underwood are still in my recallable memory over 20 years later. Even though I've read it before, I'm enjoying it, and with a book of this size, I'll feel a sense of accomplishment from reading it again.
The Leftovers: s2e5 No Room At The Inn
This was probably one of my favorite episodes of television this year. It was truly a work of art as it seemed to hit all the right notes and evoke many different emotions. The whole story of Matt, the preacher, is such a sympathetic one only superseded by his wife, both of whom were the centerpiece of this episode. It was both a heartwarming episode and a tragic episode generating so many emotions it was truly wonderful. Once again Damon Lindeloff scored a hit with this episode.
I guess I'll say spoiler alert because I'm going to touch on some of the things that happened in the episode.
The opening montage of Matt waking every morning taking care of his wife, playing the same music, making the same food, going to the same store every day and kissing her good night every night was absolutely wonderful. It was almost Groundhog Day type of repetitive series, and this was truly touching and demonstrated the love that Matt has for his wife. Christopher Eccleston played the role so perfectly
And then things started to happen. The Jamesons head out of town to the doctor for some tests and discover she's pregnant. Good news – they had been trying for ten years prior to the departure to have a child and failed…bad news – no one has seen her outside of a comatose state since the departure. This begs the moral and ethical question of – did Mary really wake up for a few hours and then fall back into her coma as Matt has claimed in previous episodes? Did someone so devoted to his wife, someone so faithful to God, someone the audience has so much empathy for actually have a mental breakdown and rape his wife when she was comatose?
That's the big question to be addressed down the line and we put that aside as the rest of the episode has enough tragedy to fill a Homeric epic. On the way back to town the Jamesons attempt to assist a stranded motorist only to be attacked and have their wristbands – their only way back into Miracle – stolen by a desperate father and son. They are denied entry to the town without the bracelets and when he asks Kevin for help getting back home, they have a run in with 'the fireman' – John Murphy – who refuses to believe in anything supernatural despite the complete disappearance of millions of people around the world. While initially appearing to want to help Matt and Mary, John demands Matt never tell his story about Mary waking, and instead tell everyone how he raped her in a moment of weakness. This doesn't sit well with Matt and he goes preacher on John asking him what made him such an angry man – I think this is one of the main questions this season and unless Lineloff wants to piss people off like he did with Lost, he'll answer this one.
In any case, John refuses to help and Matt needs to find another way into the town. This leads to romp through the carnival atmosphere of the refugee came outside Miracle. I'm not sure why shows need to do this in their later seasons, but there seems to be a trend – American Horror Story, Heroes, and others – keep wanting to put a carnival into their shows. I don't think it has worked out very well for any of them and I don't particularly like it. Anyway, in the camp Matt finds a guy to help them get into town and he has to got through a series of trials to get money and try to sneak into the town until his sister, Nora, finally finds him and smuggles them back home.
That would be enough for any normal television show, but The Leftovers goes beyond. As the group drives Matt and Mary home, they run across an accident – it's the father who stole the wristbands and he's dead. Matt takes a bracelet back for his wife and well, you'll have to watch it to see how Matt deals with the surviving son and then leaves town to save some others. Such a good episode.
I'd like to think about the first season on a scale of 1 to 10 for the level of depression that it represented and it had to be at least a 10 if not beyond the scale. This season, the depressive level is much lower and I would say maybe it would be a six or seven, as there seems to be much more hope. This season seems to be more focused on the mystery and the spirituality of what's going on. While we do have some more people that have vanished, we have so many more of our characters living day to day with everything that's happened. We really don't have a scenario like last year where everybody or half the cast was in the Guilty Remnant cult that didn't talk and just sat around being depressed all the time. And I am very glad to have a release from all that depression and despair.
I'm really digging the mysteries that they have introduced this season with the new girls who vanished, with the question about what happened with Kevin's son, and does he truly have magical healing powers, and it'll be interesting to see how the rest of the newly formed family deals with everything that's going on. I also really love the way Matt is being portrayed. He has always been one of my favorites as a character and as an actor, Eccleston, really hits it out of the park with this episode.