A lesson in self-rapture - Vox

July 7, 2014 3:21 PM

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Last week, HBO premiered its new summer series The Leftovers, which is based on Tom Perrotta's novel of the same name. Ratings for the hour-long drama were fairly good: 1.8 million viewers tuned in to see how the small-town village of Mapleton would deal with the mass disappearance of 2 percent of the Earth's population. That premiere was so well-done that I was worried subsequent episodes wouldn't measure up. But if tonight's episode is any indication, the writers, led by Damon Lindelof, who co-scripted this episode with Kath Lingenfelter, know exactly what they're doing.

Tonight's episode was titled "Penguin One, Us Zero," a reference to the shrink that Chief of Police Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) has started seeing. There's an inflatable penguin in the therapist's office that is apparently meant to help children deal with their aggression. (Lindelof made a few cry...

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