Hello everybody! Today i’d like to share with you a theory of mine about Kevin Garvey, the main character of The Leftovers. While watching and rewatching both series on and on I had a strange idea that got me more and more suspicious (and also afraid): what if Kevin is one of the Guilty Remnants?
Let’s think about it. We don’t know much about him and his past. We are given the first hints about him in the ninth episode of the first series, “The Garveys at their best”. Here, we are shown of the Garveys in the two days before the Sudden Departure. I think this is one of the best episodes because it gives us the chance to take a look at the world before it fell into pieces. Like any other family in real life, the Garveys have their problems which nevertheless can’t ruin the atmosphere of ease and happiness that reigns in the family. Tom has problems with his natural father, but he goes to college and enjoys having time with his family. Jill is absorbed by her school projects like any teenager and looks happy and cheerful. K.G., Kevin’s father, is fully satisfied with his job and his life. During his birthday party he tells his son that what matters in life is family, friends and work, and that you don’t necessarily need a higher goal than simply being a good father, a good husband and a good policeman. Everybody was happy and carefree at that time, everybody but Kevin. He was not satisfied with what he had, it was not enough for him, he needed something more. Kevin is the only character who felt anguished even before the Departure. On October 14th he starts doing things he then forgets, he goes mad for nothing and loses his temper very easily.
In one of the first episodes he’s maddening about disassembling the oven in his office because “his bagles disappeared”. Then he wakes up in the middle of the night, completely unaware of where he had been in the last few hours, totally ignoring where the bite on his hand – supposedly done by human teeth – comes from. He often wakes up in his car, so confused, as he had lost his mind and wasn’t able to control is new personality that is taking over.
Let me now explain my theory: I think that on October 14th Kevin has developed a second identity, of which he’s unfortunately unaware, and which takes control over him during sleepwalking. And this hidden Kevin is a member of the Guilty Remnants. This idea has become stronger and stronger while watching the episode called “International Assassin”. In order to try to confirm this theory, I have rewatched the whole series from the beginning and I have found so many reasons why I could be right. But let’s go back to the start.
- Dean, the mysterious guy who shoots the dogs, often confirms he’s not familiar with the man Kevin is when he’s awake. In the first episode, when Kevin asks him “am I awake?” Dean answers “you sure are now”. (Why did he ask this to him in the first place?). This odd statement seems to suggest that Kevin must have spent some time with this strange guy, who seems to know Kevin surely more than how Kevin knows him.
In the eight episode, “Cairo”, the situation is even stranger. This time, after kidnapping Patti, Dean says something more direct and way less mysterious: “I signed up for this little adventure under the countenance of strong and decisive leadership, but now, Lo and behold, that leader is now gone, and the man currently residing in his skin clearly has no fucking idea what is happening in there”. When he realizes that Kevin not only has no memory at all of kidnapping Patti, but he does not even understand why he did it, Dean tells Kevin he should go to sleep, so the other Kevin can wake up and help him finish what they started.
More interestingly, at the end of the episode, Dean starts talking to someone we cannot see, just like K.G. did.
- In the fifth episode of the first series, “Gladys”, a member of the G.R. is stoned to death by some men with masks and dressed in black. In “Cairo” we are told that the Guilty Remnants themselves are stoning their own members in order to make them reminders of what happened so nobody can never forget them. After Gladys has been killed, Kevin wakes up brusquely still wearing his jeans, as though he had spent the whole night outside, but cannot remember anything.
- The alarm. After all the violence in his city, Kevin decides to install an Alarm because he’s afraid that someone could break in his house. Over the episodes he often finds the alarm off in the morning, and puts the blame on his daughter Jill. But.. What if the alarm was put off by Kevin himself to got out in the middle of the night without turning it on again on the way back?
- The shirts. Again in the fifth episode Kevin opens the wardrobe and finds out it’s empty: all his white shitrs are missing. I was perplexed thinking that the only clothes missing were exactly the white ones, and I became strongly suspicious when he goes mad at the laundry. What a violent and excessive reaction for losing some shirts! Moreover, he accepts from the laundry guy some shirts that aren’t visibly his own. We know too well indeed that his shirts are part of his police uniform, and have the badge of Mapleton Police on the sleeve, while the laundry guy gives some ordinary all white shirts. This made me think that somewhere inside him Kevin knows what’s going on, but tries to deny it at all costs.
In episode eight, Cairo, we’ll find out his shirts are hanging in a circle from the trees in a wood near the cabin where he kept Patti prisoner.
- During the first series Kevin often has some weird dreams too. In the first one, he’s in the woods together with Aimee and Dean, watching them shoot someone in a white dress. In the second, Dean’s (or Kevin’s?) truck is loaded with the corpses of the G.R.
Things go worse and worse for poor Kevin: Patti follows him everywhere, he’s out of control about this, and he is causing a new family crisis. My theory might be confirmed by other details in “International Assassin”:
- “FIRST KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND THEN ADORN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY” – This reads the tag on his wardrobe in the mysterious hotel. Inside there are some garments and there is his Mapleton uniform too, but he doesn’t choose to wear it, and it is not the chief of police he decides to be. Instead, he chooses to wear the assassin’s outfit, and I think that’s the moment when his second personality takes over and even acquires a name: Kevin Harvey. (a “Harvey” that wants to kill the President of United States? Sounds familiar…)
- In the odd world of the hotel, Patti Levin is running for President of the USA, and Gladys is her assistant. Before the meeting, Kevin is obliged to undergo a test with a truth machine. Whenever he lies, a red light turns on. When he is asked “Why do you smoke?”, he answers he is nicotine addicted, and the red light turns on. He is then asked the same question again, and this time his answer is clear, leaving no space for any doubts: “I smoke to remember that the world ended”. And the red light stays off. These exact words summarize the main belief of G.R., and Kevin looks surprised as though he has just recognized that creed as his own.
- When Kevin is led to Patti’s room, in the corridor he crosses a hooded man wearing a policeman uniform just like his own. This scene might symbolically mean that the assassin Kevin Harvey is completely taking over tha good policeman Kevin Garvey.
- Last but not least, in the hotel world Kevin is not an ordinary man, he is the main sponsor and supporter of Patti Levin’s project. She’s running for president and her main goal if “destroying families”. It’s not clear whether this parallel world just exists in Kevin’s mind – sort of a private Purgatory or even Hell – or it belongs to reality. In both cases, Kevin Harvey believes in Patti Levin and supports her project.
This theory of mine might also explain the reason why Kevin is compelled to come back to the hotel a second time: he has to take back his lost identity. Indeed, back to the other world, this time he chooses to play his own role, to be himself. He wears the uniform of Mapleton Police and sings for his family, an odd and very intimate rite of passage that allows him to show that what really matters in his life is his family, that he had risked losing allowing the other Kevin takeover.
Like I said before, my theory is growing stronger and stronger at every rewatch of the series, but I still hope that i’m wrong. I think that if i’m right the consequences on Kevin might be huge. What if Kevin really discovers to be one of the G.R.? One of the black-dressed ones, with the only purpose to stone their brothers to death? How would he react? Could he live with himself? And what really happened to his self-nemesis Kevin Harvey? Is he still somewhere inside him or he died in the well with Patti?