Clip From This Sunday's The Leftovers: Nora Durst Divorces Her Departed Husband
On this Sunday's The Leftovers, local martyr Nora Durst will cope with the jarring revelation in a previous episode that her husband was having an affair.
The show is at its best when it explores the ways in which the Departure has profoundly changed this fictional society as a whole. Nora is divorcing her husband, essentially on the grounds of abandonment, but the judge doesn't describe the grounds as such. Instead, there are specific proceedings for divorces from the Departed, which makes perfect sense. Abandonment implies agency on the missing person's part, while the Departed presumably had no say in the matter. So, especially if there are children involved, dividing the couple's possessions would be tricky. I was most taken aback when the judge clarified that if Nora's husband returned, the divorce would still be final. First, the show is so incredibly bleak, I had forgotten there was any hope of the Departed returning. I think most of the characters in The Leftovers have forgotten as well. And second, that clause is interesting because depending on the person, it could make it more or less difficult to gain closure. On the one hand, people may be less likely to seek legal divorces, because they're worried that if their spouses return, then they'll be heartbroken to find that he or she had given up on them. But, on the other hand, if the alternative was true, then there would be no way to truly move on and accept that the person is never coming back. There would always be that nagging thought in the back of his or her mind: in a way, they are technically still married. Nora may actually be lucky, in a very morbid sense, that her husband was having an affair, because then, unlike the other Departed "widows," she can move on without feeling faithless.
If I had to guess, this Nora-centric episode will likely explore her brother's theory that the Departed were not particularly virtuous, in light of her husband's infidelity, as well as her burgeoning chemistry with Justin Theroux's Kevin. The episode will air on Sunday at 10 pm on HBO.