As a defender of Damon Lindelof’s The Leftovers since the beginning, last night’s episode finally made the show much easier to defend, offering up not only my favorite episode of the series (full review of the episode here), but remarkably, it finally stuck its head out of the bleakness and gave us a cathartic, hopeful episode (that reminded me a lot of Jim Sheridan’s In America).
Much of what made it such a terrific episode was that it, like the third episode, focuses on one major character. Here it was Nora Durst, played by Carrie Coon, who turned in an absolutely amazing performance in what will probably be considered her break-out performance. In television. She’s already a break-out performer in another medium.
1. The Leftovers is not Coon’s first television role, but it is her first major one: She had guest roles in three now-cancelled series, as well as a Law & Order: SVU episode (like everyone else on Broadway).
2. Speaking of Broadway, the Ohio native has a Tony nominations for her role as Honey in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? . It should go along nicely with the Emmy nomination she’s likely to pick up for her performance in The Leftovers.
3. I don’t know if that play is where Coon met her husband, Tracy Letts (although, I would guess that it is), but he actually won a Tony for his depiction of George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Tracy Letts is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of August: Osage County. Letts is also familiar to fans of Homeland and Senator Lockhart.
4. In fact, it was Letts who connected Coon to The Leftovers, as he was originally sent a script for the series because he was up for a role and passed it along to his wife, who had already read and loved Tom Perrotta’s source novel.
5. Regardless of her fate in The Leftovers, we’ll be seeing plenty of her. She’ll play the sister in David Fincher’s upcoming adaptation of Gone Girl with Ben Affleck.