On the day of the parade — which Kevin has forbidden Jill to go to but she doesn’t listen — the town is at rapt attention as Nora Durst, a survivor who lost her entire family in the departure, gives an emotional speech. “I’m not greedy,” she says as her voice cracks, “I’m not asking for that perfect day at the beach. Just give me that horrible Saturday, all four of us sick and miserable but alive and together.” It’s heartbreaking but before we get to fully feel the weight of her speech, the Guilty Remnant show up, clad in required white, holding up letters to spell out “STOP WASTING YOUR BREATH.”
A riot breaks out between the town and the cult but it’s one-sided. The G.R. are pacifists, trained to ignore everything that comes their way whether it’s yelling, spitting, or punches. They stand there and take the blows, falling to the ground and refusing to strike back as they absorb the kicks from the angry mob. It’s tough to watch especially as Kevin throws himself in there to try to quell the violence. There’s so much anger within the town and they’ve all been trying to find a release; it was only a matter of time before it lands on the Guilty Remnant.
Later, after a drunk night at the bar, Kevin goes to the cul-de-sac where his estranged wife Laurie has taken up with the G.R. He begs her to come home but it doesn’t take. She just stares, clearly wanting to speak — to say anything to him — but can’t break the rules. She can’t go home, either. She’s found her place at the G.R., even though it means abandoning her entire family. She’ll find a new family, though, because as Kevin is driving away, new recruit Meg drives up to join the G.R. and is placed under Meg’s watch.
It’s a stunning first episode of what is sure to be a stunning (and depressing) series. “Nobody’s ready to feel better. They’re ready to fucking explode,” Kevin says early in the pilot. He’s right.