The best (and perhaps most anticipated) part of the episode is the end when we learn where most of our main characters were when the Sudden Departure occurred. “The Garveys at Their Best” is exceptional at building up suspense throughout and the payoff is even better. Previously in the series, there have already gotten some hints about certain characters’ whereabouts: there was the a quick flash of Kevin having sex though we didn’t know who with; the episode with Reverend Matt and his wife in a car though we don’t know where they were coming from; the emphasis on the paper towels in Nora’s house though it was never explained why.
As it turns out, Kevin ended up cheating on Laurie (for the first time or …?) with the woman he drove home from the deer accident. She disappears as they’re in bed which is a severe mind-fuck. Jill is at a science fair with Tom who shows up to support her when neither of her parents do. A group of classmates hold hands in a circle and one of them disappears. Nora is angry after her daughter spills juice on her phone and grabs paper towels to dry it. She turns back and everyone is gone — the guilt she must feel over this being her last moments with the family says volumes about her character now. Matt and his wife are leaving the doctor after he gets a clean bill of health; Laurie is in the same doctor’s office learning that she’s pregnant. Presumably, based on the expression on her face as the Sudden Departure happens, the unborn child is one of the departed — and that’s certainly a severe mind-fuck, too.
There is a lot to unpack in this episode but more than anything, it’s the wait for the finale even more excruciating. What’s up with those creepy people in the car? Will Laurie ever reveal to anyone what happened to her on October 14? Is Jill going to save Laurie or will she get sucked into the cult, too?