updated 07/21/2014 AT 6:00 AM ET
•originally published 07/21/2014 AT 7:00 AM ET
Spreading Christmas fear?
On Sunday night’s episode of HBO’s The Leftovers, much is revealed about the Garveys’ past.
But as for the present, it’s the holidays and things are only getting worse.
The episode opens in an austere toy factory, showing a worker building a lifelike baby doll from start to shelf. The toy’s later purchased from a Mapleton store, swaddled and placed in the manger of the town’s nativity scene.
Chief Garvey (Justin Theroux) is in his office, where he’s called in Guilty Remnant leader Patti (Ann Dowd). He warns her to keep the cult away from the town’s upcoming holiday dance. But in truth, he hopes they crash the party, so he can finally arrest them for trespassing.
Tom’s in Trouble
Later, Garvey again can’t reach his son on the phone. It’s revealed Tom Garvey is currently in Amarillo, Texas, holed up with the young Asian girl from the ranch, Christine (Annie Q), at what appears to be a homeless halfway house. The place is crawling with wackos from another cult – one that has followers paint bull’s-eyes on their foreheads “so the creator can find [them]”.
As the two sit at a table pondering the whereabouts of their own mystical leader Wayne (Paterson Joseph), a man wearing a T-shirt (and nothing else) staggers towards Christine asking why she’s inside his dreams. The stranger straddles and tries to strangle her until Tom fights him off. They leave as the deranged assailant screams after them, “I know what’s inside you!”
A Holy Abduction
Like Garvey’s, the family in Mapleton’s manger has fallen apart. There’s a baby Jesus bandit on the loose. Jill (Margaret Qualley), Garvey’s normally apathetic teen daughter, grills him about finding the doll, which gives him the feeling she and her friends are the culprits.
Mayor Warburton (Amanda Warren) tells Garvey to replace the doll to help clean up his damaged, dog-killer image. Instead of buying a replacement, Garvey decides to find what’s been lost. Surveying video footage, he learns a hooded figure absconded with the doll. He later pulls over Lilly’s two Bobbsey twin friends, telling them to return the doll or kiss their clean records goodbye.
Back in Texas, Tom takes Christine to the doctor following her assault. There it’s revealed she’s 12 weeks pregnant with Wayne’s baby, seeming to prove he’s the pedophile police thought him to be. But eyeing the girl’s bruises, the doctor assumes Tom’s her abuser. He flees before police are called.
At a bus stop two Guilty Remnant members hand Tom a pamphlet. Angry, confused and clutching the flip phone Wayne gave him, he begins to doubt the mystic, who tasked him with protecting Christine. “I want to go home,” he says as a bus arrives and the two GR members board. But before he gets on, the phone rings. An automated voice asks, “Have you lost someone?” It’s just a generic post-departure telemarketing call, but it’s enough to make Tom stay.