A Look at Legion- Season 1, Episode 4: “Chapter 4”

So David is still stuck in his mind, but he’s about to go even deeper while the others attempt to rescue him.  Oh, but they’ll need to move fast because The Eye is in pursuit. Let’s dive into Chapter 4.

The episode begins with Melanie’s husband, Oliver Bird, played by Jemaine Clement, telling us all about human nature.  He paraphrases Nietzsche’s quote about how, in times of peace, the warlike man who would attack himself.  This is the root of all our problems.  By this, he means we, as in we’re the root of our own problems and the fear of things we don’t understand.  Violence is ignorance.  In other words, figure your shit out.

Oliver then discusses two types of story: one of empathy and one of fear. Tonight’s tale will be a five act play about a bunny that got too close to the ocean.  Get too close to that ocean and you may drown.  Sounds like a fun episode.  Let’s watch it.

As soldiers open fire, Syd and the others are left wondering what’s real.  That was the mission.  They had seen and hurt things, but what could be believed now?

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As David rests, Syd implores him to awaken, but to no avail.  She, along with Melanie and Cary, examine him while he’s under.  Cary suggests using adrenaline, but that could be too risky.

Ptonomy tells the others that he can’t locate David in his memory.  Wherever his mind is, Ptonomy is unable to find him.  David can project a mental space, or an astral plane.  Melanie thinks that some sort of guardian has been infected to protect certain memories, so the plan is to dig into David’s past and find out what happened to David prior to Clockworks.

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Kerry, Ptonomy, and Syd go to Dr. Poole’s office and find it hasn’t been touched in years.  Even the curtains are different from the memory, but most memories are unreliable.  The past is an illusion.  Syd points to the spot on the wall where she saw the tear and red light that came out and then recounts following young David.  Ptonomy tried looking for Syd in the astral plane, but this is part of David’s ability.

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Then Ptonomy finds the recorder, as objects have their own memory, too.  Syd wonders if they’re still in David’s mind, but Ptonomy knows better than that.  Or, at least, he’s pretty sure.  He instructs Syd to touch the recorder and close her eyes.

We then flash back to Dr. Poole’s asking David what the stars said to him.  After a quick glimpse at Poole’s dead body, we find out that Poole had returned to the office just as David was robbing him.  Syd doesn’t believe David would do that, but Ptonomy knows that David is unstable due to the years he spent hearing voices and self-medicating.

Based on the report, David broke Dr. Poole’s skull.  Had he used his powers, things could’ve been much worse.  Syd mentions that Poole asked about the stars talking to David.

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And in a flash, Syd saw David stuffing tape into his mouth.  These moments are like glitches and rips.  Ptonomy has seen implanted memories- but implanted from outside. Syd wonders that if David is so powerful, maybe he’s hidden his real memories behind fake ones.  No explanation as to why, though.

Ptonomy thinks that Syd just wants to prove David isn’t crazy, but what if David came to the office to get rid of evidence or a conversation where he said too much?  It’s possible.

So how do you find the facts when memory becomes a dream?  Alice went down the rabbit hole, and Dorothy might have end up in Oz.  Anyway, as Syd pontificates, she explains that she liked the idea of David.

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Meanwhile, a famished Amy is given some food that she devours without a second thought.  Her cellmate, who turns out to be Dr. Kissinger, on the other side of the wall calls out to her, but quietly since Division Three might be listening.  So Amy has confirmation that Kissinger does indeed exist.  Well, he used to.  He hasn’t seen David for awhile, so he couldn’t have told Division Three where he is.

Amy asks Kissinger if he knew that David had powers.  Kissinger recalls how David spoke of hearing voices.  Amy, though, only might have known.  For years, David moved from room to room while following a voice.  He knew things and conversations that no one could’ve ever known, and he talked to people who weren’t near him.  Oh, Amy and David never even had a dog named King, by the way.  Well, ain’t that a bitch?

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In the woods, Syd recalls David’s warning that after Syd traveled through his mind, she wouldn’t feel the same about him anymore.  She spots the figure from The World’s Angriest Boy in the World when Kerry tells her that Cary found an address for David’s ex-girlfriend.

Actually, let’s learn about Kerry for a minute: she and Cary share the same body.  See, the parents expected to give birth to a young, Native girl that would’ve been named Kerry, but they got a young, White boy instead.  Husband thought the wife cheated on him, so he left, leaving Mom as a single mother.  Well, that’s a dick move.

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During his upbringing, Cary woke up one day and found an eight-year-old Native girl playing with his train set.  Cary acted like he made her up, but then he figured out that she lives inside of him, like two people in one body.  Cary does the boring stuff like sleeping and eating, while Kerry gets to kick ass.

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Back at Summerland, Melanie is spooked by a figure in a scuba diving suit that ends up not being there at all.  She tells Cary that it’s not just a coincidence.  Maybe David is waking up, but Cary warns Melanie not to get her hopes up because they’ve been wrong before.  Melanie asks Cary if he misses Kerry.  He does, and continuing with the backstory, we learn that Kerry only ages when she’s outside of Cary’s body.

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The two enter a chamber down below Summerland speak with Oliver, the man in the diving suit, but the alarm goes off at the presence of unannounced visitors.  As Cary fixes the system, Melanie figures that Oliver is trying to reach her.

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We catch up with David in the astral plane as he spots and follows the diving suit up a ladder.  At the top of this ladder is a giant iceberg that David climbs inside of and ends up in a chamber.

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Oliver greets David and tells him that everything in the astral plane is whatever David wants it to be.  He plays some music, but David isn’t a fan, so that gets axed in no time. We learn that Oliver has been here for a long time and things tend to drift.  David explains that he’s been given a sedative and doesn’t feel that he’s awake.

David being in the astral plane is a result of him going too far into the make believe and he’s lost in his mind.  He’s now lost in this world where every day is the same, but nothing is ever real.  The good news is that Oliver isn’t alone anymore.  Well, there’s that at least. Oliver then tells David that the Devil with the Yellow Eyes can’t get to him.

Oliver figures that David wars with himself.  He explains that he knows about Melanie- who explained his powers- and then implores David not to leave because the monster is waiting for him.  He brought it with him and now it’s ready to pursue him again.  The monster, though, is more like a parasite.

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So Oliver figures it’s good that David is here so he can figure out how to defeat the monster.  David doesn’t know how to get out, but he figures that being a super powerful mutant will help him.  It doesn’t.  Oliver creates an opening in the chamber and tells David that everything here isn’t real unless he makes it real.  David soon climbs down and reenters the astral plane.

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As The Eye leads a squadron of soldiers, Syd, Kerry, and Ptonomy go on a bus ride, though Syd continues to see the figure from the book.  The three soon arrive at Philly’s office, with Ptonomy and Syd playing a couple.  Ptonomy, acting blind, goes through Philly’s memory while Syd tells Philly a bullshit tale about her and Ptonomy wanting to settle down and start a family.

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Ptonomy ends up observing David and Philly eating with Dr. Poole.  David tells Dr. Poole about their dog that he has no pictures of whatsoever, as if there’s no proof that the dog ever existed.  But then Ptonomy stops when he spots a glitch.

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We then cut to Philly arriving at a lighthouse where she meets with Dr. Poole.  He ends the session, but Syd tells Philly that she’s looking for David and asks if things ended badly between the two.  Philly admits that she tried to fix David, but David was troubled. He was at least nice to her.  Also, turns out that David’s best friend was actually named Benny, not Lenny.  Syd asks Philly if she has a message for David, and she does: they’re watching.

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Ptonomy, Syd, and Kerry discuss how someone might have altered David’s memory. They head to the lighthouse for some answers from Dr. Poole, who is now a lighthouse keeper.  He tells the three that he treated David’s schizophrenia on and off for three years because those with schizophrenia are subject to delusional thinking. When David was on medication, he was desperate to work.

David had conflicting impulses- good and bad- as well as a male friend, Benny, who had a negative effect on David’s treatment.  Before the break in, David doubled his sessions. It was clear that he had things to say, but couldn’t until his last appointment.  Syd asks Poole what the stars said, and Poole figures that Syd is in love with David.

Dr. Poole would like to see David again because he has questions.  He explains that he had a wife and kids, but now he can’t see out of one eye or concentrate.  He’d just like to know why David ruined his eye.

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But when Dr. Poole asks about Melanie Bird, the three realize that this is a trap.  In an instant, The Eye takes Dr. Poole’s place.  Syd, Kerry, and Ptonomy rush upstairs as soldiers open fire.  Kerry soon jumps through one of the windows and begins to take on the soldiers.

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Back in the astral plane, Oliver plays more music, Cary watches over David’s motionless body, Melanie remains with Oliver, and Ptonomy fires at The Eye, but to no effect.  Ptonomy tries to engage him in hand-to-hand combat, but he’s overpowered by a single touch.  Kerry at least has better luck fighting soldiers in the forest, but it’s not enough.

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And when The Eye goes for Syd, the two touch and end up switching places.  As Kerry gets the hell kicked out of her, Cary feels every corresponding blow.  Syd, now in The Eye’s body, tells the soldiers to load up Ptonomy, Kerry, and Syd’s body onto the truck and he’ll take them back himself.

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Back in the astral plane, David finds himself in his inescapable bedroom, where Lenny is waiting for him.  He tells Lenny that he’s not in the mood, but he can’t get out of here anytime soon.  Lenny assures David that she is his friend, but she won’t blow him because she doesn’t swing that way.  She could be talked into a circle jerk at least if he can get it up in this place.  Swell.

As David passes in and out of the plane, he tells Lenny that he lost his mind, but hey, Lenny did warn David not to trust the people at Summerland.  She chastises David for falling into this.  David demands to know just who the hell Lenny is, but Lenny tells him that they’ve gotta get the hell out of this plane now because she can’t be here much longer.  If David just concentrates, then maybe they could escape.

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Lenny then shows David footage of The Eye about to carve open Ptonomy and Syd, and this enrages him so much that he snaps himself back to reality and ends up right in front of the truck carrying Ptonomy, Kerry, and Syd.  He frees the two, unaware of the body swap.  As The Eye, now in Syd’s body, prepares to stab David, the real Syd throws a crowbar at The Eye.

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The Eye escapes in Syd’s body, but Syd soon returns to her own body.  As The Eye flees, he fires a bullet at Kerry- Cary also feeling the blow at the same time- and makes his escape.  As for Lenny?  Well, as one hand from the Devil with Yellow Eyes grabs David’s shoulder, Lenny looks more than pleased with what’s just happened.

It’s all a matter of perception with Legion, isn’t it?  We’re at the halfway point of this show and are still still left wondering what’s real and isn’t, the reliability of our main character, and if, like the rabbit, he’s in danger of getting too close to the ocean.  In fact, a lot of this episode dealt with closeness and the dangers of getting too close to a certain point.

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Who is David Haller if not unreliable?  It seems like there are a few instances where he might understand the power he possesses, but he’s still unsure whether he can trust himself or even those around him, alive or in his mind.  Like that rabbit nearing the edge, he’s driven, but scared at the same time.  Were he to teeter over the edge, he’d realize his true capabilities.

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But right now, David may not know who to trust.  He believes that Summerland can help him not just with his mutant powers, but also rescue Amy.  And yet, Lenny has planted the seeds in David’s mind that Melanie Bird and her team aren’t to be trusted.  From that ending, it seems like Lenny- or Benny, I guess- may be the Devil with Yellow Eyes.

And if that’s the case, then the Devil has given David that push right over the edge to get him to use his powers and escape the confines of David’s mind.  Now that the Devil is free, I wonder if David will be tempted and tormented even more.  He doesn’t seem to notice yet that Lenny might be the Devil- if that’s even the case- but he does at least question why Lenny was in such a rush to get out of his mind.

Even with David back in the real world, I’m still wondering why he’s seen and imagined things the way they’ve been presented to us.  Is his friend Lenny or was it actually Benny? Did he ever have a dog?  And if he did, how come there aren’t any pictures?  And what indeed led him to ruin Dr. Poole’s life?  It could’ve been his drug-addled state or him losing control of his powers, but it’d be an understatement for me to just call David unstable.

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He’s a mutant still coming to terms with powers he doesn’t understand.  He winds up in the astral plane because he goes too far, so it seems that exerting his powers to what may be their fullest potential could fling hum further than expected, whether in reality or in his mind.

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Sticking with this other-worldly experience, Jermaine Clement was great in the role as Oliver.  He carries a lot of presence and mystery to Oliver, a man who seems to still be stuck in the 1960s, based on him speaking about free love.  He’s fun to watch, but not here just for laughs, as he does help David understand that he’s at war with himself and he needs to find a way defeat the monster.

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I also really liked the look of the astral plane.  Like much of Legion’s aesthetics, it felt like going on an acid trip with some great cinematography.  Sure, I wager much of this is green screen, but for a TV show, I think it looks good.

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As much as David is the central character of this show, I appreciate this episode featuring little of him so we could get more time with the other characters.  Syd is always a delight to watch and her random thoughts about the challenge of finding facts when the memories become dreams- as well as using both Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz– speak to the complexity of getting to the bottom of the enigma that is David Haller.

Even putting aside her feelings for David, it makes sense that she’d want to prove he’s a good person that’s just a bit out of control.  She’s seen the same monsters that have tormented David, so of course she’s curious about things like finding out what the stars said or what David so desperately wants to hide.  It would help clear the air on rips in his mind.

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And I like how cautious Ptonomy is about this as well.  I’m sure he’s just for helping David as Syd is, but he’s been through so many minds that he’s seen things like this before. David’s mind is a special case, sure, but otherwise, he’s not as invested in this as Syd. But his powers prove useful for going through the memory and have been vital in pulling back the curtain on David’s life.

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Speaking of pulling back the curtain- segues, boom! – we’ve gotten bits and pieces of the deal with Cary and Kerry, but Kerry telling Syd about sharing bodies, Cary revealing that Kerry doesn’t age, how the two help one another and feel each other’s pain added an extra layer to what before just amounted to a scientist and a fighter.

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Plus, that sequence with Kerry kicking ass while Cary just happened to dance around the room to her movements- all while trying not to hit David- was well-executed and humorous to watch.  Though Kerry getting shot and Cary feeling that pain was a pretty brutal moment.  It didn’t look like a fatal shot, so I’m going to assume that they’ll both pull through this.

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And how about Mackenzie Gray as The Eye?  The man plays the part very well.  From the way Larysa Kondracki’s direction reveals that he, not Dr. Poole, was speaking to Syd, Ptonomy, and Kerry, to his unconcerned demeanor as soldiers shoot all around him, to the ease in which he bests Ptonomy makes him sound like a formidable match for David, but not Syd now that he’s aware of her power.

Never mind David, I’m curious about this guy’s powers.

Chapter 4 leaves us in an uncertain place.  Sure, David is back in the world of reality, but it looks like he’s brought the Devil with Yellow Eyes with him.  The Eye may have faced a setback in trying to capture David, but now that he knows what Syd can do, he’s going to think twice about touching her.

The episode had great moments of action and character building as we set David to the side to spend time with the other characters.  All in all, another great installment.

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