Kevin Cage of @spotlightsaga reviews…
Legion (S01E03) Chapter 3
Airdate: February 22, 2017 @fxnetworks
Ratings: 1.043 Million :: 0.49 18-49 Demo Share
‘Legion’ requires a certain state of mind to take in what the show is putting out… 'Chapter 3’ in particular is just pure chaos, but in this case, contained chaos, for the most part anyways. I’ve watched the episode twice now because I feel to properly review, I must also breakdown and deconstruct the story piece by piece to truly understand just what the hell is happening. Melanie gets advice and listens to old proverbs from a cappuccino machine that her husbands voice is inhabiting… It sounds as if he’s trying to warn her that everything is not what it seems or what you need it to be. Whatever they mean she just enjoys his company, which is shown through her pouring out the cup of coffee she had barely sipped from and asking for another cup… This is what I took from it anyway. I had to watch several of the scenes repeatedly to get a good grasp of what was really happening. In and out of the dream work, this world is bizarre and abstract, which can make watching 'Legion’ both an absolute blast, as well as incredibly frustrating. If 'Legion’ itself was a polygraph the needle would break from scribbling from one end to the other with such ferocity. I imagine that’s exactly what it’s like for David to just exist, awake or asleep, just one piece of a puzzle after another, some of the pieces belonging to separate puzzles, but all the of the puzzles form a picture that he can’t make out… But promise a bigger picture.
Yeah, even explaining it is strange… But to interpret something so far out of the box, you have to think out of the box. I like that 'Legion’ challenges my mind, I just have to put of my seatbelt and helmet before I press play. In 'Chapter 3’ Melanie and Ptonomy continue their 'Dream Work’ with David. They attempt to go slow, and immediately discover that David’s powers reach beyond what they had originally thought when they see him in a pure state of emotional distress bursting the entire contents of a kitchen wide open through kinetic energy after a fight with Philly when she discovers both him & Lenny out of their heads from the 'blue dragon/mist’. There’s a bit of a disturbance, evil laughter, and the evil face that many speculate is Mojo and David is spooked (and apparently only he can see and hear this), they decide to go back and start over but Ptonomy is stuck… He can’t bring them back. Suddenly they are transported out of the memory cube, through several thick walls, 600 yards away, which freaks out Ptonomy. He asks David, “What are you?” Little does he know, David isn’t the issue.
Its almost comforting that the show goes from a frazzled state to a calm, serene scene that David shares with Syd. We as audience members need a bit of time to decompress, the show can get so intense so quickly that we need proper time to process it. Here we have David talking about how ever since Syd inhabited his body and switched with him, he still feels as if he has long hair and goes to brush it away, his balance is effected, and even admits to touching himself while he was her. It all sounds creepy, but she listens the mood with a joke that she jerked off… Then admits she’s just joking. She clearly has no hang ups about the body switching and even admits to switching bodies with others; A Chinese man, a 300-lb woman, a 5-year old girl… “But wherever I go, I’m me.” She delivers the line with such a calm assurance. She’s at peace with her powers, it’s advantages and disadvantages, and somehow that makes the scene even more calming, surreal, almost dreamlike.
The tests continue with Loudermilk… This time monitoring his brain waves and hormone levels. Telling David to think about the most stressful moment in his life is probably not the best direction to give the man. We’re transported to Halloween, when David was a young boy, which turns into a narration of the faceless man telling him the terrifying bedtime story. Can I pls get a hit that 'Blue Dragon’ stuff? I need it just rehashing this insanity. The voice gets deeper and more menacing and Young David stumbles onto a graffitied being on a wall that looks like an angry version of Moral Orel. What in the fuck? David snaps back into reality as Angry Moral Orel makes a b-line towards him. Loudermilk asks if everything is ok, Lenny appears on a rolling chair. Clearly things are NOT ok as Lenny taunts David and turns into his sister insinuating that they could be raping her. Syd runs in and they literally just kind of disappear into nothingness. Go ahead and take another dose now, under the tongue guys, it’s always better to keep it under there as long as possible and breathe through your nose.
Syd & David are vaguely transported to where his sister is being held and grilled by Brubaker… The Eye senses their presence but they are like particles and atoms that are loosely put together, making them appear like faint mirages. As The Eye reaches for them they transport back into a pond by the compound where they reassemble through brightly colored matter in water. Fuck it, go ahead and dose again, it’s not gonna hurt at this point. Melanie gives us a little backstory on The Eye, who was a recruit brought in by her husband who she explains now transfers consciousness through the electronics in the buildings from the elevator to the coffee maker. Yeah. David could give two shits who he is (or her electronic hopping husband), he just wants his sister. Chill David, sometimes in order to beat your opponent, you must know your opponent. Melanie believes that David’s brain is defending itself, hence the trouble with the memory work… But she’s wrong, she’s dead wrong… As she’s not aware of the Yellow-Eyed Devil, that may or may not be Mojo. She’s frustrated, even considering the notion that she may be making things worse. Now David is worried that she’s giving up, but she can’t, he’s literally the most powerful mutant alive.
Melanie has one last idea…. They’ll sedate David to gain unfiltered access to his mind. Syd demands to be there. This is about to get crazy… Full access to David’s mind is the stuff nightmares are made of, literally. A quick moment between David and Syd the night before the next intense, full access session of dream work with Ptonomy to further establish trust between the two… And you can go ahead and dose yet again, at this point it’s required. We start with how David ended up at Clockworks… Lenny and David are high as a kite and Lenny is pushing David in a shopping cart… You know, normal blue mist activities. Melanie explains that David is with them but he’s in child form, because that’s the only part of him that’s awake and that Syd can touch him because her powers don’t work in this realm, not without her physical body. Oh yeah, shit is about to slam you right in the feels. Two people who can never touch, and most likely have never really been touched (for separate reasons) are about to touch for the first time. The hug of the century, y'all. It’s serious. Ptonomy wants to 'move this along’, but I’d prefer the hug to last forever. Potato, PoTATo.
They follow the David they’ve come to explore… He’s experiencing a strange phenomenon; memories within memories… Inception, if you will. At this point, you’ve dosed too much, but it’s too late now… I should’ve never encouraged all of that excessive hallucinogen use, but it’s too late… The rabbit hole is wide open. David is rummaging through tapes… He appears in a flash, cramming the film from the video tapes into his mouth and the walls start to rumble. Young David takes off… Syd is rightfully worried why Melanie & Ptonomy aren’t reacting. Don’t they hear that? Don’t they see that? Told you that you shouldn’t have taken that last dose! Or did I? The walls are literally being ripped apart and there are definitely hands pulling them apart from the other side… And Melanie & Ptonomy are oblivious. Holy FUCK, someone listen to Syd and get the hell out of there! Ptonomy attempts to transport them out, but his powers fail. Unfiltered access, this is what they wanted!!! The tension is building like a brick mason working in fast forward, brick by brick… Little David dashes out of the room and hops over the older version of himself and Lenny who are high on the Blue Mist on the ground… What an image! What did we take again?! 5-MeO-DMT?!
Syd walks into the kitchen where David is fighting with Philly. The intensity continues to build as Little David enters a bedroom and hides behind a bed where David appears to be fucking someone… I can’t tell if it’s Philly, Im not sure it matters… It’s the energy that counts. Syd has to coax him out of the room where they then attempt to hide. Little David grabs a screwdriver and pops open an air duct that looks like the size of an old laundry shoot. Moral Orel from earlier in the episode is spotted, staring into the corner of a hallway. Yup, time to get the fuck out. Little David Climbs in and Syd is hurried in afterwards after Moral Orel suddenly turns and heads her way. I’m pretty sure I’ve had this exact same nightmare before. Luckily Moral Orel has. Big old head and most likely wouldn’t be able to fit in that vent… But 'The Devil with The Yellow Eyes’ makes a surprise pop-out when Sue looks back… Gotta admit, not what I was expected, may have peed myself just a smidge.
Syd pleads David to wake up and the shots are cutting back to the room where the dream work takes place, with a fish eye lens (just in case things weren’t already weird enough). Suddenly Syd comes to, gasping for air like she’s popping her head out of a very deep dive into a pool. She literally beats Ptonomy with a pillow and wakes him up… Unfortunately Melanie and David are still under. OMFG, I literally can’t take it. This has turned into a straight up horror show. Cut back to Melanie who’s making her way through the corridors of David’s memories. She finds his old room and the book the man without a face has been reading to David in past Memory Work sessions… One the cover… Is Moral Orel!!!! Ok it’s not really Adult Swim’s Moral Orel, the book is actually titled 'The Angriest Boy In The World’. She begins to read the book… It’s violent and doleful and straight up terrifying. Not the type of book you read your little boy to put him to bed, know what I mean? The book slams down on her hand hard and basically eats it, she pulls away and looks down at her hand and it’s bloated and disfigured, behind her is that obese 'Devil with The Yellow Eyes’, that looks an awful lot like Mojo. She immediately snaps out of the trance and wakes up grabbing her hand as you would if you had just experienced a nightmare where you lose a limb and you’re certain it’s happened in real life.
It’s official, Melanie is now unsure if those memories they are exploring even belong to David at all. The episode fades out as they attempt to wake up David who is now stuck in the other realm, and it is the opposite of peaceful and serene… As the camera pans backwards holing David into a small space where he’s surrounded by multiple people with aggressive energy. What a fn’ episode, huh? At least now Melanie has a better understanding of what their working with… And isn’t blaming David from holding back memories and advancement in treatment. The whole thing just makes me shiver a bit. Until next time, guys… I’m trying to make this a weekly thing… And I’m really enjoying Legion, but it is not an easy watch… It’s like a 1000 ego deaths and being trapped inside a bad trip on a seriously heavy tryptamine.
Last night at the Great Company in downtown LA for #WeOwnthe8th amazing fucking Beau Sia orchestrated a near cinematic birthday surprise for Dante Basco (who’s turning thirteen in case anyone was wondering). My boy Rudy Ao created the fantastic image above of Jake Long, Rufio and Prince Zuko in honor of this fantastic man. I think Darion said it best - “Your light casts no shadow.” Dante is an illuminator. Glad to know him. Happy birthday, rufiozuko.