After the relative clarity that was last week’s outing, “Chapter 6” plunges viewers right back down into the rabbit hole that is David’s mindversion of Clockworks (were they all?); we’re left swimming in the same drugged up haze as our heroes. It is unsettling, and not entirely unpleasant.
“Be honest. You miss him”. (B)Lenny is now the group’s sexy, innuendo flinging therapist — not that they’d notice — and in her swirling, one blending into another individual sessions, her advice and questions apply as much to one patient as to the next. But, behind the fishnets, there is (comic-based) danger.
You have to wonder about a doctor who quickly sends her charges to investigate their darkest, most painful corners. In the blink of a mascara laden eyelash or hundred, Dr. Busker (Cornflakes, that is) questions Cary and Kerry’s symbiotic (“I know we’re not really the same, share the same body, that’d be crazy”) relationship, chides Melanie for hanging on to Oliver’s memory (“He’s coming back”), and sends Ptonomy back to his childhood kitchen, where we discover what an insanely adorable moppet he was. Oh, and in between silly-puttying Marmaduke comics, he watched his mother die as she loaded the dishwasher and Nena’s 99 Luftballoons played. Oh, and while (s)he delves into The Eye aka Walter’s late blooming, Blenny almost gets to Syd, but of all the evil doctor’s would-be patients, Ms. Barrett is least likely to fall completely under a Yellow-Eyed monster’s hypnotic spell. For her part, Aubrey Plaza is clearly enjoying the hell out of playing the wickedly vampish temptress, crime lord alter ego whose own alter ego provides Legion and X-Men enthusiasts the ultimate thrill … not to mention any red-blooded, Plaza fans, or those who like psychedelic 1960s and 70s sequences.
It is Syd who fights her way through the hour, mumbling to the others and herself that something about it all just doesn’t feel real. Despite what seems like varying levels of sedation — Melanie practically in a speechless stupor, Cary and Kerry seeming relatively alert, and David … just David — Syd keeps trying to snap herself out of David’s arguably stylish surroundings, making her way toward the one door that might be a way out (one of these things is not like the others). But every time she approaches reality, Blenny swoops in with meds, or worse, sends in Clockworks’ new nurse — David’s sister, Amy — for an extreme pat down. Buggy cherry — which Syd isn’t supposed to like — pie (thanks Agent Cooper!) may be the worst of it all.
While David hems and haws his way through the hour, trying to convince Syd to just lie back and enjoy her not so newfound surroundings and the comfort of being in love, this sharpest in the room mind-detective logics her way toward reality, and despite his protests, applies sense to their nonsensical situation. Lost in the depths of self-created madness, David’s vision of true love would trap the group forever; Syd’s got more in mind for herself than staying doped up “till what? Osteoporosis?” Everyone can feel there’s something off at Clockworks, but in Blenny’s mindhands, they’re rendered temporarily powerless. While Melanie and Cary follow their Oliver visions, The Eye hunts a newly vulnerable Kerry; Ptonomy stays lost in childhood guilt. As Syd succumbs to ever-bold Blenny’s hypnotic crickets, Dr. Busker’s true Shadowish nature (hinted at last week) makes itself fully known. The thing that we have known as Lenny/Benny/the Yellow-Eyed devil/monster is X-Men comic’s Shadow King, aka Amahl Farouk, who once “met [and attacked] your father, your real father … he thought he could hide you from me”. And,with her final threat to take over Legion fully and completely, Blenny pushes David into the dark recesses of his own mind.
David’s hair is changing, getting bigger and moving upward. Last week:
I can’t wait to see if it continues all the way to his comic hair.
I have very mixed feelings about Aubrey Plaza’s musical number. It was in ways (the concept), fantastic — I loved the red imagery, very Bond, very 60s, and she was clearly into it. The interlude had all the makings for greatness, but … it felt too choreographed. The dance bits weren’t quite natural, certainly not Britney-level stiff, but most of the number felt too practiced. Little sections were great; the pillow ripping, slow-mo bed flop and in particular, her strut through the door, putting on her glasses, was perfect.
Love and women — Syd’s for David and Melanie’s for Oliver — are what will save the group. That connection they feel is stronger than the cloud the Shadow King casts over David’s mind. Is Oliver able to communicate across the astral plane? (So excited to see Jemaine Clement in next week’s preview.)
Did anyone else catch this?
That scene where Oliver tried to help, Melanie worked to find a way to get Syd and David out of the bullet’s path; symbolic of her own attempts to break out of the haze was nifty.
Blenny’s love speech to David about Syd may well also describe her (its) own relationship with him: “I’m starting to wonder if she’s really the right girl for you. We’re in love. Do you know what love it? … Ant fungus. It kills them of course. When people say love, that’s what I think of … What is the point of all this love. What is the point of babies? … Yes, what is the point of life? There is only one being in this vast multiplicity of life, God. You know why: power”.
Is it weird that I want to get all my meals from glass doored cabinets in the wall?
Bill Irwin as Cary is pure joy. His physicality, and the fun he has with every scene is the glorious comedic break from darkness we need. The looks on Kerry’s face as he delighted her with scarf tricks were wonderful.
Cary and Kerry playing checkers and naming meds; Syd comes over. Cary: “We’re exercising our minds”.
Blenny: “Didn’t you tell me how you were the last boy in your class to mature”?
The Eye: “It’s not a race what a boy goes through. What matters is where you end up … Do I seem like less than a man to you, right now”?
Syd: “I know you’re trying to help, but something about this just doesn’t feel real. Like a dream, but not an interesting one. More like you’re folding laundry or eating. Everything seems normal, but somehow you know”.
Ptonomy to David, watching yogurt-spit guy: “You ever wonder what he was like before this place, Like did he have a bank account. A dog? Everybody loves dogs. Who were you, who was I? Maybe there was no before, before the sickness starts.
Did Blenny have control over David’s painting, because that portrait of Syd was … scary. Likewise when he threatened Syd: “Be careful … Just with your diagnosis and this place; I would hate for them to up your meds”.
David: “Dr. Busker says it’s like you’re not supposed to wake a sleepwalker.”
The Eye to Kerry: “‘What big eyes you have’, says the wolf. Did you ever eat an animal that was still living? There’s a smell, a heat”.
Songs this week: Nina Simone Feeling Good
Lisa Hannigan cover of David Bowie‘s Oh! You Pretty Things (personal note: could we please stop with the breathy women doing covers of great songs? They all sound the same, and they’re all vastly inferior to the originals.)
“Chapter 6” was directed by Hiro Murai (Atlanta).
FX has renewed Legion for Season 2, as announced yesterday.