As “Chapter 11” opens with another Jon Hamm narration, we have to wonder: Why Jon Hamm? Sure, he has that smooth, dulcet thing going, but there are a million great not-so-easily-recognizable voice actors out there, so why Jon Hamm as “The Narrator”? The Narrator. Could he perhaps be … unreliable? I’ll just leave you with that, and my note from last week (Hamm possibly playing Mister Sinister — Miser Sunday?)
Into the mouth of madness we go, onward in search of reality. With a quick lesson on the “nocebo effect” — as in, a potentially contagious conversion disorder, as demonstrated by the Dancing Plague of 1518, Tanzania’s Tanganyika laughter epidemic, and the Hindu milk miracle — we come to understand what may be happening with all that teeth chattering. Oh and btw, according to the (Shadow) King, Farouk, whose take on things becomes increasingly sensible with each passing chapter, it’s not him, rather that Mi-Go monk passing the mind contagion.
PART CONTAGION FIVE
Are we infected? Back in the … somewhere in time, Farouk’s “death” and the subsequent burial of his body inside the Mi-Go monastery occur — but you can’t keep a good king down — as the monks slurp their supper soup, he makes his displeasure known. Ptonomy is (lend me your ear) literally bugged, dreaming — locked inside the maze of his own reality (” core desire”) — where David must find and wake him … and later, Melanie and Syd. Over Yo! Shumai (formerly known as Yo! Waffles), Cary teaches Kerry the ways of independence; cream soda goes in, “… it has to come out” “… of my butt” (“This is so disgusting”), and David and Syd-kitty follow the alarms that herald a missing Monk. Heading out (inward) to again find Farouk, David first discovers lonely, loopy (I pulled out all my hair, before, yesterday; it came back”) Lenny. Over drinks (David in Wonderland), Farouk relates David’s father’s (Charles Xavier/Professor X) role in their shared history, explains the consequences of Haller’s mission (“You’re doing this for a woman you love in the future. When you do, she will cease to exist.”).
Joining the guys for a little aside in Melanie’s dark adventure (Colossal Cave, anyone? … interactive fiction), one has to wonder just how meta this Hawley-game with the audience is (“Perhaps her [his] core desire is to be omnipotent”). Should we go through the door, or look around first? David mindtrips to the monastery to find his monk; realizes (hand-drop) he’s not in control of himself. Puppeted through a parade of chattering cenobites, he finally connects with the mysterious, mechanically-monotoned monk who tells David people don’t matter — only the body — and refuses to give the location of Farouk’s physical form. When the Vermillion declare they need Division’s weapon to destroy the Shadow King, it is Melanie who realizes the power Haller has. But, lost in the snowy storm of an infected Syd’s mind, there’s no knowing whether David will find his way through the maze.
How cruel a moment to be left, in the middle of a scene — that was as abrupt as The Sopranos ending.
Does Farouk’s comment about David wiping out Future Syd perhaps indicate David’s not-so-loving true nature, or is it merely more manipulation — the King creating doubt about everyone’s motives?
Farouk tells David the monks of the Mi-Go order are impenetrable, unless you know the secret. Then he gives David a drink and later, David is able to commune with the monk … though it doesn’t seem helpful, since he tells David it’s too late, and jumps to his theoretical death. Then again, what did the monk whisper to David as he knelt down next to Haller? Loving the allusions to Alice in Wonderland.
Navid Negahban is phenomenal in every scene. Did you notice the reflection in his sunglasses? Those are David’s life-story, animated chalk drawings from last season.
Who hung the monks at the monastery? Why do I think it was David?
My brain when they picked up stiff Melanie: Rigor Monkis. (Go ahead, groan.)
The loudspeaker announcements — is that David’s brain? “Disinfection will commence at 0630.” How does it know?
The garden scene was stunning. So thrilled we’re getting more Ptonomy, though it does seem at the price of less Syd, Lenny and dancing Oliver (*sob*)
Lenny’s bubblecide — not sure how I feel about that, though it looked cool as anything.
Meanwhile, back in West-Legion-World, we went inside the maze again. I do so wonder if Hawley’s purposefully connecting his show to that one, where reality is also quite difficult to discern (though Legion non-logic clearly wins).
Cows, and minotaurs in doggie wheelchairs, oh my!
Music This Hour:
This is an alternate version of the French song, Amoureux sauvetage heard here (H/T and thanks to Tatiana Velásquez-Carvajal):
Here are some of the lyrics and Google’s translation:
C’était un jeune homme très amoureux
Mais qui n’était pas heureux
Et pour y noyer sa peine
Il alla s’ fiche dans la Seine
Mais, voilà qu’au même instant, il vit
Une femme qui faisait comme lui
Et pour sauver la demoiselle
Il se mit à nager vers elle
Elle lui dit «Monsieur, c’est égal,
Excusez-moi d’ vous donner tant d’ mal !»
He was a very romantic young man.
But who wasn’t happy
And to drown her sentence
He went to the seine.
But, at the same time, he lives
A woman who acted like him
And to save the lady
He went swimming to her.
She says, ” Sir, it’s equal
Excuse me for giving you so much trouble!”
The Narrator, Hamm: “Your mind has power to create its own physical reality. [This will make you vomit.]
If the idea of illness can become illness, what else about our reality can become a disorder?”
David to Syd: “Is it weird being a cat?”
Syd: “There are certain impulses I have to resist.
When you saw me in the future, what was I like? Did I look the same? Am I prettier now or then?”
David: “I feel like that’s a trick question.”
Kerry about the shumai: “They’re fishy.”
Lenny to David: “Dude, you gotta help me, I’m dying out here. I’m like a pet or a houseplant.”
David to Farouk: “When I find him and he tells me where your body is, what are you going to do with it?”
Farouk: “Live in it, my dear, South of France. Women. Money. Power.”
David: “And that’s it, no super-villain destroy-the-world bullshit?”
Farouk: “This word, ‘villain’, do you know where it comes from? C’est francais. It means, originally, one who lives in a village. A peasant. Do I seem like a peasant to you?
This is important. Language. The meaning of things. You called me a villain. Me, the king.
… Then your father, a white man, which is — you tell me — important. Does he speak our language? Does he know our customs? Then he decides what? That my people should be better? Who is he to make such choices?”
David: “You fed off me when I was a baby and what, am I supposed to feel sorry for you?”
Farouk: “Is it such a terrible thing to feel sorrow for your enemy? What is he, except a brother with another name?
David: “We’re not brothers.”
Farouk: “You’re so young, you think justice is a glass jar. You fill it with your hurt, your hate. Don’t you think I have my own jar? I’m a refugee. Do you know the meaning of that word? Refugee. Driven from my home, in exile. Prisoner in another man’s body.”
David: “Nobody put you in my head. Or Oliver’s. You made a choice.”
Farouk: “Of course. If the choice is between death or life, I choose life.
Interesting, don’t you think? You’re doing this for a woman you love, who lives in a future you’re going to destroy if you help me.”
David: “What do you mean?”
Farouk: “The timeline. She lives in a future you’re trying to change, and when you do, she will cease to exist. So, really you are helping her to commit suicide. Oh, and be careful with the monk, he is very .. contagious. See this madness. They think it’s me, that I’m infecting people. But, it’s him. He is toxic. He’s like Typhoid Mary. But where he goes, I follow. So, your friends think that I am the Mary. Not so smart, your friends.”
David to Cary when he sprays Haller: “What is that? It’s so lemony?”
David to Ptonomy: “Oh, hello. We’re here to rescue you, I guess.”
David to Cary: “Is this where everyone goes? Some kind of floral astral plane?”
David: Was that a … ?
Ptonomy: “But, why was it in a doggie wheelchair?”
David: “I don’t have time for this.”
David: “Should be immune now, just don’t get too close. I did a little thing.”
Ptonomy: “You did a thing in my head?”
Melanie: “What about the cow?”
David: “Leave it here.”
Cary: “I don’t think I want a cow in my lab.”
Melanie: “David. He’s the weapon.”