***Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for Legion through Season 2, Episode 5 follow. Spoilers***
“Apparently on Legion“… and if that doesn’t say it all to viewers’ addled brains as we try to figure out each episode, I don’t know what else could.
Opening on a dizzying, may-as-well-be-on-drugs point of view, the world is Lenny’s upside-down (farmed) oyster, and she’s the pearl — Clark’s pearl. It’s the shucking that requires persistence to get to the jewel of her mind, and the meticulous mutant mentalists of Summerland and Division’s best set about cracking that clever shell open.
Lenore Busker, later revealed as an unwilling … un-responsible body thief, paints herself the victim, and to an extent she is. Afternoons spent sharing grandma’s Rondo Citrus Soda — “I mean vodka in a Rondo Citrus Soda can” — watching cartoons, and escaping her seriously messed up home life; at Clockworks, things didn’t get much better (“I was dropped inside a wall, do you know what that’s like? My ass was in one room and my tits, in another.”). But, Clark’s not buying the innocence Lenny’s selling and he makes a dire prediction (“There are rooms deep beneath this building where people are dumped and forgotten. I would plan on that.”) before sending in Round 2: Ptonomy, who gives a might fine explanation of time’s reality.
Driving Mister Farouk, Oliver tries to get the lowdown on his upcoming excavational exploration — “I’m just unclear on the circumstances of the recovery; are we talking a mausoleum? Is it a pine box six feet under? A golden sarcophagus?” ["Some digging required”] — and when his own memories invade (“Nothing’s felt real to me for a very long time … Melanie …” Would You Like to Swing on a Star, device stealing), his dreamy compliance quickly turns to death threats. We take our weekly Hamm-break for a short discussion on the how and why of human pattern seeking behavior (thus far, it hasn’t helped discerning this series’ reality), Jesus toast and hey, would you like to buy a Mercedes?.
In the hour’s final quarter, pieces quickly come together like the last part of a puzzle’s picture, finally in focus. From a mysterious submarine-like RV, Amy’s partner, Ben sells Dead Sea Donuts — emphasis on the “Dead”, because it’s soon revealed he’s departed — while simultaneously, a horrified David reads Lenny’s mind. As together they sort through the jumbled memories that make up her current consciousness, Amy tells a dread-filled Ben of her all-too-real dream of the Admiral Fukuyama and mustachioed women, when there’s a terrible knock announcing two terrible visitors. Mirroring the dizzying opening, we join Lenny and David’s helpless realization (invasion of the body snatcher) about exactly how Lenny came to be in her new physical form. Agonizingly tortured by the mind of one and the body of another, David’s sister has become nothing more than vessel, and David joins Oliver’s quest for vengeance, passing a message through Lenny: “I’m coming for you.”
Aubrey Plaza … give her an Emmy right now, please. The range on display here — as Lenny, as old Lenny, confused new Lenny, caught-in-her-memories Lenny, caught-in-someone-else’s-memories Lenny, and holding David at the end — as who-knows-who? Good gods, she is a powerhouse.
Hamish Linklater’s (Noah Hawley’s) obsessive-compulsiveness is apparently transferrable between characters. His preciseness with pen and paper is carried over from Fargo to Legion, and I’m pretty much dead now.
As he entered, over the PA a voice sounded: “New symptom alert. Unexplained malaise. Any shift in reality may signal an attack. If you feel something say something”. This is an all-sensory experience at Clockworks/Division/Summerland … wherever the hell anyone is.
Oliver’s threat to kill Farouk came with a warning riddle: “What is one plus one?” Farouk answers “Two”; Oliver says “Incorrect.” Farouk: “Ah, you are very sly. A true snake.” Does this mean he’ll attack Farouk when they each return to their own bodies? (One mind plus one body can equal one being, though as we see in Legion, it’s not necessarily so.) What I wouldn’t give to watch the Navid Negahban/Jemaine Clement spinoff …
Lenny reveals her full name is Lenore, possibly a reference to Edgar Allan Poe’s poem about a young woman’s death?
This week’s allusions to Westworld (Hawley must be BFFs with Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy): both shows had stamped blocks/tiles going, and we saw Lenny, naked on a horse, headed toward the horizon (just like Logan).
When Lenny asks Ptonomy if he remembers everything, he actually does — including the creature that snuck into his … ear. While tapping into Lenny’s brain, he also experiences a flash of Admiral Fukuyama, aka basket head, basket lit and sees the strange creature inside.
Is it possible that Amy isn’t entirely gone? Could she be … “And now we are this, the machine that bleeds, the organizing principle”? There has to be a reason Amy had that “dream” about the Admiral and and the Vermillion. I really hope she’s a Vermillion (preferable to dead).
Heard over the PA system: “Yellow Six Alpha. Orange Puma Nine. Seven Blue Doom.” What does it mean?
The title card ran about halfway through this time. Chapter Six CONSPIRACY.
When Lenny asks David what was done with her own body, he tells her they buried it in the desert, and she realizes that Farouk likely hasn’t found his body — it’s hers. This is going to get even more confusing, isn’t it?
A couple of episodes ago, I mentioned that I was waiting for David to show up in his Tom Petty hat, meaning the Alice in Wonderland video made for Don’t Come Around Here No More, and what do you know — the song showed up this week.
Katie Aselton absolutely killed me in her “death” scene, and that song running over it only made it all very emotional. Likewise, Dan Stevens’ horror as he realized what happened to his sister — her memories flooding through him — this scene now places among the best Legion sequences.
Remember David’s drawings reflecting in Farouk’s sunglasses? This week, Oliver’s got something someone in his eye.
Music This Hour:
Heroin, The Velvet Underground
Werewolf, Cat Power
Swinging on a Star, performed Aubrey Plaza and Jemaine Clement (covering Bing Crosby)
Don’t Come Around Here No More, Jeff Russo and Noah Hawley (covering Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
Lenny to Clark: “Are you guys suspending the laws of gravity or something?
Look man, I’m just here to help. I was a hostage. Violated. A puppet.”
Happy Ending, I escaped.”
Clark to Lenny: “Are you the Shadow King?
You were a consciousness without physical form, and you’re now a living breathing body, so my question is, how?”
Lenny to Clark: “She was like one of those clocks that’s all fives. People say they only drink after five, and the clock’s all fives.”
Clark to Lenny: “You’ve been arrested 13 times?”
Lenny: “That’s just business. I am not a villain.
… The end of the world is coming, Daddy. We don’t got a lot of time.”
Oliver replying to Farouk asking if he’s afraid to touch the body: “Oh no, it’s just a new suit. Cream … Cashmere … flannel.”
Ptonomy to Lenny: “So my theory is, there is no present.”
Lenny to Ptonomy after he releases her: “Buy a girl a drink first.”
The Narrator: “Every few months Jesus appears to the unsuspecting in a piece of toast. Or does he?”
Oliver to Farouk: “Perhaps the idea of life and death is obscene. Maybe not obscene, but irrelevant. What we were we talking about again?”
Farouk: “You and I are not human. Homo Superior.”
David to Lenny: “You know what hit me earlier? I had no idea what silence was, when Farouk was inside me.”
Lenny responding to David’s question whether she ever dated men: “Yeah, there was one boy in high school. Jordan Baelish …
Because if he was going to jab something hard in me, I was sure as shit going to return the favor.”
Lenny’s response to David’s statement that he can read her mind, she’s still working for Farouk: “I’m not working for him; he put spiders in my brain.
… We were like white on rice. I know he sent me.”
David: “Lenny how are you real?”
Lenny: “You tell me? The guy’s like a god.”
David: “The guy’s like a mutant with psychic powers. He’s not a god. Whose body is that?”
Lenny: “I don’t know. I told you, it was in my drawer. I was in the absent place, and there she was in the mirror, looking back at me.”
David: “With blue eyes?”
Lenny: “Yeah, that part’s weird.”