The following contains spoilers for this week's episode of Legion, "Chapter Four."
The short version: With David out of commission, his friends go hunting for secrets from his past.
I love this episode, and not just because it gives us a rare glimpse at the world when it's not refracted through David's unique brain. With David still trapped, sedate, in his own body, Syd, Ptonomy and Kerry head out to find out why there are glitches and blocks in David's memory, and from very early on Syd worries that they might actually still be trapped in David's brain. Even Ptonomy isn't sure, nor is he sure that he even knows what they should be looking for in David's past, noting that "most people's memories are unreliable." I've talked over and over again about how this show plays with the lines between reality and fantasy, and memory and truth, and here it's actually made literal for some of the characters. That's brilliant, and it's my favorite thing about this episode.
As part of splitting the group up a bit, we also get to learn a bit more about the supporting cast. Ptonomy's still very scared of what David might truly be capable of, even as he's attempting to probe deeper into his memories. It's another almost meta-fictional view of how the audience views our hero, but also an insight into a character we don't really know personally yet. We also see deeper into Syd's ability to take charge and to prove that she can be the strongest person in the room, facing off against The Eye even with her teammates incapacitated. Then there's the Cary/Kerry dynamic, which gets explored in a deeper way in this episode, to devastating effect.
Speaking of Kerry, I see even more metafiction within her character. While everyone else is off on this odyssey of the mind, probing memories and doing therapy and performing brain scans, she just wants to hit something. While her other half is back in his lab, she's slugging it out and it costs them both. To me, that feels like a comment on violence in superhero narratives, while also culminating in a pretty gorgeous fight scene itself.
Then there's Oliver, who we learn is in some kind of physical stasis while his mind is stuck in the astral plane. Jemaine Clement is another absolutely inspired casting choice for this show, and his brief interaction with David gives me a powerful hunger for more of him.
Well, I should've known better than to pre-emptively criticize Legion for not revealing something fast enough, since my issues with Lenny were explored in this very episode. Beyond that, I don't really have any complaints, except to say Please don't be dead Kerry I need you.
- So, we now know that Lenny was never Lenny, or at least she wasn't before Clockworks. She was Benny, David's junkie pal. So, what happened? Was it a sex change? Seems a little too simple for this show. She can't be a total hallucination, because Syd sees her die and Division 3 questions David about her death. So, did they really see, and know, Lenny? Or did David make them think they did? This is a fascinating new layer to David's power, and combined with the revelation that he essentially invented his childhood pet, and the connection between Lenny and The Devil with Yellow Eyes, this could lead in an amazing new direction.
- Syd, without David around, saw the Angriest Boy again. How much of his mind is still in hers, and what does that mean for her body switch with The Eye?
- Speaking of The Eye, how far do his powers go? How did he go bad? How much does Melanie know about what he's capable of?
- "I don't know, but apparently I'm a super-powerful mutant, so I'm guessing I'll figure something out."
- Did you notice how Philly's earrings looked remarkably similar to the ladder leading up to Oliver's little Astral Pad of Solitude? Given how careful this show is with its design choices, I doubt that was accidental. What's it mean? I have no idea.
And that's it for this week. We'll be back next week for "Chapter Five."