Legion: Chapter Four
So, there really is an Astral Plane for this show? Man, I couldn't be happier.
I've referred to the "Astral Plane" in the past including an old Fringe episode. But, more specifically, in my last blog post for Legion Chapter Three. There, I speculated David could move along the Astral Plane when he projected himself and Syd to Amy's torture cell. Furthermore, I posited David was only able to move along the astral plane through desperation but sheer terror can make him move matter.
It looks like things go a lot deeper that that.
First, let's take a look at the Astral Plane as Ptonomy explains it for Syd.
"You know he can create a kind of mental projection space, something between reality and dream. An Astral Plane."
Re-reading my own blog posts for Legion I've often seen how I've drifted between David's memory trips and dreams. To tell you the truth, sometimes I can't tell the difference so I've left the interchangeable definitions stand. I'm both compelled and confused by it all.
That's a good thing.
Interestingly enough, as Ptonomy schooled Syd what he thought of David's unique power, we get a glimpse of the Blue Eyed Frog. David and Lenny/Benny (more on that later) use this as a delivery system for their hallucinogens.
If we go back to the "Hippie Trippy" days, drugs such a LSD were used as a vehicle to reach Nirvana or an Astral Plane such as championed by then Harvard professor,Timothy Leary. My own experience came from the music of the day when the renowned progressive rock group of the time, The Moody Blues, sang of such a trip in their classic, "Legend of a Mind".
Here it is in all it spacey glory. (Astral Plane comes in around the 30 second mark.)
I'm conflicted as to whether David used the hallucinogen to escape his inner demons or to sub-consciously access his latent powers. But as we witnessed, David saw the face of The Devil as he looked across to Lenny/Benny, so I guess the escapism doesn't fly.
To add spice to the innermost depth of the Astral Plane we find out it has another denizen.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Oliver.
Oliver Bird that is. This was a welcomed reveal. We now know the fate of Melanie Bird's husband and co-founder of Summerland. And Daddy-o, he is out there. He's in to hip Jazz, cool vibes and bra less women. Just as an aside, the stage "Oliver" came out in 1960 and the movie in 1968. This guy fits right in.
We open our episode with an odd soliloquy from Ollie as he at once seems to be mentoring some unseen audience or delivering his magnum opus for his own personal pleasure.
Clearly he thinks he has some great knowledge to impart given fruition by his glorious solitude.
He is at once both compelling and comical. He is the master of his existence yet he can't figure out why it is so cold in his cosmic cube.
It's because they are keeping his vacant physical form on ice hoping for his return!
You'll note the presence of a bulkhead like door behind Melanie and to the left. It's the kind of pressurized door we often see on ocean going vessels. It made me wonder if Oliver went to sea in search of his Astral Plane. Maybe a deep sea dive in order to escape the noise of reality. This would explain the diving suit.
Perhaps he found it there in the sensory deprivation of the ocean and when they went to pull him up only the body and suit remained. Seemingly, they have gone to preserve the last known place where Oliver possessed his corporeal form. They may have even taken that portion of the ship and transported it to Summerland in the vain hope he will someday return.
The Astral Plane seems to be an ethereal place full stars, light, mountains and such. I'm thinking Oliver can only transit it as he entered it, in his diving suit. David entered the plane as we left him so no suit needed.
Ollie has made a cocoon wherein he can survive without the suit. A fascinating cosmic cube where he can live out his playboy fantasies in resplendent isolation.
Oliver has managed to gain great insight into the world we inhabit but has yet to find a way to communicate to we lesser beings. But, in that insight we do learn something very important about David's "Devil".
Oliver knows quite well of David's demon and in this knowledge he comes across as omniscient. No wonder he doesn't want to leave the Astral Plane. He has Godlike insight!
Secondly, Oliver reveals "The Devil" is parasitic. That's major news in that it lives off of David for sustenance and is an entity in and of itself.
For those, like myself, that are sympathetic to the character of David this means The Devil is not part of David's id or the dark part of his psyche. It is a being that has found away inside David and is leeching off of him. (Remember, we did see leeches in the scene where they were initially torturing Amy. Easter Egg!)
I was happy to learn this because I thought somewhere deep inside David was a monster. He too shared this same feeling and often warned Syd about it. Now we know it isn't really David but a beast that dwells and feed within.
Well, I hope that's it.
The last piece of great wisdom Oliver imparted to David was, "Remember, it's not real unless you make it real." This is rather ominous in that David possess the power to make his imaginary world the real world. Something Syd wondered about when she and Ptonomy revisited Dr. Poole's old office. "Could we still be in David's mind?"
A scary thought.
Also, making it real could also refer to "The Devil". What if that monster is made physically manifest and able to roam the earthly plane?
What Did The Stars Say?
Indeed, this seems to be a very important question.
We may have been given a clue.
Early on, we were given a look at the young David, surrounded by the stars in his mind and that of the projector in his boyhood room.
David's childhood reverie was broken by the sound of Syd's voice in the present as she sought to bring him back.
We now know the Astral Plane is a place of stars also.
Among David's many gifts is the power of pre-cognition. He can think into the future. So, when he is asked what did the stars say I believe he actually heard Syd's voice from the future in his past.
As a child, he already had access to the Astral Plane in his thoughts. What is past, present and the future all existing at once. If you've seen the movie, "Arrival" you know what I am taking about. Non-linear time. Just a circle.
This may also explain all the circles and Halos we've seen in Legion thus far.
(I just gave myself goose bumps!)
What? There is no Lenny there is only Benny?
Lenny is a beloved character played by the beloved Aubrey Plaza. Is she/he really a parasite that leeches off of David for his own nefarious needs like the drug use?
If this character is really a "leech" of sorts then that makes him/her "The Devil". This we know as defined by Oliver earlier in the episode.
Further proof of this was when the grisly hand of The Devil reached over David's shoulder and the face of Lenny appeared on the other side.
There is hope.
If there was only a "Benny" all along then who is this poor soul that was infused into the wall of the sanitorium by the deranged Syd?
Looks like Lenny to me. So maybe there is a Lenny and a Benny? David can control matter. Can he literally make friends?
What a wild and bizarre way to close our chapter.
As Oliver gyrated to the groovy intonations of his music we also saw Cary Loudermilk spin about with his broom.
This was accompanied by Kerry Loudermilk's kick ass destruction of Division Three's henchmen.
It was a trippy tableau in an already trippy episode.
I think "The Dance" was a way of showing us how everything is interconnected. Through time and space and through the mind. A great circle.
Speaking of interconnected.
Kerry Loudermilk doesn't lurk in the shadows. She lives within Cary Loudermilk.
What a reveal!
The Dance takes on greater meaning for those two as they share what the other is feeling.
I hope Kerry/Cary is okay.
Odds and Ends
Kind of a sad face on Dr. Poole's tape recorder. Since Ptonomy told us objects can contain memories of events, no wonder it's sad. It barely survived Poole's death.
There is no King? The companion to the young David wasn't real but it was real to David! Remember, Oliver told us, "it isn't real unless you make it real." Where is this going? It also makes you wonder why King led David to the Angry Boy during the Halloween segment of the last episode.
Who do you work for King?
A stuffed wolf. Why is that important?
Because the Latin word for wolf is "Lupus" and Lupus is one of the constellations David always ticks off. Looks like we will have to dig deeper into constellations he names.
Andromeda is also the daughter of Cassiopeia, two more of the named constellations. There may be a familial connection there. Maybe something to do with David's mysterious parents?
"What did the stars say"
Oliver appeared to Melanie in the diving suit. I guess when he traverses the Astral Plane outside his cosmic cube he is manifested as this ghostly image. I wonder if he is aware of this?
The Angry Boy still appears to Syd. He must feel threatened by Syd's knowledge of him.
Is Dr. Poole long dead? Was there ever a Doctor Poole or was it just "The Eye" appearing as him?
Did you see the chain link that Oliver and David used to get into the cube?
Now check out the links that hang from Philly's ears. A nice touch. Reader Laura also picked out chain links for people's belts. A sign for the inter-connectivity of it all? Everything "linked"?
A great ploy by Syd to switch bodies with "The Eye" during the ambush sequence. She nearly got away with his capture. Too bad David picked that time to control his telekinesis. Counter ambush spoiled!
Here's a GIF of Kerry in kick ass mode. Please tell me she is okay!
Just before David escaped the Astral Plane we got a look of him and Lenny in his childhood bedroom. I picked out how the writing on the toy box near Lenny's knee was backward in the first image but forwards in the second. The same goes for the writing on the poster on David's wall.
A cool touch and this happened as David went from one version of his room to another trying to escape the mean Lenny. Is David altering his reality in the Astral Plane? Will he do it in the real world?
David found a way to exit the Astral Plane and it came in a moment of extreme duress. Bad Lenny was taunting him again and he sorely needed to get back to rescue Syd. Too bad he foiled Syd's awesome plan.
Hmm, is he touching Syd there? That would be a trip.