Sunday, February 26, 2017

Legion: Chapter Three




The Devil is in the details isn't it?

Chapter three of Legion led us down the rabbit hole that is David's mind and we found out how really dark it is down there.  

And you know what?  This episode started out pretty boring.




Sittin' in the morning sun
I'll be sittin' when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch them roll away again, yeah

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away, ooh
I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time


There's nothing wrong with a little contemplative thoughtA little alone timeBut we kind of did this last week.  There's been rumbling in the interwebs about Legion taking too much time to move things along.  I don't necessarily agree.  I think the impatience is symptomatic of our viewing society.  People just can't wait.

My problem is covering old ground we've already tread upon.  You know, "Been there, done that."

So what changed things that led this to a satisfactory episode.




The horror!

That's right, this episode went from contemplative psycho-drama to full on horror movie when Melanie Bird decided David was right and things needed to be speeded up before they are all dead.

Even prior to that, Ptonomy wanted to see if he could get past David's defenses by suggesting they get to the "Sh*t that scares you the most."

Careful what you wish for.

But, before we get too far, let's take a look at what we learned about David's mind and what lurks beneath.


The Devil in the Details


 
David's friend with the yellow eyes made an early appearance when the team decided to revisit the kitchen episode.  This monster is one of the things that David fears the most and to see him lean in on the scene was a little disturbing.  More than that, David was the only one that could see him!  (BTW, did the Devil make a little noise when he leaned in?  Some sort of giggle or little hello?  Weird.)

Ptonomy insists David is blocking him and, in turn, David flatly denies it.  But since neither Melanie or Ptonomy could see "The Devil" you'd have to think this is a construct of David's.  Something that is in the deepest recesses of David's mind.  Not something that would appear  in a simple memory exercise.  (If there is such a thing.)  

Scroll all the way to the top to see the picture with The Devil in David's eye.  This also seems to be a clue that this "thing" lives somewhere deep inside David.


  

This exercise proved so traumatic for David that he managed to displace the entire group some 600 feet away and through two solid walls.



Not to be out done, Cary Loudermilk wants to put David through his paces but this time in a more lab like setting.  He instructs David to think of something very traumatic.  So, naturally David goes to a time that probably haunts a lot us.  His childhood.

More specifically, Halloween.



Things seem normal enough as Amy, King and David go out for their treat filled stroll.  But they take a wrong turn as King escapes his leash and goes through in a gap in a fence.  (Which struck me as metaphorical defense mechanism that proved too weak.)





What could possibly happen when a child is left on his own armed with nothing but a flashlight?





This.  "The World's Angriest Boy in the World."  

Is this David?  Does he see himself in this boy?  Or is this another manifestation of The Devil that haunts David.  Does The Devil take on another guise depending on what time frame David is thinking about?


Juxtapose this "Angry Boy" with the look Lenny gives David when she appears in the lab.


 
Pretty close and equally as menacing.  Lenny is now a construct of David so does that mean Angry Boy is simply a construct?  Perhaps they are just a guise to protect David from what he fears the most but can't face.




Lenny's appearance and her attendant taunts launches David and Syd, who was coming to his emotional rescue, into an ether of sorts where they come face to face with Amy's captors and Amy herself.






Unlike the transportation from the memory cube, David and Syd appear along an astral plane.  They can see and hear the Division Three group but can't directly interact with them.






Well almost!  "The Eye" manages to spot them and reaches out to what he thinks he sees.





Boom, David and Syd are launched to a nearby pond (Hmm, water again) on the Summerland grounds.  Syd is thoroughly impressed.  She attributes their transport to David which is what I think also.  But I wonder if another party is involved?  David can move along an astral plane but sheer terror makes him move matter.  

But I am beginning to become suspicious of another party augmenting David's power..





The only fly in the ointment of that thinking is the appearance of The Devil during David's flashback to his hippy trippy party  time.  I'm thinking The Devil is just David in another form because David is supposed to be at that party.  Right?

So confusing.  Is David the Devil?  Is The Devil just part of David?  Or does it lurk and live on it's own inside David?

Now things begin to really ramp up. 



The Horror of it All.




Things start out innocently enough.  David is sedated  (Bad idea?) and in the memory he appears as a little boy.




Ah, but as we alluded to earlier, things from your childhood aren't always as peachy keen as we remember them.   Testimony of which is that odd looking monster that is spray painted on the wall behind Melanie.  A definite warning sign,

Come to think of it.  What with Melanie's hairdo I wonder if that image is really a statement on her and what lurks beneath her friendly facade.



David moves on from the party to the time where he commits a little larceny so he can cash in on some drugs.

To the horror of Syd and young David the red menace that is tearing through the wall is quite threatening but unseen to Pto and Melanie.


I was wondering to myself why these things are visible to Syd and David but not to the others?




The answer was provided much earlier in the episode when David and Syd had their dockside chat.  They had mused what it was like to share the other's body and how it made them think and feel.  

To me, it looks like they have shared a lot more than that.  Now, a psychic connection has been established.  So now when David goes on his dreamlike and memory fueled tangents, Syd can go along with him.

Do you think the writers felt compelled to include this little scene just to make the connection for us?  Maybe they felt they hadn't spelled it out enough.




As we continue through the memory, Syd felt threatened enough to flee with little David only to find themselves separated from the others and now in David's childhood home.  Here, Syd sees The Angry Boy and the terror is ramped up exponentially.

Clearly Syd sees the threat represented by The Angry Boy and she implores David to find his safe place and take her with him.





(I'm going to update the above picture this evening when my tech straightens out.)


Little David and Syd scramble through the duct in a mad dash for safety.  It is here we are provided with the best evidence that "The Angry Boy" and "The Devil" are one in the same.  

While it was the Angry Boy that chased them through the hallway, it is The Devil that shows himself in the duct.

Syd screams for their safety!




That worked, but not for everybody!

Melanie is still trapped inside the memory and along with it, still in David's home.

Not good.  Not good at all.




Melanie traverses the Haller Homested only to stumble across David's parents.  In a spooky sequence they actually make eye contact with each other.  The odd thing is, David never makes eye contact with his parents let alone sees their faces.

I guess because this memory is powered by David's psyche, the parents can interact with Melanie but I wonder why they didn't call out to Melanie.  Something like, "Hey, who are you?"  Are they the other party I wondered about earlier?  Are they separate in David's mind like the Devil?  Do they have "influence power" like The Devil?




Melanie makes her way to David's bedroom in apparent safety.  That is, until she reaches his closet.  (Aside to reader Jim, maybe there is a closet connection in every memory.) There, she finds the Angry Boy book.  As she leafs through it she reaches that grim image we've seen before. 

Some of you may be wondering like me if this is the metaphorical head of David's actual mother.  I don't think we know of the actual fate of David's parents but the reading of the book by the father and this unknown fate of the parents is rather foreboding.




 
 As she flips through the book, The Devil rises behind her.  It's worthy to note David is not present in the room which means The Devil can appear without him.  Yes, it is his dream, but if memory serves, David is usually present when The Devil is around.  Melanie doesn't see him but suddenly the book clasps shut on her hand and she screams in excruciating pain.  Do you suppose the book is some sort of totem for The Devil and he and the character within work together or are one in the same?




Melanie awakes from the memory in agony and fearing for her mangled hand.  But since it is only a memory there is no damage done.

How long do you think that will last?  With the parents eyeing Melanie in the dream I think it is only a matter of time before the inner workings of the memories become tangible.

The only one left in the dream is David and this is our last sight of him.



This ended up to be a pretty exciting episode.  We got a good measure of the depth of David's psyche and what The Devil/Angry Boy means to him.  We also learned about the link between Syd and David and the power of David's memories.


Where will they go next?

I have a feeling the memories and the experiments will be made physically manifest in a tangible sense and we will have trouble distinguishing what is real and what is not.

Kind of like now.


Odds and Ends


We'll start from the beginning of the episode for our odds and ends.

Why is this memory of Amy seen as though it is through a TV screen?  Is someone watching?





We get another look of a screen of sorts but instead of a TV it is a monitor that seems to be made of some sort of stretched fabric.  Who is watching and what sort of weird tech is this?





I have a theory about that.

Cary Loudermilk has some weird tech some of which seems to be "mouse powered."  Okay, maybe not literally, but look at the screen shot above and we see the mouse wheel along with an old CRT monitor.  When Cary accidentally sent David and Syd on an astral trip (with a healthy assist from Lenny) a mouse ran along a tube as he was observing them.

Can Loudermilk watch David in his trips?  We do now know there is a link between Summerland and Division Three as "The Eye" used to be a member of the Summerland Team until apparently he grew too homicidal for their liking.  

This definitely bears watching.





Brubaker calls David a "God".  Yikes, last week I wondered if David was some sort of deity. Something else that bears watching!





"Shall we begin?"

Who is providing the voice-over in David's mind?  We heard it twice at the beginning of the episode.  Is it one of his therapists like Dr. Poole?  Or is it some unknown party?




"Legion" employed an interesting cinematic technique when David and the rest went back to the last memory exercise.  (The haunted house one.)  Did you notice the screen went from full 16 x 9 aspect ratio to "Letterbox"?  I guess this provides us with a different perspective as we watch the memory play out.  "Legion" has done this before.




Lastly, those Loudermilk's are a funny pair aren't they?  Cary asks for something and Syd thought she meant her.  "He meant me" says Kerry Loudermilk as she appears out of nowhere.  Syd even gives a quizzical look as she too wonders where the hell Kerry came from.

Here's how it plays out in a GIF.




It was pretty funny.  Kerry seems adept at martial arts but is her true mutant power may be the ability to hide in the shadows?

How very Cloak and Dagger!