...So, let’s talk!
The hourglasses at Clockworks Psychiatric Hospital are flowing faster than anyone expected. The fifth chapter of Legion ended with a ‘shining’ twist that exposed much of what came before it as an elaborate creation. Suffice it to say, the next week of waiting to see what FX will deliver will be the most difficult of the season yet.
The ending may make fans want to return to chapter one when Syd first sketched David to see what else may be hiding there, but a lot of interesting layers were revealed in tonight’s episode as well.
After learning from Kerry last week what her partnership with Cary entails, their “delicate ecosystem” is balanced from a new perspective. Seeing how Kerry’s wounds are absorbed by Cary gives a whole new dimension to his and her earlier adventures.
David’s also found a way to be together with Syd, or so he tells her. The “White Room” fosters a special connectivity between the star-crossed lovers and the possibilities there seem endless compared to the tranquil pond where the two have already shared some of their most important feelings.
[UP NEXT: Logan, Legion Help Fox Find a Perfect Voice]
Legion demonstrates that while possibility is power, power can not be contained. So it’s harrowing but perhaps inevitable that this very connection shared is what sways Sydney to join David’s arcing path back to Division 3 to free his sister Amy -- whatever the cost.
There’s no mystery over why Sydney begins to sway this way. As she tells Summerland’s guiding light, Melanie Bird, David is now her man. And it’s the same blindingly bright motivator that leads Melanie to follow her road.
Oliver Bird, David’s smashingly stressful dance partner in the Astral Plane seen in chapter four, was Melanie’s husband, and she’ll wager anything if it means bringing him back.
What makes all this so destined, it seems, is the cosmic similarity between Oliver and David. As Melanie explains, Oliver exhibited powers similar to David’s before coming to the ice cube he now appears to reside in joyously. After all, Wednesday night is karaoke night!
Given this past it can’t be surprising that David decides to make a solo break for Division 3 and leave his Summerland partners behind. As Lenny reminds him in the White Room’s distinctly red internal chamber, “strength in numbers” doesn’t apply when you are Legion.
David switches to daylight saving time early (PSA: don’t forget those clocks this weekend) and Summerland catches the news too late. There doesn’t seem to be any survivors when they arrive apart from Dr. Kissinger, who David must’ve been happy to leave trapped.
Division 3 records everything, so the failed rescue party can see the destruction David has caused themselves. Captain Brubaker (who helped interrogate David in the first episode, and Amy when she came to Clockworks later) is also there to give his dying account. It’s clear that the horrors David is capable of weren’t fully considered.
The devil with the yellow eyes can also be seen on the tape. It appears that his hold on David’s consciousness continues tightening. Tonight, it no longer appears to be hiding its crosses with Lenny and David’s childhood (shadow) dog, King.
Thankfully, Cary Loudermilk’s research may be bearing fruit.
He appears to be the only one who comprehends the parasitic nature of this devil, and he has a tool that could headcuff it if David can be isolated.
[LEGION THEORY: Who is the Devil with Yellow Eyes?]
Syd is able to hear echoes of the special connection from David’s White Room and they tell her where to go looking for him. Like a clock, it’s only a matter of following a circle back to its start.
David’s taken Amy back to their old house… which seems suspiciously close to Division 3! As is often the case, retreating to our earliest memories is a chaotic motion and there’s no predicting what will be found there when seen in a new light -- or a new darkness.
In this case Amy’s shocking secret, kept from David since his earliest youth, is that he was adopted by the Haller family. It’s no tragedy that David was taken into the home of a family that tried its best to raise him.
The agonizing irony is that David’s true parentage must hold the original ingredients to the uncontrollable internal horrors he has faced after a lifetime without anyone who could understand him.
A final irony is that the closest person to him that could understand him now may be Walter -- the same “creepy guy with the perm” also known as The Eye.
The Eye also seems able to see from far distances and is even able to take over the body of Rudy (Brad Mann, also of FX’s Fargo), the same apparently telekinetic mutant who was shown helping bust David out of Division 3’s swimming pool at the end of chapter one.
All that can be done at that point is to retreat to the shining but deceptive safety of the White Room. Once the devil with the yellow eyes has colonized this last hiding place the entire structure collapses.
The ending of tonight’s Legion will likely be discussed for a long time. Fan anticipation for a finale reveal that David’s still in Clockworks, and the events were in his imagination, has been building since before the first episode even ended. A pre-backlash even began forming among certain skeptics -- haven’t there been enough shows relying solely on a reality-shifting twist in the first season’s last episodes lately?
Legion blows right past these questions in the way that only it can. The element that Syd adds to the mixture is impossible to identify until it’s too late -- yet also earlier than expected.
Though nothing is ever certain in this story, the apparent revelation that the Summerland events -- and who knows what else -- are in HER head, but that David has a basis in reality, should make anyone wonder: What else does Syd know?
With three episodes remaining in this spiraling first season, fans are promised that Legion’s breakneck pace will continue. The standard model for a season of comic book television has been upended.
But who teaches us to be normal when we’re one of a kind?
- Soundtracking Syd and friends’ arrival at Division 3, “The Daily Mail” is one of Radiohead’s true latter-day treasures. The band has a mixed history of their most famous songs appearing unexpectedly, but tonight’s surprise record spin is a striking sequence that thankfully won’t be forgotten.
- Some things bear repeating: as mentioned in our first recap, Don DeLillo’s play The Day Room also takes place in a psychiatric hospital, and its twist ending is that its second act takes place before its first. The room where David kissed Syd and changed bodies in the first episode is called “the day room” as well. Check your local library (but hurry up because it’ll be gone soon).
- Peter Calloway penned tonight’s episode, returning after having also written the third chapter. Both have elegantly upended what seemed to be true about David’s past. What will his future hold next?
- Along with the Summerland characters, and Aubrey Plaza’s Lenny (or lookalikes), The Man in All His Clothes is present at the group therapy conclusion. He was present for David and Syd’s meeting in chapter one as well.
The gorgeous repeating tune for some of Syd’s most important moments is “David and Syd” by soundtrack composer Jeff Russo. There’s a reason these tracks have fans raving and seeing visions. The tune’s original meaning takes a new shape each time it’s heard in the show.
Luckily, the original soundtrack is available with bonuses on ComicBook.com.
-- Zach Ellin will provide coverage Legion coverage for ComicBook.com throughout the entire season of the show. Follow him on Twitter for more of his insights.