After an explosive ending to Episode Five -- and building off the news that FX has renewed the series for a second season -- Legion just switched on a couple thousand gigawatts of electric power in fans’ heads by revealing Aubrey Plaza’s true role in the chaotic cosmos of the show.
As Lenny - or Doctor Busker - Plaza helps walk through the seemingly mutant powers of Summerland’s watchful caretakers. In one light, these ailments can make the amazing possible for their “sufferers.” But in another, they represent all the corners that people retreat to when their worlds fill with darkness. Successful treatment should be freeing them of thoughts unpure.
But as David hears so eloquently from the man he’s known as Ptonomy, the dosages prescribed can seem to have the main goal of turning the subject into a dog person. So before making any decisions about what David may have been experiencing during this time, you better hold the phone.
The entire sixth chapter kicks into a new gear once David begins his session with the mad doctor. The “delusions” seemingly haunting his friends’ minds are all logical (or perhaps illogical) extensions of the ailments they’re treated for in Clockworks. It is a sequence that should help the show improve on its already impressive No. 5 placement in the ComicBook.com User Ratings.
In David’s case, the schizophrenia rug is pulled from under the audience’s feet. Manic depression, schizophrenia, and other terms used to describe people who otherwise defy labels are often confused. And sometimes, the person you thought was your sister is actually your torturous hospital watchdog.
A doctor like Lenny certainly doesn’t help those matters. As Lenny “Cornflakes” Busker, Aubrey Plaza has been as hard to describe as David himself. The character’s purpose, motive, and even gender have all been unclear. In the first episode incident at Clockworks she, somehow, fatally became trapped in one of the hospital’s many mysterious walls.
What becomes frighteningly clear -- in a scene that will certainly produce some nightmares tonight -- is that Dr. Busker has been pulling more strings than anyone else could see.
When David visits Sydney in the evening, it seems familiar, but everything is flipped. David is pleading for Sydney to stay so that the two can remain in balance. And this time, his logic seems a lot clearer than Sydney’s rationale in the first episode for wanting to leave.
[EXCLUSIVE: ComicBook talks with Kate Aselton about Legion]
Last time Sydney Barrett was seen at Clockworks, she made her distaste for cherry-flavored things perfectly understood. But when someone says something like that to a new friend, there’s usually a bigger reason. Tonight, the answer just might have been revealed.
All the disparate settings that David has felt horror in the five episodes before now share one thing in common -- they’re all Dr. Busker’s territory. Even his ex-girlfriend’s kitchen!
If you’ve been focusing on David this whole time, it’s a good way of reminding that Summerland has been having its way with a few other notable patients. Cary Loudermilk, after unveiling his charming rainbow handkerchief and completing his all-important bedtime routine, is visited by a well-known diver. How can he help but offer greetings?
There’s a lot that Sydney has to find out before the diver visits her, on the other hand. While David paints her portrait, he makes the possible mistake of pulling back a curtain on someone’s delusion.
Turns out David and Sydney both can be labeled in confusing ways. If your delusions mean you don’t want to be touched, are they really delusions? If you take in more with your many senses than most do, is it any wonder you hear voices and alternate between mania and depression?
When Dr. Busker finds Sydney wandering that night, she offers the promising tool of music to help her therapy. But Dr. Busker’s therapy has already proven controversial and mystifying.
On Legion’s soundtrack, the song Sydney gets the privilege of hearing is called “Choir and Crickets” -- another of Jeff Russo’s show-stopping original creations. A few characters keep seeming to hear their echoes. When David is confronted by Amy, her once-sweet demeanor has become aggressively nauseating. And Kerry Loudermilk seems to have fallen into Walter’s clutches.
After all of this is cleaned up, the eyes can finally return to the room where Syd and David “escaped,” but only momentarily. Dr. Bird, drawn in by the same diver whom is believed to be her husband.
There’s a lot left to learn back at Clockworks, still. Before trapping him in a disturbing fashion (that remains vague at this point) Dr. Busker describes the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus. It takes over its hosts’ brains and grows out from the scalp, eventually taking over more bodies around it. Whether David is human, ant, or some other kind of mutant, Dr. Busker aims to have the same impact on him.
With David in some kind of limbo, a new diver has come to wake Sydney. When Cary Loudermilk wakes her up and the credits roll, it’s an ending with astronomical meaning. David Bowie’s “Oh! You Pretty Things” refracts through the brilliant prism of Legion thanks to a cover by Lisa Hannigan that fans won’t forget anytime soon.
Such a singular chapter of Legion can only happen thanks to its difficult-to-measure internal rulers. The narrative returns to Clockworks, a familiar location, but in an all new way. Visionary director Hiro Murai (the focus behind unforgettable music videos and several episodes of FX and Donald Glover’s Atlanta) takes charge of so many stunning sequences that everything that seemed to be known about the series is back in the “mystery” column.
It isn’t the last time that ComicBook and Legion fans will be thinking about tonight’s episode, for sure. Just remember that things that happened in the past only happened in your mind.
-- 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.