Legion Ep. 106 Recap & Review – ‘Chapter 6’
First of all, big congrats to Legion for securing a second season on FX! Legion hits the ball out of the park again with this little introspective episode where we learn a bit more about our characters, but only just a little bit. “Chapter 6” puts us in a genre trope as old as time — “We’ve been in a mental institution this entire time!” — but with it’s own little spin. One difference is that the show isn’t attempting to make us think our players have actually been in Clockworks since the beginning of the series.
We’re reintroduced to the Summerland crew who are depicted as regular humans with strange quirks. Cary and Kerry are two separate people so joined at the hip that separating is almost crippling. Ptonomy has perfect memory but chooses to relive the moment his mother died over and over. Melanie stopped aging mentally and has built up grand delusions around the belief that her one true love will return. Walter, a.k.a. “The Eye,” has a lot of hostility stored up inside possibly due to developing much later than the other boys in his class; he was probably bullied so much that he in turn have become a bully himself. Syd is still doesn’t like to be physically touched. The only person who seems “normal” is David, who seems to be well-adjusted at Clockworks. Aubrey Plaza shifts the tone of her character and slips into the Dr. Lenny Busker persona, the group’s psychiatrist. It’s clear to us that Lenny is manipulating her patients into making them all believe they’re worse off than they actually are, especially with Syd.
Syd is the only person who can tell that something’s…off with their present situation. She explains to Lenny that she feels like they’re in a dream, but not an interesting one. On top of that, she’s also the first to notice David’s bedroom door (from his childhood) manifesting every so often. She’s also the only one who notices bugs in her pie, and a giant pustule throbbing and oozing on the side of a wall. A lot of the exchanges she encounters are ripped straight from the pilot, but they’re being said or done by different people, like deja vu only different. The exception is Amy, who fills in the role of a nurse. Her actions are packed with a touch more venom than her predecessor. She feels the world around her unraveling, but David couldn’t feel any more comfortable than he already does.
David is in stark contrast to how Syd feels. He’s happy, relaxed and “in control.” He’s not interested in getting out of Clockworks. He’d rather stick with the routine he has until he grows old and dies…in a mental institution. He tells Lenny during one of their sessions that he finally feels some semblance of balance between mania and depression — I should also note that his diagnosis in this world is not schizophrenia, but manic depression; Syd is the one with the delusions.
Speaking of delusions, it seems as though everyone but David is having something of a shared dream. Cary dreams about a giant ice cube, Kerry dreams about the Oliver’s diving suit, and Melanie dreams about “love,” which I can only assume is Oliver. Syd’s dreams are slightly different. She’s getting flashes of the moment when The Eye barges into the room and starts shooting at Syd and David. From what we can tell, time is slowed down significantly, but it’s still moving. Those bullets will hit Syd eventually unless something or someone stops that from happening.
Enter Oliver. One by one, he’s been rescuing the Summerland folks and taking them out of the dreamscape created by Lenny. He leads Melanie outside of the dream and into the scene currently happening in reality. There she struggles to save Syd and David, so far to no avail.
Then there’s Lenny. When no one is looking, she let’s her freak flag fly by doing a quirky dance/striptease across nearly every setting within David’s memories where we’ve encountered the demon. This scene is more of a statement on how she enjoys living inside David’s head where she’s able to access his powers and thrive on his misery. She couldn’t care less about his well-being. If you want to think about it a bit more, Lenny represents the monster inside all of us that brings out our worst impulses.
It’s in this episode that Plaza really drives home the fact that she is not just some one-note character meant to bring in some loyal Parks and Recreation fans. She’s a different kind of scary than what we’re used to seeing from April Ludgate at her most menacing. There’s a scene toward the end of the episode where she reveals her true intentions to David. She references the ophiocordyceps unilateralis, that nasty fungus that takes control of ants and then bursts through their heads to release spores — also known as the fungus on which The Last of Us based their monsters. David is the ant, and Lenny is the head-bursting cordycep.
However, after illuminating the plan she had for David ever since he was a fetus, Lenny decides to throw all of that away and just take over. She boxes David up and sends him to the “sunken place” where all the other voices are stored.
- I wonder if David’s feeling of clearness has anything to do with Lenny gaining more control over him.
- I wonder why Amy was left out of this shared dreamscape. Yes, she was in the episode, but only to occupy the role of nurse and later pick away at David’s securities.
- Lenny knew David’s real father. She doesn’t name him, but we do know that David has been in peril since he was a baby. The one reason why his father gave him up was so he could protect him from Lenny. Some good that did….
- Cary and Kerry share an actual Wonder Twins moment. It was pretty awesome.
- The footage used to show the cordyceps is from the BBC nature documentary, Planet Earth.
- We’re definitely in some ambiguous, undefined timeline. In Ptonomy’s flashback, he describes that his mother was listening to “99 Luftballons” just before her death. That song came out in 1983, yet the whole world, with the exception of Division 3’s futuristic tablet in “Chapter 2,” looks like it’s perpetually in the 70s.
- Speaking of “Chapter 2,” I still want to know why the show put so much emphasis on an empty dog crate while David was being interrogated by Division 3.
- Only two more episodes left to go!