The fourth episode of Legion is a complete mind-fuck, to put it mildly. It answers a couple of questions, asks about 30 dozen more, and leads you to doubt everything that’s ever happened on the series so far. If the previous episode made us feel like we were finally safe and sound, this episode just gave us a giant middle finger and said, “Screw you. You’ll never be safe again.”
The episode opens by introducing us to Dr. Melanie Bird’s husband Oliver, played fantastically by Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords. He’s a riddle-spouting jazz enthusiast who wears leisure suits, serving as the episode’s Shakespearean chorus to guide us through the episode’s “themes” of trust and fear. Oh, and he lives in a giant ice cube on the astral plane because his body is frozen in a diving suit that’s being stored at Summerland. Confused yet? Buckle up, kids, it’s only been three minutes!
Syd, Ptonomy, and Kerry Loudermilk are sent out to dive into David’s past, to figure out why he’s stuck in an unconscious state after the events of the previous episode. Every step they take seems to confirm their worst fears: David isn’t to be trusted, he is to be feared. Objective memories (literally—Ptonomy can access memories from objects too, like the session recorder) suggest his subconscious has been altered to hide terrible secrets, like how he beat up his former therapist when it was discovered he was stealing. However, Syd doesn’t buy it. She thinks David’s memories have been internally manipulated to make them think David’s a bad person, when in fact it might be a defense mechanism to guard a secret something, or someone, doesn’t want getting out. Is this true? Maybe.
Meanwhile, David is bouncing around in the astral plane, struggling to find his way out. He encounters Oliver, who provides him a safe space inside his mental ice cube against the “monster” that’s attached to him. David can’t see or remember the monster, at least in its pudgy Yellow-Eyed Demon form, but Oliver can... and he knows it’s a major threat. It’s unclear what Oliver’s abilities are at this point, other than his manipulation of the astral plane, but it’s obvious he and David share some common traits. Sadly, their connection is not enough for David to want to stay, despite Oliver’s insistence that David protect himself from the demon stalking his den.
Upon leaving the ice cube, David is immediately accosted by his former Clockworks buddy and current headspace occupant Lenny (Aubrey Plaza, who’s simply magnanimous in this role). Lenny may have started out as a mental patient who took up shop in David’s brain after her death, but it turns out she’s a hell of a lot more than that. The breadcrumbs are slowly being laid out for Lenny’s character, leading to a big shocking reveal that’s almost here, but not quite yet. The latest breadcrumb: She wasn’t actually his drug dealer. That honor went to Benny, a creepy, bald guy who sort of resembles Y.E.D... at least in appearance. This discovery comes from David’s ex-girlfriend, whose own memories can be called into question from possible Division Three manipulation (she tells Syd that “they’re watching” them). So, is this true either? Who the hell knows, man. In any case, Lenny is definitely more than she appears.
After figuring out how to force himself awake, David teleports into the street just in time to “save” Syd and crew from Walter, a.k.a the Eye, the guy who likes making wolf figurines. It’s obvious he’s being presented as the major threat, but it’s still unclear as hell what his actual abilities are. In a previous scene, he’d disguised himself as David’s former therapist to apprehend Syd, Ptonomy, and Kerry... and was able to walk through a wave of bullets like it was no big deal. It’s not like he’s an illusion, as Syd was able to temporarily switch bodies with him. In fact, Syd had managed to capture Walter as a result of the body switch, while David’s actions enabled him to get away. (Syd’s really not going to like that.)
It may not matter, though, because there’s only one woman on David’s mind now. Lenny, with the talon-like fingers of the Y.E.D, has escaped from the Fade like a demon from the Dragon Age series and latched onto David for the ride. It’s looking more and more like Lenny might be the latest manifestation of the Shadow King–especially given the reveal that David’s dog, King, was imaginary the whole time. But, again, who the hell knows at this point. Nothing is real and everything is permitted. I need a nap.
The fourth episode of Legion is basically one long repeat of that smoke-encrusted Krusty the Clown quote from The Simpsons: “What the hell was that?” It dangles a bunch of strings in front of our faces and dares us to pull at any of them... only nothing happens when we do. It looked pretty and definitely took us on a journey, but it was full of unfulfilled promises. I have no doubt this is all part of the plan, but it’s also a little frustrating to feel so left out of the loop on my own show. Oh well, at least we’ve got a giant ice cube.
- I still can’t tell whether the journey Syd, Ptonomy, and Kerry take to follow David’s trail was all a trap from Division Three... or they just intercepted them. It looks like the whole thing was a set-up, otherwise how would the Eye have known to lay the trap for the gang at the therapist’s lighthouse. But if that’s the case... how did they implant false memories into David’s ex-girlfriend’s mind? And don’t those memories impact the Lenny revelation?
- Is Ptonomy dead? He might be dead. If so, that sucks.
- I feel so bad for Amy, and also that doctor from Clockworks. Both of them have been erased from existence and left to rot in their uneven sloped cells. I really hope something good happens to them soon, but for now, at least they have each other?
- Cary and Kerry Loudermilk’s connection is finally revealed. It turns out they’re siblings who share the same body, and the reason she’s younger is because she only ages when she’s outside his body. It’s a cool concept, but I got so frustrated every time Kerry was onscreen. All she talked about was fighting and wanting to fight and enjoying fighting and oh my god girl get some hobbies.
- Seriously, though, watching Cary physically recreate Kerry’s fight scenes in his lab was pretty cool. It seemed like an excuse to show off actor Bill Irwin’s amazing physicality, but I don’t care. I hope to see more of that in the future.