Legion: Chapter 3


I still say this table looks like a simplified TARDIS console

The strangeness that is Legion continues with “Chapter 3.” Given how odd the show is, I keep waiting for one of the episodes to randomly veer away from the Chapter title, but it hasn’t happened yet. Then again, the show has plenty of weirdness on its own, and probably doesn’t need to rely on episode titles for more.

They’re really fond of the non-linear storytelling style on this show. Walter, one of the Division 3 agents, has Amy, David’s sister. Walter asking her, “Shall we begin?” recurs several times in the opening scenes. There are random flashbacks to David as a child and his dog. We also see Dr. Bird using a very complicated version of a coffee maker which has some interesting additional features.

Down on the dock at Summerland, David is catching flashes of Amy being tortured by Walter. Syd comes to get him for memory work with Dr. Bird and Ptonomy. Dr. Bird explains that the process is usually a lot more systematic, but between David’s power and Amy’s being in danger, they’re going to have to do things differently this time. They go into David’s memories again, zeroing in on the fight he had with Philly that led to the scene of David’s telekinesis running wild in the kitchen. This display of power impresses both Bird and Ptonomy, although David debates some of the words they use to describe his ability, particularly “control.”

Dr. Bird wants to know what triggers his powers, and directs Ptonomy to focus on the events just before the incident took place. Rolling David’s memory back a bit, Ptonomy and company see David and Lennie on the floor, high. This leads to an argument with Philly, but there’s more going on. Something lurks in the background that is resisting Ptonomy’s powers, and lends an eerie and sinister aspect to the session. Ptonomy says none of this should be happening, and that David is fighting him. They wake up, but they are in a different room with a familiar “X” design in the window behind them. Ptonomy is stunned that David teleported all of them while under the influence of Ptonomy’s power.

David returns to the dock, which seems to be a place he likes to hang out. Syd joins him and they talk about their childhoods. We also finally learn what qualifies Syd to be at Summerland, and it’s not just that she’s David’s girlfriend. They also compare notes on what happened during their body swapping experience. It’s an amusing scene that lets the two of them actually relax slightly between weird events and literal head trips.

Lab tech Kerry takes another shot at using the MRI on David. This time, David goes back to a Halloween when he was young, with him and Amy trick or treating. There are a few very suspenseful scenes with King, David’s dog, that had me very worried, and then the Angriest Boy pops up again. This leads to another weird argument between David and Lennie, and Kerry getting some very confusing readings on the MRI. Syd goes in to try and help David, and the two of them end up floating in some odd tunnel-like effect. Somehow, they end up where Amy is being interrogated. Even more disturbing, Walter sees their ghostly forms and almost manages to catch them before they end up in the pond outside Summerland. A bedraggled Syd comments to David that, “If you ever learn to control that, you’re going to be a world-class badass.”

Finally, we learn a bit more about the background of Summerland. It was founded by Melanie Bird, her husband Oliver, and Kerry. They found Walter, but he liked hurting people too much. David is worried about Amy, which Melanie understands. She says she’s never seen a mind like David’s. So much has been changed and edited in his memories that she’s not sure she can teach him, and is worried she’s making things worse. There’s a bit of debate over what to do next, but they agree to keep trying to give David a better handle on his powers.

David has more weird flashbacks to things he and Lennie did while high. Syd wakes up in the middle of the night and goes to find David, who’s sitting on the floor in the living room or common area or whatever that place is. He confesses his doubts about himself to her, as well as his past sins. He also cautions her that if she’s part of the memory work with Ptonomy, she’s going to see some pretty dark things about him.

Ptonomy tells David to focus in on how he ended up at the Clockworks Institute. Melanie sedates him so he won’t fight their presence as much this time. They see David and Lennie screwing around in a shopping cart, which seems like more random weirdness of theirs. Since David is sedated, the version of him with them is now his young self, which seems to charm Syd. Because her power is touch-based, it can’t work in the memories, so she actually gets to hug David, albeit the child version.

They see the past-David breaking in to his therapist’s office and stealing things. There are ghostly images of David and Dr. Poole in the chairs in the office, which Ptomony calls memories within memories. Even for this show, this scene starts taking a lot of weird turns for the surreal, including David eating tapes from the doctor’s cabinet and weird tears in the walls with hellish light coming through. It gets bad enough that Ptonomy agrees it’s time to get out, which is when he finds out he can’t. Syd and the young David run off from the weirdness, which leads them through some memories of David’s Syd would rather not have seen. They flee and find a place to hide, pursued first by the Angriest Boy again, and then by the other monster that keeps popping up in David’s memories. Eventually, Syd wakes up, but can’t wake the others.

Finally, she gets Ptomony awake, who seems very confused by everything that happened. There are a few more really odd scenes, and Ptomony tries to reassure Syd that memories can’t hurt her. She responds that she’s not sure these are memories. The episode ends with David huddled in a chair, surrounded by a crowd yelling at him. This is an image we’ve seen before, which I presume is supposed to be the out of control part of his telepathy.

What I liked: They do a good job of making this a really surreal trip into David’s head. I liked the banter between David and Kerry in the lab. The relationship between David and Syd is developing nicely. Ptonomy’s power is interesting and unique, as is Syd’s now that we know what it is. The scene with Melanie and the coffee maker was heartbreaking once they told us enough to figure out what it was.

What I didn’t: They keep getting me really worried about King the dog. The show is getting odd enough at places that it’s hard to figure out what’s supposed to be happening. I get that they are mostly going off David’s somewhat skewed perspective, but I’d like a clearer idea what’s going on at times, and what some of the abilities are and how they work.

It’s a very different show, nothing at all like the various superhero shows playing now. I’ll give this one a 3.5 out of 5. I’m getting really curious about the mysteries in David’s head.