This opener starts off moving from the placebo effect to the “no-cebo” effect, which is that the mind reacts to suggested harm as if it were real. They go on to muse that, if this can happen, how much more of reality is simply our own, or someone else’s, mental disorder. That one is something to make you think at least, I’ll give them that.
Next up is the apparent physical death of Farouk, the Shadow King, which happens roughly like what we’ve seen in the comics; we simply don’t see the mental duel between Farouk and Professor X. The body is put in a weird coffin that looks like a big white pill, driven way out in the sticks, and put in a hole in the ground under the monastery belonging to the monks we keep hearing about. All is not well, as an ominous banging keeps echoing through the building.
In the present, Ptonomy has strange dreams with images we’ve seen before. His borderline nightmares are better than his reality, where we see something that looks horrible starting to happen to him, which he doesn’t even know about. He wakes up, clearly a bit shaken. The Admiral spies on the lab where Kerry works out on the heavy bag. Then, we see just how odd the joined mutants’ lives have been as Cary guides her through some everyday activities she doesn’t know how to do.
Syd is stalking through the building as a cat while she asks David about her future self. She sees a lot of people running, and then we see Agent Clark suiting up in hazmat gear to go into the room of chatterers. Everyone is very disturbed because there are marks on the inside of the glass, which the infected shouldn’t be able to make. In reaction, the Admiral orders the building sealed.
Alarms sound throughout Division 3, and David figures out he can’t find the missing monk with his powers. He and Syd physically search the building, and he gets another flash of future Syd, sending him the unhelpful message “H.” Hopefully there’s more of that to come later. At a loss, he goes back to his weird chamber, which is sort of becoming his version of the X-Men’s Cerebro.
Instead of future Syd, he ends up first making contact with Lennie, who isn’t enjoying her time with the Shadow King. Her conversation gets increasingly desperate, and he more or less pushes past her to find Farouk. Farouk finally shows up and asks about the hunt for the monk. David is still worried what Farouk might do if restored to his body, and Farouk’s smug, condescending answers aren’t very reassuring. Farouk, in addition to his annoying philosophical arguments, makes an interesting claim about the chattering plague, and points out something about future Syd.
David wakes up in his chamber and then wanders through the building, not finding anyone. He moves through the darkened building before finally getting the power back on, and then finding a random cow in the hallway, because why not? Finally, he finds Cary, who is not dealing with whatever’s happening very well. Cary fills in David on what little he knows about what’s going on as they move through the building and eventually find Ptonomy, now one of the Chatterers.
David brings Cary with him into Ptonomy’s mind. They find some strange imagery before finding the man himself. Given his powers, they figure out what his deep desire is. That one makes a lot of sense. Finally, after some weirdness, they wake him up. They find Melanie and go through a completely different sequence to snap her out of it. With her awake, they split up to find the others, and David suggests a novel approach if they find the monk. They have another run in with the cow, which is never actually explained.
David gets more flashes of the future, then is dragged off by the mesmerized kid soldiers. David then gets another perspective shift and now lives through some of the history of the monks dealing with hiding Farouk’s body, and the beginning of the Chattering Plague. Cary creeps through the red-lit halls of the Division, and then discovers something disturbing for him.
Ptonomy and Melanie find the Admiral and his various extra bodies slumped all over the floor. Through them, the monk complains they weren’t warned they were dealing with a monster, and demands to be given the weapon to kill him. There’s a lot of debate about how to handle things, and Melanie figures out what the weapon in question actually is. She also claims to know how to deal with the Shadow King.
David and the monk finally meet up in the mindscape, and David asks him to stop making people sick. The monk’s answer doesn’t bode well for them working together. David gets another weird flash of future Syd, who seems to be in a lot of trouble as she urges David to hurry. He muses on the nature of his relationship with Syd, argues with the monk, and then finds himself in another new place after seeing something that worries him a lot. I’m not sure how much progress they really made on things this episode. Then again, I’m never quite sure what’s going on in this show.
What I liked: Kerry having to figure out how to live like a normal person was an interesting twist. Going inside the minds of Ptonomy and Melanie was nicely done. The story of Farouk’s body is starting to make a bit more sense.
What I didn’t: At times, it really feels like they’re being weird just to be weird. Like the cow showing up. I’m not sure what’s going on with Lennie, or even if she’s real, and I find I’m caring less and less.
I’m watching this more out of curiosity than anything else at this point. It’s so odd I’m not even sure if I’m enjoying it at this point. I’ll give this episode a low 3 out of 5. It’s a short season, so I’ll likely stick with it, but if it gets a third, I’m not so sure.