Legion’s “Chapter 17″ largely deals with Melanie Bird. We saw her attack Agent Clark, the man in serious contention for unluckiest normal in the series, and now we see some of how that came about, as well as bits of David’s plan that he sort of subliminally sent to a few allies before taking off on his latest quest. Melanie is definitely not doing well, and is nowhere near the person she used to be.
In yet another replay of the event, we see her attack Clark from behind and drag him off, but this time Oliver comments from off-screen that, “She’s ours.” This spins us back to 13 Days Earlier, as Melanie enjoys her elephant hooka/bong and wanders around her room dazed and high as all hell from what we can see. Syd visits, and gets a bitter rant from Melanie about their men saving the world and dismissing their feelings. As Syd attends to the kettle Melanie apparently doesn’t care is whistling, Melanie reflects that the saddest words in the English language are “Vacant lot” although she doesn’t know why. This is another random non sequitur and is never brought up again. Maybe she wanted to be an architect and put buildings in those empty lots?
After a few more shots of Melanie randomly stoned, she gets a night time visit from Oliver, who reminisces with her as she pulls a gun on him. That might be the smartest thing we’ve seen her do this series, but she doesn’t use it. They just talk. A lot. He flatters her and makes her see her younger self in the mirror when she looks. Then, younger Melanie is swimming in a pool, comes out to sun herself, and gets visited by Farouk. He asks her a lot of questions about the missing monk.
There are more surreal scenes and then Oliver is standing over his old body in the diving suit, telling Melanie she should have just burned it. They debate that point for a while, and then Oliver sadly reflects that things have changed between them. Melanie agrees, and then wakes up in bed. She paces around for a while, and then Kerry comes to see if she’s ever coming back to work, although what she does since Division 3 and Summerland merged I’ve never been clear on. Then again, it’s a show that specializes in lack of clarity. Melanie then starts wondering about the nature of reality, and Kerry offers some simple refutations for Melanie’s doubts. When Melanie starts babbling about Kerry and Cary’s weird relationship, Kerry finally offers a comment that could easily double as a summation of so much of this series: “Stop talking weird. You’re saying a lot of words that don’t make sense.” Melanie lapses into doubting reality again, and a frustrated Kerry leaves.
Kerry goes back to the lab/workout space she shares with her other half, and goes to work on a heavy bag while Cary putters around the lab. This is when they both get hit with their programming/memories from David about what they need to do. After making sure with each other they’re both seeing the same things, they steal a powerful weapon that’s stored in a little travel suitcase, because why not, steal a car that matches their shared vision, and take off, with Kerry behind the wheel because, “How hard can it be?” They never really show it, but I have this image of Cary in white knuckled fear for their entire trip.
Melanie starts up with her hooka again, which turns into a long slow camera pan that they seem to really enjoy this episode, leading to Lennie making a big dramatic entrance to some kind of hippie house/drug den. Unfortunately for her sense of drama, everyone is too buzzed to notice. I’m not even going to begin to try and recreate the drugged up dialogue that happens in this place. The ones Lennie interacts with most are a blonde woman (actually called Blonde Woman in the credits) and a guy who goes by Squirrel. After a huge party starts up, Lennie takes the blonde to bed amid flashbacks of her rebirth and an apparent visit by her body’s original owner. Amy then returns and lingers long enough to make Lennie feel really uncomfortable as they talk over a few things, with Amy asking over and over again, “Are you a good person?” I find Lennie amusing at times, but I’d have to say no to that one.
Kerry and Cary do their part of the plan, but then Kerry decides to go to a nearby bar instead of returning to the Division. A very dubious Cary goes with her. Lennie hangs out with her druggie friends for a while and then starts getting visions of her part of David’s plan and the monster from season one. She and Amy debate more, and Lennie seems to like the idea that David needs her. Kerry and Cary hang out in the bar and we learn she has some really simple ideas about death. They see Lennie go to the car, which promptly glows and then vanishes before their eyes. I guess they’re going to need a different ride back to Division 3. Cary mentions he put a tracker on the case so they can follow. The car appears in the desert and bursts into flame, inducing Lennie to get out and barely giving her time to retrieve the case amid visions of her setting up somewhere with a sniper rifle. Whatever’s in the case, I’m ruling out the rifle, unless that case is TARDIS-like. She then sees a pink bathtub, which makes as much sense as anything else this episode, and goes off towards it.
The final scene shows some more of the rickshaw, although Oliver is alone this time. He gets information from Melanie about David leaving and what he did. We get to see her ambush Clark yet again before she ends up in some cave-like passage and finally comes face to face with Oliver as a storm rages outside. How much of that is real is anyone’s guess, but you could say that about most of this series.
What I liked: Lennie’s argument with Amy was fun to watch. I liked Kerry’s comebacks to Melanie’s existential rantings. I don’t like him or what he’s doing, but I’ll give Oliver points for knowing what buttons to press with Melanie. I was surprised at how far the scene between Lennie and Blonde went on a non-pay channel.
What I didn’t: How many times do we need to see Clark hit over the head? Where the hell is Ptonomy? David and his quest to beat Farouk is most of what holds my attention, and David wasn’t even here except for the briefest of flashbacks.
I have to admit, as much of a comic geek and even X-Men fan as I am, this show is losing me. I’ll give this a 3 out of 5 and hope they manage to actually accomplish something by the end of the season.