Just when you think you have a grasp of what’s going on, or a semblance of the reality in Legion, you’re thrown a curveball.
In Chapter 4, the story goes outside of David Haller (Dan Stevens) as he still lies dormant, in sleep but his mind is still working. Dr. Bird (Jean Smart) sends Ptolomy (Jeramie Harris), Sydney (Rachel Keller), and Kerry (Amber Midthunder) go on a mission to validate some of what’s been seen in David’s mind and just get some reliable answers.
Unfortunately they run into trouble just when they thought they were getting somewhere. Meanwhile we see that Amy (Katie Aselton) is still being held captive by Division Three and is not in a good place.
TV Critics April Neale and Ernie Estrella discuss what went down in Chapter 4 of Legion. Beware of spoilers, be sure you are caught up before reading below.
EE: Wow, April, I think this is an episode we’ve been waiting for because there was a lot to digest here. Oliver Bird acting as a vinyl record-playing narrator? Characters are not who they seem to be as David’s memories are not to be trusted. Villains in disguise, mutants finally unleashed… talk about your mind being blown to bits. This is the kind of crazy storytelling I saw in the pilot episode that excited me, and I’m seriously in love with this series.
AN: The amazing visuals and killer art design of this episode aside, I kept thinking they nailed the crux of all of humanity’s relationship issues, is it the person you think you want and fall in love with or the image they project? We are finding all the warts of David and Syd is definitely real! This episode whould have had the Moody Blue’s Journey to the Center of the Mind song as the backdrop.
EE: Yes, it appears that Syd is real. Though I have to admit I’m suspicious of everything because of not knowing what’s real and what are David’s revisionist thoughts, but I do like it better knowing that Syd is real. As for Ptolomy, he couldn’t be more bad ass, he can read the memories of inanimate objects?! What kind of wizardry is this?
AN: His character is the anchor mutant for me. Most valuable, he can adeptly and quickly figure things out as they are and not the facade we are so often presented in this story. The Cary/Kerry story though is really intriguing and I love how they filmed their scenes as we realize they are one in the same.
EE: Now we have to talk about the Loudermilks, Cary and Kerry. It may seem like we are always patting Noah Hawley on the back, but I wondered why there would be scenes with both Cary and Kerry on screen in that watch room, only to see Kerry disappear and then show up again moving in the background. I didn’t realize or catch that they were the same person until this episode.
What a wild and interesting character and their backgrounds are worked into that wild origin, since Amber Midthunder is a Native-American actor, and Bill Irwin as Kerry says, a white guy. She only ages when she’s outside his body and April, she was hungry for a fight.
AN: That was such a clever metaphor for so many things. The gender play, the racial schism, their personalities too, so opposite. This series has so many different mechanisms for pulling us into David’s discovery of who he is and what he is capable of.
EE: Cary/Kerry got infinitely more interesting to me in this episode, I hope it’s not the last we’ll see, but it’s not looking good as the Eye couldn’t leave us with some hope. As for Amy, poor Amy, we thought her run in with leeches was the worst of her journey.
What did you think about the prison cell she was in and more importantly, the design of it, as it the wall keeping them imprisoned was taken away? I felt like I was suddenly watching a play during these parts.
AN: That was so odd and jarring, and meant I suppose to be psychologically unsettling so that the prisoner would break quicker? Not sure if the slanted floor and cold concrete had a purpose other than to really make someone uncomfortable and crack quicker. The dog King [Amy claims there was no dog] memory with Dr. Kissinger was trippy too.
EE: Let’s begin to scratch the surface of Oliver Bird’s talk with David. He’s been stuck, in sleep, in the astral plane, much like David is right now, but doing beat poetry!
AN: Oliver and Cary created this haven for mutants to bring them to Summerland, and somehow they crossed paths with Walter aka “The Eye.” But Oliver’s possible history with Walter makes me think that The Eye had something to do with Oliver’s astral plane existence now. How will the gunshot affect Cary Loudermilk’s sharing of the same body with Kerry Loudermilk?
I loved the opener and the dichotomy Oliver Bird discusses of childhood stories, how we learn fear and empathy, all so very true. Also, The Eye, played with a terrifying subtlety by Mackenzie Gray, Ernie, these characters are so powerful to me in making me want to see more of this story! But my lack of source material knowledge is hamstringing me.
I want to know more about who the Shadow King is and if the astral plane is where that Yellow Eyed Demon is, in fact, the Shadow King and if this is a dimension where the demon battles other telepaths. The Lenny/Benny aspect of David’s mind is also confusing to me at this point.
EE: The Shadow King, well all I’ll say is this, he’s like the living entity of all the hatred in the world and possesses humans to take a physical form. It’s definitely a ballsy choice for a villain but given the Shadow King’s likening to telepaths, and the imaginary dog named “King” you are definitely onto something, April. If it is the Shadow King, how it’s connected to Lenny/Benny and the yellow-eyed demon, we’ll have to wait and find out in Chapter 5 next week.
Legion Episode 5 Preview
Legion airs on FX Wednesdays at 10pm ET/PT.