When David returns to the place where it all began, he and Syd and Melanie Byrd’s team find themselves in a very familiar setting – a heightened version of the same mental institution from Legion (FX, Wednesdays, 10/9C): Episode 1.
Creepy? You bet!
Episode 6 opens with Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) looking down and twirling her hair nervously as Dr. Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) talks her through her dislike of change – using her refusal to acknowledge that her late husband is, in fact, dead.
As the ep progresses, Dr. Lenny confronts each of Melanie’s team – and David – about their psychological flaws. The relationship between Cary (Bill Irwin) and Kerry (Amy Midthunder), for example, she finds inappropriate (here, they aren’t one person living inside the other – they are just two different people separated by gender and age).
Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris) is taken back to the death of his mother; Syd (Rachel Keller) is told she’s delusional and David (Dan Stevens)…
As Legion has progressed – as David has made progress in dealing with his abilities and accepting the possibility that he just might not be completely crazy – we’ve begun to see Lenny in more disturbing ways.
Cary’s hypothesis that David’s seeming insanity was actually the result of a parasite that rewrites his memory every time he makes progress is taken to its limits in this episode.
Lenny is not just Lenny – and she will not be removed from her comfy perch in David’s mind.
A clue to what’s going on might be the door that appears in the hospital at intermittent intervals. Spotted by Rachel, it’s not the standard hospital; it’s more of a bedroom door,
And then there’s the mysterious figure in the familiar deep diver’s suit – who appears to Melanie. Has Oliver stepped in? And why is the diver appearing to Rachel?
Written by Nathaniel Halpern and directed by Hiro Murai, Episode Six suggests that areas of the mind are like rooms that can be opened, closed and even locked – against intruders, or to keep one prisoner.
Halpern moves between a very bright palette and a very dark one to match the rooms and times in David’s mind – and to suggest that David’s friends are trapped in his mind at Lenny’s else’s whim.
As psychedelic episodes go, it’s not as blatant as David’s breakdown in the kitchen from the series premiere, but it’s much more disturbing because it’s taking familiar places and things and using them to a completely different purpose.
Legion is rapidly becoming the best comic book show on television because it has a vision that’s unlike any others It may be rooted in the X-Men mythology, but it’s so far outside the range we usually think of when we think of Marvel that it can’t easily be explained as anything other than itself.
At first, we had to view the series through the extremely unreliable perspective of David, but as the series has progressed, we’ve begun to occasionally see things from the perspectives of the other main characters – and those perspectives seem just as unreliable as David’s.
The result is series that is literally unpredictable – and that makes it must-see TV.
Final Grade: A+