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Legion - Chapter 3 - Review + POLL

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Chapter 3 was a downright psychological nightmare as we ventured into David's mind. Brilliantly directed by Michael Uppendahl, fear was etched in the camera work as the writing by Peter Calloway dictated some more terrific character moments. Here we are in week 3 and the show has already given us a wonderfully developed love story that most shows can't even capture in 3 episodes.

I loved the opening voiceover, the story of the woodcutter, his wife and the crane, the message of good things coming and going.

As we watch 'memory work' play out again, I loved how David's fear was brought up again. Finally getting a closer shot of the Devil with Yellow Eyes was intriguing. However, that final glimpse with the kitchen door slamming shut and in the corner of David’s eyes, a reflection of the Devil been seen, was just so fantastic. It's hidden within him, unable to escape.

Moving on, I enjoyed David and Syd's personal exchange at the pier. I'm not sure if anyone noticed but the water was opaque. It might just have been the state of the lake environment but I thought it was a clever metaphor towards David's clouded mind.

"It’s like the soul, you know, know one knows for sure does it exist but I’ve got proof, more than just this, I’ve been a Chinese man, a 300-pound woman, and a 5-year-old girl but everywhere I go, I'm me."

The way David spoke of being Syd was fascinating yet quite funny. The way he moves his hands throughout the scene was so instinctive. I believed that he had long hair and had this experience. The sexual innuendos were really funny too, especially Syd's gestures and David's reaction. I really adore how natural they are with one another. Syd talking about body swapping was great also, her mentioning of her mother, whom she regards to as strong is something I'd like to think she is too. It's these moments and their simplicity that really resonate with me and I think, can allow the audience to find themselves in these characters.

"This time, I want you to think of something stressful, the more the better"

Young David trick-or-treating with the voiceover of his father’s voice reading the 'Angriest Boy in the World' was eerie. The way his voice sounded normal whilst slowly shifting into something demonic was incredibly spooky. However as David ventures into the darkly lit, full of fog backyard to find the Angry Boy waiting was just frightening. The boy moving towards David was like something out of a horrible nightmare, the way fantasy comes to reality, it's fascinating. It begs the idea, is this storybook character, is he a projection of David's imagination or something else.

"You’re supposed to be my friend"
"You think you're safe here with these clowns"

Lenny popping up again was a lot of fun. Aubrey Plaza shone in these few moments of dark playfulness. Lenny's suggestive comments about Amy and the men that had her were somewhat unexpected. However it also shows how her presence can provoke David and it shows how much power these conjurings we have, within our psyche, their ability to get under our skin with just a few words is powerful. David's mind works against him, these figments use his weaknesses to their advantage as seen later on.

"That bitches secrets have secrets"

I loved the visual expression of David's worries for his sister being exemplified in the medical room via a power exposing itself, "malfunction detected". The way David started rising as did Syd as she entered the room was nice. The way their bodies were free, hovering there amidst a starry, cloudy backdrop was stunning. The way they then were transported to the room Amy was being held in was fantastic. Amy's interrogation was interesting because whilst they are torturing her they were also opening her eyes up too, "you don’t really believe he needs those pills, do you?". Syd and David's bodies being transparent and imperfect was a unique feature, as if they were air, just observing. Their survey of the two older men wanting to "turn off" David when/if Amy could help them find him was interesting but more so that the Eye was able to sense their presence. The way he reached out as if to grab David by the neck before Syd and he quickly fade out was quite a tense and perfect bit.

I felt so sorry for Amy telling them that she wasn't tough, that if she "gets a paper cut she has to lay down", she's sort of the polar opposite of David and these sorts of weakness aren't something to hand out freely. She is strong, though, she's not given up (yet), she's hanging in there after being provoked with leeches so she should give herself some credit. It's something to appreciate about female characters in Noah Hawley's world, they are always strong, even if the situation is difficult, they don't give up easily, something very much known in Fargo.

"If you learn to control that you’re going to be a world class badass"

Once back at Summerland we learnt more about Melanie, that it was her husband who created this safe haven with the help of Cary Loudermilk. His goal was to help bring all mutants together but one guy named Walter, with something resembling a "creepy perm and one milky eye" was not there for such unity. I am curious to what the other side of the story is and why he choose such a divergent life.

"It's as if you’re brain is defending itself"

That quick shot of David and the circular window with the X framing positioned behind him made for such an iconic shot.

"I want to fix him because he deserves to be healthy because he deserves to be happy and then I want to use him"

I felt for Syd when David didn't want her to be a part of the memory work when he was sedated, "Who rescued who from a pool surrounded by commanders with guns". She's incredibly supportive and loyal but I can understand that David is also not ready to share these feelings/memories with her (others) yet, it's an insecurity that many people have, to not want the people they care about to turn away in the face of the ugly truth like Philly did.

"So I'm going to do this alone"

Thankfully this isn't any other show that would let such drama fester until it explodes in a horrible manner and simultaneously bring down the respective characters. Another note, the transitions between scenes continue to be delightful. So it brings us to this, probably one of the best scenes in the episode, in regards to character moments, the bathroom scene. Dan Stevens and Rachel Keller were marvellous here!

David being vulnerable enough to tell Syd about his past, his junkie past was just beautiful, "I was high.. basically all the time". It was such a simple exchange but the way it was framed, with the two characters on different sides of these two walls coming together in this l-shaped union was done so well. The way lighting was used to highlight their faces, again, was lovely in such a humbling moment.

"My doctor used to say that the word monster is not a noun, that to first be a monster you have to do something monstrous" - What other comic book shows offer such stunning dialogue that makes you question the nature of your being. It’s something I truly appreciate about this show (Daredevil did an excellent job with the two perspectives of justice, following the law and taking it into your own hands).

The way David came so close behind her, close enough to kiss her neck but doesn’t, there's something so intimate in that action with the need for sexual intimacy that was really affecting. Communication is so important and this scene shows how people can come out stronger when they don't keep secrets. It's something certain shows need to learn.

"If you come with me tomorrow, you will see things.. you will not feel the same about me"
"Do you love me?"
"You know I do"
"Then there's nothing else to say"

The next day, the way they showed Syd, Melanie, and Ptonomy entering into David's mind with "unfiltered access" was pleasing. The continued use of the circular motif (the light fixtures for example), the zooming in of the camera through the circular window frame and then onto a street of David's past was excellent. I know I shouldn't be that excited by these ingenious ways of moving from scene to scene but I am, it's unique aspects like this that make my mind happy, it shows such flair and creativity instead of the traditional fade in fade out...

"He’s here, the sedation keeps his rational brain from being here. The child is the part of his mind that’s still awake" - I liked that young David was here, it makes what they are about to see even more terrifying because that's also what this child has endured.

"You can touch him if you want, your power doesn't work here, not without your physical body" - How extraordinary was that hug, the way Syd holds young David without the uncomfortable feelings attached was magical. To finally feel another person, to embrace human touch in who knows how long was poignant.

Moving into an old counselor's office, watching David steal from this deserted office was saddening. His addiction really got the best of him.

Things just went stranger from here onwards. The wall starting to split, cracking open with a red light escaping, hands poking through to escape this hell they were in was unusual yet also reminded me of the Clockworks patients that were trapped in doorless rooms at the end of the pilot. Is this a representation of that or is it his inner demons escaping at the seams?

Young David running away in fear was heartbreaking. Syd being the only one able to see his terror unfold was peculiar. It seems her prior physical connection to David has an enlightening yet deadly outcome. Ptonomy not able to escape this dark land was very horror movie-esque and the separation of these 3 characters unfolds in true scary movie style. Also, that tiny shot of David eating at his videotapes was disturbing.

As Syd leaves the room to chase after David, what was interesting to note was that the door shut behind her, trapping her and making her move forward, sort of like a game, making her move through stages, with the stakes heightened. I also liked the metaphor that this world within David's mind took place in one house, conveying that the mind is made up of many rooms.

Super awkward that younger David ran into the room of his older self having sex. Even more inconvenient was having Syd in the room too whilst she tried to call away David from a memory/fantasy sequence. If his mind is also reacting to these intruders, could it also be showing what David has locked up in there, his regrets, his sexual desires, and his fears?

Once out of that awkward situation, the Angriest Boy appears in the hallway leading David and Syd to hide for safety in the ventilation network. This claustrophobic, childlike escape was haunting, the hues of red emerging through like hell as the Devil with Yellow Eyes inches away from Syd's feet was really unsettling. Thankfully Syd woke up from fear, like rising from a bad dream, just in time before being consumed by David's mind. A lot of thanks has to be sent to the director, Michael Uppendahl, for this episode, not a moment was I calm, the emotion of fear and the way it was conveyed was exceptional without being violent.

"It’s as if you’re brain is defending itself"

From Syd's perspective, we switched to Melanie's. Her scenes were very well shot, as she walked through the hallways and into David’s bedroom this ominous atmosphere was felt throughout.

As she turned the pages of the book, what’s fascinating is that the writing says, “To Bed, to bed, the mother said” and the accompanying illustration is of a man, somewhat older, like a father. “To bed she said, the angry boy his face turned red” with anger (?), the illustration is of the same man dressed in a suit and tie, a red spot-like blemish covers his face, (like envy spreads) as he looks into the mirror at the sink in his the bathroom. “His face turned red. And with a cry, he chopped her head”. A husband killed his wife (did his father kill his wife, I know this is a huge guess but is it possible, is that why we don't see his face because David only remembers that happy moments with his father?) or is it a son that kills his mother. Of course, it's just a storybook but for such a dark piece of literature to exist for such an age group, it makes you wonder about the meanings behind it. I admire that every scene is full of detail, this show really makes you expand your mind. The next page before it shuts close shows a photo of the boy and in the top right-hand corner, a drawing of town set on fire is visible. It’s the same sort of red that lit up when the walls that Syd saw. It’s interesting that we only see the illustration and not the inscription on the left-hand side of the book. When the book shuts, goodness that startled me but it was perfect. She had ventured too deep down the rabbit hole. Jean Smart’s acting throughout, her curiosity turning to fear, like that of a child was captured flawlessly. As her body hunched over in pain from the book slamming her hand, the shot of the Devil rising up above her was cleverly haunting. Seems like the devil guards these secrets in the mind, from others and David too. He keeps David a prisoner in the fear he perpetuates.

The Devil appearing behind her as this happened was a creepy omen and spoke to the idea that she may have read to much, that she shouldn't be meddling in these things.

I was also thinking, Melanie told David that she was going to sedate him, that he would be more vulnerable, was that, in turn, a warning so that his mind could fight back? Did the mind want to trap them to warn them to stop?

Poor David, the voices suffocating him as he sits on a chair, surrounded by people, neighbors, townsfolk (who appear to be older) yelling with a blinding white light illuminating the scene. The shot zooming way out until it becomes nothing was a brilliant technique to show him lost in the abyss of his mind.

Again, please take to the comments and share your thoughts on this truly fascinating episode. I'd love to hear any of your differing ideas and how you perceived certain scenes etc. Don't forget to tune in next Wednesday at 10|9c on FX and Thursdays on FOX International for Chapter 4.

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