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Legion - Chapter 4 - Review: "Best Episode Yet" + POLL

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Chapter 4 was written by Nathaniel Halpern and skillfully directed by Larysa Kondracki. So much I enjoyed this episode, the reveals, the fantastical nature and it's structure altering so that scenes from the (near upcoming) future of what's to come and seen whilst the present take place, I thought it all was edited together so cohesively. The narrative being very human directed, allowing the audience to connect a lot more with supporting characters was much welcomed.

"We are here to talk about violence.. or maybe human nature"

We open the episode with Oliver Bird, Melanie's husband played by the charming Jemaine Clement.

"In times of peace the warlike man attacks himself, this is the root of all our problems, and by this, I mean we, we are the root of all our problems, our confession, our anger, of fear of things we don’t understand, violence, in other words, is ignorance… figure your shit out"

The dialogue, profound with humor, in this opening scene was fantastic. How often do we get to hear something so honest like this? It makes me appreciate the show so much because nothing is ever sugar coated, which isn't a bad thing, but it dilutes the feeling of realism. Whilst Oliver was saying this, the water frozen was a neat teaser hinting at where he was, later revealed more clearly.

"There are two types of stories we tell ourselves."

Furthermore, the ideas of "empathy" and "fear" competing against one another was excellent. It's these very ideas that eat at David. It's these feelings that are tied to our emotional wellbeing that dictates our actions, if we are as children only shown love and kindness, does it makes us stronger for the grim reality of our world but if we lack kindness, does that makes us less likely to connect. On the other hand, fear makes us adapt but fear without understanding leads to prejudice. Should they be utilized in mutually beneficial, it's these thought-provoking ideas that plague us, make us question life, that I find to be the most fascinating and when a show, in any form, highlights them, I'm deeply engrossed to see where it goes. Once Oliver completes his story, I was in awe of how the camera zoomed away from him, revealing little details of his location from the icy structure (reflected by his drink) to the green environment (Oliver mentions later on that whilst you wait, it's better to wait in style, so the green coloring should be referring to money, as his outfit and room).

"We had seen things, heard things but could we believe our eyes?"

Out of the Astral Plane and back with our friends, these glimpses of the future are shown, quick and detached, with intriguing dialogue, "what was the mission?".

This montage plays out in gorgeous fashion. David lying back on this chair in reality whilst his mind races from memory to memory, glimpses of a beautiful starry background are traced upon Syd's face. His childhood admiration for astronomy is reflected with such care in this beautifully directed piece. Every shot, which is a plenty, hold so much value.

Whilst David's lost within his mind, Ptonomy, Melanie, Cary & Kerry Loudermilk, and Syd are searching for how to help him, free him the clutches of himself, "three times we saw glitches, we activated some kind of guardian", I had a feeling about that.

I really like Kerry's honest attitude whilst all this serious is going on, "I think he’s annoying but if I get to kick a few people I’m in". With some many initiative people in one room, they realized that David had created a "simulated reality" and were quick to respond.

"Most people's memories are unreliable"

Back at David's old doctor's room, it was small touches, the curtains, the way the room felt safer during the day, the lighting, Syd and Ptonomy's reactions that stood out. Particularly Rachel Keller, whose been amazing but I think this episode was one of her finest to date! "Objects have memory too".

"Your past is an illusion"

The exchanges between Syd and Ptonomy were well written, the sheer belief Syd has in David is truly remarkable, “I know you like him but he’s not stable”. They may have both been in a "looney bin" but it was Syd who was more self-aware, stronger in her understanding of who she was. Steadfast, Syd doesn't give up, 'what if he came here to get rid of evidence?' from the "one time he said too much", it's amazing how well she knows David, a testament to their connection. Their questioning of David's motives for hurting Dr. Poole once they learn of a dark memory woven into a broken tape player left so conveniently behind after all this time was needed."Maybe he's hiding his real memories behind fake ones"

Ptonomy's less accepting attitude is also completely understandable, a man who lives in the minds of others is bound to be more skeptical because of what he sees, things in the mind are personal and misleading, falsified to protect and make happy the viewer. For him to be in that state a lot, it's going to have a considerable effect on him but it never makes him unlikable, which some shows don't always get right. Even with all this new understanding, it's still hard to comprehend what really happens within David's mind that'd lead him to do this, "I don’t know".

"How do you find the facts when memory becomes a dream"
"Alice went down the rabbit hole and Dorothy landed in Oz.. or did she?"
"I was looking for the man I loved or did I just love the idea of him, the face he showed me"

I loved every single one of Syd's voiceovers, beautifully spoken with such feeling but also so honest and this honesty, when confronting one's self is hard to accept yet Syd does, head on but never gives up hope. I think that's admirable because it's not blind or easy, it's well thought out, at least to me. These sorts of voiceovers, with those remarks, are usually diluted down, made less grand, so to hear this, it made me happy. It's all too true, even in relationships to societal obligations, we are made to put on a face in every area we go, we are judged, policed upon and made to act in ways to be accepted. From children, for acceptance to adulthood, in the workforce, we swap faces for each role we take on, perpetuating accepted societal standards and isolating unusual ones.

"Who are we if not the stories we tell ourselves"

Cutting back to Amy's capture, I loved her cell, sort of a weird thing to say right but wow, the design was unlike anything I had ever seen. It was sort of like a pyramid, this way the prisoners struggled to talk with one another but made just being in there more of a struggle. There seemed to be a sort of light that also could be annoying, so them not having flat ground to run to easily made their capture more uncomfortable. It was great how the camera moved from showing us Amy eating her food in such a starving manner whilst panning around to show as a full-scale shot of her cell. I enjoyed the small conversation between Dr. Kissinger and herself, I liked that because of that talk they learned more things and Amy herself become more self-aware, even if that was becoming more accepting of things she chooses not to see. Katie Aselton's performance throughout this scene was poignant, the emotion in her voice alone, to her physical performance really matched the set in its visuals, both reflecting that of strife. Like David's dog, "King", the imaginary one, "we didn’t have a dog". Their struggle just to stay atop that flat but small surface whereby they could hear one. another was so well framed and filmed. The music was especially great and the one armed guard makes you wonder how deep underground and how guarded is this place. Mores o how a government organization like Divison 3 has this much funding. That final shot of the adorable dog's face coming into the shot, closer and closer, with an alarmingly progressively louder foghorn noise surrounding the scene, just startled me in such a suffocating manner that's so well done.

Sharp cut to the Angriest Boy with a freaking knife was creepy that only Syd can see was unsettling. Cut back to Syd and Kerry, how amazing was that story of the Loudermilks.

"So you live inside his body"
"We share"

I wasn't expecting for such a backstory, short and only just being revealed now, to make such an impression. The way Amber Midthunder spoke of her life, that she and Cary co-exist in such a harmonious way was well done but more so the way it was portrayed. The shots of their childhood, his aging and her youthfulness as a result of only being out at short times was all so poignant, "it amazes me how she only ages when she gets outside your body".

"She lives inside of him. There are two people in one body", the pauses when both Cary and Kerry utter the words, "in one body" is spot on. Fantastic performances from both Amber Midthunder and Bill Irwin and this wasn't even their strongest scene. I loved that glimpse of Kerry's hand slipping over his through the sleeve, it was perfect. "He does the boring stuff and whatever you guys do in the bathroom" - this is to funny.

It's astonishing how little time you can give a character after mysterious and intriguing moments with her and how attached you feel to her after hearing her backstory. Amber's childlike nature which is a stark opposite of Bill's character is the unusual but never unlikable, it's handled so well because if you look beyond the physicality, the emotion and care are so evident. Such strong performances in this scene. I also appreciated Melanie's scenes with Cary that were cut together with Kerry's retelling. "He makes me laugh and I keep him safe"

"What happens when I die?" - This was just heartbreaking. This theme of love was greatly exemplified during this episode, whereby it was between Syd and David, Melanie and Oliver or Cary and Kerry, it was and all handled with grace, especially after only just learning some of them.

That shot of Melanie and Cary Loudermilk walking down this darkly lit hallways was awesome, the lights in that shot were so interesting. What was more amazing was the room where Oliver's body was being held in, so freaking cool!

Moving on, we travel to David in the Astral plane, the greenery, alien in its nature and the lone diver calling out to him was so fascinating, it's like a sort of murky Aquarium but also a green field, it's a unique combination. However, that ladder and the way it's filmed, small at first but then the camera expands the shot, showing the true expanse of it and the surroundings was mesmerizing. The circular motif returning once more being reflected in the ladder which was so inventive. I found myself in awe of this fantastical realm by which David was climbing into, the way the frozen structure opened (and then closed) as he scaled into it, this frozen ice cube floating in this green liquid, perhaps like a drink, was unlike anything I had seen before.

The inside was breathtaking, like marble or the inside of a jewel, lustrous, stunning to just glance upon, "why not wait in style".

Once the surroundings are taken in, David and Oliver meet and the explanations of how and why take place, "you went too far into the make believe, your mind, your consciousness got lost". Jemaine Clement was fantastic in these scenes, funny and eccentric, the talk about girls in dresses and bras was weird yet quite entertaining, especially David's response. I can't wait to see how he'll react once he's able to leave the Astral Plane.

"I’m not alone anymore"
"Don’t worry he can’t get you in here"

Oliver trying to help David with the Devil with Yellow Eyes was kind, "there is no monster". I greatly liked the "like a parasite" comparison because it's thriving whilst David is suffering and this suffering is never too much, its taken away at times, hidden so that the host never becomes too ill he's unable to carry this entity. Parasite's thrive on control. Because it's obvious the Devil knows the power he posses through David.

"You're at war with yourself like a god trying to chew off your tail" - Is this perhaps why we always see the repeated motif of dogs, that it's a representation of David, not just a sweet innocent dog with childlike connotations. Those glimpses of The Devil with Yellow Eyes' face and his body pacing outside the crystalized enclosure being mirrored onto the walls was quite lovely as well as frightening too. "It’s not real unless you make it real"

I love that David tried out classic superhero poses to stop the monster when Oliver told him of such a presence, the hands and the fingers to the head gesture felt very Professor X (I think his dad would be proud)

"I was a woman who couldn’t be touched in love with a man who wasn’t there" - More impeccable dialogue.

Next, Syd and Ptonomy ready to go into a real estate shop to meet with Philly so that Ptonomy can scan her mind and uncover things from David's past, things he didn't tell them and secrets that could help them help him. "Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemies resistance without fighting", I enjoyed Ptonomy and Kerry's interactions, their dynamic is fun because he's more sarcastic yet cautious whilst Kerry is free and innocent. Plus he looked super suave with glasses.

As Ptonomy is about to start looking through Philly's mind, I loved how the camera would be the eyes of a viewer, zooming in and scouring memories until we get to Philly's home. Excellent camera work, yet again!

Watching the scene at the dinner table play out was great but what was more wondrous was the way memories were hidden within memories in Philly's mind. The glitches, short but unnoticeable if you're not paying attention. I love how when Ptonomy focused on them, we were transported to this new location, a lighthouse, that looked really lovely. Thus, the first act of false security. Like a candy cane, it's light tower was, alluring yet hid the evil within as we'd soon find out.

Also, I was so intrigued by the revelation of "Benny, a man, who did drugs, smiled a lot but not with his eyes". Aubrey Plaza said her character was written as a man but thought of her, I thought they had changed the role, evidently, not quite. Seems the Devil likes his disguises.

"Tell him there watching"

Dr. Poole's home, the lighthouse was impressive. However as he offered them something to drink that's when I was starting to get worried however it wasn't poisoned or drugged with sleeping pills, so that was a surprise. Dr. Poole's eye was subtly noticeable, definitely making me question the nature of his reality. As we heard more about Benny, "he had a negative effect on David’s treatment", the more I thought he resembled The Devil with Yellow Eyes, just as a man.

"He had conflicting impulses, good and bad"

The reveal that Dr. Poole was the Eye was perfection! "and Melanie Bird is she not the leader of your little band". I loved the camera work leading to the reveal, the way the camera moved from his one hand on the armrest to the other holding the cup and saucer before panning up to his face, just so well done.

As the gunshots start and Divison 3's plan unfolds, the way the Eye just walks amidst this chaos, unscathed is utterly powerful with the cinematography contributing to this as well as Mackenzie Gray's performance.

In an attempt to flee from gunfire, the three-run upstairs, Kerry jumps out the lighthouse window with such precision, that was quite cinematic. However, as the Eye gets closer, his grabbing of Ptonomy's head was shocking, especially his eye turning stone-like (not the best description but it seemed like his eye became just like The Eye's eye).

What follows was haunting, the way Cary could feel what Kerry was feeling, his scream into the void, nothing heard, just the physical expression of screaming was poetic. Fantastic work from Bill Irwin and Amber Midthunder. The use of music was exceptional in these scenes. Though Oliver dancing around whilst all this suffering was occurring was slightly odd but also worked, he was trapped in his own prison and dancing was the only way he could be okay with it.

"We’ve been looking for you"

"... that was a mistake", I loved the visual showcasing of Syd and The Eye switching bodies, truly astonishing work. I think it's also notworthy how Syd switched bodies with him, it's smart thinking but also kind because she did it to save her friend and we all know how she feels about touching people. I can't say it enough but FX, Marvel, Noah Hawley and his team should be incredibly proud of the exceptional show they have created!

"Yes, of course, I’m your friend"

Back in the Astral Plane, David venturing on his own in this world was eery yet captivating. The way it was portrayed excited me a lot, especially when Lenny showed up and immediately David's room recreated itself around him, that was so well done.

"Captain Nemo and his ice cube" - This is probably the best explanation for Oliver right now.

I've always been worried about Lenny provoking David, her showing up in Clockworks, the way she made David go to check on Amy but I never thought she would be the Devil with Yellow Eyes. I think this reveal is excellence at it's finest because I look back and she's always been near David or around him just before the Devil shows up, I just never thought of them being exclusive, congrats to those who did. I immediately suspected it was her during this scene, whereby she was sitting on the bed, being very manipulative in her wording and just all around creepy. Aubrey Plaza was phenomenal throughout, though. The look in her eye, that devilish look with her hair like that was utterly marvelous.

Lenny pushing David forward, taking her hands and holding his head in front of the TV in such a twisted manner was incredible, "get mad", the way he was shaking, the red lights, the loud horn screeching in the background, all of this created such an unbelievable showcase of power! Dan Stevens and Aubrey Plaza were magnetic throughout this. The theme of fear and anger were reiterated during this scene, the one Oliver told us at the beginning of this episode. Lenny (aka the Devil with Yellow Eyes) has their own plans, "I got things to do", I'm nervous yet very excited to see this play out because this character is unlike anything been shown on TV right now, especially in a comic book show.

David's power sending him back right into the middle of reality causing the getaway van with Syd as The Eye driving to crash and then the chase was great. The mixup with Syd as The Eye and The Eye as Syd was really cool, that look The Eye as Syd had, the focus on the Eye was haunting, especially as she grabbed the knife ready to stab David in the back when he saved her (under the presumption it was Syd). It's going to be very interesting where things go from here, that quick shot of Lenny's fingers crawling and resting themselves on David's shoulders were so obscure. Plus that smile, very Chesire-cat like. I'm very disheartened about Kerry Loudermilk, her being shot was so sad, especially because of her connection to Cary, and their performances just elevated the scene giving it that extra emotive feel. I hope they can save her or something.

Sorry this review got quite long, yet again, I love to write so it's hard to cut down on things. Again, please come to the comments and share whatever you want, what you thought of the reveal and did you think it was one of the best episodes yet? Don't forget to tune in next Wednesday at 10|9c on FX and Thursdays on FOX International for Chapter 5! We've already reached the half way mark in the season, only 4 more episodes to go sadly, hopefully FX will renew it soon.

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