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Legion - Chapter 5 - Review: "Rainbows Are Visions But Only Illusions" + POLL

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With every episode that comes to pass I wonder, how is it that each one can be so damn good, and how is it that it can keep exceeding itself. I'm so in awe of what this show is conveying, the uniqueness and ability to keep me engrossed never escape me. I'm so very impressed by what Noah Hawley and his team have accomplished in 5 episodes alone.

Chapter 5 was skillfully written by Peter Calloway and brilliantly directed by Tim Mielants.

Opening the episode on Cary's face, heartbroken as a result of Kerry's brutal beating from Division 3 set the tone moving forward. That sense of people slipping through your fingers is evident throughout, whereby it's Sydney feeling that with David or David feeling that within himself.

As the team brought in her body for Cary's diagnosis, "careful, careful", the look of concern etched across Bill Irwin's face was so moving. Whilst this was occurring, Melanie and David had a telepathic exchange. Jean Smart's voiceover, the way she spoke was so reassuring. However, what I absolutely loved about it was the way her reaction when David told her he meant Oliver in the Astral Plane was reflected onto the mirror, it was just visually pleasing.

"I know what I am"
"I'm the Magic Man"

David finding a way for Sydney and him to be together was on one hand very romantic but on the other, suspicious. I don't mean it necessarily in a bad way but his entire attitude since he returned with Lenny has been off, more confident, less unsure of himself, but so well acted from Dan Stevens.

The room was like a hotel, too clean, very godlike, though. It created a sort of heavenly illusion masking its true nature. The first major hint was the shot of worms crawling over the strawberries. Illusions are nothing if masks for a darker reality.

The finger touch between David and Syd was sweet, their awkwardness and slow finding of each other in intimacy were really well done, simple without never needing to be aggressive or overly sexual, both Rachel Keller and Dan Stevens were sublime. Also, them both dressed in white was very Wedding/Honeymoon-esque which was a nice touch.

"You're so beautiful"

Later on, when Melanie asked how long David had been in the Astral Plane for, that tiny moment where Lenny's voice was highlighted as David's was such a simple technical edit added such depth, showed his duality whilst also just being more mysterious in regards to what Lenny's actual plan was. Jean Smart was great here, as usual.

"21 years in February since he’s been there. Same kind of power, physic. And he found a place where he could rule, he’d be the creator." - It's this idea of power, that temptation that is like forbidden fruit, it's a double-edged sword whereby even creators aren't safe from harm. The way the camera was following David, with emphasis on his eyes, his face, that dark demeanor, reminiscent of Lenny was yet another showcase of Dan Stevens' excellence!

"I'm me, I'm everything you wanna be"

Next, the team plan on a way to save Amy. "It’ll be fine. Kick some ass. Save the girl. Get a snack". I love that attitude, even more so how the shot was framed with Syd, Melanie and a table dividing them with toys, sort of suggesting that this war, like all wars, all battles are a game, that of strategy and that which are played by all ages. "Lady, I’m not treating him, he’s my man".

Elsewhere, Syd and David exchanged more private details, his new reality whereby they could have sex, never really showing it though, just the aftermath was really beautiful. They never felt the need to show that, making it more private, I appreciate that that was the way it was, or at least how I percieved it. "When he was inside me, I changed back" - Hearing Sydney's first time and its consequences was rather tragic. You really felt for her regardless of the way it happened.

"Who teaches us to be normal when were one of a kind"

"Just promise me when you get lost, we get lost together"

That piece of dialogue is exceptional because like all people, they are lost too, everyone is lost without a cause or self-belief. Like all illusions even Syd was becoming attached to it, you could tell with by her attitude in scenes, how her presence was elsewhere, that's love for you.

Back to reality, the awareness of David leaving before everyone else to save his sister sends the team going without a plan after him, all leaving in such a badass, music video-like scene, I thought it was refreshing, to have such a unique way to show characters exiting instead of the traditional leave room, camera fade to black, cut to new scenes. This technique showed each character's mindset. I especially loved the camera closing up on Syd's face and the words "we get lost together" being said. You could sense she felt the disconnect between David and herself.

The shot of them arriving at Divison 3, the guards scattered all over the grounds, half above the concrete floor, half below, everything destroyed in some manner in the way it was at Clockworks was a nice parallel to the pilot.

Them deciding to split into two groups made me worried because you really never divide yourself into these sorts of situations especially with hallways that narrow and dimly lit.

Thank goodness for security cameras! Melanie and another mutant's discovery of David walking through Division 3, omnipotently, destroying everything in his wake with just a quirky hand gesture. It was so fantastic to watch Dan Stevens inhabit this more whimsical, mischevious persona as he strolled through the facility looking for his sister. Beyond this, the scary realization of The Devil with Yellow Eyes having a dominating hold on David was such a great reveal. The way they choose to show this twisted white light as the parasitic creature roaming the halls was perfect.

"We had it wrong, we had it all wrong."

"So much power, it wears a human face", that scene with one of the older members of Division 3 was quite disturbing, his body trapped half above, half within the floor yet David Selby's acting never faltered. Really great scene. The way he spoke of David, struck by the idea that he's beyond what they could've imagined was very strong. Syd's reaction during all of this broke my heart. I felt during this episode, her lack of closeness with him was really affecting her. The fact she asked him to promise her that if he gets lost, they get lost together, and he couldn't be disheartening when you just look at it from her perspective regardless of his. Every single episode, it's these subtle scenes, moments where Rachel Keller truly shines, it comes off so natural.

Returning to Summerland, the visual cue to showing Cary absorbing Kerry's trauma was great. His subsequent checking of David in the MRI machine from an earlier episode was such a good

"It rewrites his memory"

After witnessing the extent of David's power at Division 3, Syd, Melanie and Ptonomy receive a message from Cary which is projected into the sky, sort of like holographic messaging which frankly looked quite cool, gave a very futuristic vibe. Cary's exchange with the team about David being under the influence of a parasite was welcomed. I'm very thankful to see everyone on the same page in terms of what's happening with David and in the grand scheme of things, shows how excellently the narrative has been progressing."This thing burrowed into his brain, possibly since a child".

"An older mutant, it’s consciousness separated from his body, living inside David for 30 years."

Soon after David pulls at Syd's tether to him with her returning to his fantasyland.

"I think it made you forget as well."

David sitting on the bed, in true Kermit, the Frog fashion starts singing the “The Rainbow Connection" playing his banjo with this terrified look scared across his face was a new way to get you creeped out by such a lovely childhood tune.

The way "rainbows are visions, but only illusions" was sung, the words were so important to this scene because David's facade he created starting eroding away. Dan Stevens' voice and facial expressions were so vivid as we watch Sydney walk over towards the bathroom. "Rainbows have nothing to hide", this was perhaps also David's way of being honest in a way he knew how. The metaphors of having 'King" sitting on the floor and the "Angriest Boy in the World" shown through the reflection in the mirror in the bathroom is compelling because the demons are being tucked away within David's psyche, lurking behind closed doors, always fixed, never absent. It's also Sydney's first proper glance at these demons whilst David is somewhat aware of the situation and in the same area as her. Most of the time she's seen them whilst she's been alone/with an unconscious adult David/not fully aware David. I think it speaks to the theme of intimacy too, that there sharing of love between the two allowed him to be a bit more vulnerable with her. However, it can also be seen as a warning, the Devil coming through, telling her to stay away.

"You don’t have to be scared anymore"
"I wanna know your secret."

David returning home with Amy was great. It allowed us to see a bit more of his past. The dark lighting and atmosphere provoked a sense of disconnect from his past, a sort of shadow cast upon it.

"They made it seem like you were part of a team"

I absolutely loved how Lenny made her intrance into David's house. The combination of VFX as Lenny walks out of her world into ours was exceptional. Especially with that twisted expression Aubrey Plaza perfectly showcased. She walked out like a magician on a stage, it was all sorts of awesome. Katie Aselton's portrayal of Amy in light of this revelation was utterly breathtaking. Her genuine shock mixed with the harsh reality she ignored was genius.

"I'm David, oh wow, I’m Lenny, I’m Benny."

Watching Lenny terrorize Amy was heartbreaking. Seriously fantastic acting from both ladies. Each persona being ripped off one another to reveal all the manifestations of this Devil with Yellow Eyes was such an amazing thing to view. How something so innocent and associated to children as a dog, evolved as David grew into it's forms is really profound. The way the mind works, the way also works against you, working as your fears change, it adapts with age. It shows power in the creature, as well as it's ability to retain all forms and alternate between them.

"You were adopted."
"I thought if I told you, I would make things worse."

It's heartbreaking because Amy is inherently a good person, someone who didn't quite understand what David was going through and all mundanes do, ignored and hoped with time and treatment would vanish. She had good intentions. However, DNA does not.

"Don’t kid yourself old man, there's always a fight."

Elsewhere, Melanie, Syd, Ptonomy arrive at David's childhood home. All seems totally normal until they loose their ability so speak. This was unbelievably inventive, to take away that very human ability to communicate and see if it sabotages their plans was such a diabolical choice. I've never seen anything like that play out, it's another great way of conveying power whilst also allowing the cast to show off their talent in just their facial expressions. The sense of isolation was never absent, I was surprised at first, I'm certain some may have assumed their TV's may have become possessed/Lenny stole their remote in that moment. I think even The Eye, watching in the bushes across the street was surprised, that simple act was a great showcase of what David can do, especially to a man, who I assume isn't that knowledgeable on, I say this as the older man dying in the remains of Division 3 uttered how taken they were by his abilities.

There was that quick moment too, where the Angriest Boy ran towards and past Syd where the sound came rushing back that was so startling, that ability to convey fear in such a way that isn't violent is truly masterful to me. Even more haunting was the tears soaked onto Syd's face as this happened. It was a divide and conquer our team mission through isolation for Lenny.

As each member is separated in David's home, a hint of the score is heard evoking this tense feeling throughout. Though, in the midst of nerves, Cary pops in through these porch-like doors catching Melanie by surprise. The expression of screaming without sound was hilarious. Bill Irwin miming out what his device did and how it could be used to help speak to David alone was quite entertaining. I gotta say, Kerry walking out of Cary was perfect, I loved that she brought her own bat lined with spikes, very Stranger Things-eque.

As The Eye steps inside David's home too, the quick glitch to show he's assumed the identity of one of their own was smooth. These small visual cues make something quite special.

Lenny also confronts Syd. Her gestures on David, her provoking nature towards Syd allowed for more great acting via Rachel Keller to be shown. Side note: the purple colors, the rocket ship wallpaper, the night time setting, it was all conducive with David's memories of his childhood, that of his father, hinting at perhaps the idea of dreams and falseness. It could also just be lovely touches to show a childlike nature from the props and set designers as well as light technicians but overall, really lovely to watch.

Whilst all of this is happening, The Eye whilst under the guise of one of their own coming into shot David was so nerve wracking. The way he escapes from the bullet into the White Room was even more frightening due to the claustrophobic nature of such a space. The lights becoming red as the Devil approaches, even the sound, seemingly more menacing with David's emotional distresses was fascinating and absolutely well executed.

The Devil’s smile, that evil look stretching across his face was ever so haunting! Rachel Keller was fantastic throughout this scene, the way she scrambles around the white room searching for freedom whilst he taunts her with his panic-inducing presence was so wonderfully acted and filmed. David just standing there whilst this is all going on is heartbreaking because you can feel his lack of self-control and fear preventing him from doing anything, especially when you hear Syd desperately calling out for help.

Thus, we return to Clockworks, in what I assume is another reality in which Syd's become trapped in. It's been mentioned quite a few times that this parasite rewrites memories, could he perhaps have rewritten Syd's, so that she can't remember and is perhaps actually in dire danger? Sort of like The Matrix? In a false sense of security? However it can also be that this is actual reality, that everything we've seen so far has been a creation of David's mind, that all of his friends and enemies are just reimagined as people like him so he doesn't feel lonely, which makes some sense since they are all present at Clockworks with Lenny as their group counsellor. It's quite confusing, sort of like the Devil with Yellow Eyes has come out of our TV screens and entwined himself within our psyche.

I'm also inclined to think that David's scream before all of this happened was his way of saving Syd. Perhaps that act heroism and bravery freed Syd from what was a fabricated illusion. Is she the key to saving everyone else, waking them up from their daydreams? So many possibilities on what this could be, please come on into the comments and share your thoughts, theories and whatever else you may have, all is welcome, I can't possibly say enough here.

Don't forget, please tune in live if you can, next Wednesday at 10|9c on FX and Thursdays at 10 on FOX International for Chapter 6! I hope we get a renewal announcement soon, even if this is just my way of putting some positivity into the universe, so be it, this sort of excellence needs to continue.

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