Legion Recap: One Flew Right Back Into the Cuckoo's Nest

Need to catch up? Check out the previous Legion recap here.

Syd’s meds are starting to wear off… or are they just kicking in?

Our weird new reality continued this week on Legion, with Syd and the Summerland gang stuck as mental patients at Clockworks — unless this is all just a dream. (But that’s really the subtitle of this whole show, isn’t it? Legion: Unless This Is All Just a Dream.)

Lenny’s in therapist mode, treating each of the characters we’ve come to know. Melanie is twitchy and awkward, and Lenny thinks she made up this “Frozen Man” idea to cope with her husband’s death. Ptonomy is haunted by memories of his mom dying: “I like to think I’m a time traveler… but all I can do is watch.” Cary and Kerry have an “unhealthy” attachment to one another. Walter is full of rage and hostility after being the last boy to go through puberty.

Her session with Syd, though, goes a little differently. Lenny tries to focus on how Syd isolates herself, but Syd is distracted: “Something’s wrong.” She feels like she’s stuck in a dream, but not even an interesting one. Lenny interrupts her to say it’s time for her meds, but while walking back, Syd looks down the hall… and sees a strange wooden door there she’s never seen before.

Before she can open it, though, she’s called away to the nurse’s station, where David’s sister Amy — a nurse in this reality, and not a nice one — roughly feels her up looking for “contraband.” Syd tries to tell David and Ptonomy about the door, but Lenny interrupts (again!) to take David in for his session. He’s actually doing well: reading, painting, doing yoga. “The world is starting to make sense,” he tells Lenny, and he credits that to his new romance with Syd.

Legion FX Episode 6 Lenny Aubrey PlazaHe’s even overjoyed that it’s pie day in the cafeteria… but Amy cruelly snatches his pie away and eats it herself. And when Syd starts to eat her pie, she screams and throws it on the ground; it’s covered with bugs. That kicks off an extended dance sequence set to Nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good,” with Lenny mischievously vamping through David’s memories — his old kitchen, the Summerland lab — before reentering the hospital through that wooden door and calmly getting back to work. Syd’s right: Something’s definitely wrong here.

In her dreams, Syd has visions of that redshirt firing bullets at David from last week, along with the Devil With the Yellow Eyes. She tells David she wants to escape Clockworks, but he’s content to stay there with her forever: “Maybe they’ll give us our own room.” And she’s not the only one having strange visions: Cary dreams of a giant green glowing iceberg floating above him, then finds himself in that astral plane with the guy in the old diving suit. He asks the diver to take him to the “ice cube” Cary’s been dreaming of, and follows him there.

David and Syd, meanwhile, are still having issues. She brings up the door again — which has suddenly vanished — and David tells her to be careful, or else they might up her meds. He reminds her she’s in the hospital for delusional thinking, not touch aversion, like she believes. And he’s actually manic-depressive, not schizophrenic. In the hallway, Syd has a vision of Lenny’s dead body stuck in the wall, and she seems on the verge of figuring out what’s going on… when Lenny appears and suggests “music therapy,” plopping headphones onto Syd’s ears. The sound of crickets soothes Syd, and she drifts off to sleep.

But Syd’s words send David into the hall for some exploring, where he finds the wooden door — only Nurse Amy interrupts to tell him how no one likes him, retching violently to make her point. Then Lenny sweeps David into a late-night session; she’s concerned about his relationship with Syd. She tells him about a brain fungus that affects ants, controlling their mind and shooting up through their skull, ultimately killing them: “When people say love, that’s what I think of.”

Legion FX Episode 6 David LennyShe doesn’t get love, or babies, or any of it, she tells David. God is the only thing that matters to her: “You know why God matters? Power.” And she puts her shoe firmly on David’s crotch to demonstrate that power. Then Lenny casually brings up David’s real father, the “a–hole” who acted holier-than-thou but abandoned his own son: “He thought he could hide you from me… but he was wrong. I found you.” She calls herself a “walking, talking fungus” while straddling David, and her voice takes on a scary low pitch: She’s suddenly the Devil With the Yellow Eyes.

Lenny tells David he’s much more powerful than she thought; she had planned to just kill him, but now she thinks their powers together “could give God a run for his money.” A terrified David asks what happened to Syd, but she ignores him, writhing on him like a stripper giving a lapdance. She only needs his body, she says: “I could give a s–t about your mind.” Then he’s zapped away, isolated in a gold coffin-like box while faceless voices mock him, calling him a loser.

So what did happen to Syd? She’s still in her cricket-sound reverie when she’s awakened by someone taking off her headphones. It’s the man in the diving suit — who opens his mask to reveal: It’s Cary! He beckons for her to follow him. Has he found a way out of this bad dream once and for all?

X-tra Thoughts:

* Comic-book fans know that David’s real father is actually Professor X, the wheelchair-bound leader of the X-Men. So does Lenny’s little hint mean David will be searching for his real father, once we get back to reality? (Assuming we ever do.)

* Kerry had a memorably nasty encounter with Walter, with him cornering her inside a hospital bedroom and menacingly approaching her, asking, “Did you ever eat an animal that’s still living?” (Not the best opening line, to be honest.) That highly creepy character dynamic is worth keeping an eye on.

* Didja notice that Ptonomy and David’s opening conversation about their fellow patient’s string of spittle was exactly the same conversation Lenny and David had in the pilot? What kind of infernal time loop are we stuck in??

* Like Syd, Melanie also zapped back to that moment where David’s about to be shot, and tried to prevent it: first by touching the bullets hanging in midair and burning herself, then by trying and failing to push David and Syd out of the way. Thinking she’ll probably intersect with Syd and Cary on that astral plane somehow.

* Yay for Legion getting a Season 2 renewal! And just in time, because we only have two episodes left this season — and we’re pretty sure creator Noah Hawley isn’t planning to wrap everything up with a nice, tidy bow. That wouldn’t be Legion, now, would it?

Got thoughts on tonight’s Legion? Drop ’em in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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12 Comments
  1. On a scale of how badly I want a piece of pie, I went from a 10 to a 0 very quickly

  2. Mary P says:

    Great show. Not having any information from the comics puts one at a disadvantage but the character development makes it easier to follow. Plus the story’s just plain good. The troupe is fantastic on Legion. Even when memories are obviously something else, the same but different as Syd says, the viewer can still follow the thread. Kudos to the writer!

  3. Autumn McDaniel says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m wondering why David has such a nice room at Clockworks and everyone else is just in a simple plain room. Thinking MAYBE this alternate reality is from David’s mind like the white room.

  4. J.B. says:

    The “redshirt guy’s” name is Rudy.

  5. J.B. says:

    I’m thinking Melanie might somehow put herself between those bullets and David & Syd. It looked like she tried picking the bullets out of the air but got zapped so she tried pushing David and Syd out of the way but that didn’t work either. I think her husband was trying to tell her she needs to sacrifice herself so those two can be saved.

  6. Jj says:

    This show is like if Twin Peaks was 100% black lodge scenes. It’s a little exhausting.

  7. Alichat says:

    I noticed the conversation between Ptolomy and David was the same conversation David had with Lenny in the pilot. I couldn’t decide if that was just laziness on Lenny/Devil’s part or if it was intentionally done to test if David was still believing the alternate reality. I’m also wondering if Syd was the first to notice something isn’t right because she’s switched bodies with David before. She’s used his powers, unintentionally of course. She sees the weird occurrences in David’s memories, but no one else really does. Plus, just before they plopped into this alternate world, the Devil had her pinned to the bed in the White Room. So Syd notices something isn’t right, and Cary is the first pulled out of the world. Both have seen the Devil and know there is an entity in David. And I’m thinking David had such a nice room in alternate Clockwork because that’s what he’s always wanted. To be calm, to be normal (to some extent), to be as healthy as he can be. So it was needed to sell the alternate world. That’s why Amy is very Nurse Ratched. She’s a strong tether to reality for David. Another question…..are they all in the Astral Plane? Is that how Oliver can come into this world and get Cary and Mrs. Bird?

    I’m still curious and confused about what time this is set. Everything is the 60s. All the clothing….Kerry’s jumpsuits; Syd’s hair, minis, and boots; Ptolomy’s clothing; Mrs. Bird’s clothing; the cars; the furniture is Eames-like. Even Oliver in his ice cube is sitting in a yellow leisure suit listening to jazz in his 60s decor. Mrs. Bird said Oliver has been gone for 21 years. And David said he’s not remembering things (which I’m now not 100% sure I believe). But if Oliver’s world is 60s-like and he’s been gone for 21 years, either he’s stuck in the world he left or he’s aware of the world outside of the astral plane. If he was stuck in the world as it was when he left, then we have a bigger question……which is why is everyone else in the 60s? I had decided that he is aware of the world outside of the astral plane, and therefore that’s why his cube was 60-ish, and everyone in the ‘real world’ was in the 60s. Lenny did her dance interlude to a Nina Simone song released in 1965. But now I’m confused again because of Ptolomy’s memory. He said his mother died while ’99 LuftBalloons’ was playing on the radio. That anchors his memory to 1983, which is when that song was released in Germany. So how can the ‘real world’ be in the 60s if he knows about ’99 LuftBalloons’?? So, does that mean that everything we’ve seen since the pilot has been David’s memories or an alternate reality created by Devil with the Yellow Eyes? If he entered David as a child…..or even in the womb as Lenny said……then has he been manipulating everything David sees as well? Does David remember everything in a 60s world because Lenny/Devil wants him to see the world that way? Are they really in the present time or somewhere near our present? Ptolomy’s memory seems to plant their world to be after 1983. But then again, maybe the clothing and sets and music aren’t telling us anything except to present a bright, dreamy world. Maybe I’m just over-analyzing something that was just an aesthetic decision. But that would be a waste I think, right?

    • Anne Mootz says:

      I follow your thoughts on timing but having been alive in the sixties I am struggling with the timeline as well. At points I believe we may be in the 70’s or if it wasn’t for the hair, early ’80’s. And I have never read the comic books but I love the way this show is moving along. I admit to re-watching several episodes to get it right.

      • Alichat says:

        I have thought the 70s as well at a few points which was confusing. I finally settled on the 60s because that seemed to outweigh the 70s culture references we were seeing. But agreed, it’s heavy 60s but there are bits of 70s and 80s as well.

  8. jr. says:

    IMO. This is such a bad, bad show, that you want it to be good. But unfortunately it’s still just so bad. A convoluted story on the back of a confused turtle.

  9. danny says:

    Does anyone happen to know who the guy in the green grassy suit is? He has been in at least 3 episodes and he stands in the background perfectly still and blends into the wall. In this episode in particular, he is behind Melanie as she is watching the flowers grow. Makes me wonder who the rest of the ‘hospital’ staff and other patients are. Victims of shadow king? Are they lost in the astral plane? Or has david absorbed pieces of people he has come across in the past and now they are locked away in his mind? I have asked this question everywhere I can think of and have gotten no answer. Makes me think im the only one that sees him. Maybe I need to go to the mental hospital….

  10. T says:

    Ok, I’m a huge fan of the Xmen, really all these shows…but this show is so weird. It’s like a confusing acid trip. I’m left confused as irritated. I think I’m giving up on this show. Too bad the idea of Prof. X’s son was exciting. This show sucks!