Legion: Chapter 6   Show Only 
March 15, 2017 9:15 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

David goes back to where it all started.
posted by oh yeah! (43 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Aubrey Plaza is magnificently terrifying. Wow. And her dance number has me wondering how they filmed this series - did they film it episode-by-episode like a normal weekly show, or did they go by location, like Sense8? Or some mixture of the two, mostly filming each episode distinctly, except blocking out a little time for Plaza to Fosse her way through various sets before they wrapped so that they wouldn't have to re-set them all at once just for this episode?
posted by oh yeah! at 9:28 PM on March 15 [4 favorites]


It took me a while (I'm so used to binge watching shows now that I've been spoilt) to figure out who had control of the hospital. I'm still not 100% sure but it seemed like David *thought* he was in control, but the parasite/fungus's need for self-preservation meant either they were jointly in control or Lenny was giving David the illusion of being in control. If Lenny was in control, she underestimated Syd's ability (thanks to her body swap with David or maybe because she's close to him) to work out how much was real and to see the door. And thank goodness for Jemaine saving the day in his diving suit, watching out for them all from his ice cube.

Thinking of Lenny/the demon as a parasite, and presumably having that need for self-preservation, who really stopped David from committing suicide before?

Also a) adoption explanation, very superhero; and b) David saying he doesn't like dogs.
posted by tracicle at 12:55 AM on March 16


Thanks for the spoiler warning - I haven't been spoiled about David's dad and the demon and am trying to keep it that way for some reason. This was a great episode, but (needfully) frustrating. Of course we want to see everybody get out of there, but we've got to learn about the DwYE's intentions and how mixed-into David's psyche it is. It's interesting to see how (what he thinks are) his coping mechanisms are so closely-tied to the parasite's wants and needs.

I'm also really glad that Legion was officially picked up for season 2! A few people commenting in last episode's post didn't seem to think that'd be the case for some reason and it had me scared, haha.
posted by destructive cactus at 11:14 AM on March 16


Sepinwall didn't like this one much:
Placing characters in an asylum and telling them that everything they’ve experienced in the series to that point isn’t real is among the oldest, hoariest of TV cliches. It can have value if done right, and Legion, with its focus on the mental health of its main character, is more entitled to use it than most, but it’s still a drag, and one that feels like a way to stall the story that Hawley and company are telling across these first eight episodes.
I don't think I agree: it is a hoary device when used badly, but here it felt like it's very much more in service of the story they're telling than it is of stalling for time by doing a bottle episode.

I think also there was enough truth mixed in amongst Lenny's gaslighting to make it genuinely disorientating: in particular, the recasting of the supporting players as less heroic and more damaged felt true. Cary and Kerry's relationship is kind of creepy; Ptonomy's perfect memory is a curse; Melanie's stuck in her grief.

This version of the hospital set felt subtly less real than the pilot's version: there was a slightly video-gamey feel to it, especially the mazelike corridors with their featureless white panels and stylized floor-level lighting.

The way the therapy scenes in Lenny's office were composed and shot, also: the room's stylized decoration, and the tight focus on the actors that always left the background unfocused, hazy and indistinct.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:12 PM on March 16 [8 favorites]


Frustrated, though, that the show seems totally uninterested in fleshing out The Eye's character beyond "creepy dude".
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:13 PM on March 16


Aubrey Plaza is killing it. I didn't know she had the acting chops to pull this off.
posted by Pendragon at 12:29 PM on March 16 [11 favorites]


I couldn't disagree more with Sepinwall's review. If anything, this was the episode where a lot of the various threads finally started coming together.

I missed the significance at first of David saying he doesn't like dogs. Now I'm wondering: was his invisible dog / best friend from his youth another consciousness? I don't think the dog would have been the parasite. Maybe a protector spirit?
posted by kanewai at 12:47 PM on March 16


While it was picked up for a second season, it should be noted that Hawley and FX like self contained seasons (Fargo, AHS). It's possible Legion won't even have David Haller.
posted by politikitty at 12:48 PM on March 16


Aubrey Plaza is fantastic, but I actually found her portrayal made the Devil with the Yellow Eyes a lot less frightening than it's been up to until this episode. Maybe that was inevitable, and exploring the character invariably humanizes it to some degree. I found Walter creepier in this one. But I still loved it and can't wait until next week.
posted by homunculus at 2:37 PM on March 16


Did anyone figure out what the out of focus picture behind the main cast in the interview room was? I kept sort of watching for it to resolve into something out of focus, or reversed through mirrors.
posted by Kyol at 7:50 PM on March 16 [5 favorites]


I just liked how Syd was the only one who kept her jacket zipped all the way up at all times.

p.s. where can I buy one of those jackets?
posted by komara at 9:06 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


I also liked how when Cary went into (onto? just to?) the astral plane his face went back to showing the damaged he sustained by absorbing Kerry after her fight.
posted by komara at 9:11 PM on March 16 [7 favorites]


I feel like Sepinwall is one of the few people (are there others at all, even?) who writes insightful reviews of tv rather than plot synopses, but I think he missed the mark on this episode, which I found really great.
posted by snofoam at 9:15 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


I have to agree that I was mostly annoyed that this episode was style over substance, but, my goodness, what style. If it had been episode 2, I would have tolerated it a bit better, but as beautiful as it was it was a long hour in service of very little plot movement for, what, an 8 episode series?
So what do we know? Ol' Yellow Eyes is a fungus. Cary, Melanie and Syd escape the 'hospital' thanks to Jemaine, but David has been locked away by Lenny. Kerry is being stalked by the Eye. Not much else.

Yes, i could rewatch the stylized Bond-opening dance number over and over and boy does Aubrey Plaza chew some scenery in an Audrey Hepburn get-up, but I was left a bit wanting.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:19 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


Did anyone figure out what the out of focus picture behind the main cast in the interview room was?

On first glance I thought it was a picture of David in silhouette, hands up to either shield himself or contain himself. It made me realise very early in the episode that time was essentially frozen outside the hospital/in reality. That was David in that moment of freezing time and transporting everyone to a safe place, or a visual of him as he is in reality -- one that he never seems to see or acknowledge from in the dream space. Maybe he put it there himself, or maybe Lenny did (although why Lenny would is beyond me). It depends on who's in control, and I think David was in the beginning but is clearly losing control of his safe place by the end.

Later in the episode I was less certain that it was David, but I'm still at least 50% sure.
posted by tracicle at 1:12 AM on March 17 [5 favorites]


"I also liked how when Cary went into (onto? just to?) the astral plane his face went back to showing the damaged he sustained by absorbing Kerry after her fight."

Thinking further about this - what does it mean that The Eye's eye isn't milky while he's in David's headspace?
posted by komara at 7:32 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


I missed the significance at first of David saying he doesn't like dogs. Now I'm wondering: was his invisible dog / best friend from his youth another consciousness? I don't think the dog would have been the parasite. Maybe a protector spirit?

I don't think so, because The Devil did say "call me ... King" and flashed to a view of the dog in the previous episode.

Or that could just be a lie.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:37 AM on March 17


Just a reminder, there's a show and comic book joint thread over here. Spoilers abound there.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 7:39 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


This is some amazingly good television. I will admit that I have always been a bit snooty about superhero comics, so I thought I would give this a pass and WOW am I glad I changed my mind.
posted by Golem XIV at 9:32 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


I think it's important that David (or his parasite) mapped his diagnosis onto Syd. Stripped of magic powers, mutants, government conspiracies, and secret wars, how he sees her is how he sees himself really: unsafe, unprepared for the outside world.
posted by elr at 9:51 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


This is some amazingly good television. I will admit that I have always been a bit snooty about superhero comics, so I thought I would give this a pass and WOW am I glad I changed my mind.

I'm with you, although most superhero stuff in film and TV hasn't given any doubters much reason to change their mind. WB / DC, and Disney / Marvel both seem dug into their respective, awful, visual styles and reluctant to change.

The main divergences for both have been in TV shows that are side stories to the CANON of the extended universe concept. Legion is the best that I've seen, but you might also want to check out Gotham (which is a genuinely fun romp that combines everything from Burtonesque gothic, to 60s Batman camp), and Jessica Jones (which has the typical MCU blah visual style, but actually tells a compelling story of speculative fiction).
posted by codacorolla at 9:56 AM on March 17 [2 favorites]


It's possible Legion won't even have David Haller.

Since this is a show-only thread, all I can say is that that would be all but impossible. I suppose they technically could, but it wouldn't make sense at all unless they were playing a very long, very weird game that would risk alienating fans.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:25 AM on March 17


Thinking further about this - what does it mean that The Eye's eye isn't milky while he's in David's headspace?

If you want them to have no memory of their real lives, you remove all visual signifiers that could awaken those memories, is my read.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:27 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


Thinking further about this - what does it mean that The Eye's eye isn't milky while he's in David's headspace?

I think his milky eye is related to his power, and nobody has their powers because only their minds are in the headspace.

Did anyone else feel like this episode was gratuitously creepy with the way Amy groped Syd and Walter interacted with Kerry before he outright started stalking her? I'd been vacillating about whether Amy was being fridged in earlier episodes, and now it feels like they're threatening to SVU Kerry for a trope-y role reversal with Cary. Am I overreacting? I've really enjoyed the show otherwise and am totally open to hearing I'm overreacting.

p.s. where can I buy one of those jackets?

I got a very similar jacket from (the men's athletic section) at Marshall's last year. I think it was an older version of this.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 10:49 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else feel like this episode was gratuitously creepy with the way Amy groped Syd and Walter interacted with Kerry before he outright started stalking her? I'd been vacillating about whether Amy was being fridged in earlier episodes, and now it feels like they're threatening to SVU Kerry for a trope-y role reversal with Cary. Am I overreacting? I've really enjoyed the show otherwise and am totally open to hearing I'm overreacting.

Yeah, I definitely got some uncomfortable vibes from those aspects of this episode. My reading, which might be charitable, is that everything is wrong in this dimension that's been created by a sociopathic psychic parasite, and it's intentionally nightmarish. Amy is turned into Nurse Ratched because The Yellow Eyed Demon probably hates her, and because there's a small part of her that actually does resent David. The Eye thrives as a predator, because that's sort of his natural environment (and I think he's sort of lucid dreaming, and actually understands what's happening, and is trying to capitalize). The powers of the protagonists suddenly exist solely as mental illness (which would be the lazy way to tell this story) because it strips them of agency to free themselves. In general, this is the "bad" version of the story we've been following simply because it's taking place in the mind's eye of the story's primary antagonist.

So I don't think you're overreacting, but I do think that it's an intentional move by the writers instead of bad storytelling.
posted by codacorolla at 11:07 AM on March 17 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the thoughts on Amy ... she's the one aspect of this that I didn't understand.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:50 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]


Just doing some calendar checking: Ptonomy mentioned his mom died on a January 2, a Thursday, when he was 5, while 99 Luftballons (released 1983) played on the radio. That matches 1986, 1992, 1997, and 2003. Say the show's set right now, he'd be 36, 30, 25, or 19.

So, judging by his apparent age, I'd say the show's set now, or sometime in the past decade.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:41 PM on March 17 [3 favorites]


The callbacks to episode 1 included, when he entered her room, *his* legs weren't visible. I still don't know what it means though.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:49 PM on March 17 [6 favorites]


One thing that the show hasn't centered on too much so far is the regular X-Men trope of Mutants being hated and feared second class citizens. David is mistreated because he is a Mutant, and that word is used occasionally by characters, but it's definitely not a foregrounded part of the story so far. I've sort of assumed that Division 3 is a Mutant Hunting task force, but that hasn't really been supported by the text of the show so far.
posted by codacorolla at 3:31 PM on March 18


I don't think there's enough public awareness of Mutants in this universe yet for there to be a general opinion one way or the other. Amy seemed pretty startled when Brubaker announced David had abilities; to me she seemed startled to hear that such abilities even existed. And Melanie has mentioned that D3 is a government organization that finds, studies, and tries to use mutants (presumably for tactical military advantage) and only kills the ones who won't cooperate. It's in both groups' interests to keep the existence of Mutants a secret: Summerland to protect them from being outed and targeted and D3 to conceal what's probably effectively a weapons program.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 4:33 PM on March 18


So I'm binging this at the same time that I'm binging Iron Fist. I mean, Iron Fist is pretty bad, but it's amazing how much better Legion is, in terms of writing, acting, casting, directing, cinematography, editing, art direction, set design, sound design, music, lighting, and blocking. Fucking blocking.

Hey, Jeph Loeb, I know your Executive Producer role on this show is nominal, but, dude, watch and learn . This is how it's done.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:53 PM on March 19


Fosse her way through

this is a magnificent phrase and you should feel pleased for writing it
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:06 AM on March 20 [6 favorites]


also, they would have just had to film her Fosse-ing in front of a greenscreen to be able to put her into whatever location they liked.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:57 PM on March 20


also, they would have just had to film her Fosse-ing in front of a greenscreen to be able to put her into whatever location they liked.

True, but I read in one of the recaps or interviews that the show did more of their effects practically than CGI-ly than people might think, and she was definitely interacting with the set sometimes (grinding that exam table, for example). Reminded me of how the Farrelly brothers would have the cast & crew singing "Build Me Up Buttercup" throughout "There's Something About Mary" for them to edit into the closing credits. Seems like it would be easier and more fun to do it practically if you knew the scene was coming from the get-go.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:02 PM on March 20


A week between episodes is way too long. I haven't been this impatient for the next installment of a series since Fargo last year, or True Detective season 1.
posted by codacorolla at 6:17 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


So good. This show just doesn't give a fuck about making sense as TV. It's an entirely different narrative structure. I referenced Twin Peaks before, but really this is more Mulholland Drive / Lost Highway. A private dream narrative, and confusing as all hell. But unlike Lynch it's got a comic book gloss and colorfulness that makes it seem fun and approachable too. Maybe that's just David's manic episodes coming though. Whatever it is, I have immense respect for the script writer and producer for having the courage to bring this to TV.
posted by Nelson at 9:52 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


just re-watched the first episode, and noticed that the guy who is usually seen hiding in the bushes at the asylum is also in the group therapy session where David asks Syd to be his girlfriend, so he does seem to exist?

Also was thinking about the Lenny/Benny thing, and here's my idea of why you see Lenny both in and out of clockworks. Lenny is a friend of his at clockworks, but when she is killed she becomes a convenient face for the devil with the yellow eyes to use to talk to David and mess with his head. Since the Devil is in David's head, he can also overwrite David's memories of Benny with Lenny, deepening the hold he has on David. just a guess, though...

I also re-watched the dance scene because it is FABULOUS!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:51 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


Haha I watched this recovering from surgery hopped up on pain meds.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:56 PM on March 25 [4 favorites]


well that must have been trippy
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:59 AM on March 26


Dance scene was great, could have used something besides Nina Simone dubstep remix though, yuck.
posted by iamck at 4:22 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


That cricket song was fantastic.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:34 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Also, was this the first use of "Oh! You Pretty Things" in an X-Men-related movie or show? If so, it's so long overdue! Gotta make way for the Homo Superior.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:49 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


We downloaded the soundtrack (I fell in love with the electronic Bolero), and it includes the cricket music. Love it.
posted by tracicle at 3:58 AM on March 29


« Older Podcast: Welcome to Night Vale...   |  Mystery Science Theater 3000: ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster