Spoilers for Legion follow. Don't read on if you're not caught up! Shall we begin?
Last week's premiere Legion episode seriously broke our brains in the best way possible, but it also left us with a lot of unanswered questions. Luckily, tonight's regular-length episode hit the ground running with a few interesting answers, so let’s do the same and get right into it.
After a harrowing escape from Division Three, a government organization that hunts and kills mutants, David finds himself at a secluded pro-mutant facility called Summerland. There, he's officially introduced to his rescuers: in addition to Syd there's the badass fighter Kerry Loudermilk, the neurotic scientist Cary Loudermilk (have fun keeping track of them), the "memory artist" Ptonomy Wallace, and their leader Dr. Melanie Bird, who’s sort of like what you'd get if you crossed the nurturing mentorship of Professor X with the regal authority of Emma Frost. Needless to say, I love her.
Unlike Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters, Summerland has a unique way of getting through to its residents. Using Ptonomy’s memory-projecting abilities, Dr. Bird journeys with mutants into the past events when their powers began to manifest, and then talks through these experiences to learn about what triggers their powers and how they can be controlled. I’ve got to admit, therapy makes a lot more sense as a framing device for David’s personal growth than an educational institution like Xavier’s School does, mostly because there’s a lot that goes into running a school, and are Scott and Jean even learning math over there?
David, however, is having trouble with his memory work, and not just because it’s tough for everyone the first time — there’s something stopping Ptonomy from accessing all of David’s past. While watching a childhood memory David’s father’s face is obscured, and the bedtime story he’s being read, The World’s Angriest Boy In The World, is seriously disturbing. Who writes a children’s book about a boy decapitating his own mother?
While inside David’s brain we also pick up some new details about his past; he and Lenny weren’t just friends at Clockworks, they were drug addict buddies together on the outside. David was also in therapy prior to being institutionalized, after an incident during a fight with his girlfriend that appears to have triggered his telekinetic powers.
Ptonomy can’t access the memories of that either, though, and it starting to seem like it’s not David who’s blocking him. Syd sensed "something there" while she swapped bodies with him back at Clockworks—so odds are this presence isn’t just an invention of David’s imagination. (Sidenote/spoiler for non-comics readers: Instead you’re gonna have to blame the imaginations of comic creators Ann Nocenti and Arthur Adams. You know, if it is Mojo. It totally is, though. I mean, look at him.)
In addition to his mutant therapy, David also begins medical treatment under the care of Carry Loudermilk, who may or may not also be Kerry Loudermilk at the same time. While in an MRI machine he’s asked to think of a happy memory so Cary can monitor his brain waves, and he recalls his idyllic country childhood with his sister Amy.
Unfortunately, happiness is not for X-Men, and the memory quickly shifts into a vision: Amy's gone searching for David after he disappeared from her house, and now she's being captured and tortured by Division Three. It’s such a traumatic thought it triggers David’s powers once more, sending the MRI machine exploding out the wall and into the forest outside Summerland’s campus. Oh well, those aren’t expensive, right? Xavier’s mansion has blown up, like, seven times in the comics, so that’s pretty mild in comparison.
Now David’s all fired up and ready to pull a Luke Skywalker to save his sister. Thankfully Syd's a more persuasive talker than Yoda was, and she convinces him to stay and "do the work" so that he’s better prepared to face off against Division Three. After all, they won’t kill Amy — "she’s bait." But he’d better work fast, because the Interrogator’s buddy (referred to on IMDB as "The Eye") has a tank full of leeches, and there’s no telling what he’s going to do to Amy with them...
That’s all for Chapter 2 of Legion, and odds are it’s only going to get more intense from here. What do you think so far? Let us know in the comments!
Images: FX Networks