Spoilers for Legion follow. Be forewarned. Shall we begin?
All right, I can admit when I’m wrong. After tonight’s incredibly gripping Legion episode, I’ve pivoted on who I think the yellow-eyed monster who creeps around in David’s subconscious is, and the key to his identity is not where you’d expect to find it.
But I’m getting ahead of myself! To really understand what’s going on in this episode, we have to divide it into two parts: the stuff that goes on in reality, and the stuff that goes on outside of it. Let’s start with the former, because that makes the most sense.
After last week’s disastrous memory work session, David has been rendered completely comatose, but his mind is still mysteriously active. Thinking that David’s memories are still the key to helping him recover, Dr. Bird sends Melanie, Ptonomy and Kerry to search for answers. First they visit the office of David’s psychiatrist, where they realize that David must have attacked the doctor while trying to steal from him. Except, Syd figures, maybe instead he was trying to destroy the evidence of their last conversation. But why?
Next, their journey leads them next to David’s ex-girlfriend, who drops another bomb on them: Lenny wasn’t David’s drug-addicted friend! That was actually a completely different guy named Benny. And she leaves them with a cryptic warning for David: “They’re watching.”All these new revelations are seriously messing with both Ptonomy, who’s starting to feel like David is more trouble than he’s worth, and Syd, who worries that her feelings for David might not be real after all. “Did I love him or the idea of him?” she asks herself in dreamy, film-noir narration. “Who are we if not the stories we tell ourselves?”
Kerry (Amber Midthunder, who's great in this episode), in contrast, seems pretty chill, and through that we learn more about what it’s like for her to live inside a shared body. Despite the fact that both Kerry and their parents are Native American and Cary is white, he’s more or less the Alpha; Kerry only really comes out when there’s a fight to be had, and doesn’t age while she’s inside him. This worries Syd, who sympathizes with the horror of not having ownership over your own body, but Kerry seems fine with it. According to her, he does all the “boring stuff” like eat and sleep and breathe, and she gets to kick ass and take names. “He makes me laugh,” she says. “I keep him safe.”
Unfortunately, she’s having a pretty hard time of doing that. When Syd and the gang finally track down David’s former doctor, it turns out to be a trap. It’s really The Eye, who evidently has some kind of shapeshifting or illusory powers, and Kerry is quickly outmatched (and Cary feels her pain from Summerland, in a beautifully directed scene). Just when things look especially bad, Syd swaps places with The Eye and pretends she’s taking her captive friends back to the Division 3 headquarters.
Speaking of Division 3, I almost forgot: while all this is happening, we check in with David’s sister, Amy, who’s being held prisoner along with Dr. Kissinger, the psychiatrist at Clockworks Mental Hospital. And in their conversation we discover another shocker: that beagle dog David says he had growing up, King? He never existed. COOL. GREAT.
On that creepy note that definitely doesn't bode well, let’s go catch up with David! Turns out that he’s accidentally flung himself into the Astral Plane, a dimension that exists somewhere between reality and dreams. And he’s not alone, either! Dr. Bird’s husband Oliver (Jemaine Clement) is here, too, and because his body is being stored somewhere cold in the real world, he lives in a giant ice cube. Oliver appears to have lost his grip on reality, but he does know one thing: that monster in David’s head isn’t a “metaphor.” He’s extremely real, and he’s skulking around outside.
So, about this monster. You might recall that I’ve been jokingly calling him Mojo based on his grotesque appearance, and way back during our first episode recap, I shrugged off the idea that he might be the Shadow King instead. Now, however, it’s looking like I have to change my tune. A creature beyond who exists in the Astral Plane? An imaginary dog named “King?" That feels like a pretty obvious clue, don’t you think?
Anyway! After David leaves Oliver to wander around the Astral Plane, Lenny shows up, and something about her seems off. This time David doesn’t feel like trusting her so much, and Lenny sidesteps his questions to make this point: they (yes, they) need to get back into David’s body. So he shows him something that’s bound to make him react: The Eye standing over Syd’s body, holding a knife.
And this is where the two storylines converge: David, thinking that Syd is in trouble, teleports to where they are and pins her down while she’s still stuck in The Eye’s body. In the ensuing confusion, The real Eye gets loose, shoots Kerry in the chest and escapes. But he’s not the only baddie who’s somewhere they shouldn’t be—Lenny came back through the Astral Plane with David, too, and now she’s looking a little more yellow and monstrous.
So wait, was Lenny the Shadow King this whole time? Or is he using her likeness to get in good with David? Seriously, what the heck is happening??? If you think you know, tell us all about your theories in the comments!
Images: FX Networks