What do you do when your girlfriend from the future tells you to help your enemy? You honestly probably shouldn’t help your enemy, but you’re told that you have to by her, so what do you do? You could put a leash on your enemy, but a leash can only hold a shark for so long. You can only reason with a shark before it causes chaos. What about your friends? Your friends wouldn’t believe you in your goal to help the enemy, how could they? So you do you help your enemy, while trying to keep up appearances? Welcome to David Haller’s life! It’s an interesting predicament, but what’s even sadder is that if he’s successful in helping the Shadow King find his body, what then? Problem is, we know so little that it’s frustrating to follow this man to his end goal, because he’s more than likely to cause something awful.
This show continues to be almost impossible to review, with it’s unreliable narrative, its metaphorical story telling, its tangents, but again, as long as you understand that everything has a purpose, you can at least take some guesses. Fortunately, we almost get something resembling exposition in this episode. David misleads Division 3 so that the Shadow King (in Oliver’s body) can sneak in to see if his body’s is there. David did this so long as Shadow King (A.K.A. Farouk) promised that he didn’t kill anyone. This doesn’t go well, as Farouk kills almost everyone they encounter, is a wonderful musical sequence (as you do. You have Jemaine Clement, you use that musical talent as much as you can) where they incinerate everyone and screw up Cary and Kerry’s relationship by reversing it, and having the scientist go into the fighter, making everyone uncomfortable. Division 3 start to suspect David, as he was the one who lead the away team.
I love the chaos of all of this! Everything is just going wrong for every character in a natural way. It’s not to the point of soup quite yet (ala the “Unmaking soup” metaphor from last year), but some vegetables are getting chopped. This plot in particular is a tricky one because it’s all set up to something that will more likely than not explode in the future.
I also am appreciative of David’s revisit of Syd from the future. Now a bit more talkative, we find out that someone is out there killing everyone (that isn’t Farouk, because David kill him later) and also David is possibly dead, but we don’t know how. It’s a seed laying scene, with many questions, and literally promises more to come, as we may (or may not, we never know in this show) find answers. It’s the most Twin Peaks that I’ve seen this show get for a bit.
Another standout in this episode is the Cary and Kerry’s role reversal. It starts scary (with Lenny doing a stalking motion, before she readjusts his/her power set). It gets funny, in a disturbing way where we see Cary’s arm coming out of Kerry’s chest, and not the other way around. Then you see how uncomfortable they get being the way they are. You would think that this would turn into a mission where they find out, with science, how to be the way it was again, but I’m betting anything this in to a lesson of acceptanceand adaptation of the way things are now, while giving the other half a chance of living from the inside/outside.
We also get another chapter in the Jon Hamm as Narrator story, about life lessons. Chapter 4, Umwelt (the world as it is experienced by a particular organism, as the dictionary tells me). Reality is that which when you stop believing in it, it doesn’t go away. These are the words that begin this chapter, still going into the many facets of perception. We got into lessons about how different humans percept the world, compared to animals. About how animals only think about what’s around them, and how humans must think bigger, because it’s in our nature. Here we see a boy, learning that red is green, and green is red. This is what he’s taught, and while the rest of us know the truth, he knows his truth. What happens though, when his truth doesn’t agree with the rest of the world, like when he finds out that red means stop, and green means go! We must agree on what’s real, and because of this, humans are the only animals, that can go mad. Again, this is nothing but a warning. We get call backs to the other chapters, and I feel this is going to come together into one disturbing education book.
Finally, we need to talk about David and Farouk’s mental battle. As it should be, it’s bonkers. We see David and the Man from Paris sitting in the dessert, and they have a fascinating conversation about the nature of themselves. They are both essentially Gods, and they should be ruling, and they should be letting loose. David can basically create, and change reality if he wants to, but that’s not why he’s talking to the Shadow King. David wants to show dominance. He has a mental battle with Farouk, which begins as a wrestling match, before swords and tanks are involved. It’s wonderfully silly, but David gets what he wants at the end. Compliance, and for Farouk to not kill anyone until he gets his body back. Afterwards, we a great scene where Aubrey Plaza as Lenny gets to converse with Farouk, wanting to live her own life, once their business is done. It really shows how wonderful a character Lenny is, in that while she’s having fun, she still scared, and want’s to be free. We really haven’t seen this side of Lenny before, and it’s interesting, and I hope we get a bit of independence for her.
Legion continues to boggle the mind, but that’s par for the course. What makes this show great is that it challenges you without leaving you in the dust. I’m not sure where this season is going to go, I’m going to need a couple more episodes before I can come up with some theories. But the fact that I’m confused, but not feeling as if I’m being talked down to by a show that is as smart as it is, is kind of a special feeling.