Sometimes I need this show. I need this show to tell me that it’s ok to not be sure, it’s normal to question yourself and everything. I left watching this episode to the last minute I was able to, because I’ve had such an anxiety filled week. I kept thinking that small discomforts in my body were things like cancer, or life-threatening virus, and kept worrying about my future (as one is to do). But then I watched the show, and somehow, it made me feel so much better, because while this is an intense comic book show about a mutant living with a mental illness, it’s also a reminder your mind, if not kept in check, can turn an egg of an idea, into a monster. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder that I’m crazy, and it’s that self awareness that keeps me normal.
Anyway, this episode starts with, what is possibly our last Jon Hamm lesson, Chapter 8: Moral Panic. It is defined as public anxiety or alarm to a perceived threat to the moral standards of society. Meaning if someone sees something that may be harmful to us, something that is different than what we feel is right, we are quick to fear or blame it for an apparent downfall of society, so that rational concern, becomes irrational fear. The Salem Witch Trials is an example of this, but I also like how comic books is another example of this, this being a comic book show in of itself. I also love how the lesson ends with a question, what’s more terrifying, Fear, or the Frightened?
David finally has a confrontation with Farouk. But what could have been an epic mental showdown, is just a calm (well, half calm, David begins barking at him like a dog). This is a conversation about how you think of someone when they are dead, compared to when they are alive. How in life, we may sometimes wish they were dead, and then miss them when they die. I love how the scene ends, where Farouk sends David to the kiddie table for being immature (visual metaphor for throwing shade) and ending up in a terrifying scenario where Amy shows up in a laughing, crazy fit, before David wakes up. Mind games are fun.
We also get some interesting situations with Syd, and David’s relation to future Syd. It’s kind of crazy that this Syd is in a situation where she doesn’t agree with her future self, but there’s something unique to that, where we are shown how we can change in a matter of years. I do love seeing Syd and David’s relationship in play, it’s one of the joyous times in this show.
Then a future Syd gets a visit from Farouk, in what seems to be a tense conversation. The main crux of this scene is that Syd needs Farouk alive, because only he can save the world. But who could he save the world from? It’s David, in which I hope seemed like an obvious twist. Everything in this show falls in with each other in a story basis, and if they just introduced another villain near the end of the season for David and Farouk to battle, it would not be satisfying. What is great is the conversation about villains, and how there may be no such thing. We are just beings wanting to get from one goal to another, and the only thing that we follow is our own moral compass. This is a good discussion until Farouk ends the conversation by saying “If David won’t help me, you will. Together, we will rule the world… I mean save the world… from Him.” I mean, that’s villainous.
All this, to me, was set up, because the main purpose of the episode arrives almost exactly half way into the episode. The Insanity Bug that has appeared in the beginning of the season, that’s been festering inside Ptonomy’s head, has finally struck. It begins with Ptonomy infecting Kerry, Syd and Clark. They all have dreams of Admiral Fukuyama, and the Mustachioed Women doing terrible things to them all. The insanity builds. They all meet each other with a plan, they must find out who Fukuyama really is, and that means going through an entire army of the Robot Women. Amy forces Fukuyama to take off Basket, and while we see his face, they see a horrible parasite. Right before they kill it, David comes to save the day. David literally pops the insanity bug out of everyone’s head, except for Ptonomy, who hatches an entire giant insanity bug that hatches out of his back, almost killing him. David confronts the giant bug (in a hilarious scene of bargaining), while the robot women, to heal Ptonomy, plug him into a digital tree (this is the type of show we’re in people).
So while the Jon Hamm lessons seem to now be at an end, we still seem to be at a point of set up of what is to come later in this season. All of this to prepare us for what we aren’t supposed to expect. But now I expect everything. And when you expect everything, is it a surprise anymore? Depends on how well this surprise is told.