Saturday, March 11, 2017

LEGION Chapter 5 Review: Back to Therapy

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After last week’s exhilarating episode, this episode starts off with Sydney, Ptonomy and David coming back to Summerland with Kerry, who is badly injured. After getting the bullet out of Kerry, Sydney has some time to talk to David about Dr. Pool and Philly. Before Sydney can reveal what they found, David takes them both to the Astral Plane. At first Sydney is scared, but she is calmed down when David is able to touch her without any repercussions. David explains he can create whatever he wants in this world, but when the camera pans left the audience sees a bowl of fresh strawberries covered with bugs. This was a great scene and it showed that David has a dark side, even if he means well. In his paradise, there is still the dark image of black insects. 

David, Sydney and Melanie all have a chance to talk. David tells her he saw her husband, Oliver, in the Astral Pane. Melanie reveled Oliver was a physic, too, and he discovered he could create a world of his own in the Astral Plane. After spending more and more time inside of his mind, one day he didn’t wake up. Oliver has been in the Astral Plane for 25 years and Melanie hopes David can bring him out. While David is talking to her, Sydney seems much more comfortable with David. This is probably a result of their time together in the Astral Plane. David tells Melanie how he and Sydney are going to go to D3 and she insists they need to create a plan of attack first. While talking to Melanie, David and Sydney whisper to each other and glare at her. The two seem to be teaming up on Melanie and are beginning to act selfish, putting their wants in front of others. David is acting very arrogant and is gaining confidence with his powers, especially in his ability to travel to the Astral Plane. When Sydney asks him if they are actually going to attack D3, he responds with, “It will be fun. Kick some ass, save the girl, get a snack.” This line of dialogue was a big indication David is putting himself in a lot of danger because he believes he can fully control his powers, but he has been struggling his whole life to do so. David is definitely getting better and can now focus his thoughts on reading minds without going crazy. He is also spending a lot of time in the Astral Plane so he and Sydney can touch and be free. 

This episode was very interesting to watch because David’s personality changed so drastically after entering the Astral Plane. David now acts as though he is invincible when the truth is his powers are out of control. David barely knows how to use his powers and I can see him accidentally hurting someone he loves if this behavior continues. 

While in the Astral Plane, Sydney is sleeping in an empty bed when she hears voices coming from the bathroom. Inside the red-lit bathroom are David and Lenny talking about the D3 attack. Lenny tells David to attack D3 alone. Lenny also tells David it's time for her to go as Sydney starts getting closer to the bathroom. Suddenly, Sydney wakes up and David is nowhere to be found. Sydney tells Melanie and she wants to prepare for an attack on D3. However, Ptonomy says not to because this war is bigger than David and he is being selfish. Ptonomy accuses Melanie of going after David just so she can bring Oliver back but says she's getting David because he is too powerful to be on someone else’s side, although she never denied Ptonomy’s accusation. While preparing to head to D3, Sydney is very cold to Melanie and tells her she will do whatever David wants, even if it doesn’t fit with Summerland’s agenda. Melanie tells her she is worried about David’s confidence ever since he got back, but Sydney brushes it off. 

Inside the Astral Plane color plays a big part. Blue is the heavenly and good side of David while red signals the opposite. The red bathroom signifies the dark side of David’s mind and it is where he keeps his secrets. When Lenny showed up inside the Astral Plane and disappeared, I knew David was beginning to lose control. It led me to believe that Lenny is a separate entity and not just part of David’s imagination. Something else interesting about this part was Melanie’s response to David’s disappearance. Melanie’s first instinct is to gather up her students and prepare for a fight. Does this mean she is training mutants to fight and defend themselves, along with controlling their powers? I wish the show explored more about Summerland because I want to know more of their motives, students and any similarities to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. 


Melanie, Bird and Ptonomy all arrive at D3 and find a horrific scene. There are dead soldiers everywhere with different body parts cut off and suck to the ground and walls. There are also cars flipped and barrels on fire. As the group walks inside, they find out the horrors don’t end as they walk through hallways of dead, decapitated soldier. Meanwhile, Melanie goes to the security office to look at footage of what happened. She sees David killing soldiers while dancing and he seems to be having a lot of fun using his powers. Melanie looks at a thermal scan and instead of seeing David, she sees the Devil With the Yellow Eyes killing all the soldiers. Sydney and Ptonomy find a man from D3 who is crying on the floor with his leg cut clean off. He says David came and took Amy. The man said David isn’t human, but something terrible that wears a human face. 

I loved every moment the group was in the D3 building. The show took a totally tonal shift and it was for the best. There were dark colors, eerie whistling and horrifying images. The director used everything to his advantage in order to create a scene that made me feel like I was watching a horror movie. Silence was used very well and the lack of music put me on the edge of my seat. I loved the low quality and static images of David using his powers. One shot which stuck with me was when the man from D3 dies on the floor and we get to see Sydney’s reaction to what her boyfriend has done. Sydney’s face is in the dark and a flash yellowing light lights up half her face. This was a powerful shot as you see Sydney losing hope that David is a good person. 

After finding no sign of David, The group leaves D3 get a holographic call from Dr. Cary. He reveals David is truly schizophrenic, but there is a parasite inside of David that burrowed into his brain as a child and has been feeding off of him ever since. Every time David sees the Devil With Yellow Eyes or realizes there is something inside of him, the creature rewrites his memory. Cary said if David didn’t have powers himself, then the monster, which is a mutant, would have killed him by now. Suddenly, Sydney is transported to the Astral Plane and David is playing a banjo pretending to be happy when he is truly terrified. Sydney looks inside the red bathroom and sees David's fictitious dog King and the World’s Angriest Boy in the World. Sydney snaps back to reality and the groups leave for David’s old home. Soon after they leave the Eye walks out of D3 and starts following them. 

The scene with David playing the banjo inside of the Astral Plane was fantastic. It was extremely creepy and actor Dan Stevens hits his performance out of the park. The director effectively used the camera’s focusing to create an uneasy atmosphere and reveal things that were in the scene the whole time. 


David and Amy walk into their childhood home and David does not seem like himself. Amy seems to realize this and is scared of him. David says Amy knows a secret and when she doesn’t tell David, he starts playing mind tricks on her. Lenny comes out of a mirror and torments Amy while switching into other forms like Benny, King and the World’s Angriest Boy in the World. While Lenny is tormenting Amy, David seems to be in some sort of seizure and his eyes are white. Amy finally breaks down and tells David he was adopted. Amy reveals she doesn’t know who his real parents are and she never told him because of his illness and she didn’t want to make his mental state worse. 

Ptonomy, Sydney, Doctor Cary, Kerry and Melanie all arrive at David’s old house. As they explore the house, Sydney finds Amy sitting in front of a mirror. When Sydney goes to comfort her Lenny appears and starts to attack Amy. Lenny is acting crazy and her voice switches in and out of a demonic state as she kisses David just to torture Sydney. However, when the others walk into the room there is no Lenny to be seen, only David. The Eye follows the group into the room and shoots at David, but David enters the Astral Plane with Sydney before they are shot. Inside the Astral Plane David starts crying and tells Sydney he can’t stop Lenny, or himself. Then, the red bathroom door opens and the Devil With the Yellow Eyes begins chasing Sydney while David stands completely still, crying. David starts to scream and Sydney suddenly wakes up and is now in a therapy session being led by Lenny. 

This episode had a great ending sequence. It was a great idea to cut all audio as a result of David’s powers. This made the scene feel much more eerie and put a lot of weight on the actors, but they pulled it off magnificently. There were some jump scares, but when there was a jump scare it was actually something to be afraid of. I love how the director didn’t try to have fake jump scares because it makes the scene tenser. The music started up later on during the scene, but it was very hallowing and horrific. Every time the World’s Angriest Boy in the World was in the frame I wanted him to leave because he was creepy, endangering the characters and I wanted to awful music to stop. 

Overall, LEGION added another amazing episode to its first season. We are slowly discovering more and more about David, his powers and the Devil With the Yellow Eyes. This episode had a very horror movie-like feel and I loved it because it was a different approach to a show we haven’t seen before. At first I was upset I wasn’t able to see David raising hell at D3, but after seeing what he did I was glad I didn’t see it. The show did a fantastic job of using their budget and the creative team constantly uses all the resources available to them. This results in some great sequences, episodes and overall story telling.

Written by James Philbrick, LEGION Beat Writer -- Click to read James' posts


Related Posts:
LEGION Chapter 4 Review: Trying to Figure Out Real vs. Fake Memories

LEGION Chapter 3 Review: Go To Your Hiding Place Because Terrors Are Coming

LEGION Chapter 2 Review: Don't Sneeze

LEGION Chapter 1 Review: Journey Inside of the Mind of a Very Powerful Mutant

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