By The Nerdling
Are you confused? Good, you are supposed to be. And maybe a little freaked out.
A Dance-Off and Spoilers
Unpacking the Strange
Just as in season one, this will not be a straight forward recap. Legion is too bizarre of a show for that. A standard recap might confuse us all further. What I will do is breakdown what you just watched and attempt to point out what is significant and maybe throw in some fun tidbits here and there.
Since this is the premiere of season two, there is a lot of set up for what is to come mixed in with all of the visual trippyness. As of right now, I don’t know what could be construed as substantial or just plain weird since the story is just getting started. I will do my best to navigate showrunner Noah Hawley’s mind as he explores “a sane man in an insane world.”
“Do you have any waffles?”
David’s first words as he comes out of a trance after Ptonomy and Clark find him in a night club along with several people infected with a disease that leaves them statue like while chattering their teeth in a very eerie way. Over a plate of waffles, Ptonomy explains the new predicament they all find themselves. The band of mutants no longer live at Summerland. Convincing Division 3 they are just people wanting to live their lives, Ptonomy, Sid, Melanie, Cary, and Kerry joined D3 to hunt down the dangerous Amahl Farouk. This team is lead by the outlandish Admiral Fukyama, a man whose mind cannot be read, wears a basket on his head, and speaks thru a trio of mustached, robotic women who sing in leu of talking (no, you didn’t read that wrong). And has an army of armed child guards. Under a certain age, the Farouk’s virus can’t take hold.
The Shadow King is looking for his physical body, which has been hidden since David’s father, Charles Xavier, defeated him in the astral plane. A standard superhero trope, get the bad guy before he can acquire a powerful thing-a-ma-jig keeps the odd show grounded in a way. The closing moments feature a revelation might throw this great Mcguffin hunt into disarray. More on that later.
David is understandably confused as to how the mutants and D3 joined forces in the one day he was missing. Only it he wasn’t gone for one day. He was missing for 362 days as the aggravated Syd informs her man. Now the question becomes who took David and what happened in that year?
David only remembers flashes of things, but Ptonomy doesn’t quite believe him and neither does Clark. They think his soap opera grade amnesia was inflicted by Farouk who is still linked to David. A trip into Cary’s daiquiri-Cerebro knockoff shows David competing in a dance-off along with a group of mind-controlled patrons in a club with the Aubrey Plaza shaped Shadow King and Oliver (you didn’t read that wrong either). This dance seemed to be a way of visually showing how these three characters are still connected. Cary dancing around with them is a bit worrying.
“Here’s what they don’t tell you after they come back…”
Syd is shaken by the return of David, more so than she is willing to admit out loud. Visiting Melanie doesn’t help. The once leader of Summerland has fallen into despair. Her husband finally returned from the astral plane only to run off again with Farouk. Melanie has turned to drugs to cope with her feelings of loss and betrayal. She warns Syd this is how it is when your loved one is someone special. They will always leave when they think the world needs saving and when they return, “things are never the same.”
The theory David is still connected to Farouk is starting to take hold in Syd’s mind. She held her breath, figuratively and literally, for months in hopes David was still alive. But now he has returned, is it her David? And will he stay? David has left her more than once now. To help ease her fears, David has Cary make a compass for her. The needle will always point her to him, no matter the distance. “If we get lost, we get lost together,” he promises. That divide has already taken hold and it is doubtful such a sweet gesture will help to mend it.
That night, as he dreams, David remembers something from right after he is taken by the orb. Inside the contraption, he sees an older and battle worn Syd wearing the compass he gave her. She is missing an arm and can’t speak. To communicate with David, Syd uses a light wand to draw vague images which he interprets. She is in the future and sent the orb to get him. David has to help Farouk find his body.
The Jon Hamm voice overs talk about being trapped in a maze, a man suffering from body integrity identity disorder who eventually saws off his leg, a Chinese fable of a man who is not sure if he is a butterfly or a man, and a terrifying looking tar-covered monster hatching from an egg feel as if they are significant to the plot, but I’m not quite sure how just yet. They all center on the idea of a delusion taking hold in a person’s mind, but who is the person(s) suffering from this possible delusion?
Towards the end of the episode, we see the delusion monster creeping towards the bed in which David and Syd sleep. Who is this monster about to infect? My guess would be Syd since season one was centered in David’s sanity, or lack thereof.
Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” at the end of the episode was a little bit of a nail on the head, but it manages to get the point across. Down the rabbit hole we go.
Till Next Week!
The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.