Paranoia, The Destroyer: Legion, ‘Chapter 17’

***Spoiler Warning:  Spoilers for Legion through Season 2, Episode 9 follow. Spoilers*** Last week

Through a hookah haze darkly smokily, this week’s tripped-out lens travels through Melanie’s mind games, David and Syd left far behind across a clouded tundra. After a repeat of Clark’s knockout and long (Thirteen days) ago life lessons, the Birds reunite — “I always come back to the girl I left behind” — blue melancholy threatening to swallow a lady Bird whole as she fights to discern reality. While Farouk queries his  quarry about the Mi-Go monk’s location, she flits between inhalations of smoke and husband, dreaming dreams of what used to be, struggling to wake from her (the) Tapeworrm-clouded (“Did you ever wonder if all of this is just a dream?”) perception.

Dynamic duo, Kerry — “I’m real.” [“How do you know?”] “Cause ,when I hit people they fall down.” — and Carey share a David-induced vision and set about following their mindstructions to head to the Blue Octopus with a weapon, a task our herovillain seems to have shared with another helper, as well.

Tour de forcing her way through Lenny’s (“Our lady of the frosted breakfast cereal”) bucket kaleidoscope of excess —  “What I did to, well, NuJaneen there, is a kid’s birthday party compared to the Caligula shit I’ve got planned.” — Aubrey Plaza aka the Cornflakes Girl reluctantly faces her body’s Force Ghost (Amy) pleas to return her body. Settling (for now) for instead reminding of David’s helpvision to Busker 2.0 3.0, David’s sister can only *wait* while Lenny flashes out to the desert (astral) plane with her own rendition of the weapon Haller needs. Armed and apparently ready to do her part, Blockheads (?) gathered in the distance, Lenny takes up a defensive position; no worries, the minotaur has her back.

As we circle back to where the hour started, Oliver’s suspected backdoor plot begins to unfold. Behind her self-induced foggy cover, a wife communicates with her wordless, long-lost husband, reuniting in the darkest recesses of their minds. The stage is set for a final showdown; David “… left alone, he’s coming alone”, leaving Melanie with one question for the men ringing in our ears:  “Violence. Why does it always end in violence?”

Deep Thoughts:

This was definitely a place-setting episode; all the pieces are on the astral chessboard for next week’s penultimate hour. I’m so curious where these guys come in.

As if having read critical minds, this hour featured no Hamm-fisted Narrator asides (I actually don’t mind them, and almost missed it), though the writers got in varying ponderances on the different nature of women and men; how our societal ideals on heroes are deeply flawed, and often dismissive to others.

Melanie and Oliver are basically the “grown-up” version of Syd and David’s love story, and it’s just as beautiful to see play out. Jean Smart’s performance — her emotional renderings are so beautifully subtle — stands in stark contrast to Jemaine Clement’s locked away, yet still palpable longing.

I must again mention how very much I adore Cary and Kerry, the ballet of the way they move together in physical scenes (and, Bill Irwin is by far one of my Legion favorites). Irwin and Midthunder have a lovely camaraderie that marks their every conversation.

Aubrey Plaza is glorious as Lenny, and she simply commands the screen every time she’s on. Emmy, Emmy, Emmy, where are you?

I don’t have much to say about the sex scenes, because outside of the coolness of kaleidoscope vision, it didn’t feel like it added all that much to the hour. I loved Lenny’s line about Caligula shit, though.

This scene is an homage to the Repo Man glowing car:

Not sure what the significance of the Blue Octopus is in this context, but in the real world, a highly poisonous — deadly — creature does exist.

Could the little prince Janine is “pregnant with” be Farouk? Meaning, he’s still in Lenny’s head …

We got some Westworld looping (repeated scenes and word for word dialogue) and like with my Westworld speculation, I often wonder if anyone outside David’s head is real. Does Amy still exist in any way? Cary’s talk of death — Lenny already died a couple of times, and Legion the comic character absorbs others’ minds and powers. So, theoretically, everyone could exist only in David Haller’s mind.

Music This Hour:

The Flaming Lips, The Castle

Nick Jaer, Space Is Only Noise if You Can See

Jemaine Clement, My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean

MC5, Kick Out the Jams

Jeff Russo, 87 Days 

Jacques Brel, Mon Enfance (My Childhood)

The Kinks, Destroyer


Great Lines:

Oliver to Melanie:  “Things have changed between us, haven’t they?

What are years? Just trips around the sun.

I could have danced through a cosmic field of multidimensions with no outer limit to speak of.

You could have tagged along to the beyond.”

Melanie:  “Tagged along …”

Oliver:  “Was that the wrong word? Followed, yes followed.

[Melanie laughs]

There was a time where you’d follow me anywhere.”

Melanie:  “And where did that get me?”

Melanie to Kerry:  “Reality is a choice.

I was married … For twenty-one years he lived in an ice cube. Doesn’t that sound nice?[*singing*] An ice cube built for two …

All these years I’ve been so focused on saving the world that I overlooked the most crucial fact of them all. There is no world to save. It’s all in my head.”

Lenny to NuJanine:  “Are you the new Barbara?”

Janine:  “No, I’m the new Janine.”

Lenny:  “Who’s Janine?”

Janine:  “She was the new Barbara.”

Lenny:  “What happened to Janine?”

Janine:  “She turned into a ladybug and flew away.

I like your eyes.”

Lenny:  “Thanks! They’re new.”

Lenny to Amy:  “It’s a nice body, much healthier than the one I had.

I’ll tell you what sister, if you’re gonna hang with me, you’re gonna see a lot of nasty shit.

Strap in.

RIP, Rest in Peace, it might be better in the long run.”

Cary to Kerry:  “Since when idd you learn how to drive?”

Kerry:  “How hard can it be?”

Lenny:  “Buenas tardes, bitches!”

Lenny to Amy:  “You know man, when you walk with the lord, the lord walks with you.”

Amy:  “In all my dreams i was never myself. Now I’m only myself in dreams; isn’t that funny?”

Lenny to Amy:  “My guess is Helsinki, or Stockholm. Which one is in Switzerland?”

Janine to Lenny:  “Your majesty? We’re going to have a little prince.”

Cary to Kerry about what’s wrong:  “Nothing, well, I’m worried about Melanie. She’s not herself these days.”

Kerry:  “An imposter.”

Cary:  “She’s just feeling blue.”

Kerry:  “Like the color?”

Cary:  “No, sad or melancholy.”

Kerry:  “Then why’d you say blue?”

Cary:  “Because it’s a figure of speech like having too much time on your hands. [Kerry looks at her hands]

A person in a crowd can feel alone.”

Kerry:  “But, they’re not.”

Cary:  “I am gonna die.”

Kerry:  “Someday …I would stab Death twice in the heart before he could get you.”




Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over ten years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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