Legion: 1.04 Chapter 4
Another impressive, technicolour episode, which moves the plot along nicely, where David’s memories are still the central theme, but there is also a welcome exploration of Summerland’s other mutants. Creators Noah Hawley and Stan Lee, in episode four, manage to flip things on their viewers, by sabotaging everything we know about David, portraying him in a less favourable light.
David is still in deep sleep, sedated in the last episode and is now unable to wake up, trapped in a lucid dream state: the astral plane; a space between reality and dreams. In this interim fantasy place, he encounters Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement) a current occupant, all decked out in a bell-bottom suit and lamp chops. Bird invites David, into his cocoon of sorts; a room with walls made of ice, filled with 70s retro furniture and a vinyl player blaring out jazz on a loop.
It’s likely that Bird is Melanie’s partner, the surname is a giveaway; and like David is stuck in this astral plane. Bird hints to David that escape is unlikely, but David is hesitant to believe him and thus leaves the cocoon in pursuit of a way out.
Meanwhile despite the dangers of getting caught by government agents, Syd, Ptonomy and Cary’s female alter ego Kerry Loudermilk, decide to visit David’s previous haunts in the city to gain further access into David’s memories. Ptonomy can gain insight into David’s memory bank through touching things and spaces, David inhabited. It is there they gain access the troubling image of David attacking and beating his therapist Dr Poole but also to reveal that he camouflaged certain memories such as Aubrey Plaza’s role as Lenny, who is actually a 50-year-old man called Benny.
Various clues lead to Dr Poole’s house but this proves to be a trap as mutant agent The Eye and his army appear on the scene. To defeat them, Syd touches The Eye and instantly exchange bodies with him, rendering him harmless. David manages to wake himself up and miraculously appears at the scene and confuses Syd for The Eye and holds her down and in doing so helps The Eye escape. In the kerfuffle shoots Kerry gets shot down, simultaneously Cary collapses in his lab.
There is an interesting strand that surfaces in episode four, that of the mutant side stories, such as Bird, Ptonomy’s mnemonic abilities, but most interestingly Cary Loudermilk’s double whammy mutant. Cary has been present in the last two episodes as the introverted brilliant lab scientist and its only now disclosed that he has an alter ego: Kerry Loudermilk, the dashing extroverted fighter. However, Amber Midthunder is slightly unconvincing as Kerry with her rather flat interpretation of her.
As we gain further insight into David’s psyche, our opinion of him starts to morph: can he be truly trusted as his questionable past is revealed? Is he genuinely the individual he is portraying to be? Or is he hiding some even more traumatic and sinister secret? It is all very interesting nonetheless and spreading the seeds of doubt over David’s character is surely part of Noah and Stan’s masterplan.