The review originally appeared on Film-Book.com
FX‘s Legion: Season 1, Episode 5, Chapter 5 once again proves that we know even less about David Haller (Dan Stevens) than we thought we did.
Ladies, if a man ever creepily whispers that he’s the magic man and that he’s found a way for you to be together: run, run screaming into the night.
Unfortunately for Syd Barret (Rachel Keller), it isn’t that surprisingly how someone so closed off for so long would ultimately be so accepting of this abrupt change in behavior.
Love is blind, just as sex is addicting. For Syd, the idea of sexual interaction blinds her to how oddly calm and collected David is. For the past four episodes, David has been an unstable wreck, held together with tape. It is a little hard to believe Syd would be fine with the “new David”. But you have to take into consideration this is the first time Syd has had a prolonged sexual experience. A sexual experience that didn’t result in her swapping bodies. Syd is finally able to experience physical joy without consequences. Like many that have come before her, that’s more than enough to make her look the other way on other things.
But Chapter 5 is the episode where Syd gets to see the two current extremes of David. On the one hand, she sees him as a passionate lover. He has managed to figure out how to create an elaborate illusion for them to safely be together. And the other, a terrifying powerful mutant who can fuse humans into the floor. As the security cameras show, David appears to be taking joy in murdering the guards that try to cut him down. A far cry from the David we have seen thus far.
This plays into the final scene of Chapter 4 when Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) transparent figure is attached to David’s back. It becomes clear what the Yellow Eye Monster and David are now merged. Unfortunately for David, it seems like the Monster is the one calling the shots.
At first, it is a little odd that the Monster wants to help David free his sister. But then it becomes clear that the Monster isn’t helping David. But that it is attempting to take the last strong personal link he has and cast it in doubt. When Amy Haller (Katie Aselton) reveals that David is adopted it places David in a space where everyone has been lying to him his own life. His mind has been polluted so severely by the Yellow Eye Monster. There is no telling how this news will impact him long term.
Stylistically, the best part of this episode happens at the very end when all the characters are unable to hear or speak to each other. It feels like a throwback to the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when a similar thing happened.
The lack of sound is incredibly unnerving. In fact, the absence of sound elevates the kind of power the Yellow Eye Monster. Mainly because everyone but the Monster is unable to speak. But the Monster’s real power doesn’t come to full strength till the very last scene of the episode when everyone in the house is seemingly teleported back to the mental hospital with Lenny as the doctor. It appears everyone, including The Eye (MacKenzie Gray), are now imprisoned in the Monster’s memory prison. It is interesting that David’s sister is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps the monster has her in some other various mental prison that is preventing her from leaving as well.
When Syd surveys the room, all her fellow mutants seemed pretty drugged up and vacant. It will be interesting to see how they band together to break out of the supposed illusion the Yellow Eye Monster has created.