Wow, this show.
“Chapter 6” of Legion first presents itself as a reset. We’re back in the mental hospital, where scenes from the pilot are played out again, but altered slightly. Ptonomy takes Lenny’s place as he sits with David. Lenny is now the therapist, and David is the one sneaking into Syd’s room after hours. As we witness Syd navigate the hospital, everything feels just a bit off. All of our characters are seen in the therapy room, and their various abilities and experiences are treated as mental illness. This idea has previously been explored with David and Syd, but not anyone else. Therapist Lenny suggests Melanie may have created the idea of an astral plane because of her unwillingness to accept her husband’s death. “The Eye’s” aggression and antagonistic behavior can be explained by his late development as a teenager. Ptonomy’s “time travel” ability is just his mind reliving a childhood trauma. It’s all fascinating to consider, even if we know none of it is real.
Syd quickly starts to notice the cracks in this new setting. She sees a door in a hallway that exists only some of the time. In the episode’s most visually striking scene, we witness what is behind the door. Yep, it’s a dancing Aubrey Plaza. She’s so perfect for this role, especially as Lenny’s true intentions begin to reveal themselves and Plaza is given full reign over the character. This sequence shows her dancing through various events in David’s past, most notably the destroyed kitchen. She has such a grand time navigating his personal misery, and it’s very unsettling to witness. The imagery here is amazing as well, as she moves across the screen as a red silhouette. It’s somehow both seductive and terrifying.
So what does Lenny want? Who is she? As we later find out, she is the “parasite” that has been manipulating David’s mind. She wants control over him, and to do so must get rid of the people in his life. She asks, “What is the fucking point of babies?” For Lenny, love and relationships are a distraction that prevent David from working with her and utilizing his full potential. As she tells him, life is about power. We don’t yet know exactly what she has planned for David, but it cannot be good. There’s a quick mention of David’s father, who is a big deal for comic book fans. But that’s for another episode. Here, we see Lenny’s manipulation at its strongest, as each character’s vulnerabilities are personally attacked. Kerry wakes up to find Cary missing, a horrifying scenario for two people who have never been alone. Ptonomy relives his mother’s death over and over, helpless as he can only watch it unfold. David crosses paths with his sister – previously his only supportive family member – who literally gags at the sight of him (and, even worse, takes away his pie). Syd is patted down in a violation of privacy, which is made even more uncomfortable by her condition of not wanting human contact.
It’s scary to think that all of these characters – each with their own various abilities – are trapped in David’s mind and controlled by Lenny. As she says herself, if she and David were to team up, they could “give God a run for his money.” All hope is not lost, however, as the man in the steampunk-esque diving suit appears in Syd’s room. It’s revealed to be Cary. He motions for her to to follow him somewhere, a sign of a possible plan for resistance… Yeah, like I have any idea where this show is going next.