by Kbear on February 25, 2017
Shall we begin?
The episode begins with quick flashes to The Eye (Mackenzie Gray) interrogating Amy Haller (Katie Aselton). Her brother David Haller (Dan Stevens) is sitting at the dock. (I wish it were at the bay.) The head of Summerland Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) is brewing a cup of coffee from a talking coffee machine that we later learn has the voice of her husband Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement). The coffee machine tells her a story about the “Poor woodcutter’s wife”. We pop over to the co-ed showers where Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller) and other residents of Summerland are getting clean. It is good to know that good hygiene is important there. Memory artist Ptonomy Wallace (Jeremie Harris) is preparing for the next session. A young David and Amy with a cute beagle named King are running through the idyllic fields. Cary Loudermilk (Bill Irwin) is in his lab when Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder) vanishes inside him. (Until an explanation is given for this, I’ll assume Cary and Kerry are two separate people who share his body.) Poor Amy is being tortured with leeches. (That will get me to tell you anything you want; and things you weren’t interested in.)
Awesome power, bro. Now let’s control it.
Syd gets David for memory training. Since Amy is in danger, Melanie proposes they skip the usual memory training and go directly to what scares David. Melanie and Ptonomy pick an area they can go back to, David’s fight with his ex-girlfriend Philly (Ellie Araiza) that led to the kitchen exploding. When they finally see the whole scene, both Melanie and Ptonomy are astonished at his raw power. They need to find the triggers to his outbursts so he can control his powers. They continue to explore this memory.
I get high with a little help from my friends
They see David and Lenny Busker (Audrey Plaza) get high on the vapors. Melanie seems surprised that David was a junkie. (You’d think she would have already known this about David. Maybe I’m reading her disappointment as surprise, but still she should have known, I’m sure she accessed his medical records.) David (or something) is resisting showing them the rest of these specific memories. The yellow-eyed devil shows up, but they don’t see it. They suddenly find themselves out of David’s memories; to Syd’s surprise, they are also out of the memory training room. David has transported them 600 feet through solid walls to another room. Ptonomy asks, “What are you?”
So tell me about yourself
David and Syd are back near the pond. David asks Syd where she is from. Unlike him, he can tell she didn’t live in the country. Syd grew up in the city on the 31st floor. Her mother was an accomplished person who was married several times and must have had many suitors. David still sometimes feels like he has long hair as he had when he and Syd switched bodies. He confesses to feeling her breast and maybe seeing more than that while Syd jokes she might have (using the hand motion) jacked off. David admits he misses not seeing her face when he looks in the mirror or hold her hands when he holds his hands. Syd has switched with other bodies before; she had switched with a Chinese man, a 300-pound woman, a five-year-old child, and she learned there is a soul, because she was still herself.
Another Division III agent questions Amy; IMDb lists him as Brubaker (David Selby). He tells Amy that David isn’t schizophrenic.
Can’t make that promise
Cary is hooking David up to a machine. He asks someone to hand him a needle, Syd thinks he is talking to her since she, David and Cary seem to be the only three people in the room, but Kerry pops out of nowhere to give it to him. Cary asks David, “Could you not break everything this time?” David can’t promise he won’t. The machine is going to monitor David’s brain waves. Cary asks him to think of something stressful. With “Monkey” from Robert Plant playing in the background, we flashback to Halloween. Little David, Amy and King are trick and treating. King runs off so David is looking for the missing pup. Someone is saying, “Angry Boy chops its head.” The picture of the Angriest Boy in the World comes to life.
Ghost Lenny appears in the room but Cary, Kerry, and Syd don’t see her. Cary remarks that the speech center of David’s brain is active but he isn’t talking. Lenny is egging him on. She tells him not to trust Melanie, “her secrets have secrets.” She graphically tells him while he is there; the Division III guys are having their way with Amy. When David asks if she is his friend, she pouts and then switches to Amy and tells David they are hurting her. This causes the machine to heat up and everything in the room becoming wonky. Syd goes in the room to check on David, he starts to levitate and he and Syd astral project to Amy’s location. Brubaker is telling Amy that all the unexplained incidents from her childhood were because of David’s powers. A broken Amy tells him David is schizophrenic but Brubaker tells her you knew better but let them take David anyway. He tells her David is out there and he needs to be turned off. The Eye can see David and Syd’s projection and tries to touch them. They disappear and end up in Summerland’s pond.
Just a little more patience
David and Syd report what they saw, they can tell Melanie recognizes who The Eye is. When her husband turned this former horse ranch to Summerland, one of the first mutants to join them was a man named Walter, the problem with Walter, he liked to hurt people. David wants to go back there to rescue Amy, but Melanie advises against it. The Eye wasn’t expecting them, but the next time he will be ready, he will either kill David or follow him back to Summerland so he can kill everyone. Melanie says she has never seen a mind like David’s before. They are at war and they need him because they are losing. Syd asks if they are trying to use him. Melanie wants to help David become the person he is capable of being, but yes, she needs him for the war. Going back to his treatment, she wants to sedate him to get access to his mind. With him sedated, his conscious mind won’t be able to resist. Syd wants to join in this expedition but David doesn’t want her in there. Syd is hurt. Later David is reliving his druggie days. Syd wakes up startled. (I’m assuming she saw this too and that’s what woke her up.) Syd finds David in the bathroom; he explains why he didn’t want her to go. He used to be a junkie and he stole, lied and did other terrible things for his addiction. He was monstrous and he is afraid she won’t feel the same about him if she sees this. She assures him she’ll feel the same.
Too much fear
Ptonomy, Melanie, and Syd enter David’s memories. Lenny is pushing David in a shopping cart. Little David shows up, Melanie explains that while the rational part of his brain is sedated, the more innocent part of his psyche can guide them. In this world, Syd can touch people, so she gives Little David a long, big hug. David breaks into his therapist’s office to find drugs. We see David and Dr. Poole (Scott Lawrence) in session. He is having memories within memories. The office starts to fall apart, Melanie and Ptonomy can’t feel or see it happening, but Syd and Little David can. Ptonomy can’t wake them up, the yellow-eyed devil appears, and Little David takes off. She goes after him, the yellow-eyed devil morphs into the World’s Angriest Boy and he is chasing both Syd and Little David. They run into an air duct and start crawling in it. Syd is able to get Little David to wake her up. Back in the real world, Syd is able to wake up Ptonomy but they can’t wake up Melanie. Melanie goes upstairs to David’s room; we can hear the sound of a dog whimpering. She finds the book “The World’s Angriest Boy in the World” and starts paging through its horrifying pages. The yellow-eye devil is behind her, the book grabs hold of her hand, and finally Ptonomy is able to wake her up. They can’t wake David up, the different personalities in his mind are screaming at him.
David has been a sympathetic character to me. He is a guy who appears to suffer from mental illness, but even going through this he has kept his sense of humor about himself. We have seen him be loving to Amy and Syd and frightened by his demons. Junkie David isn’t that sympathetic, actually he’s an asshole. You feel bad for Philly having to deal with a drugged out David and Lenny. I’m sure most of their fights were David’s fault. As a drug addict, he had a sadistic quality about him. You get the feeling he wasn’t that concerned what he did to you to get his fix. That’s common with most addicts. With his schizophrenia and drug issues, he must have been a nightmare for Amy. You have to give her credit for hanging in there with him; you can see why David is desperate to save her. Amy appears fragile and a lifetime with David probably contributed to that. Seeing this darker side of David makes you a little sympathetic to Brubaker claim that they need to turn David off. We got a glimpse at how powerful David can be and if he turned that power against humanity; how would we turn him off?
Great performances again from Dan Stevens and Rachel Keller. Their “romance of the mind” is the most romantic relationship on TV right now. Their scene by the pond was sublime. The episode’s final act in David’s mind was exciting and scary. I think the Angriest Boy is more frightening than the yellow-eyed devil. Yellow-eyed is grosser looking. However, characters coming to life from books is scarier to me. The chase in the air ducts was intense.
The groundwork the pilot made is paying off. They are developing David and Syd well; I hope to see more development for the other characters soon. I can’t wait to see next week’s episode.