Legion | Season 3 | Episode 4 : “Chapter 23”
“Dude enough with the ego-jerks. Okay? We all wanna sleep with you. So, stop with the boo-hoo and give me a plan.” Lenny Busker
The Vermillion are trimming Ptonomy’s (Jeremie Harris) mustache. He’s pleased how it looks. Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder) joins them. She says to Ptonomy, “Remember fun? Us having it?” Ptonomy gives a computer like answer, his humanity appears gone. Kerry responds, “Everyone is so different. It’s like we’re grown-ups. I guess I just miss him.” [Him being Cary] Suddenly Ptonomy and the Vermillion start glitching. Ptonomy: “Narrative compromised. Temporal glitch. So much data, so much history. All lost. My mustache. What did they do to my mustache?” Kerry is in Sydney Barrett’s (Rachel Keller) quarters telling her about it. The apple on Syd’s table decays quickly in front of them. Something is giggling in the background. Sydney: “It’s David. His time traveler.”
Lenny Busker (Aubrey Plaza) is sitting in the grass with her pregnant girlfriend New Janine/Salmon (Vanessa Dubasso). They are trying to pick a name for their daughter. Salmon wants to name her Violet; Lenny jokes she wants to name her Violence Lollipop Busker. Lenny: “I was thinking of putting in my two weeks-notice. You know? Hitting the streets. What do you think? Want to give Violet a good old-fashioned road birth? Salmon: “You mean leave. But, you’re the Queen of Breakfast.” Lenny: “Maybe it’s lunchtime.” Salmon: “I go where you go.” David Haller (Dan Stevens) and Switch (Lauren Tsai) fall out of a door from the Time Hallway. David wants to go back and try again, Lenny tells Switch she has something around her mouth, we glitch and the scene happens again, another glitch and the scene repeats, Switch notices and says, “We’ve done this before.”
Back in the airship, Ptonomy tells Kerry, Syd, and Clark DeBussy (Hamish Linklater) that the computers around the world are corrupted, time is distorted. Sydney: “This is how he does it.” Clark: “Wha-Who?” Sydney: “David. This is how he destroys the world.” This scene is repeated again, accept an arm is trying to get in, every time the scene repeats, the arm gets closer. Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban) walks in and says, “Be gone demon,” and chops off the creature’s arm.
David is levitating in his lair, thinking about his mother. Lenny disturbs him, “Hey kid. They’re ready for ya. Everything okay? [David ignores her] Is that a yes?” David looks annoyed but changes his expression when he meets with his acolytes. David: “Hello my Snoopys. My Sigmunds. My Howdy Doodys.” Acolytes: “Hi Daddy!” He tells them he’s had a bad day and that he might have made a mistake. They forgive him. He asks Switch to tell them what is happening. Switch: “In the Hall of Time…there are demons.” David: “Wait, demons?” Switch: “I call them demons, Emó. But maybe they’re just the animals of time. Predators.” David: “Okay. In the future, if there are time demons, tell me about the time demons.” Switch: “Sorry.” Switch tells them that the time demons are cat like and eat time. They live outside of time and look for ways to get into our world. She and David might have let them in. The acolytes start murmuring. David: “Hey, Tranquillo, my beauties. Do you think daddy won’t protect you? That’s what a daddy does.” Acolytes: “We love you Daddy. But we’re scared.” To shut them up David mentally drugs them, making them peacefully go to sleep. Lenny fights it off. Lenny: “Dude enough with the ego-jerks. Okay? We all wanna sleep with you. So, stop with the boo-hoo and give me a plan.” David [Menacingly]: “Careful.” Lenny: “Right because that’s my specialty.” David: “Just use a different tone, okay? Be nice. I need you to be nice, or I can’t be nice.” Lenny: “Shit, I don’t want you to be nice. I want you to get mad. Yeah, I want you to use your almighty powers to save our asses, okay? So, chop-chop mama’s boy. Get to work.” David agrees and wakes up Switch. The time demons enter the room, David sends Lenny and Switch out so he can fight them. David: “I am the alpha and omega. I eat monsters for breakfast.” [Time demons giggling] David: “Here kitty, kitty, kitty.” The creatures attack him and send David back in time to a concentration camp. He asks a prisoner what is this. Gabrielle (Stephanie Corneliussen): “It’s the beginning of the end.” David: “Mommy!”
An episode of the Shield is on and the show glitches, repeating itself. Farouk tells Syd, Clark, and Kerry that he knows about the time demons, they are an infestation that can erase, slow down, or speed up time on a macro and micro level. They have to go where they live, the time between time, to fight them. Syd sees something and wanders away from the group. Farouk, Clark, and Kerry blink off the ship. Syd goes to her quarters and sees a young woman looking out the window. The young woman is confused how she got there. The teenager is wearing a dress Syd wore when she was that age. She asks the girl what’s her name. The teenager says her name is Sydney Barrett, she is Teen Syd (Pearl Amanda Dickson).
“No. I’m not crazy. Something was taken from me. My life was taken from me.” David Haller
Cary Loudermilk (Bill Irwin) is working in his lab in David’s compound. Things are collapsing around him, but he’s oblivious to it. He finds something left over from the time demons. When he probes it, he begins to remember what David did to him. Cary: “Treachery!” He walks down the hallway and hears noises; he opens a door and some of the acolytes run out screaming. The time distortions are affecting the giant pig. Cary finds Switch hiding in another room. Cary: “You’re the time girl?” Switch: “Woman.” She explains to him what has happened. They come upon some people who are frozen in time. Cary is going to get him and Switch to safety.
David: “Mommy.” Gabrielle: “I called for my mother too when they caught me.” He asks her some questions about herself. Gabrielle tells him she is Roma, a gypsy. She thinks that all is lost. He tells her that he has a friend who is a time traveler. David: “I can change the past.” Gabrielle: “Then change this. Free the prisoners. Raise the dead.” David: “No. It’s not about the world. This is about me.” Gabrielle: “I see why they brought you here. You’re a madman.” David: “No I’m not.” Gabrielle: “Hey its okay, I’m crazy too.” David: “No. I’m not crazy. Something was taken from me. My life was taken from me.” David tries to tell her about what happened to them after Charles left to find Farouk and asks her not to let his father leave. He begs her to protect him. Some men approach him, David realizes these aren’t men but the time demons. [Was David talking to his mother or was this an illusion the time demons created, I’m not sure.]
Farouk, Clark, and Kerry are in the time between time. When they move it looks like stop motion still photography. Their adventures look like your flipping through a comic book. Cary and Switch go inside a freezer to call Ptonomy for pick up. Ptonomy gives them an error message, he and the Vermillion have a time code problem. Cary has to do a manual override over the phone; it works and he and Switch are teleported aboard the airship. [They can teleport people, okay.] Switch is still scared, she explains to Cary that the time demons could eat them back to the time of the dinosaurs and even eliminate them from existence. Cary tasks Ptonomy with calculating if the demons are malevolent or just hungry. Switch doesn’t understand, Ptonomy explains they want to know if the creatures are sentient. Cary asks Ptonomy how long it will take him to do the calculations, Ptonomy reports it will take him over three years.
“You say, ‘My powers are like a vacation. I get to be a tourist in someone else’s life’. Who cares if every time I come back home; I feel dirty.” Sydney Barrett
Sydney being a responsible adult drinks with her underage self. Sydney tells Teen Syd she was in her position last year when there was a future Syd. She didn’t get to meet her personally but if she had, she would have asked her the same question Teen Syd is thinking, how to be normal when there is no one to tell you how. Teen Syd: “What am I?” Sydney: “People get too close…they touch you and you disappear…and then they’re inside. In your belly and in your head…and when you get back, there’s a smell…someone else’s smell is inside your nose. And you check out. You tell people it’s fine, that I’m not in my body. You say, ‘My powers are like a vacation. I get to be a tourist in someone else’s life’. Who cares if every time I come back home; I feel dirty.” Teen Syd: “Does it get better.” Sydney: “You fall in love. And that’s worth it to feel that feeling.” Sydney tells her about David, and how it all went wrong. Teen Syd thinks they should just go to a desert island to be alone. She asks Sydney if they can hug, when they do, Teen Syd seems to hug to tightly, Sydney sees the face of a time demon instead of her younger self.
Lenny is looking for Salmon. She finds her ready to deliver. A time glitch happens and Lenny is holding a baby girl. Another glitch happens and Salmon disappears and the baby is a little girl (Gia Berberian). We quickly go through Violet’s life, with Violet getting older but Lenny staying the same. There’s the teen, years (Jaidan Jiron), an adult Violet (Alexis Bloom) introduces her baby to Lenny, an older Violet (Cynthia Levin) complains about her teen and finally an elderly Violet (Eve Sigall) on her death bed. Elderly Violet: “Mom you came.” Lenny: “Of course.” Elderly Violet: “Thank you.” Lenny: “For what?” Elderly Violet: “Always being there for me.” When Lenny’s daughter dies, she screams in anguish.
Kerry, Clark and Farouk fight the time demons. David faces down the two time demons in front of him. David: “What are you? It doesn’t matter. Ah. You know what? Eat all the time you want. I’ll get it back. Cause you’re not real. Nothing that hurts me is real. No one who hates me is real. Acts of God. I am god. [David sets one of the time demons on fire.] Oh, now you’re listening. Well, listen to this. You want to eat something? Eat shit. Now go tell your friends it’s not your time. It’s mine. Go. Or I kill every one of you.” The surviving time demon vanishes and soon the time demons fighting Farouk, Kerry, and Clark vanish, and the time demon wrestling with Sydney disappears too. It appears they heeded David’s message for now.
“Nothing that hurts me is real. No one who hates me is real. Acts of God. I am god.” David Haller
David goes back to his time and sees Lenny laying on the sidewalk in anguish. David: “How bad? Let me help you.” Lenny: “No. I need to feel it.” David listens and leaves her alone. He walks back into his compound and his acolytes swarm him. David mentally pushes them away. He asks them where’s Switch. They tell him that Cary took her away. David grows angry and shakes the room. His acolytes become afraid. David declares war.
By meddling in David’s past, David and Switch have let the time demons into our world. The time demons are dark forms that look like Cheshire cats, they have too large smiles, blurred out bodies and when they move, they glitch. They make a giggling sound. The time demons live outside of time and they eat time. They can erase, slow down, or speed up time on a macro and micro level. Sydney thinks this is how David destroys the world. The cast is divided up into different teams. David is send back to his mother’s concentration camp, where they get to talk. She thinks he’s mad, and everything he tells her sounds crazy. Sydney meets her teen self who we met last season. The two discuss how much their power sucks. Teen Syd is haunted by the shower incident, not about sending an innocent man to jail but how his rough treatment of her in the shower made her feel. [Of course he didn’t know it was Syd he was turning around, I’m sure Syd’s mom and the man have played rough before, but for a girl’s first time, it would be traumatic.] Lenny lives through her unborn child’s entire life. Lenny stays the same age but she sees the fetus born, grow up, become a mother herself, and die of old age. The normally emotionally distanced Lenny is destroyed. Instead of having David make it all better, she decides to feel the pain. Earlier she revealed to her girlfriend that she is ready to leave David’s cult, it appears the two old friends are growing distant from each other. Farouk, Kerry, and Clark go to the time between time, the astral plane the time demons live to defeat them. This was a fun adventure captured in stop motion still photography. Because of the time distortions, Cary remembers what David did to him and is able to break out of David’s spell. He finds Switch and they escape the compound back to the airship. When David finds out he declares war on Division 3.
This was a unique episode, which handled the time demons assault on our world. Even though it was a cinematic treat, they still took the time to go deeper into Sydney and Lenny’s stories. We also got a closer look at how David’s cult works. He infantilizes his followers. Adults should not be calling another adult who isn’t their father, Daddy. Every time they called him Daddy, it creeped me out. David is abusive towards them and can just barely contain his contempt for them. Lenny can see it and appears to be through with him. The show did a great job on how they handled the time glitches, time loops and distortions. The time demons were some of their best CGI creations. They were scary, and their abilities made me think of the Weeping Angels on Doctor Who. They don’t look anything alike, but they have similar powers. My favorite thing they did was the stop motion still photography. Farouk, Clark, and Kerry’s adventure looked like an old timey serial in a comic book. One of the show’s most visual arresting episodes.
The music didn’t add as much as it normally does, but the selections were still relevant. When David meets with his acolytes Acka Raga from Shocking Blue plays.
Kaleidoscope’s Let Me Try plays when Lenny and David clash over her tone towards him.
Squares by the Beta Band plays when Lenny mourns her daughter’s death.
Noah Hawley and Jeff Russo cover Can’t Get There from Here by REM. Here’s the cover.