When your sister is kidnapped by sinister government forces, there’s only one thing for you to do: go deeper in your head to try and root out the cause of your dysfunction and how it affects your super-powers! Legion this week went deeper into David’s mind to help him heal and discover the full extent of his power, but he wasn’t making it easy. Whether he was schizophrenic or not, one thing is certain now and that is David is one seriously screwed up individual. Can he be healed? Can he ever get control of his powers? Can he save his sister? are all questions with great big question marks.
He begin with the story of the Grateful Crane, a Japanese folktale about a poor woodcutter and his wife that save a crane from a trap who comes to them later in the form of a human girl that lives with them and weaves fabric that makes the couple rich. Her only stipulation is that they can’t watch her work, but the couple can’t help themselves and when they look though the keyhole as the girl weaves, they see her for what she truly is, the Crane. She flies away and never returns. Dr. Bird listens to the coffee maker tell her that story, and then she listens to it tell her again.
We learn later that the voice of the coffee maker, and other appliances in Summerland, belongs to Dr. Bird’s husband Oliver, now deceased. He built Summerland from an old horse ranch with Cary 30 years before hand, so presumably it was just Dr. Bird missing her husband that had her standing there listening to a coffee maker tell her that slice of Japanese folklore. Obviously though, we can’t discount the possibility that there’s a deeper meaning to the use of the story of the Grateful Crane. David, for instance. Is he so dodgy about letting the others see his memories because if they do he might have to “fly away” and never see them again?
There’s plenty of good reason to think that David might be on to something there. Trips into David’s mind seem to have a life of their own as Ptonomy discovers that he quickly loses control once inside and it may not necessarily be David trying to stop them from accessing his memories. Or maybe David’s just not in control of himself, but if that’s the case then why is the Yellow-Eyed Devil something only he can see? Dr. Bird and the others are so concerned about the external threat of Division 3, but is there an internal threat that’s internal to David and that even he isn’t fully aware of it? It might be easy to say that YED might still be a figment of David’s fragmented psyche, but there’s a twist: Syd could see it too.
The implications of Syd being able to see the supposed figments of David’s mind has interesting implications. The obvious question is why, why can Syd see the YED and Dr. Bird and Ptonomy can’t? Is it because David loves her, which engenders a degree of trust between them, or maybe the reason comes from the other side, maybe the literal demons that haunt David see Syd as a threat that can help David overcome years of self-abuse and make him realize his power. I wonder though, if in David’s mind Syd is able to see the Cenobite-esque Yellow-Eyed Devil, will she be able to see Lenny?
Lenny, as it turns out, was not always a figment of David’s imagination as I postulated last week. We see her in David’s memory fighting and stealing cake from David’s then-girlfriend Phillie with whom he had a volatile 10-month relationship. Head Lenny also made a return to taunt David about how the commandos of Division 3 were assaulting his sister as he let Dr. Bird and the others poke his brain to figure out how he works. “That bitch’s secrets have secrets,” Lenny says, and its pretty hard to disagree. Syd, at one point accuses Dr. Bird of only wanting to fix David so she can use him. No, Dr. Bird said, David deserves to happy and well-adjusted, and once he is, yeah, she’ll use him.
Dr. Bird has her own experiences in David’s mind. First of all, she sees his parents faces, which is weird because any time David thinks back to his father reading him that bedtime story he can’t see his father’s face. There’s also the curious appearance of the living embodiment of The World’s Angriest Boy in the World, and no, that’s not a typo but the real name of the book. (Note though that The World’s Angriest Boy in the World is not actually a real book.) Dr. Bird discovers David’s copy in his memory in all its grim detail, which makes me wonder if this is another parable from real life, full of symbolism and subtext to be realized. Did David, like the boy in the book, cut off his mother’s head? Or is that too literal?
It’s hard to take anything literal in the world of Legion though. What’s real, and what’s not real? Is David crazy, or do his powers just make him seem that way? Perhaps he really is crazy and his powers take the blame because, hey, if you were a telepath and nobody told you, how would you know the difference to begin with? Obviously David’s hiding something much scarier than he used to steal to get money to get high, and it looks like next week is going to go even deeper inside David’s mind to get to the bottom of a few things. What that might look like is anyone’s guess.
In the meantime, poor Amy is a captive of Division 3 as they’re trying to get to the bottom of what David is capable of. The leader of Division 3 thinks he can shut David off, but he also calls David a god with too much power and too little self-control. The Division guys are a curiosity because they don’t seem like normal evil empire types. They have an agenda, but what is that they want with mutants like David, and is their endgame more nefarious that just “let’s get rid of all mutants for the sake of humanity.” Like Dr. Bird, they don’t seem content to let David sort himself out and wait for the battle to come, but its still to be determined what they’re all fighting for and whether the normal dichotomy of good and evil applies. Maybe they’re all bad and David’s going to have to sort that out for himself.