Intimacy is a frightening thing. It means vulnerability, and it means exposure. It means truth. I can only imagine what telepathy is like, but I assume it is pure mental intimacy. No pretense. Only the truth.
When this episode ends, there are few secrets left. Maybe not the truth, exactly, but closer to it. But where it begins, things are very much unsettled.
There is good news. Everyone makes it back to Summerland alive. Kerry is wounded but stable. David, on the other hand, is great. Somehow now in charge of his powers, he is able to offer Syd a fabricated intimacy, which is real, and beautiful. At least if you don’t look too closely at the strawberries.
Things are reaching a boiling point. David may now be in control of his powers, but not how to use them responsibly. What culminates is a rash assault on the D3 complex to free Amy, leaving Summerland to follow through its nightmarish aftermath. The carnage is terror, but most chilling are the parting words of the D3 leader: “It wears a human face.”
And then, truth. There are no more secrets. The psychic monitor at D3 picks up the same thing as Cary’s MRI results – a presence. A passenger, an other, a parasite that we watch destroy soldiers with a twitch. David finds truth from his terrified sister, who confesses that David is adopted. And Amy meets Lenny, who is perverse and more in control than ever. Amy’s fear is palpable, here – somehow her rescue has taken her to a worse place.
In the middle of all this is Syd, who has found intimacy for the first time, but just as quickly becomes unsure of whom – or what – she has shared it with. The tension of a raid on David’s silenced childhood home is nigh unbearable, and it only ends when David and Syd flee to the white room. Where things become even worse.
The tumor comes for Syd. What we’ve seen of it so far have been glimpses; here, in its full, exposed form, Syd’s reaction seems to be the correct one. Whoever is responsible for its design has done outstanding work – this monster is the kind of horror that Beetlejuice-era Tim Burton would have loved to conceive.
A fearful plea for David takes us out of the white room, and to a therapy session. All our principals are there, even The Eye. The session is being led by Lenny – who else? – now more in charge than ever. Is this reality? It’s unclear. But what is clear is that the closer we come to the truth, the less likely we really know what is going on.
As I watch these episodes, I do have some empathy for the characters. I want David to get a grip, for David and Syd to have some kind of relationship, for Oliver to come home, for some kind of peace. But it seems like things escalate with each scene. It is horribly engrossing. Whatever small darkness lurked in the corners to begin is threatening to take over.
- There is a lot of conflict here. Fitting, I suppose, that the only one in control of their situation should decidedly not be in control.
- I think the Cary/Kerry relationship might be my favorite. Hard to say who I like better, but their contrast is beautiful. Especially Cary seemingly arguing with himself. Also: Kerry’s nailbat.
- I don’t know who has a worse episode here, Amy, or Syd. Well, probably Syd, but Amy isn’t doing great, either.
- Katie Aselton gets a lot out of her scenes. I really like her character – it’s easy to have someone be brave, but having her be fearful is a tiny subversion and probably more realistic, honestly.
- Radiohead! The music continues to impress.
- The MRI machine remaining in the yard, now covered with vines, is a nice touch and a good way to show that some time has passed.
- Likewise, Lenny becoming more composed and clean is a good visual explanation.
- At first, I thought this was going to be more whimsical, like Wes Anderson’s X-Men. But maybe this is more like Bryan Fuller’s X-Men.