Now, guided by Professor Narrator Jon Hamm, we see a demonstration of contagion spreading, and then, in action. There is more history, but mostly, things develop, though they do not improve.
Our principals begin by adjusting to new circumstances: Cary tries to help Kerry do boring everyday things like eat, and Syd practices being a cat. (“There are certain impulses.”) Unfortunately, cat time does not last very long, as something is happening.
A handprint from the inside of the chattering space is a sign of a breach. Someone has left through the vent, and with them, a contagion has escaped into the D3 facility. Lockdown.
As present chaos spreads, David goes into the Cerebro daiquiri in search of answers. What he finds is Lenny in a poolside paradise, struggling to keep it together. At least her suit and her hair look fantastic. But David is not here for Lenny, no matter how many times she attempts suicide for attention, no. Farouk.
I’m more than okay if Farouk only gets one scene if they continue to be this good. He plays nice with David, but some cracks show. Being called ‘villain’ bothers him, maybe due to the convenient definition but maybe more due to perspective. He refers to himself as ‘king’, though I doubt a benign one. This is classic villainy, though: benevolent intentions expressed through horrible acts.
There is no fight this time. Farouk remains unhappy. He seems to have plenty of knowledge about everything except his own body, though, which is interesting. (His contempt for David’s friends is not a surprise.)
David returns to D3 to find a changed space. The plague, confined to the dark rooms, has seeped out and infected everyone. Almost everyone. The still-sane – David and Cary – search for the others, for answers. This is a nice reversal from the first season, where we spent so much time inside David’s head, and now, we are allowed glimpses inside the others’ minds.
Ptonomy lives inside a floral paradise, with a beautiful flowered suit. Melanie, well, she lives inside a 1980s text-adventure nightmare, complete with a monster straight out of Doom. A trip to the monk’s past. Cary finding Kerry infected and going inside to help.
A confrontation with the monk himself, where he makes a plea to destroy Farouk’s body before throwing himself off the roof of the D3 tower. And then, finally, Syd. David goes inside to help her.
Things move forward a great deal in this episode, though the short-lived manhunt ends with nearly everything in doubt. Is the monk the source of the plague, or did he contract it from Farouk’s body? Are the chattering people happier inside their delusions? Is helping Farouk find his body the best idea, or the worst one? Are the warnings from future Syd focused on preventing the pandemic, or leading towards it?
All of these things will have to wait until David can make his way through a blizzard.
- Cat Syd.
- I love that Cary tries to defend himself with kitchen cleaner. (David “So lemony!”)
- The scenes of Kerry learning how to do boring everyday things are amusing, too. I reacted the same way the first time I had cream soda. (Initially I thought she was guzzling the soy sauce, which was far worse.)
- Farouk’s tomb being egg-shaped is good consistency. I do have to question how it survives without nutrition or even air, but both his powers and David’s are somewhat open-ended, and I suppose there is some leeway with science here.
- While I enjoy Jon Hamm’s voice as much as the next person, I’m not sure the direct narration is working for me. It seems the example of a contagion spreading could have been the visuals alone and would have worked as well, maybe better.
- I learned how to spell ‘daiquiri’ because of these episodes.
- I have a theory about Future Syd, but the last thing I want is to spoil anything here. I’ll check in once more has been revealed.
- I love the reuse of the Xavier/Farouk clash animation in the opening scene here, reflected in Farouk’s sunglasses.