I was getting a feel for the show, for the different characters, for the story, for the direction. Or so I thought. I suppose my fault was not in assuming where the story may have been going, but rather, when it was going there.
There are a couple scenes on the outside, where Kerry wakes up, but then, so does everyone else. Whether Cary was successful or not is unknown. But mostly, this is a bottle episode.
We follow David through Syd’s version of the plague: an igloo in a storm, that becomes the scene of a birth. We follow Syd through so many troubled young scenes in her life, as David tries to figure out what her desire is.
Syd has layers. A complicated relationship with her mother, isolation both imposed and self-chosen, longing for things she literally can not touch. Very little is spoken here, but so much is said.
This is a hard episode to grade on a normal scale. I can imagine some people hating it for taking a detour into vague communication relationship hell, and others loving it for earning its emotional resolution. One thing I’m sure about: I’ll always love a show that can explain things through its visuals rather than explicit dialogue. Legion is good at this, and Chapter 12 is no exception.
All along, Syd having a troubled upbringing was not a secret. But hearing it is one thing, and living through it – several times – is another entirely. David sees the isolation, the longing, the lashing out. And he tries to understand it. He might be kind of thick, but he is not lacking in effort.
And eventually, he gets there. This isn’t an easy episode to watch at times. Seeing the scene where Syd switches places with her mother is difficult, to say the least. (I was kind of hoping Syd was lying about this, honestly.) So when David finally figures it out – understanding that this is not Syd’s fantasy, but why she wants to be here – it feels both understandable and earned.
I won’t write you my life story here. But count me as part of the latter group, the one that was willing to follow David through Syd’s story as many times as it took. Our mistakes and our miseries may feel like burdens that will never be lifted, but they give us perspective and resolve.
In case this episode was too tender for you, well, good news! Lenny was in the neighborhood and stopped by to say hi.
- There is some great music here. Maybe you hate Bon Iver, but it totally worked for me. And Syd dancing in the club to The National is an inspired use of that band’s music, maybe the best one since the martial arts drama Warrior.
- Yes, I am disappointed that we don’t see what happened inside Kerry’s dream.
- Syd trying on all the hats and coats from her mother’s party guests is maybe the most relatable thing in this entire episode.
- David yelling “Hey! Piss off!” to the mean girls did make me laugh.
- I’ll admit I didn’t figure it out right away, thinking that Syd’s isolation was the key. Somewhere I realized that what Syd wanted was not help or something tangible, but understanding. I guess, like David, I’m a little thick but I got there. Sort of.
- I’m kind of happy anytime Lenny just shows up.