I am enjoying this season of television. More than anything, I’m enjoying the flexibility it has shown in exploring its space, in spending time with the characters, in developing its universe as opposed to merely advancing its plot. But having said that, the show felt due to move forward some.
Mostly because so much has happened, that fallout was inevitable. So having a more structured episode is somewhat welcome here. There are still plenty of questions, though, and while some are answered, new ones take their place like so many slender mustached robotic women.
So much of this episode points back to Farouk. It begins with a direct confrontation between him and David, nonviolent but straining for civility. Their meeting ends but is hardly resolved, and the rest of the episode is Farouk pushing back against D3.
Lenny. Future Syd. Eggshells upon eggshells. All of these things lead back to the Shadow King in some form, aspects of his offensive towards D3. They are effective, to varying degrees, but what they mean is best enunciated by Syd, who seems to get a good pointed line in every episode:
“You’re the song they play outside a hostage crisis to keep criminals from thinking clearly.”
This is Farouk, pushing back. He wants his body, and to find it, he attempts to unsettle David, and to destroy D3 from the inside. He even goes so far as to fire up his luxury car daiquiri machine, in order to visit Future Syd.
All of this broadcasts two traits of classic villainy: insecurity, and entitlement. The more we see of Farouk, the further away we are from that congenial rival in the desert. No. This is a man who believes he deserves a throne, but not that he will be allowed to have it.
One of his plots nearly succeeds. The madness does destroy a number of Vermillions, and threatens the Admiral, who is revealed to not be a monster, but an aging Japanese man who has been through some rough times. It does, unfortunately, nearly kill Ptonomy, his body discarded by the madness, and his mind now uploaded into a tree, where he is not alone.
So there are more questions to be answered, to say the least. And more story to tell.
I barely touched on Lenny, and there will be more fallout from the madness, certainly. But the one question that seems more pertinent with each episode is “why does future Syd ask David to help Farouk?” Maybe the question won’t be answered directly. But I think there was a pretty good hint here, and I’m sure the next for episodes will not shy away from this, whether we see future Syd again or not. I have my own suspicion. We’ll see soon.
- I am as curious to see the binary redwood or whatever you call that thing as I am disappointed that Ptonomy seemingly left the mortal plane. He was easily the best dresser among the cast. I guess we still have Farouk and Clark.
- The madness music is great.
- I’ll admit I’m not wild about the expository lessons, even if Jon Hamm’s voice is welcome. I did like the parasite showing up here, though.
- I barely mentioned Syd going to confront Lenny, which I really liked as a character moment for both of them.
- The Admiral being a pretty regular guy with some serious medical issues is kind of a good surprise. And this show needs the occasional red herring.
- Also, David trying to be civil to the madness is a good moment – I like that he even gives the monster a chance but lets it make its own bad decision.