The idea of time travel has always fascinated me. It’s so complex and rich and paradoxical while opening doors that can fundamentally change a character, their history, or the world they live in a blink of an eye. And it varies. My god does it vary. How many movies/shows/books/comics have you encountered in your life that map out different rules of time travel? Everyone’s playing field is a bit different whether it be Donnie Darko, Avengers Endgame, Back To the Future, or Looper. Any time travel story is as strong as the rules presented within the narrative and with the slightest crack, it could all come tumbling down. With that being said, as a potential time traveler, always, always, always tell me that there is the possibility of time demons before we start effing with the time stream. That should be the first thing out of your mouth. “We can go back in time but if we mess things up too much these little time demons come out and tear the fabric of the world apart. Still want to go?”
Yet for some reason, the idea of time demons fully escapes the mind of Switch, our resident time traveler, and has since started to dematerialize the universe of Legion. Not just for the characters. No, time demons mess up time for everyone. That’s pretty heavy and adds some real sense of danger and caution to time traveling. But David doesn’t care about that. David, who so desperately wants to go back in time to warn his mother, believes that he’s a god. And maybe, he is. Or at least a demigod or some kind of sicko who recruits women into a cult giving them orgasms with his mind while referring to himself as “daddy”… yuck. It’s David’s arrogance, that has really come to the forefront this season, that allows the time demons to have their way with the timeline. If David had addressed the problem as something serious and gave it the attention that it deserved maybe the outcomes for Syd, Lenny, and the rest of Division 3 would be a little different. When David is finally able to take control we’re able to see just how quickly he’s able to dispatch the creatures, this whole episode becomes another case and point of the arrogance of David Heller and how he is rapidly damning the human race.
And that’s the point. We know that David causes the apocalypse even though at the halfway point of this season, we don’t exactly know how… yet. Or if it can be changed. What if David is able to save his mother? Would that course correct everything? Or is the world of Legion a place of inevitable happenings? Okay, David saves his mom but the universe finds another way to turn him into an apocalypse creating monster. Checks and balances if you will.
While David’s storyline this episode was interesting, running into his mother in the past, it’s Syd and Lenny that really bring the emotional toll with them this week. The one thing we learn about time demons is that as they’re destroying the very fabric of time and space, they’re also manipulating you mentally by using your greatest fears against you. Look at Syd for instance. The time demons present her with a younger version of herself. The version who switches places with her mother so she can experience sex, but ultimately walks away feeling cheap and not understanding why a person who is supposed to love you would treat your body that way. It’s a massive metaphor for everything that happens to Syd last season, and our Syd doesn’t understand this until it’s too late. As she explains to her younger self that things get better, that there’s love and it’s spectacular and life-changing while her younger self presses on about marriage our Syd starts to fade away. The memory of what was evaporating as quickly as it came. When she tells herself that this love becomes just like being pushed into the glass, my heart breaks for her. A heavy scene that is delivered beautifully by Rachel Keller who masterfully runs through all the emotions during this speech allowing herself to forget where she is but slowly remembering how she got there. An excellent scene that helps underline the impact of David’s actions even further.
Lenny, on the other hand, is looking to get out of the cult. To raise a child with her lover. It’s become more and more clear as this season has progressed that Lenny has lost sight of David and his cause. Or maybe she understands that David has outgrown her. Either way, Lenny is seeking life outside of David and the time demons take that potential and only give her a glimpse of the possibility. Fast-forwarding time from when the child is born, to her slowly aging, growing up, and eventually dying is a cruel joke to play on someone who has found something to live for for the first time in their life. Aubrey Plaza’s pain and rage are naked and real as she desperately begs time to stop before everything she wants passes her by. And at the end it’s David, not understanding emotions still, who offers to wipe the pain from her memory. But Lenny, taking a great step forward, chooses to hold on to that pain and use it to grow. Something David couldn’t possibly understand and if he did maybe we wouldn’t be in this position.
It would seem that time travel isn’t the solution that David is looking for, but I don’t think he’s attentive enough to stop his pursuit. It’s clear that Switch is feeling the ramifications from having her powers stretched so thin, and I was beyond happy to see Cary break her out and bring her to Division 3. I do worry about what this means for Switch and the rest of the gang. David has been one bad event away from having a total meltdown and that could be all it takes to bring the world crashing down. And if the ending is any indication, I think we might be there.
There you have it Geeklings, what did you think of this week’s Legion? Did the time demons freak you out? Are you worried about Lenny and Syd? Can David ever really repair the damage he’s created? Sound off in the comments with any thoughts and theories. If you’d like to talk more Legion with yours truly feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @iamgeek32. I’ll see everyone here next week with a brand new episode review as we draw closer to the finale.