Title: Chapter 3
Director: Michael Uppendahl
Writers: based on the comics by Chris Claremont, and Bill Sienkiewicz created and written by Noah Hawley and Peter Calloway
Starring: Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, Jean Smart, Hamish Linklater, David Selby, David Ferry, Ellie Araiza, Matt Hamilton, Brad Mann, Quinton Boisclair, Mackenzie Gray, and more
Duration: 49 minutes
Memories become dreams and dreams become nightmares inside David’s head, and its all to protect a mysterious secret.
If there were a title for chaprer 3 beyond a numerical designation it should be Summerland Pt. 2 because this edition of the series seemed like an extension of the one that preceded it. This week’s segment of the show made it apparent this series is playing for the long term; intentionally taking its time to lay a solid foundation for what follows. Defining its characters, their relationships, and their abilities going forward before taking the series’ narrative beyond where it is at this point in the show.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, in fact it nice to think they don’t want to rush things by pushing the story ahead before they feel they are ready. This week again took place at Summerland, the secret mutant retreat where David’s new aquaintances live and have their campus.We learn a little about the history of the place this week , that for example it used to be a horse ranch started by Marylin’s husband and Cary.
This was another entertaining and sometimes amusing episode that I thoroughly enjoyed. It occurred to me, that although I enjoy it, the show might be too cerebral for some fans who are looking for an action packed conflict oriented story, which it is not yet clear if that is what it may become, for all I know it may continue like this and remain a surreal portrayal of the insides of David’s bat-shit crazy head.
I would like to take a moment to express my appreciation of the noteworthy work being done in the art department, namely the sets and visual aspects of the show, they are terrific with a quality that seems to be born of the question “What would it look like if Salvador Dali had illustrated children’s books?” the color schemes of the interiors and the use of light and shadow in the shows scenes is a real treat that sets the proper mood for the events they frame.
Here’s a recap, with some comments (*warning, spoilers follow*)
There was not a lot of action in this episode, what took place, for the most part, was inside David’s (Dan Stevens), head. Like last week the episode was mostly focused on Marylin (Jean Smart), and Ptonomy Wallace (Jeremie Harris) trying to get inside David’s head so they can help him understand his abilities better and maybe be a little less dangerous to those around him. As always Syd (Rachel Keller), is close because David trusts her and indeed she does seem to love him and have his best interests at heart. I don’t mind admitting I have a crush on Syd, she seems like the kind of girlfriend that would be close to perfect, except for the no touching part, or oddly enough, maybe because of it
Inside David’s head we discover that the yellow eyed demon and the world’s angriest boy seem to be interchangeable and always arrive whenever anyone gets too close to revealing some deep dark secret that David apparently fears letting get exposed. This secret is what triggers his dreams into becoming nightmares, and when they try using sedatives to lower his defenses, it triggers some really scary and dangerous stuff that comes close to trapping everyone in his dream world without escape.
We learn more about the various things David is capable of doing and when he thinks of his sister Amy (Katie Aselton) in the clutches of The Eye and the other government agents his concern for her triggers an ability for him and Syd to travel in what seemed to be what’s referred to as the astral plane and in ghost-like form and visit her in her captivity. Their bodies disappear while this occurs and reappear in the middle of the campus pond after its over. The Eye seemed almost able to see them in their astral form.
In another event he transports Maryln, Ptonomy, Syd, and himself instantly across campus from one room to another. David’s mind seems to be set up like a fortress and anyone that gets too close its secrets are dealt with by the Yellow eyed demon, the angriest boy or in the case of it being hmself he gets a visit from Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) his now dead junkie friend, who mocks and teases him in a cynical attack designed to make him lose faith he will get better. Plaza is suitably, and effectively creepy in a very unflattering role.
Its obvious, but I will mention it anyway, that none of this would work without a good, even great cast, especially Dan Stevens as David, he somehow makes it work and his facial expressions and the delivery of his dialogue is always on target and seems nearly perfect, and the guys seems just plain likable which somehow comes across through all that electronic gadgetry that makes watching a tv show possible, and it certainly helps in the case of this show which so far is quite enjoyable tv.