Title: Chapter 6
Director: Hiro Murai
Writers: based on the comics by Chris Claremont, and Bill Sienkiewicz created by Noah Hawley, written by Nathaniel Halpern
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
An episode filled with the stuff of dreams and nightmares as the Yellow-eyed demon takes control.
I have pondered, since I began watching this series, if it can justifiably be called experimental tv. This most recent episode sure seems to qualify at least as far as the manner in which its presented. There seemed to be very little in the way of narrative or even structure present in the series of images it displayed. The show’s stylish retro sets and lighting were well applied to enhance the dream-like quality of its presentation., with hints of influences that reminded me a lot of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks days and even further back to his earlier Eraserhead.
The surreal nature of the episode was in keeping with what I have come to expect from this series, although this particular one took it alittle further out than the hints that preceded it to prepare us for this one.
On the surface it seems as if the series was just taking a week off and being self indulgently weird, while stringing us along without having any real story to tell while providing us with the show’s first filler episode to fill the gap until they come up with more real material to help along the narrative, but I don’t think that was the case.
It did tell a story, albeit a cryptic one, one that challenged us to decipher it, and that’s one of the things I really enjoy about this series is the fact that it is challenging and even puzzling at times. I do love a mystery, as long as the mystery’s creator plays fair and provides some clues so that its possible to unravel it. I am riveted by this series and dare not look away while its on for fear of missing some clue that might help explain what follows.
Here’s a recap, with some comments (*warning, spoilers follow*)
First, I think its important to remember that so far each episode has been a continuation of the one before it, that is. the events of each episode have been informed by the one that preceded it, so any assumptions I make are based at least partially on what i remember happened before.
So logically I think its safe to assume the show’s characters are not actually back in Clockwork hospital but in some sort of construct of it either born out of David’s ability to create places that seem real, but aren’t, or the parasitic creature that occupies his brain who may have a similar ability. They are in reality still back in David’s childhood home.
We know the creature has the ability to make anyone that sees it forget and my theory is based on the assumption that it is causing everyone to forget not only seeing it, but a great deal of what has occurred since the series began.
Aubry Plaza as Lenny/The Yellow Eyed Demon is creepily effective in the role she is not only disconcerting, but downright scary, and effectively disturbing.
If you recall at the end of last week’s episode the demon had managed to enter David’s (Dan Stevens) safe place and was threatening Syd (Rachel Keller), chasing her around the room until it cornered her on the bed. I propose that marked a turning point, the demon has won. It has taken over the minds of everyone else that was present and depending on how much of a threat it considers them, put them in different states of a dreamlike reality with its telepathic abilities.His goal seems to be to render them all helpless to fight back.
It has put Melanie into a place where she can barely function, which would make sense since she probably poses what the creature would consider a greater threat, because she has telepathic abilities too. The others it seems happy just keeping distracted while preventing them from remembering any recent events. It seems to be enjoying tormenting Kerry (Amber Midthunder) by having The Eye fixate on her, and paying her unwanted attention, and seeming determined to engage in some sort of physical intimacy she wants no part of (who can blame her?) Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris) seems to be stuck in a childhood memory
We seem to finally have confirmation of what i have suspected for awhile now that Lenny and the Demon are one and the same. The episode used a musical interlude to great effect that showed Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) dancing around to the strain of Ray Charle’s “I’m Feeling Good” through all of the show’s previous locations and apparently enjoying itself by creating some havoc and just plain old tearing it up. This seemed like a victory dance and the demon;s way of celebrating what it sees as finally achieving victory in its long campaign what it has sought for so many years. It also served to emphasize the surreal nature of the episode. There is however an indication the demon’s victory dance may be premature.
The question remains just how complete is the demon’s victory. In the case of Cary (Bill Irwin) it seems it is not as complete. It seems he has found a way out by remembering Oliver and his astral plane. he shown replacing the man in the diving suit and somehow contacting Melanie The feeble Melanie also seems to have escaped, she is shown passing through a wall and leaving the place they all exist in, only to find herself back in David’s home. Has she been saved by the memory of her love for her husband? It seems that way. David’s sister Amy (Katie Aselton) has been relegated to a minor role in this little play as a nurse whose purpose seems to be to undermine David’s self esteem and happiness.
Towards the end the Demon admits it has been trying to keep David comfortable but that its too much work and we last see David in what looks like a coffin with a glass lid floating away through space.
David himself, the real prize has apparently lost a great deal of what he remembers about everything, he is confused about why Syd and he are back at Clockwork but seems to be at peace with it. Syd is the only one out of everyone that seems to know something is not right about the way things are. She notices a door that’s different from all the other doors in the place and at one point she hears some sounds coming from behind it, the door is not always there, it appears and disappears alternatively. Can it be Syd is the strongest one of all? The Demon shows signs of jealousy when dealing with her, David’s love for her is interfering with its agenda.
Syd goes looking for the elusive door once again , but finds only a spot in the wall that appears to be organic, and when she touches it, it begins to bleed a little. Lenny arrives, and talking about sound therapy, finally resorts to putting some headphones on Syd that put her in a trance.
At the end of the episode Syd wakes up from her trance, stirred by the presence of the man in the diving suit who reveals himself to now be Cary. I am convinced Cary and the others have found a way out of the demons grasp and hold hope for David’s rescue, although I think ultimately it will be Davids himself who determines the outcome of the battle for his mind.
For thos of you who are weary of all this introspective adventure and long for amore traditional sort of narrative to replace what has turned into three episodes worth of psychologically symbolic material, I suggest you try to remember that patience is sometimes its own reward, and there are indications this is going to change to a more traditional type of narrative soon. I have been thoroughly enjoying what we have been presented with so far, but all good things come to an end, eventually.