I have no idea what the fuck is going on.
I love this show anyway.
My reviews will read like someone who doesn’t know what the fuck is going on, but loves it anyway.
David Haller (Dan Stevens, the guy I never recognize when I see him in stuff until there’s a moment when I’m like, “Oh, my God. That’s homeboy from Downton Abbey!“) is a mutant. Yes, like the X-Men. He was misdiagnosed with a paranoid schizophrenia and medicated for years before being admitted to a mental hospital, Clockworks.
Six years into his stay, he meets a new patient named Sydney Barrett (Rachel Keller), and even though she has a condition in which she doesn’t like being touched, they become a couple. On the day Syd is due to be released from the hospital, David kisses her (initiating their first skin-to-skin contact), and the two are sent flying across the room.
Syd is a mutant, too, and her power is swapping bodies with the person she touches. We know this because the moment David-Sydney is in front of a mirror, the first thing he does is squeeze her (his?) boobs. David (in Syd’s body) is released from the hospital. After a few hours he’s back to being himself and heads to his sister’s house. She allows him to stay, but reluctantly because she’s the worst. Sorry, I don’t like the sister.
Members of a shadowy organization (because there’s always a shady organization or twelve) snatch David up and interrogate him about his time in the hospital and Sydney’s whereabouts. Turns out, once inside his body, and unable to control David’s power of (apparently) wrecking shit around him with his mind, Sydney accidentally killed another patient, Lenny (Aubrey Plaza). She was frozen in a wall looking like Han Solo in carbonite. The Interrogator (that’s his name, for real) and his boss realize David is unaware of his powers, believing them (and the voices in his head) to be part of his mental illness. They know, though, that he is the most powerful mutant they’ve encountered.
Sydney and her friends, Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris) and Kerry (Amber Midthunder), rescue David and make a bloody escape from the government facility in which he was held. Sydney introduces David to Melody Bird (Jean Smart), who seems to be the head of yet another shadowy organization.
I’m all in on this show, guys. Visually, it’s pretty stunning. The first half hour inside David’s experience at Clockworks plays like an acid trip when he dreams and takes his meds. Because of this, you’re not entirely sure of who’s real and who may be in his head along with the Devil with Yellow Eyes that lurks in the corners of his mind. You are as unsure of David as he is, and it works. Oh, and it doesn’t help/hurt that the series feels like the ’60s with the clothing, appliances, etc., but definitely isn’t when you pay attention to the technology.
Oddly enough, as confusing as the episode may have been, it was a solid introduction into David’s world, what life has been like for him (failed education, relationships, and a suicide attempt) as he spent most of it unaware of what he truly is. And there were just enough compelling questions to bring me back for more, like:
- What exactly can David do? We saw him move things with his mind when he’s upset, and there’s also mention of voices in his head. In the opening montage, there were several times when young David was surrounded by people yelling at him as he covered his ears. Can you hear the thoughts of others as well?
- Why is his sister so raggedy?
- Can we trust that everyone in Clockworks was truly there? Was it really a mental hospital? Were they aware they were suppressing a mutant?
- Is the creepy whittler, The Eye, still alive?
- What kind of dog was in that creepy-ass crate?
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Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Audbrey Plaza, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton