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Tara Ariano

S01.E02: Chapter 2

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After the MRI incident, I'd say the gov't folks are very fortunate that David doesn't really have a handle on things yet. Because when he does, expect him to go HAM on some people.

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The seemingly interminable scene with the dog barking and Aubrey Plaza screeching on top of an oven was so nerve grating that we had to mute the television. Yes, show, you can create audio anxiety with nails on a chalkboard or a high pitched tuner ... but if you want to be a show that continually induces anxiety on the part of the viewer, just don't expect me to sit through it. 

How many times are they going to revisit the scene where David makes the kitchen explode? Awesome? Yes. But with the endless promos showing that same scene, I feel as if I've seen it over fifty times. Are they trying to get their money's worth out of that FX expense? 

This second episode was equally trippy as the first (enjoyed the glass room in the woods), but this still feels miles long on style and very short on story. 

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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I'm having a hard time with the "style" in terms of "What the heck year is it?!"  It's all 1960s-ish furniture and fashion and hair, but they have homemade MRI machines and computers - and flat-screen TVs last week at the psych facility.   And does this take place in the X-men movie timeline, because it (seemed) things were relatively OK for mutants in the US after the history change of Mystique saving Nixon.

I otherwise liked the episode and it's generally creepy tone with the mysterious "dad" and that awful book.   I'm just feeling disconnected with the timeline not knowing if it's the past or present (which perhaps is intentional).

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3 hours ago, shrewd.buddha said:

The seemingly interminable scene with the dog barking and Aubrey Plaza screeching on top of an oven was so nerve grating that we had to mute the television. Yes, show, you can create audio anxiety with nails on a chalkboard or a high pitched tuner ... but if you want to be a show that continually induces anxiety on the part of the viewer, just don't expect me to sit through it. 

How many times are they going to revisit the scene where David makes the kitchen explode? Awesome? Yes. But with the endless promos showing that same scene, I feel as if I've seen it over fifty times. Are they trying to get their money's worth out of that FX expense? 

This second episode was equally trippy as the first (enjoyed the glass room in the woods), but this still feels miles long on style and very short on story. 

The interesting thing about the kitchen scene is that it was done with mostly practical effects. They filmed Dan first and then actually exploded the kitchen. They pasted Dan into the explosion shot. It's a lot cheaper and more low tech than digitally animating each an every one of those kitchen items.

I think it's simplistic for Melanie to assume that David's issue is that clinicians misunderstood his mutant ability and misdiagnosed his powers as schizophrenia. She seems to be discounting the trauma David has experienced from his powers and from his psychiatric treatment. Even if through therapy David realizes that he's not mentally ill and how to control his powers, he'll still have all of those traumatic experiences when he couldn't control his powers and hurt himself or people around him. David has PTSD and you can't simply say "don't worry, you're not schizophrenic" and have his issues go away. It's the same way that Syd is traumatized by her unpleasant experiences with her power.

The way the show intercuts between the past and present reminds me a little of Westworld. Considering that David is telepathic, telekinetic, and has some ability to reshape reality, I'm wondering if he has some ability also to use his powers in different times. Like maybe past David rewrote reality and portalled the MRI machine to present Summerland.

This show is unconnected to the X-Men films.

Did anyone get a weird Scientology feeling when they were going back through David's memory. Everyone held on to metal grips that looked a lot like e-meter cans. The process of auditing involves talking about your memories and trying to eliminate your trauma and pain. Ultimately when you're clear, you unlock superpowers and the ability to control the universe around you.

Edited by HunterHunted
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2 hours ago, shrewd.buddha said:

 How many times are they going to revisit the scene where David makes the kitchen explode? Awesome? Yes. But with the endless promos showing that same scene, I feel as if I've seen it over fifty times. Are they trying to get their money's worth out of that FX expense?

I say more power to them. That's perhaps the most spectacular and convincing-looking depiction of telekinesis I've seen on film, much better than the X-Men and Avengers movies have managed with eight figure (or maybe nine?) CGI budgets. Maybe the Russo brothers should consider using practical effects for the Scarlet Witch's powers?

 

20 minutes ago, HunterHunted said:

I think it's simplistic for Melanie to assume that David's issue is that clinicians misunderstood his mutant ability and misdiagnosed his powers as schizophrenia. She seems to be discounting the trauma David has experienced from his powers and from his psychiatric treatment. Even if through therapy David realizes that he's not mentally ill and how to control his powers, he'll still have all of those traumatic experiences when he couldn't control his powers and hurt himself or people around him. David has PTSD and you can't simply say "don't worry, you're not schizophrenic" and have his issues go away. It's the same way that Syd is traumatized by her unpleasant experiences with her power.

Yeah, when she kept repeating to him that he wasn't mentally ill, just experiencing telepathy, I yelled "why not both?" at the TV. Early development of telepathy might be the cause of his psychiatric problems, but they're not going to just vanish because he now knows that he's reading minds.

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46 minutes ago, HunterHunted said:

The interesting thing about the kitchen scene is that it was done with mostly practical effects. They filmed Dan first and then actually exploded the kitchen. They pasted Dan into the explosion shot. It's a lot cheaper and more low tech than digitally animating each an every one of those kitchen items.

I've noticed their use of practical effects. For instance, the very last scene where David's sister is sitting down and she's in focus while the guy sitting facing her is blurry. They accomplished this by having him actually sit to her left, closer to the camera where he'd be out of focus. It was very effective.

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5 hours ago, jcin617 said:

I'm having a hard time with the "style" in terms of "What the heck year is it?!"  It's all 1960s-ish furniture and fashion and hair, but they have homemade MRI machines and computers - and flat-screen TVs last week at the psych facility.   And does this take place in the X-men movie timeline, because it (seemed) things were relatively OK for mutants in the US after the history change of Mystique saving Nixon.

I otherwise liked the episode and it's generally creepy tone with the mysterious "dad" and that awful book.   I'm just feeling disconnected with the timeline not knowing if it's the past or present (which perhaps is intentional).

The styles from different decades are mixed together so we're never entirely sure where in time the story is, part of the whole "unreliable narrator" angle of the show.

Last January, the FX President said it was in a parallel universe to the films, but according to an interview in August, Bryan Singer (director of the X-Men movies) said that Legion is canon, and could play into future movies, but can stand alone.

I think that even if "things were relatively OK for mutants in the US after the history change of Mystique saving Nixon," the government would still have a secret interest in researching and potentially controlling powerful mutants. The military is always thirsty for more firepower.

Edited by DanMSchro
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I hope they get past this "through the eyes of madness" angle on this show soon, or rather depict it better. I am already getting tired of the jumbled nature of the first couple episodes which makes it difficult to follow anything that's going on. I get that they are trying to depict the show through the POV of a man who isn't exactly stable, but they can do that without depicting it by taking a bunch of trippy scenes and apparently mixing them up and throwing them into the episode at random and hoping it makes sense to the viewer.

I also hope we get to the action soon, it's going to start boring me if all the setting up doesn't get to the payoff soon.

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Man, I still don't know half of the stuff that is going on here or what is real, but I'm still kind of digging it or at least most of it.  I just want to see if they can stick the landing on this or not, because I have to think there will be no half measures.  This will either blow my mind or crash and burn in spectacular fashion.

So, it looks like they will be keeping Aubrey Plaza around by having Lenny either appear in David's mind, visions, and flashbacks, I guess.  I was confused over all of her scenes.  Did Dan and Lenny know each other before they got sent to the asylum?  I wonder how they both wounded up in there together.  And what's the deal with the drug dealer played by Eddie Jemison?  Getting a recognizable face like him must mean there is more to that character.

Hey, Bill Irwin!  Not sure what is deal is, yet.  At first, they were teasing him having split personalities or something, but it looks like that "Carey/Kerry" he was talking to is the non-Syd female mutant, that sprung David from Division in the pilot.

Liked seeing more of the Ptonomy character and his powers.

David and Syd are cute, even if they still reminded me a lot of Ned and Chuck in Pushing Daises.  Only a lot more messed up.  But Dan Stevens and Rachel Keller work well together.

David's sister has been kidnapped, now.  And, of course, the mysterious guy from last week is called The Eye.  Can't have a regular name!

For some reason, I'm kind of suspicious of Melanie/Jean Smart.  I don't think she's evil, but I wonder if she has other motives as well.

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I think she's definitely being spurred on by the prospect of David as a huge asset/standard bearer for her cause, but the setup at Summerland does seem to indicate benevolent motives as well, even if the methods are a bit Scientology-esque. At the very least she's offering people choices that include walking away rather than holding them under armed guard with booby traps at the ready.

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1 hour ago, Bruinsfan said:

At the very least she's offering people choices that include walking away rather than holding them under armed guard with booby traps at the ready.

Supposedly.  Syd did talk Adam out of leaving before he stepped off the elevator, so I did wonder if he could really leave whenever he wanted or if they want him to think that.  Good intentions or not, he may be too valuable to let off the leash.

 

On February 16, 2017 at 8:23 AM, shrewd.buddha said:

...this still feels miles long on style and very short on story.

Agreed.  Hopefully, this is all worth it.  I want to like this show.

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On 2/16/2017 at 11:00 AM, HunterHunted said:

Did anyone get a weird Scientology feeling when they were going back through David's memory. Everyone held on to metal grips that looked a lot like e-meter cans

This was my immediate thought too!  

 

Color me confused- I thought Lenny was in David's head. Guess I'm confused just along with the rest of you, but I still am enjoying this. 

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Yeah, her being a stand-in for Cyndi (the alter who controls David's pyrokinetic ability) seemed likely, particularly with her lugging that stove around during the drug buy. I'd assumed that David was the only real person present for that and the bong scene on the living room floor. But Sydney remarked about killing David's friend accidentally, and I think Lenny is the only one she could have been referring to.

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Does David even have alters on this show? Comic David was suffering from multiple personality disorder, but this show consistently describes David as schizophrenic. They're not the same thing at all and David may see things that aren't there and talk to people who aren't really there but aside from when he and Syd switched bodies - there's been no indication that David is someone else inside.

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While there's some interesting stuff here, I find myself fighting boredom at times and trying to avoid falling asleep when I watch this show.

Agreed about the setting.  It's supposed to be the 60s but some stuff feels much more present day.

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Did anyone get a weird Scientology feeling when they were going back through David's memory. Everyone held on to metal grips that looked a lot like e-meter cans. The process of auditing involves talking about your memories and trying to eliminate your trauma and pain. Ultimately when you're clear, you unlock superpowers and the ability to control the universe around you.

Yes it is very Scientology but I will admit, the call back I had was to the original Tomorrow People show from the 1970s  where everyone would put their hands on the telepathy table and do telepathy together.

I don't *mind* the 1960s-70s aestetitic but I'm not seeing  that there's much point to it and it's clearly not the 1960s-70s - too much tech and fashion inconsistencies to where I would genuinely groan if it was 1971.

I don't mind that it's trippy and disjointed but this was slooooooow and Amy the sister being in peril is difficult to care about. The stuff from David's memories is interesting, don't get me wrong, and like some posters before me, I think it's too simplistic of Melanie to say "It's powers, you're fine" - but I also think, since he is looking at a lifetime of being told he can't trust himself, it's important that he get validated that he's not crazy - but he's gonna have some lingering coping issues.

David and Syd are very sweet. I swear Dan Stevens can have chemistry with a bong or a barking dog, but they were genuinely sweet in the scene on the swings.

I just want some story movement to go with the style and flash.

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On 2/16/2017 at 9:23 PM, immortalfrieza said:

I hope they get past this "through the eyes of madness" angle on this show soon, or rather depict it better. I am already getting tired of the jumbled nature of the first couple episodes which makes it difficult to follow anything that's going on.

Yeah, I'm surprised I'm still tuning in frankly.  I didn't really intend to watch this, but kind of ended up seeing it anyway.  I hope that the whole jumbled, fragmented mess isn't going to be the main thrust of the show, because then I'm just going to say this isn't for me.  I know some viewers will enjoy the portrayal of madness, but it leaves me a little cold.  And the main character stumbles and stammers through everything.  I'm just not sure what the appeal is here.

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I enjoy David and Syd as well. I hope things work out for them lol.  I do wonder about the ratings though.  Week 2 only had 1.1 million total viewers and a 0.5 in the 18-49 rating. I realize its too soon to tell I just hope it doesn't continue to fall too much.

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Just now, ShadowHunter said:

I enjoy David and Syd as well. I hope things work out for them lol.  I do wonder about the ratings though.  Week 2 only had 1.1 million total viewers and a 0.5 in the 18-49 rating. I realize its too soon to tell I just hope it doesn't continue to fall too much.

Yeah, I'm worried about that too. FX already cancelled two shows after only one season (Terriers and Lights Out), despite the critical acclaim.

I think the difference with Legion is that people seems to be talking a lot about the show and the fact that it's also a Marvel Studios' production. If FX indeed cancel, maybe Marvel could offer the project somewhere else.

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Once again, a TV MRI machine has no head cradle to prevent head movement.

I find it odd that some people think this is going at a snail's pace. In just two episodes we've had a growing up montage for David, his commitment to a mental institution, his getting a girlfriend complete with cute scenes to chronicle the development of their relationship, a traumatic parting, his acquiring a headLenny, getting kidnapped by some shadowy government agency, being rescued from shadowy government agency by a shadowy non-government group, given some training in turning down the voices, taken on trips down memory lane, being shown his allegedly idyllic childhood had some parts that were pretty messed up, all interspersed with flashbacks that may or may not be entirely accurate, the kidnapping of his sister with the threat of leeches, plus a Bollywood dream sequence thrown in for good measure. In. Just. Two. Episodes!  Are present day attention spans really that short?

I don't think David knew Lenny prior to the mental institution, I think headLenny is now in his memories as well as in his present day thinking. Sort of like when Syd was projected into his memory of running from Kerry and Ptonomy and being caught by Division 3. I don't know who the Devil with Yellow Eyes is supposed to be (other than a shout-out to Supernatural?) but he reminded me of Mojo.

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On 2/16/2017 at 9:34 AM, jcin617 said:

I'm having a hard time with the "style" in terms of "What the heck year is it?!"  It's all 1960s-ish furniture and fashion and hair, but they have homemade MRI machines and computers - and flat-screen TVs last week at the psych facility.   And does this take place in the X-men movie timeline, because it (seemed) things were relatively OK for mutants in the US after the history change of Mystique saving Nixon.

I otherwise liked the episode and it's generally creepy tone with the mysterious "dad" and that awful book.   I'm just feeling disconnected with the timeline not knowing if it's the past or present (which perhaps is intentional).

I feel like it is the 60's, because this week Jean Smart said "human beings are *starting* to evolve".  That to me suggests early mutant timeline.

Of course, some might say that it's "human beings are starting to evolve to the point in time where they recognize and acknowledge mutants", but I felt it was intended to be the former interpretation, at least those scenes.

On 2/17/2017 at 4:50 PM, HurricaneVal said:

I'm curious about the significance of the symbolism of the dog.   A real dog, a dog figurine, or some other dog reference is featured in many, many of the scenes.

There's a lot of interesting symbolism - the trippy ceiling lights (interrogation room last week had dozens of differently sized square frosted glass boxes; hallways (?) of mental institution had big stylized rectangles); the fact that the decorations on David's sister's kitchen table literally looked like three fleshy (not wax or stylized) tomatoes, lined up in a row.  The stove was also tomato colored.  

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Why would he follow Syd and trust that this group is looking out after him while the people at the hospital is looking to harm him?

It's one thing to be infatuated with the girl but the only thing she's dangling is "maybe" they will be able to hold hands?  He's a grown ass man, it's going to take more than holding hands to make him follow her.

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4 hours ago, scrb said:

Why would he follow Syd and trust that this group is looking out after him while the people at the hospital is looking to harm him?

It's one thing to be infatuated with the girl but the only thing she's dangling is "maybe" they will be able to hold hands?  He's a grown ass man, it's going to take more than holding hands to make him follow her.

I've seen "grown ass men" do a lot more if the outcome may be that the crazy will sleep with them in the future.  Men will do a lot for a chance at a little crazy. Being "grown ass" does not mean being "mature" or even welcoming of a stable monogamous relationship. 

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Why would he follow Syd and trust that this group is looking out after him while the people at the hospital is looking to harm him?

He's also somewhat institutionalized and used to being told by others how he should do x, y and z. And he's being told a pleasing story - that he's not disturbed or schizophrenic. And its a bit of no brainer in that the pretty girl and her friends aren't actively shooting at him and didn't put him in an electrocution pool.

The interesting question I have is whether David's various pyschiatrists are aware of his powers and if the committal to the mental hospital is a coverup

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I thought they did a pretty good job of establishing the childish/crush-worthy nature of David's feelings for Syd during the pilot and vice versa to the point where it would seem likely he's feeling the flush of first teen/pre-teen love, but obviously YMMV and all that jazz.

Edited by queenanne
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I don't trust Sydney. In episode one she says "This is all real, and I love you." And it was exactly what he wanted to hear, and he grinned so big and followed her, and it worried me. Now again she tries to use his feelings for her to get him to stay with her. "Look, you can hold my hand, I totally want to hold hands." Right as he's about to leave.

Maybe I'm being paranoid. Or maybe it would be pretty smart of Melanie to control someone in David's life who has enormous emotional influence over him. That person could bring stability to David's life, making him easier to control; would be allowed into his confidence and therefore could report on his innermost feelings; and if that person stayed at Summerland, David would always have an enormous incentive to remain there.

Or. Again. I'm paranoid. Either way, I am not going to permit myself to get dewy-eyed over David and Sydney's scenes until I see more. This is one heart you will not be breaking, writers! Do your worst! Not falling for it. Noop.

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Prospect of holding hands shouldn't be enough of a hold on David.

If the events depicted in the show are taking place now, she'd have to give him some spank bank material at least ...

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So I haven't watched as closely as I should but on the topic of Syd and David...

Have we seen Syd speak directly to Melanie or Ptolomy or anyone at Summerland other than David? Are we certain she's real? I can't recall if she interacted with Melanie directly or not and I am easily wrong.

But to Wryly's point - if she's real, then it has to be acknowledged that she's potentially manipulating David for Summerland's purposes.

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1 hour ago, ZoloftBlob said:

So I haven't watched as closely as I should but on the topic of Syd and David...

Have we seen Syd speak directly to Melanie or Ptolomy or anyone at Summerland other than David? Are we certain she's real? I can't recall if she interacted with Melanie directly or not and I am easily wrong.

But to Wryly's point - if she's real, then it has to be acknowledged that she's potentially manipulating David for Summerland's purposes.

I was actually looking for the same thing when watching this episode (I was convinced that Syd wasn't real).  While I can't remember if she conversed with one of the others, Ptolomy did mention his girlfriend.  Something else that bothers me is sometimes we see Syd with gloves and other times without.  I'm wondering if w/Syd is maybe real and w/o Syd is not (or vice versa).

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She did converse with the doctor in the institution, including times when David wasn't present before the bodyswap, right? So she can only be imaginary/an alter if the whole Clockworks setting is in David's head.

Edited by Bruinsfan

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1 hour ago, Bruinsfan said:

She did converse with the doctor in the institution, including times when David wasn't present before the bodyswap, right? So she can only be imaginary/an alter if the whole Clockworks setting is in David's head.

To be fair after episode 1 I was thinking that Clockworks might just be in David's head.  But after this episode, I have no idea.

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Upon a rewatch, Ptolemy? The memory man, is talking to just David, in front of the goat and refers to Syd as David's girlfriend and that she was with Melanie doing talk work. So if she is a delusion, then Melanie and Ptolemy are aware of her *as* a delusion. But it's very noticeable on a rewatch that she pointedly doesn't interact or visibly speak to or touch other characters.

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From the recap:

"...he does some harm to his old therapist Dr. Poole (although we don't know exactly what yet and I'm kind of dreading finding out)."

I thought that Division 3 did that and took the tapes of his sessions with David.

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On 2/16/2017 at 6:23 AM, shrewd.buddha said:

How many times are they going to revisit the scene where David makes the kitchen explode? Awesome? Yes. But with the endless promos showing that same scene, I feel as if I've seen it over fifty times. Are they trying to get their money's worth out of that FX expense? 

haha they totally are but it's worth it. I actually have a question about this scene - have we ever seen the end result or does it always stop while everything is still in the air. I ask because I'm assuming this is the "incident in Red Hook" that Division 3 mentioned and that the "explosion" affected more than just the kitchen.

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I was riveted during Chapter One and immensely gratified by the escape scene with the guy whooshing enemy shooters into the wild blue yonder.

I guess I liked it too much.

I found myself fidgeting a lot during Chapter Two.  A lot.

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Oh, I also forgot to mention, I think Wee David is cute as all-get-out.  When he was nervously patting his hands together during the retelling of the story in bed, I wanted to reach through the screen and snatch him away from it all.  

I do not think I like that book!!

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I think Dan Stevens is doing in awesome job. He has got twitchy/snarky down pretty good.  I'm thinking Syd is in his head too, really don't want her to be though.  I"m far behind, got to catch up.  I love the ambiguity of the era.

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On 2/16/2017 at 11:00 AM, HunterHunted said:

It's the same way that Syd is traumatized by her unpleasant experiences with her power.

I'm just starting this series and enjoying it so far, but if anyone is still reading this thread can you tell me what Syd's power is supposed to be and why she can't (or doesn't want to) be touched?

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31 minutes ago, Paloma said:

I'm just starting this series and enjoying it so far, but if anyone is still reading this thread can you tell me what Syd's power is supposed to be and why she can't (or doesn't want to) be touched?

Spoiler

She switches bodies with people that she touches. It's involuntary and she can't control the switchback either, which is why she has also wound up in the mental health system because sometimes other people are walking around in her body for hours, days, or even weeks declaring themselves to not be Syd. It's why Syd is jumpy and agitated about being touched. While she gains a measure of freedom when she switches, the other person is absolutely making a mess of Syd's life back in her body. Also until she realized what was actually happening, she was accidentally switching and having to deal with the disorientation of that. She also has this bitterness that there are a whole host of physical experiences that she can never have in her own body like kissing or sex.

Edited by kariyaki · Reason: Added spoiler tags

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