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In Legion "Chapter 2", when David and Syd are sitting on swings, Syd says

When I used your power, Melanie and the others they heard it, and they came. And Division 3 they came, because they heard it too. They thought they'd found you, but it was really me.

I'm confused by this conversation. As I understand it, David left the hospital in Syd's body, but in the car with Melanie & company, David (who's in Sydney's body) turns from himself into Sydney (who should be back in the hospital in David's body) when clearly it was the other way around.

I get that it's really trippy & quirky, but that just seems a bit lazy to me. So, to be clear, is this a plot inconsistency?

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  • I've edited the title because it looked like a spoiler. Also, I'm not in the least clear what you're asking, hence my vote to close as "unclear". Can you try to work out what your central question is and put it at the bottom in a separate paragraph?
    – Valorum
    Apr 9, 2017 at 16:02
  • Are you asking how/why David and Syd swapped bodies?
    – Edlothiad
    Apr 9, 2017 at 16:21
  • I thought it was a continuity error I but I realise now that Syd was picked up as David by Melanie don't know why I didn't earlier lol thanks for attempting to get the answer though & no I do understand the basic power but because the series is so jumpy I thought I'd spotted a mistake Apr 9, 2017 at 19:46

1 Answer 1

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What you're seeing is a rather confusing side-effect of Syd's power. When she touches someone, they swap minds into each others' bodies. Then, roughly two hours or so later, her power "runs out" and the bodies swap themselves back. We see this happen at least twice in the show -- the bodies actually physically exchange places with each other, no matter how far apart they are. So whereever Syndey's mind is at that time, her body comes to her.

There are two things that make this whole experience confusing:

  1. The show does not explain the "swapping back" effect until several episodes later, so when it happens in "Chapter 1" it's confusing. This is by design -- we're experiencing what David did from his perspective.

  2. It's not uncommon in fiction for the viewer to see a character as their "real" self in these kind of mind-swap situations, so when we see David's character walking around, it's not clear if that's David's body with Sydney's mind in it, or David's self-image of his own mind, walking around in Sydney's body. As far as I remember, though, whenever we see David or Sydney's actor on-screen, it's the body they're portraying.

The conversation you're asking about is a direct result of this. When David touched Sydney and they exchanged minds, Sydney (in David's body) suddenly got his power, and did not know how to control it. So she went nuclear, and Melanie's group heard it. They came to the hospital and removed "David", not realizing that it was really Sydney in David's body.

During the drive back to the retreat, Syd's power ran out. In the first episode we see this happen when David -- in Syd's body -- is sitting at a table outside some kind of coffee shop. The camera pans around and suddenly David's body is sitting there instead. At that same moment in Melanie's car, David's body in the back seat suddenly becomes Sydney, and everyone is confused.

You might also be a bit confused by the fact that, as David (in Syd's body) is leaving the hospital, he sees Melanie pull up and get out of the car. It may seem like David got into the car with them, but he didn't. He walked right by them because he looked like Sydney at that point. Instead, they went into the hospital to pick up David's body and take him with them, while David's mind walked away free.

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