Syd grows up in a foreign land.
So as a bit of recap/preface, remember Olive and Melanie? Friends of David and the bunch. Lovely couple. Well we haven't seen them in...almost a full season, they've been pretty much moved into the astral plane, locked away. And when we last left them, they were pretty happy with it, but we didn't see what they were up to in there...
The episode begins with a very traditional dream-like fantasy theme. This one themed seemingly after The Hobbit and an English Nursery Rhyme, The Three Little Pigs. Oliver is taking a stroll in the countryside and comes across a baby. He scoops it up and places it inside his Radio Flyer wagon. The narration gives us the context that it's the astral plane in which Oliver is wandering. He notes that it's a great place to find dreams...and minds. On his return to the house, a man asks Oliver what he's found. The man seems odd and insincere. He asks if he can have the baby, to which Oliver replies that he can go find his own baby. He advises Oliver to warn the baby about possible future concerns, namely Herpes, before Melanie exits the house. The strange man growls softly upon seeing Melanie, as she shoos him away. The man is Jerome Wolf.
Later, Oliver and Melanie are eating supper and Oliver tells his wife that the baby is called Sydney or "Syd". There's a knock at the door and Melanie looks worried. Strong winds begin to blow on the house, shaking the walls. Oliver assures her that their straw house is very strong, much stronger than the previous. Things begin to look a bit familiar if you've read up on your nursery rhymes. Oliver opens the door and we see Jerome Wolf out of breath, and he has a woman with him named Cynthia. The wolf performs some magic to persuade Melanie & Oliver to let him in, but this doesn't work. They do invite Cynthia in for soup and she accepts. This enrages the the wolf. Melanie suggest to Oliver that moving is probably a good idea....
Later (years later), we see baby Syd as a young girl, growing up, playing and learning from her adoptive parents. It seems Oliver and Syd really bond through the years. We get some more context when Little Syd asks Oliver as they're walking through the fields, "Who's stuff is this?" (there's random junk strewn about the forest). Oliver answers that they're items from people who've forgotten or disregarded them. Little Syd (who might I add, looks amazingly like real Syd...good job casting team!) stops to tie her shoe and comes across a dead and decaying fox. Jerome Wolf approaches and tries to scare Syd (he seems to feed off of fear) by telling her about death. She responds resolutely that death is a part of life and that everyone dies, showing no fear. She's quickly called away by the protective Oliver...not before being hastily warned about Chlamydia by Jerome. This guy needs to be a middle school health teacher.
Later, Cynthia is wandering about, as Jerome Wolf comes out of the shadows. He asks her if she thinks her parents are worried about her. A man is also mentioned (possibly an ex-boyfriend) who used to hit/beat her. The wolf then tempts her with some sort of drug-like substance to coax her into coming back to him. She refuses, saying that she doesn't do that anymore. It doesn't take much more convincing though, and they leave together.
Time skips ahead and Little Syd is a bit older, and she asks Melanie over breakfast what Chlamydia is, and Melanie awkwardly explains that it's a virus, like a cold, that is contracted by the vagina. They show Syd sleeping, she has dreams/flashbacks of her future life and the events that transpire with David and Division 3. Melanie notices and tells Oliver that Syd is beginning to have or experience her real life memories and that she may soon want to go back. Oliver and Melanie bed down for the night, but the sounds of howling and winds rock the house again. Oliver proposes yet another move.
So, they move to the city (it seems to be 19th century London). They have a nice proper stone house. Little Syd is in her teens now (seemingly the same age as when we saw her in Chapter 23) and studying, when Oliver comes into the room. Teen Syd complains about having a feeling like she's supposed to do something...but that she's not sure what it is. He explains to her that this is normal, but it's important not to rush things. Syd is wandering around in the streets as she comes across a heart, beating in a box on the street (something many people run into in London). A woman warns her not to touch it, Syd looks up to find that it's Cynthia. She is accompanied by some seedy/shady kids.They try to tempt her to come with them and see Jerome. After expressing her happiness in seeing Cynthia, Syd tries to get her to come back home. Cynthia is afraid Syd's parents would be mad, but Syd tells her that that would be happy to see her. After realizing Cynthia will not be persuaded so easily, she leaves.
Sydney returns home and wonders why the world has to be this way and why people struggle. Melanie explains to her that there are bad people in the world. She explains that they haven't been protecting her from the real world this whole time, but rather, preparing her to be the person she needs to be...to save it. Sydney decides she wants to go and save Cynthia. They trick the guards and kidnap her from the building. Jerome takes notice and follows them back to Oliver and Melanie's house, where he and Oliver square off. (A werewolf...in London....Warren Zevon would be proud)
(Speaking of music, we haven't had a musical interlude in a while, and we get a good old classic rap battle)
The battle takes place as a rap battle. The two combatants and their "posse" are transported to a night club. They trade barbs and insults. Towards the end, Oliver has an especially deep-cutting and soul-crushing turn, from which Jerome can't recover. Cynthia goes to comfort the now sobbing Jerome, as Jerome whines "the man said a mean thing to me....". They leave together, but as they start to get further away, Jerome turns and stops the pathetic routine to leave us with a creepy grin. Oliver explains to Sydney that not everyone wants to be saved. At this moment, Syd notices the attire Oliver is wearing (Oliver's staple white suit) and realizes something is amiss. To which, Oliver and Melanie reveal that they are actually in the astral plane and that they have been preparing Sydney for this moment. Oliver places his hand against Sydney's cheek as we see her shift into her current form/age.
Back on the airship, Sydney's lifeless body lay where David left her. She suddenly springs back to life. She gets her wits about her, puts her hair up into a ponytail and exits the room. She encounters one of Jai-Yi's time portals that's looping. Meanwhile, Cary is mending Kerry, who's gotten the living hell kicked out of her. Syd walks into the room, Cary notes that she looks different, Syd recollects about the lifetime she just re-lived in the astral plane in the previous 20 minutes, but says it's probably just her hair. Sydney asks about David, Cary tells her about the bracelet he made for David to help him accompany Jai-Yi on her time travelling. Sydney asks Cary to create three more bracelets for each of them so they can follow them. Kerry asks Cary to take on her injuries so that she may fight and help Syd. As soon as they re-unite and Cary's injuries have taken effect, the Time Demons show up and start breaking for the portal. They notice this and rush for the portal and just barely make it before the Time Demons. The portal closes up behind them.
Cast and characters
- Dan Stevens as David Haller (credit only)
- Rachel Keller as Sydney Barrett
- Aubrey Plaza as Lenny Busker (credit only)
- Bill Irwin as Cary Loudermilk
- Navid Negahban as Amahl Farouk (credit only)
- Jeremie Harris as Ptonomy Wallace (credit only)
- Amber Midthunder as Kerry Loudermilk
- Lauren Tsai as Jia-Yi (credit only)
- Hamish Linklater as Clark Debussy (credit only)
Special Guest Star
- Jason Mantzoukas as Jerome Wolf
- Pearl Amanda Dickson as Teen Syd
- Samantha Cormier as Cynthia
- West Mulholland as Blue
- Sophie Nack as Sweetie
- Audrey Lynn as Young Syd
- Violet Hicks as Slightly Older Syd
- Dan Cathcart as Dora
- Margaux Brooke as Eloise
- Samantha Cormier previously played one of the Manson girls in Season 3.
To be added