David goes back to where it all started.
In Cary and Kerry's therapy session, Dr. Busker says that their relationship is unhealthy. They reply that they're basically the same person because they finish each other's sentences, have similar interests, and act alike. They know they're not really the same person but they would like to know who it's hurting if they're extremely close to one another.
In Walter's session with Dr. Busker, he talks about how he matured slower than the other boys in his grade. He says it's not a race on who matures fastest and he is not less of a man because he was slower than normal. Walter is also often seen taking a pocket knife to an apple.
In Ptonomy's session with Dr. Lenny Busker, he tells of how his mother died. She died Thursday January 2nd when he was 5. His father was stationed in Germany at the time and Ptonomy as a young boy was playing with silly putty on the floor. While unloading the cutlery basket she died. Lenny points out how he spends a lot of time in this memory. Ptonomy says he likes to think of himself as a time traveler. He can go back in time but all he can do is watch as the memories play out.
In Melanie's session with Dr. Busker, it is revealed that in this reality Oliver died, but Melanie can't let go of him. She keeps his clothes in the closet and his voice on the answering machine and even came up with the idea that his body is cryogenically frozen, so he doesn't age or change. Melanie doesn't like change and she's the one who's frozen.
In Sydney's session with Dr. Busker, she expresses how nothing feels real. She describes it like a boring dream where everything seems normal, but somehow she can feel that there's something's off. Dr. Busker changes the subject, saying they'll pick this up in their next session and that it's time for Sydney's medication. While walking to the day room, Sydney sees David's bedroom door. She listens and hears music coming from the other side before an announcement sounds, saying Syd is out of bounds and that she needs to go to the nurse's station. At the nurse's station, Amy, who is a nurse, spot checks her. Syd protests saying that she doesn't like to be touched and it's a known fact. Amy spot checks her anyways, aggressively patting her down before walking away.
Events from the original Clockworks repeat themselves, however, they are slightly altered. For instance Rudy becomes the drooling man at the beginning of Chapter 1 and who also can be seen in the WTF promo . David and Ptonomy, who take the place of Lenny, watch. David wonders who Rudy was before Clockworks. Ptonomy replies that there is no before once the illness begins. He continues, saying the cruelest thing is that they believe that with the right medicine or therapy or action that they can go back to before. While David and Ptonomy discuss how there is no going back to a normal life after the mental illness starts, Sydney comes up to them. Ptonomy has an inside man in the cafeteria and informs the two that there will be cherry pie for lunch. Sydney asks if they had noticed a bedroom door in one of the halls, but before she can elaborate Dr. Busker arrives to take David to his session.
In the session with Dr. Busker, David expresses his content with the life in the hospital. He feels he's found a rhythm and Syd and him have gotten close. In this reality David also has bipolar disorder and Dr. Busker asks if he's still afraid of losing the control he's found here, but David says that this is no longer the case, as it seems real.
In the cafeteria Ptonomy, Syd, and David all eat pie together but Amy, who is a nurse in this reality, takes David's pie. Sydney tries to give her pie to David but Amy forbids it. Sydney then refuses to eat any pie if David can't eat his. David tells her to eat it anyways before sulking. While Syd is eating her pie she finds several bugs in it (referencing a scene from the White Room, where a bowl of strawberries is crawling with black bugs) and throws it across the cafeteria.
That same day, Cary showed Kerry a magic trick by pulling out a colorful string of handkerchiefs from his shirt pocket. This delights Kerry, however the delight is short lived as Cary heads to use the restroom. While waiting for Cary to return, Kerry sees Walter down the hallway, watching her. Realizing Walter has taken to obsessing over Kerry, she becomes unnerved.
That night David sneaks into Syd's room and lays in her bed (paralleling the scene from Chapter 1 where Syd sneaks into David's room before telling him that she's being released). Syd once again expresses her feelings of deja vu as well as the need to leave the hospital. David tries to convince her that not everyone is cut out for the real world and perhaps Clockworks will give them their own room together. But Sydney rejects this idea, telling him that she can't stay here.
The next day, Syd notices that the bedroom door is no longer in the hallway. She then finds Cary and Kerry playing chess and exercising their minds. Sydney states that she didn't sleep well. Cary asks if it was the dream again. Sydney confirms this by describing how she's in a room full of people she cannot see and there's a feeling that they're already dead but don't know it yet. Sydney then asks if either of them noticed the bedroom door but neither do. Cary and Kerry both believe her to be delusional. Cary suggests several theories before stating the most likely explanation is that Sydney is confusing one door with another. Sydney says that's not the case but drops the subject. She then finds a book on couch about alternate realities, dream states, and memory palaces.
Some days later, David is painting Syd while she reads the book. Syd once again brings up the bedroom door and the possibility that the hospital isn't real, as it doesn't feel real to her. David warns her to be careful because Syd was admitted to clockworks with the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Sydney, knowing this to not be true, becomes agitated. Seeing this, David begins to apologize saying how well she's doing, especially with the fact that when she first entered the hospital she was strapped down. Sydney protests saying David is the one with schizophrenia, and not bipolar, while Sydney was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. David continues to try and calm her down but Syd leaves the room.
In the hallway, she sees a large pulsing mass on one of the walls. The mass resembles a graying, infected wound. Upon touching the mass it oozes blood which she gets on her finger. Suddenly Sydney remembers everything: Lenny's death, Summerland, the shooting, and the White Room. Dr. Busker then appears and Sydney becomes extremely nervous. Dr. Busker asks what she's doing in the hallways after hours and Sydney lies saying that she was just using the bathroom. Dr. Busker asks if she wants to try a new music therapy. Syd tries to get out of listening to the music but Dr. Busker puts the headphones on her anyways. Sydney is instantly subdued by the music and falls asleep. Dr. Busker then floats her body into the bedroom door and places her into David's childhood bed.
That night, as Melanie is getting ready to fall asleep, she notices that part of her wall has become the corridor to Oliver's cryogenic chamber. Melanie also sees Oliver's diving suit standing in the hallway and she moves towards the corridor, telling him that she's waited and that she's here. The man in the diving suit motions for her to follow him before the corridor image fades back into a normal bedroom wall. Melanie then pushes through the wall and enters the corridor. At the end of the hallway she finds herself back in the real world, where all of their bodies are frozen in time. The person in the diving suit motions for her to save Syd and David from the bullets before disappearing once again.
At night Cary reminds Kerry that if she gets scared to knock on the wall, as he's on the other side. After finishing his yoga and getting into bed, Kerry knocks on the wall and he knocks back. Cary dreams of Oliver's giant ice cube in the astral plane and ends up in the astral plane, where he meets the man in the diving suit. The man gestures for Cary to follow him. Later that night, Kerry wakes up and knocks on the wall, however, Cary doesn't respond. Kerry then goes to his room and finds it empty. While she's in there, Walter appears in the door frame and begins intimidating her. Kerry attempts to match his aggression but without Cary there she's unable to. She then runs from the room screaming for Cary.
The same evening, David goes looking for Syd and finds the bedroom door she was talking about. Putting his ear up to the door, he can hear music, however Nurse Amy appears and begins to torment him. Amy tells him he's not wanted and people only pretend to like him, while in actuality it's all anyone can do to keep from vomiting around him. She begins to gag violently and even causes David to gag before he yells at her to stop, and then leaves.
David then goes to Dr. Busker hoping that she will know where Syd is. Dr. Busker proposes the idea that Sydney isn't the right girl for him, but David replies that they're in love. Lenny then tells him love is nothing more than a chemical reaction. David replies that simply telling him that she hadn't seen Syd was sufficient, but Lenny quickly cuts him off and continues asking him what the point of life is. She answers her rhetorical question by informing him the point of life is Power, emphasizing the point by placing her foot on his crotch and pressing.
Completely dropping the act of being the good psychiatrist, Dr. Busker, "Lenny" continues to monologue. Lenny tells David that she knew his biological father, who tried to hide David from her. Lenny tells him that David has great potential and power and if they were to combine their strengths they could "give God a run for his money". However, when David fell in love with Syd, things became difficult for her. Deeming the toll of keeping David happy as too great, and only needing his body, the Shadow King trapped David's consciousness in a far corner of his mind where he would slowly disappear (this is represented by David being trapped in a glass coffin).
The episode ends with a man in a diving suit removing the headphones from Syd's head. Syd wakes up and the man reveals himself to be Cary. Cary motions for Sydney to be silent and to follow him.
- Dan Stevens as David Haller
- Rachel Keller as Sydney Barrett
- Aubrey Plaza as Lenny Busker/Farouk
- Bill Irwin as Cary Loudermilk
- Jeremie Harris as Ptonomy Wallace
- Amber Midthunder as Kerry Loudermilk
- Katie Aselton as Amy Haller
- Jean Smart as Melanie Bird
- Mackenzie Grey as The Eye
- Brad Mann as Rudy
- Gabriel Jacob-Cross as Ptonomy (5 yrs)
- Paul Belsito as The Man Who Hides
- Eugene Wong as The Man In All His Clothes
- Stephanie Van Dyck as Skeletal Fat Lady
- Quinton Boosclair as Devil With The Yellow Eyes
- Sharlene Rouer as Ptonomy's Mom
- When Syd enters the common area of the mental hospital, she focuses on Cary and Kerry playing table tennis for a moment. A closer look reveals that the actors are only pantomiming and don't actually have a ball. Table Tennis sound effects were added in post-production to cover up the goof and, a few moments later, the two are shown again playing with a real ball.
- The end credits features a cover version of David Bowie's "Oh! You Pretty Things" performed by Lisa Hannigan. Two notable verses in the song are: "Let me make it plain / You gotta make way for the Homo Superior", and "Homo Sapiens have outgrown their use". In the Marvel Universe, Homo superior is the scientific name for mutants. This thematically ties the song to the idea of mutants replacing humans as the dominant race on Earth, a major source of conflict in most X-Men stories.
- "Chapter 8" touches on this theme when Melanie likens humanity's reign as being temporary like that of the dinosaurs. Clark also expresses fear that mutants are eventually going to realize that they don't need to be subordinate to humans anymore.