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Chapter 1 Recap

A boy--David Haller--is born and grows up having a normal life... until he begins fighting and drinking as voices in his head call him an idiot. The police finally arrested him, and the squad car he's in explodes outward. A doctor gives David pills to take, but the voices continue and David hangs himself to silence them.

Later, David meets with his sister Amy, who gives him a cupcake and sings Happy Birthday. They're at the Clockworks Psychiatric Hospital, and David points out that they're not allowed candles. Amy asks if he's seeing things that aren't there, and David asks when he can come home. He admits that they keep upping his dosage, and Amy offers to talk to them. She eats the cupcake and David asks how it is, just as the guard comes up and says that it's time for his meds. As David goes, he tells Amy that something new needs to happen soon.

Later, a guard puts David next to another patient, Lenny Busker. They stare at a catatonic patient until David sees a patient, Syd Barrett, come in. She sees David looking at her and stares back, and then moves on. David grabs Lenny's Twizzlers and goes over to Syd. She bumps into him and complains that he's too close, and walks off.

That night, David dreams about his childhood, his suicide attempt, and Syd. He hears a psychiatrist Dr. Kissinger asking him if the Devil With Yellow Eyes is there, and dreams of everything in his kitchen seemingly moving on its own. David wakes up and finds everything in the room levitating. It all slams back down to the floor and the orderlies come in and give him an injection.

The next day in group therapy, the psychiatrist Dr. Kissinger asks David how it makes him feel. David says that he knows what he is, and Kissinger figures that David is off his medications. As Syd comes in, Kissinger tells David that everything he sees are hallucinations are simulated by his illness, including the Devil. Syd hmmphs and says that Kissinger is pretending that their problems are in their heads. David asks what she means, and Syd says that they're in the hospital because everyone thinks that they're not normal. She points out that many geniuses were considered insane. Syd suggests that David's problems aren't in his head, or even problems.

Kissinger points out that according to her file, Syd doesn't like to be touched. He says that all animals need physical contact to feel loved, and Syd tells the group that she doesn't want to be handled. David seeing and hearing things is what makes him himself. Intrigued, David asks if Syd wants to be his girlfriend. She agrees as long as he doesn't touch her. David agrees and tells him to find her at dinner and walks out.

Later, David and Syd go to the common room and Syd explains that she doesn't like cherry-flavored things. Syd sketches David, and they walk holding onto a scarf so that they don't touch. One night, David finds Syd looking out a window. She has David focus on the outside world and imagine himself there with the hospital gone. David moves forward and imagines kissing her.


An Interrogator asks David how long he was together with the girl who disappeared. David insists that they took Syd and he didn't make Syd up. He tells the Interrogator to check with the hospital, and the Interrogator says that they have no record that Syd was a patient there. The Interrogator asks if it's possible that Syd was part of David's delusion, and David asks how he explains what happened to Lenny and the others. David suggests that the Interrogator talk to Kissinger.

David meets with Kissinger, who says that part of his job is to assess if David is a danger to himself and others.

The Interrogator says to skip that part, and David agrees. Intrigued, The man says that David should talk about it. David describes how after he was expelled from college, Philly left and he decided that there was nothing else to do but kill himself.

David tells Kissinger that the voices tried to stop him. Kissinger points out that there was no noose in the apartment: just rope burns on David's neck. He asks David if he still feels that he has telekinesis.

When the Interrogator expresses surprise at the concept, David says that he used to think that but they gave him drugs to fix it. He insists that he didn't kill the girl with his mind, and the Interrogator agrees. However, he says that they're just looking for the truth. David says that it's fuzzy, and the Interrogator tells him to continue.


In his room, David sleeps and reams of Syd. Syd comes in and wakes David up, She lies down next to him, making sure that they don't touch, and says that she's getting out the next day. Syd tells David that he has to get better so that he can also go home. David tries to kiss her but Syd backs away.


David tells the Interrogator that he couldn't touch because of her mental issues. He asks to take a break, saying that he's having trouble keeping things straight without the meds. They take a 30-minute break and the Interrogator goes out through an empty pool, past armed soldiers, and into a gymnasium filled with gas cylinders. The man in charge is monitoring David and the Interrogator says that the fact David has been off his meds for a week might account for the spike in telepathic activity. He figures that David believes that he is mentally ill, but a part of him knows his power is real and David may be the most powerful mutant that they've encountered. The leader, Brubaker, says that Division 1 thinks that they should kill David immediately, but the Interrogator says that it would be a mistake. He asks for the end of the day and his superior agrees.

David asks the Interrogator's partner The Eye if he can be alone. After a moment, The Eye puts his carving of a wooden dog on the table and leaves.

After a fight with Amy, David goes to the kitchen and hears the voices again. Everything in the room starts shaking and then it all spins into the air around David. He sees the Devil sitting in the corner, glaring at him.

The Interrogator and The Eye return to the room and technicians bring equipment in. David demands a lawyer, and the Interrogator tells him to stay calm. Once David does so, he realizes that they're afraid of him. The Interrogator says that they're there to determine if David is a danger to himself and others. Once David sits down, they hook his head up to the machine.


At Clockworks, Kissinger suggests that Syd send David a goodbye note. As they go, Lenny comes over and asks to talk to Syd privately. Once Kissinger leaves, Lenny asks Syd to send her a new candy bar. She stalls long enough for David to run in, and he kisses her despite her warnings.

David sees a hill covered with TV playing scenes from his entire life.

A burst of energy shoots out, knocking everyone down. David realizes that he's in Syd's body and that Syd's mind is in his. The orderlies hold a screaming Syd/David back as Kissinger takes David/Syd out. Once they're out of the ward, Kissinger takes David/Syd to an examining room and checks her for injuries.

In the hospital main room, the lights go out and the Devil appears.

In the examining room, David/Syd says that it's gone. The building shakes and Kissinger quickly leaves. David/Syd stares at "his" hands in shock and finds a mirror.


David repeats what happened, and explains that somehow they switched minds when they kissed. He admits that it sounds crazy and starts to lose control, and the loose objects in the room shake. After a moment, David gets control and says that he wants to get out. The Interrogator says that he just wants to make sure he's got it right and tells David to continue.


Kissinger steps over the debris in the hallway and goes to the main room. It's empty, and Syd comes up behind Kissinger. They following screaming to the hallway outside the patient rooms, and discover that the doors have disappeared, trapping the patients in their rooms. Lenny is dead, embedded partway in a wall. As Kissinger goes to investigate, David/Syd hears Syd/David screaming to be let out.


David says that it wasn't him so it must have been Syd.


Kissinger takes David/Syd out and says that he's getting her out so she doesn't lose her chance at a discharge. He ignores David/Syd's objections and runs off, and a car pulls up. Two men and a women get out.


David says that the Interrogator was one of the men, and the Interrogator says that it was him. They want to know who the people were, and the Interrogator tells David to keep control. The Eye slams David down in his chair, and the equipment starts shaking. The Interrogator's pen flies into his cheek.

Alarms go off and Brubaker orders the soldiers to use the gas.

David telekinetically smashes everyone in the room away. Gas blasts into the room and David collapses.


David/Syd sits at a cafe and remembers his childhood. He finds himself back in his own body That night, he goes to his childhood home as trick-or-treaters run through the streets, and Amy answers the door. David claims that they sent him home and asks if he can stay for a few days, and Amy agrees to talk to her husband Ben. Ben comes in dressed as a pirate and Amy introduces him to her brother. David wolfs down waffles and then Amy takes him to the basement to stay. Amy says that it's going to be good, hugs David, and leaves.

As David unpacks, Lenny appears and asks him how it felt having breasts. She points out that David killed her and Syd was just a passenger in his body. Lenny says that it's cool and warns David that they're coming for him to kill him, and they know about his powers. David insists that it's not real and telekinetically smashes the lamp. Amy comes down and asks if David is okay, and collects the gardening tools.

Once David fixes the lamp and goes to sleep, he dreams of himself and Syd in a musical number at Clockworks. Syd tells him to wake up, and David finds chained in the shallow end of a pool. The Interrogator says that if David tries anything then they'll feed him 100,000 volts. David laughs and says that he's insane and it's his delusion. The Interrogator asks where Syd is, and that the people to the hospital and came for David but got Syd by accident. He holds up the trigger for the electricity, and David says that Syd is gone.


David calls the hospital asking for Syd, claiming that he's her father. As they say that they have no record, two of the people from the car--Ptolemy Wallace and Kerry Loudermilk--approach him. David quickly walks off and they follow him. He ducks around a column and they go past. Syd comes over and tells David not to stop, and says that she's not really there. She explains that it's his memory of the day that he called the hospital, and she's been projected into David's memory. Ptolemy and Kerry double back, and Syd says that David is really in a government facility and they can't track him inside of his memories. She tells him to slip out of the chair and into the water, and don't come up until he sees her. The soldiers grab David and hustle him into a van, and The Eye injects David with a sedative.


The Interrogator asks who Ptolemy and Kerry are, and David remembers that the third person in the car was a woman, Melanie Bird. Meanwhile, he slowly slides out of his chair. David asks who they are, but the Interrogator demands to know where Syd is. Lights start appearing around the pool, and the trigger disappears from the Interrogator's hand. David slides all the way into the water and stays there, and charred corpses fall into the pool. He swims up and finds Ptolemy, Kerry, and Syd waiting. Syd helps David out of the pool and warns him not to touch her skin, and introduces Ptolemy and Kerry. She says that they have to meet Melanie and they head out.

A fourth man Rudy is waiting and escorts them through the gunfire, telekinetically knocking away anyone in their path. They fight their way to a nearby beach and David asks Syd if it's real. Syd says that she's real and she came back for David because she loves him. David says that he loves her and they go on to where Melanie is waiting. She offers her hand, and David sees the Devil sitting nearby. It disappears and David takes Melanie's hand.

Written by Gadfly on Feb 9, 2017