Legion Chapter 17 Review

I’m starting to feel like the characters from Monty Python and the Holy Grail during the Castle Anthrax scene: get on with it! The last 5 weeks I’ve thought, “This is going to be the penultimate episode where everything starts to go haywire!”, but I, like an idiot, never check under my feet to see how many rugs that can be pulled out from under me. Considering how complex I understand the show to be, it is surprisingly complex, if that doesn’t seem redundant. Although the lengthy build up is slightly annoying, it is also very exciting, and bold, seeing how the slow burn is often neglected these days. With how slow this burn is, I think we are headed towards an Empire Strikes Back level of ending.

This season started more or less conventional, as far as silly dramas about mutants with psychic powers go, but as it went on, the episodes grew more haunting and felt like the beginning of something big. The first half of this season was set up, and the second half has deviated from the overall story in order to build up the side characters a little more, and it does so by having the main plot allocated to the background. It’s a very clever way of telling 2 stories: the main plot and the story of the character who is the current focal point. David, again, takes a backseat, and Cary and Lenny get the spotlight. Lenny is still awesome, and Cary still sucks.

Legion is like an anthill: the deeper you go, the more tunnels you find. This episode is the Requiem For a Dream of Legion. From drug induced parties, to the burned out old Dr. Byrd, it’s a darker chapter for the series. While I am waiting for the exciting pre-climax, the show sucker punches me with revelations with Lenny and David’s sister. So Lenny has been primarily interested in women throughout the series, but her relationship with David makes more sense when it comes out (spoiler) that she is in love with David. I will never look at Lenny the same way again, and it makes me want to rewatch the series to see if any clues were dropped. When David’s sister died, I really didn’t care, but Lenny taking her place is a fun dynamic. Lenny is a train wreck, and the idea of April Ludgate being haunted is hilarious.

This show has gone back and forth between traditional narrative and experimental storytelling. I now actually appreciate that the show hasn’t rushed towards the finish line, and it has been a subtle journey. It is filling the void in my heart that was left by Twin Peaks: The Return. David is the focal point, but having a show that shifts its tone to accommodate its other characters is very David Lynchian. I had previously compared the tone of this show to David Lynch, but in a horror fashion, not a psychedelic/surreal fashion. It’s very bold; it’s like an HBO show. I constantly tell myself, “it’s not TV, but it’s not HBO!”

So, I initially read that this season was 10 episodes, but I feel like we are going to have another 108, this season; the ol’ Dragon Ball maneuver. The set ups and overall lack of David make this episode feel, plot-wise, like it belongs in the middle. It brings up a side of Lenny that was largely ignored this season, and touches on themes not seen for 12, or so, episodes. One of the most memorable moments from Twin Peaks: The Return, not in a good way, was 10 minutes of a guy sweeping at a bar, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the next episode of Legion did the same thing. As annoying as that would be, I can’t help but applaud the boldness of the show to tell an unconventional story about a psychic who struggles with the idea of reality.

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