Legion Chapter 18 Review

Just one more episode, I promise. After a few weeks of hiatus, David is back, and more developed than ever. Through all the build up, the character development, and all the vague omens, the threat is established, and it’s time to finally end this. This is the Legion that I love: dark, violent, and trippy (even though I hate that word). It really is a fantastic turn, but I dare not believe what we see is what we get, especially since perception is such an important aspect of the show. Considering nothing is really what it seems, I’d say it is a coin flip as to which direction the show is headed, for the conventional is unconventional, and vice versa.

This episode opens on David, on a chair surrounded by bones, but at least he looks like his comic book counter part. David is separated from Syd, and Melanie tries to show Syd who David really is when he is tested. Melanie believes that David and the Shadowking have switched roles, metaphorically, and that David is the monster. The Shadowking is a necessary ally, because David is the force that will destroy everything. It’s all very complicated because Syd sees David torturing Oliver, which has 2 complications: she doesn’t know the whole story, and she isn’t convinced that it is actually David. Legion (David) is still somewhat of an enigma because he is comprised of everything/everyone in his head. Who knows how much of his backstory is true and how much is delusion. That is the horror of a mental illness like schizophrenia. We know that David is a mutant, but what happens if he also is a psychopath?

Clues have been dropped throughout the series as to what David is truly capable of, and becoming the villain isn’t out of the question. While there is no confirmation of David becoming a menace, him sitting on a throne surrounded by skeletons doesn’t imply that he becomes an altar boy. David and the Shadowking are a yin and yang/Neo and Agent Smith type, so it makes sense that the reason to seek the help of the Shadowking is because he’s the only one tough enough to stop David. I love the idea of David turning heel, and the plot of the third season being the others redeeming him. I don’t know if another show on TV has done anything that ambitious. I don’t know if TV guide is still around, but that would make the cover if it did.

The most memorable scene in the entire show is when Lenny (the monster) is stalking the mutants in the first season, with old timey subtitles, and no dialogue. There is an underlying horror aspect that really drives the show, and it’s what separates it from other comic book shows. Instead of David Lynch horror, we get some James Wan torture. David straps Oliver to a chair and uses a power drill on his legs to extract information out of him. Apparently one of David’s personalities joined the CIA. When the show takes a violent and horrific turn is when the show shines, but when the show decides to showcase action, it flops. I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but when Kerry has action sequences, it is so awkward and terrible. She looks like somebody’s kid pretending to play kung fu. She awkwardly swings a staff in the most lackluster, clunky and unconvincing matter. It’s not boring, but it is horribly cringe inducing. There is no tension and it feels like the filmmakers are making fun of Amber Midthunder.

Legion isn’t David Haller; Legion is everyone in David’s head. The problem with existing as a being with multiple beings in your head is that there is no accountability from who are the good ones, and who the dominant ones will be. The old adage of power corrupting and absolute power corrupting absolutely is perfectly applicable to David, and he may live long enough to see himself become the villain. I want more of the abstract horror, which is what has given the show the most tension, especially since the action usually falls flat.  Legion may be the most ambitious series on TV right now, even though Westworld is great, because the premise allows such a wide array of tonal match ups.

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