Episode Title: Chapter 2
Originally Aired: February 15, 2017
An episode that features our main character; turning the volume knob down on a giant speaker in his mind, him and his best friend using a child’s humidifier to get high on drugs bartered for with a stolen oven and multiple flashes of the yellow eyed devil, was somehow more grounded than the pilot. Maybe it was because of the time constraints that the director had to work in to get the second episode ready to air, maybe it was because it was just time to settle in and tell a story and not live on visuals alone. The second episode has plenty of style and visual substance but its main goal is introducing new characters and progressing the story.
Seconds into tonight’s episode of Legion, they let us know that they might be going to go the less interesting route by making David’s illness a symptom of his abilities. While the show chose the road well traveled with that decision that is where the cliches and standard practices end. In this episode David never stops being the focal point while we are introduced to several important side characters. Dr. Melanie Bird who is serving as this world’s Charles Xavier. She helps lost mutants by protecting them and teaching them to control their abilities in an institute for extraordinary people. The method for gaining control is a two pronged process of memory work and talk work. I can see people writing think pieces as I write this because Melanie refers to making David whole again as if being crazy means he is less than whole. She may be right but there is something else going on with david beyond repressed memories and abilities. In the end it may turn out that reality lies somewhere between Melanie’s beliefs and Dr. Kissenger’s diagnosis.
Memory work introduces us to the character Ptonomy, a mutant with a perfect memory and the ability to allow himself and others into David’s memories. Melanie wants David to explore his past and see that everything that was labeled a psychotic event was really his powers asserting themselves because of his lack of control. After exploring your memories you move into talk work with Melanie, so you can understand what you saw, what it means and how you can learn from it. David’s dark past and his power level proves to be a difficult task for all of the mentors at the institute, his subconscious or maybe something else blocks access to certain memories and destroys valuable equipment.
What will happen to David if he gains control of his powers? Will he be able to go on his way and do as he pleases, or with he be forced to join the war that Melanie is waging against Division Three, or does she have something even more nefarious in mind? I am really enjoying his character development and I cant wait to learn just what is going on with David, even if I am finding some of the quirkier moments a bit taxing. The scenes in the past where he seems to be at his worst and is using at least one psychedelic drug leads to a lot of rambling makes me want to yell at him to spit it out. His relationship with Syd is going as well as it can for the couple, the actress playing Syd doesn’t seem to be the best at expressing her concern, but the two have a great chemistry in the flirty scenes that I really enjoy.
Join me here next week for Chapter 3, to see what progress David is making and if he will be able to save his sister Amy.