Episode Title: Chapter 4
Originally Aired: March 1st, 2017
“Violence is ignorance, so figure your shit out.” Oliver wants you to know that when you understand something there is no reason to have an irrational fear of it, which will minimize your need to lash out at it. While a great thought provoking thought, it does not seem to have a lot to do with this particular episode of FX’s Legion. His second quote about the stories that we tell our children can be seen all over tonight’s episode. Is David the cute bunny that is getting to close to the ocean? On the other hand, is David the ocean dooming those that get too close?
This episode was highly entertaining, it gave us some new interesting information about a couple of characters, but sadly only moved the plot forward about a quarter of an inch. The lack of plot movement is a major concern because there are only eight episodes in this first season. Are they going to end with a massive cliffhanger or will they wrap things up nicely with a hint of what will come in season two if FX decides to renew? At this point, there seem to be too many questions for us to have a satisfying conclusion in four short weeks. We don’t know who or what Lenny is, who the Devil with the yellow eyes is, if David is crazy or not, if this is all in his head, as far as we know the final scene of the season could be a pull back to show David drooling in a corner at the hospital.
Tonight we met Melanie’s “dead” husband Oliver, who has spent an unknown amount of time trapped in the astral plane. This is not the same astral plane from last year’s Dr. Strange; these effects looked more reminiscent of the 90’s cartoon Reboot. When it came time to design his costumes, Oliver spends time looking like a monster from Scooby Doo or Rick from Magnum P.I. if he decided to hang out on Fantasy Island. Much like everything else in this show, it is an interesting look that was designed to get your attention. It is clear that Oliver has lost track of time, he isn’t even sure if Melanie could still be a live or not. Wondering how long he has been there raises a question of how can your body survive without food or water for years. When David traveled to the astral plane, he brought his monster with him, did it manage to escape with him or did he leave it behind when he used is power to go to Syd’s rescue. A major hint for what is to come is Oliver telling David that the monster is not his powers; it is not a manifestation of his mind but something more.
One of the more interesting things we learned this episode was the background for Cary and Kerry and how closely the two are connected. We are shown how closely linked they are and that they have no idea how far that link actually extends. Kerry is an almost mirror opposite of Cary, she is young and eager for battle while Cary is fine with being a secluded man of science. Her thirst for a fight led to a few chuckles but could be problematic for others because they are taking an Native American character and making her lust for violence. I’m not sure if anyone will take the time to write a think piece about the topic but I wont be surprised. With their unique bond and the existence of the astral world, Legion has gone leaps and bounds beyond the things we have seen in the X-Men movies to date. One of my favorite scenes in this episode was David trying to use his powers by taking on the stance of various characters. He tried the classic Professor X by placing one hand on his hand and extending the other, when that failed I think he tried a Dragon Ball Z style Kamehameha.
So far, the show is managing to be fascinating and entertaining but it is in a major danger of becoming style over substance. Style is a great thing to have it can really set you apart from the pack but if all you have to offer is style, before long your audience will grow tired of dedicating an hour of their week to your program. I am more of a fan of an exposition dump than most people are and I cannot see this show ever going that way but they should consider peppering it in from time to time.