Episode Title: Chapter 7 Originally Aired: March 22nd 2017
The penultimate episode of Legion was its best of the season so far, leading up to the climactic battle next week. This episode featured references to They Live, Buried, David’s comic book origins, silent films and anything involving Tim Burton. We finally have our answers about David’s illness and the villain’s identity. Every episode of this show takes you on a visual trip and this one hits every stop on its way. Nothing in it is groundbreaking on its own but most shows and films would never combine them all in a 45-minute stretch. It was not without faults as the show rested on the trusted but well-worn dues ex machina trope.
Glasses that let you see things the way they really are is nothing but an homage to the cult classic movie They Live. Aliens may not be trying to control the world in Legion but if the monster gets full control over David’s powers there is no telling what he would try to do. There wasn’t an iconic fight is this episode but next week when David sets off to battle the creature that wants to take over his body we should see something great. The panic that David felt while trapped in the dark coffin reminded me of the movie Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds. A tragically under viewed movie features Reynolds kidnapped and buried alive while his captors request a ransom. He starts of the film like David by yelling and trying to force his way out until the more rational side takes over, then he tries to figure out what is going on, and what he has with him that could help. Lenny spends most of the episode looking like she came from the set of a Tim Burton film but I won’t hold that against her. Her silent scenes with Syd and Kerry were a highlight of the night for me. Partially for how well it was done but mostly because of how unexpected it was. The silent film era is not an era of cinema I think I could enjoy for an entire film. The cards that contain the dialog or so basic that they are unnecessary except they were need to fit the motif of the moment.
King, The Angriest Boy in the World, Lenny. The Demon with the Yellow Eyes, they are all on in the same, they are all the Shadow King. A powerful mutant whose backstory is told to us through a great chalkboard sequence that included a couple of hints that professor X may still be David’s father in this time line. The Shadow Kind tried to defeat David’s father and after his defeat, he decided to claim the son and then eventually the world when he combined their powers. I don’t know the comic book character very well but his look and the fact that he watches through TV like devices makes me think Mojo before I think Shadow King, but his motives and plan is pure Shadow King. The debate over whether or not David is crazy seems solved for good, as all symptoms of his illness are blames on the Shadow King or his own unrestrained powers.
The low point of the episode involves a bit of nit picking as David unknowingly summons his rational mind who will walk him through answering all of his questions about what is going on. His rational mind speaks with actor Dan Stevens’ natural British accent, which is played for a joke. When things are at their worst and David is on the brink of disappearing for good, poof, the answer to all the problems just shows up. Yes, David still has a lot of work ahead of him but it shouldn’t have been this easy. I am hopeful for an all-out physic battle next week to cap of the season even though my hopes for season two may have been slightly dashed. I am excited to see where the story goes next but I was hoping for the Shadow King to be banished and David and the rest of his personalities to fight for control and display a wide variety of powers. I was essentially hoping for the latest M. Night movie Split to play out in the mutant world. Whatever next week and next season has in store for us I’ll be there to watch it and tell you a little bit about it.