Legion 1.08 Review – ‘Chapter 8’
Actions have consequences. This is an ongoing theme in most cautionary stories. It’s only in recent years though, that we see heroes dealing with the outcomes of the violent battles they wage against the bad guys. In the Legion season finale, we see what events of S1E1 have done to a certain Interrogator, resumed the battle with The Shadow King, and saw the lengths of how far Syd will go to protect her man. Spoilers for the Legion season finale follow.
The Interrogator from Chapter 1? He had a family—a husband (who also works for Div 3) and son who were devastated by his injuries, perhaps even more than he was. I’m impressed that he managed to live through burns on 40% of his body without developing a wicked addiction to pain pills. Who could blame him? But no…the snide jackass from Division 3 heals up more or less fine. When he returns to work, he refuses to take a desk job, stating that he’s going “to war.” He’s not even exaggerating. He wants David, Melanie—the whole team dead. Still pondering what Division 3 wants with David? As the Interrogator says, “You’re gods who will one day realize you don’t have to take orders” from regular people. And because Division 3 is made up of ruthless, power-hungry types, they presume all mutants think that way too. That’s why they’ll kill everyone at Summerland if it means keeping David under control. If they can’t make David use his powers for them, they need to stop him using his gifts altogether.
David’s comments on schizophrenia are worrying. Yes, it is dangerous to think you don’t have schizophrenia…if you really have it. As we know, David really has multiple personalities inside him; he’s not just imagining that he does. During the first segments of the finale, Legion takes time to remind you of who everyone is, what they want, and where everyone is in their arc. Handy! We’ll recall that David’s “real” father fought Shadow King and won, which is why s/he/it is so damn angry at David, and so determined to have his way with him.
Who is The Interrogator? There is a Marvel character with that name, but he doesn’t seem much like this guy. But when we see him with the suit, walking stick, and burned skin…he reminds me of a character I can’t quite put my finger on. We get a nice shot of the handle of his cane—it seems to be a goat. We saw a goat at Summerland as well. What’s that all about? Satan? There’s also a goat in one of the Legion-focused X-men comics, but it doesn’t seem to carry heavy symbolism. He gives his name as “Clark,” which makes me wish he could be Rampage. Unlikely. But it’s also unlikely that they’d bring him back to be no one.
As Melanie and her gang try to save David and thwart Div 3, Plan M is mentioned. How many failed plans do you need to come all the way up to Plan M? About 12, I guess. David makes short work of Div 3’s team, even as they watch from a far away room. I always enjoy it when they sneak in a Wilhelm. Haller thinks he can work things out with Div 3, but he’s alone in that. It’s impulsive for mentally ill people to give others the benefit of the doubt, because it’s what they need themselves. In this case though, screw Div 3 and their fearful violence. Meanwhile, the Loudermilk Halo device won’t last forever.
David sends Syd to the white room for safety. But Lenny is there! Gah! She was supposed to be trapped in that box, but because Syd and David switched bodies before, Shadow King was able to get to her. Lenny is right about one thing—you can’t really unmake soup. Now’s as good a time as any to bring up one last time how wicked awesome Aubrey Plaza has been this season. The show doesn’t have any bad performances, but she’s clearly the stand-out star. During this scene, stakes are clarified and raised. They either get Farouk out of David, or he’ll “erase” him…kind of like a Dementor’s kiss, if you know the reference. We’ve also heard Syd say that saving David is more important than say, her. We start to worry if she’ll sacrifice herself. We’re also reminded that Oliver doesn’t remember that Melanie is his wife, and that she isn’t giving up on him. Mel isn’t one for giving up in general, as we see during her conversation with the Interrogator. Dinosaur analogies always work, don’t they?
I’m not sure “Boom goes the dynamite” is an expression they would have used in this time period. But let’s not make a big thing of it. The group (save the still-quarreling Loudermilks) pulls together to get the parasite out of David. As expected, it fights back. This leads to another visually incredible segment rich in flashbacks, symbolism, and the Pink Floyd music we all felt we should have heard more of. We’re reminded of all we know of David’s life so far. Also, it seems that David’s shirt that has a triangle inside a circle? That’s for when he’s especially dangerous.
The Legion season finale is almost an hour in when things go FUBAR. David passes out while asking for a peace conference with Division 3. Syd spills to Clark (The Interrogator) about the parasite. Cary gets David into the chair, and they use their tech to get Farouk out of him. When David asks “What am I without you,” we know it’s going wrong. Not enough power. Malfunctions. Farouk fighting back hard. When Syd enters the room, we all know what’s coming—yet somehow Melanie and Ptonomy weren’t able to stop her from kissing David and making The Switch. Notice too that Ptonomy has zero qualms about killing “bad guys.” Not sure how I feel about that. How much did we love the moment where “David” and Kerry ran toward each other? Wow! Then…that relaxing string music and jaunty singing means “it’s over.” Oliver explains to the other patients that there was an electrical malfunction, then he drives off. Wait, what?
That’s the end of the hour, but the Legion season finale doesn’t stop there. David, now himself again, checks in on everyone—Kerry, Clark (David makes it clear that they need to work together now.) Cary, Ptonomy, Mel. Everyone appears to be essentially okay, even Syd. Nice! I was pretty sure someone would die in the finale, and my money was on Syd. The Loudermilks made up, so that’s cool too. When Syd asks if they won, David clearly implies that they haven’t. He knows that battle is just getting started. Where’s the Shadow King? Wait, Melanie wants to know where Oliver is. Um…he’s driving off in one of those steering-wheel-on-the-wrong-side cars….with Lenny. Great use of T-Rex music even though it appears that Oliver is in peril. Aaand…scene!
Just as we’re thinking that the ending, while ominous, was not nearly as bleak as we expected. This first season of Legion was pretty damn dark. Well, before we even had time to consider all that, the action returns. David and Syd stand on a balcony discussing where Oliver and Lenny/Farouk are. Oh look, it’s a cute little drone. It scans Haller—and then he’s inside it, screaming for help. Oh noes!!!
THAT is the kind of season ender we were looking for. WOW. I know, I keep saying Wow whenever I talk about Legion. But seriously, wow. Coming into this season finale, we were in grave danger of being massively let down after such a spectacular season. But no, I have to say that they delivered the battle we wanted, and left us craving another season. Nice work to the cast, directors, writing team, and to Noah Hawley for bringing it all together. I gotta catch up on Fargo now that I know what a genius this Hawley fellow is.
Thanks for reading, everyone. As for me, I’ll be back reviewing Gotham when it returns in late April.
See you’s then!