Legion S2– Episode 7: “Chapter 15”
Starring: Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Hamish Linklater, and Navid Negahban.
Written by: Noah Hawley and Nathaniel Halpern
Directed by: Charlie McDowell
”When two tribes go to war, the point is that you can score. Frankie Goes to Hollywood.”
David fights a giant delusion monster. The Shadow King reveals himself to be a fan of 80’s pop. In the plot-heavy “Chapter 15,” this episode stands almost like a response to the complaint that Legion S2 has been light on the plot so far. This latest installment comes back swinging. It moves more of the characters toward their final showdown and even throwing in some choice action for good measure. Again co-written by the team of Noah Hawley and Nathaniel Halpern and directed by the man who gave us The One I Love and Netflix’s The Discovery Charlie McDowell. “Chapter 15” finally gets the show back on the rails and barrelling toward a major mutant smackdown.
SO, buoyed by last week’s David centered installment, “Chapter 15” throws us back into the hunt for the Shadow King’s body feet first. But first, there is the little matter of the Delusions that have taken up residence in the body of Ptonomy. They have now set their sights on the rest of Division 3. While David calls out Farouk and tells him he is done helping him. A possessed Ptonomy starts infecting the rest of the team with their own Delusions to kill Admiral Fukyama and the robotic gaggle of Vermillions.
As I said, a LOT is going on during this episode. Thankfully Halpern, Hawley, and McDowell keep the action and plot moving forward consistently, while also making sure that our characters that sat out the last few weeks coming off the bench with plenty to do. The stuff with the Delusions is very much the B-plot. It feels like a neat culmination of the gross imagery that has been following around Ptonomy and of Jon Hamm’s persistent narration sequences. The show doesn’t really give much by way of origins for the Delusions or reveal if they are under the Shadow King’s thrall. It is neat seeing what Legion’s version of a mutant monster fight looks like. It also doesn’t hurt that this whole plot is basically just a new excuse for Amber Midthunder’s Kerry to start hatcheting fools in a stylish and well-executed hallway fight
But the big stuff this week, interestingly enough, is centered around Farouk and Future Syd. Spurred by David, Farouk then turns to the future, and we return to the stuttering, Tron inspired cubist production design of the post-Shadow King apocalypse. Farouk then appeals to Future Syd to get David back on track finding his body, so David does not kill Farouk, thus saving her world (which is heavily inferred has ended because of David’s immense power). I really truly love the way the show depicts the future. It is really off-putting. The stuttering visuals convey a real sense of off-putting urgency to the scenes, along with the strange lighting and sorching pinks and whites.
This new pairing also adds another interesting wrinkle to the time travel hijinks the show has been playing with so far. Now that Future Syd (who we see has some sort of literal window into the past where she spies on David) is aligned with Farouk, the lines between hero and villain are now crossed, given an eloquent voice by Navid Negahban’s Farouk, who is quickly becoming this season’s standout cast member. It also shows that Future Syd might be a more antagonistic and manipulative presence than we were first led to believe. This begs the question, just how bad is the future if SYD, who loves David implicitly in the present, is willing to align herself with The Shadow King explicitly to prevent it?
Verdict: Watch It. Especially If The Last Few Weeks Have Frustrated You.
By getting back on track with the main plot and stuffing the episode with set pieces and narrative reveals, “Chapter 15” refocuses Legion S2 and hopefully regains back some viewers that found themselves alienated by the more character-focused past installments. Also, David turns a gun into a mop and Vermillion gets a mini dance routine and you don’t want to miss that.
Until next time, watch The One I Love, and I’ll be seeing you.