TELEVISION EPISODE REVIEW: Legion S2 Ep11 ‘Chapter 19’

The Finale. A play, in two acts, in which nothing happens in either act, in the most extraordinary fashion imaginable.

Legion – “Chapter 19”, Season 2, Episode 11
Airdate: June 12th, 2018
Director: Noah Hawley
Writer: Noah Hawley (creator)
Based on the Marvel Comics Created by: Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz

What You Should Know:

Farouk’s mind and body are once again reunited. As David prepares for the final (?) showdown with the Shadow King, his friends are littered about Le Desole and the labyrinth. With David ascend to his new role as Legion, the World Killer or will Syd slay the monster she was shown last episode?

What You’ll Find Out (and What It Might Mean):

As with the Waiting for Godot reference from a few episodes back, in a sense, nothing happens in this episode that was unexpected, and yet everything that happens is unexpected.

astral combat

David has an epic astral showdown with Farouk to start the episode, a stunning duet of The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes”, an animated psychic combat sequence. Lenny finally takes her shot with her giant gun, striking the choke and rendering both powerless long enough for David to beat Farouk within an inch of his life when he is interrupted by a vengeful Syd bearing the minotaur’s skull. She takes aim and fires, only to have her bullet sniped by David’s oldest ally—dear old Lenny Busker. In the spaces in-between of this non-linear narrative, we see a flash of the future, three years later, in which Melanie and Oliver live in their ice cube built for two, who kindly informed us that David, betrayed, still destroys the world.

melanie and oliver

Thus, it comes as no surprise, as we watch David manifest alternative identities, that he will still turn, yet we the viewer still battle for his salvation for another forty-plus minute, waiting for Godot to arrive, only to be left alone with our own ruminations. We see David’s alters, David and DVD, explain David’s key delusion—the key to everything David is, was, and will be. Upon seeing Syd for the first time, deep in David’s psyche, he utters, “I am a good person. I am deserving of love.” But alas, poor David, you are not.

david in the cage

Farouk and Lenny are taken into captivity, but not before David alters Syd’s memories, leaving her to forget her revelations in the labyrinth, for however long that may last. As the trial of Farouk is set, the illusion of David’s goodness is stripped away. Farouk knows of his drugging of Syd. Cary discovers it as well. Delusion is plucked from the mind of David’s former companions, and he is tried in a kangaroo court of his lessers, including a freed Farouk. Syd condemns David to treatment or death, but her preference is clear as she elucidates the fact that David drugged her and had sex with her, a mutant powered date rape. As the team sees David struggle with his insanity, the truth of his mind and heart laid bare for all to see, David asserts his will. No cage built by smaller minds can hold Legion, The World Killer, and he flees, taking Lenny with him.

david and lenny

The end.

Our journey with David up to this point has been a distinct departure from what we know of the comics version of the character. We have been told time and again that he is not insane. That any insane behavior was the result of a combination of The Shadow King treating his mind like a Los Angeles tenement building during the 1978 punk explosion and his manifestation of the most powerful set of mutant abilities the world has ever known. We were wrong. David is powerful, and damaged, but also insane.

Some will argue that this timeline is different. The Shadow King survived David smashing his skull with a rock. Yet the evidence provided by the delightfully unhinged Melanie and Oliver would seem to indicate that Farouk’s presence changes nothing at all. No new French fry branch at all, really. Time will tell, but one thing is for certain: David is Legion, for he is many, and he feels betrayed. No good can come of that.

Rating: 10/10
Final Thought:
From top to bottom, music, and art to direction and writing, from the set designs and camera work to the actors and light engineers, this episode was sublime. This may be the last time I write a review for Legion, and I’d just like to say, it has been a privilege and an honor. Photo credits to Andre Costa. Check out his Legion Fan Group here: Legion – On FX: After Dark

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