“I would stab death twice in the heart before he could get you.” As David’s master plan is set into motion, an inside job may threaten to disrupt his entire scheme.
Legion – “Chapter 17”, Season 2, Episode 09
Airdate: May 29th, 2018
Director: Noah Hawley
Writer: Noah Hawley (creator)
Based on the Marvel Comics Created by: Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz
What You Should Know:
David and Syd are racing Oliver and Farouk to the body, and the winner may decide the course ahead of all humankind. Before the race got underway, however, David placed suggestions in the minds of some of his friends to ensure backup was ready when it was needed.
What You’ll Find Out (and What It Might Mean):
We open at the close, as we relive Melanie’s betrayal and the events leading up to her incapacitation of Clark from last episode. We watch as the strung-out Melanie slow slides further into a state of disarray, exhibiting many of the symptoms the Division 3 PA has warned of (“loss of meaning,” “a growing sense of outrage,” “Beware of ideas that are not your own,” “A strong urge to confess,” “Obsessive thoughts,” etc.), until Oliver inevitably manages to control her. Whether this control is truly in service to Farouk will reveal itself in time, but certainly, the loss of Clark and whatever his role may be in David’s plan will have some bearing on how things play out over the final two episodes.
While Melanie practices her Phoebe Cates impression in the astral pool and handles her various existential crises, Cary and Kerry trigger their post-hypnotic suggestion and realize their role in David’s plan. They procure the weapon from the storage locker, place it in the blue car, and deliver it to the motel to await the next stage of David’s grand design.
Lenny “The Cornflake Girl” has a happy reunion with her people and manages to enjoy a small period of freedom before she comes under assault by the superego that is Amy, lurking in her mindscape. Amy assaults Lenny with the repetition of the phrase “Are you a good person?” (another D3 announcement was “Repeated sounds. Repeated sounds”), eventually leading to Lenny accepting her role in David’s plan. There is something off about the manifestation of Amy that could suggest that, rather than being the remnants of Amy, she could be a suggestion planted by David, although that is certainly up for debate as to the veracity and also the relevance of such a claim.
Lenny climbs into the driver’s seat of the Ray Davies-possessed car and is transported to Le Désolé and takes up her position overlooking a giant plug surrounded by mysterious, blockheaded figures (a Charlie Brown convention, perhaps?). Meanwhile, Melanie relays (incorrect) information to Oliver/Farouk and enters the labyrinth.
A few moments of note:
- Oliver references that his body should have been burned so that he could have left his body and explored the astral plane, free of any tether or outer limits, potentially a moment of foreshadowing for the fate of Farouk’s body and the dangers that could present themselves should the body be destroyed.
- The Cary/Kerry relationship is explored in this episode, beginning with Melanie’s questioning of reality and delusions (“You might not even be here right now. You’re just his fantasy”), and then again as Cary ponders his own mortality, a notion rejected outright by Kerry. This sequence bears all the trappings of a buildup to lose one of both of the siblings, so perhaps now is the time to start coming to peace with that.
- New Janine references a play she was in once, where she waited for somebody. “The whole play, all we did was wait.” A clear reference to Samuel Beckett’s 1953 play, “Waiting for Godot.” One of my mentors once described the play as “a play in the genre of the theatre of the absurd. A play in which nothing happens, in two acts.” The notion of theatre of the absurd, which often feature dismissals of realism, word play, and tragic imagery (among many other common features), seems to fit nicely with the overall trajectory of the Legion Unlikely an offhand reference, however, the audience is left with the question of which of the many pairs of characters (David/Syd, Oliver/Farouk, Cary/Kerry, Oliver/Melanie, David/Farouk, Lenny/Amy, etc.) inhabit the role of the two waiting characters in the play.
- A special nod to the art and music departments is well deserved every episode, but in particular, the time it must have taken to create the Post-It Note mural of The Eye of Horus in the bedroom Lenny and New Justine wake up in must shows the absolute dedication to greatness this series strives for in every episode.
Final Thought: There is so much more that could be discussed from this episode, but I see that you are all out of waffles, so I’ll be leabing now.
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