The very surreal Legion comes to the end of the first season with Chapter 8. I kept expecting the chapter names to change to something else halfway through the season, considering how odd the rest of the show is, but that never happened. But the show remained just as odd up to the finale.
For a show with such a limited season, they certainly don’t mind their random asides. A good bit of the early part of this episode shows what happened to the Interrogator who was with David back in the first episode. He was very badly injured, with some severe burns. His recovery looks long and painful, and the scars are not pleasant. We also get a glimpse into his personal life, which makes it look a lot like the show is in the more modern era than some of the sets suggest. The man is very determined, you have to give him that. The ambush from the end of last episode is not only not an issue, it barely generates a mention, as David deals with it and then tells the Division 3 man they need to talk. This is where we learn that the Interrogator is being watched, and that it’s a family business.
Syd spends some time talking to David. She’s worried about the risks he’s taking, and she cares a lot more about him than anything else, including herself. David talks about his six years at Clockworks, and the way the brain tricks itself. He’s clearly getting some new perspective on his experiences.
Kerry, their designated fighter, is keeping watch over their prisoner as the others debate what to do. Ptonomy, who really does seem to favor the simple approach, just wants to kill him. I can understand the sentiment, but that’s not going to make anything better in terms of peace between Division 3 and the folks at Summerland. It occurs to me they don’t have a collective name, like the X-Men or Avengers. I guess that’s too close to being straight out superhero, which they work hard at avoiding. At any rate, David still wants to talk to the man. Cary likens the Shadow King, David’s parasite, to a computer virus that threatens to overwrite the original programming. In this case, that’s David.
Cary brings the Interrogator some water, and Kerry rolls her eyes at the kindness. She’s still holding a grudge for Cary disappearing when they were in the fake Clockworks. The Interrogator proves very good at both reading people and being a smartass. I’d argue that having an argument like that in front of a dangerous prisoner is really not a good idea.
Melanie tries to rekindle things with Oliver, but he’s still both detached and having memory issues. This probably doesn’t leave her in the best frame of mind to talk to the Interrogator, but that’s what she goes and does anyway. There are a lot of threats and verbal fencing, including a good line about the dinosaurs. We do finally learn that the Interrogator has a name, and it’s Clark.
David finally gets a cliche superpowered pose, as he’s floating in the air, legs crossed, apparently meditating. Melanie brings Clark to David, and he floats back down. David turns to Clark and quotes John Lennon, “War is over, if you want it.” On the more ominous side, his halo device has gone from green to red, and we see Lennie pounding on her coffin/prison inside David’s head.
Cary is fiddling with some of his machines, trying to boost the power to David’s halo device. Clark watches all this, picking up that something is wrong. He and Syd get into an argument about the future of mutants and humans. Clark is definitely coming from a place of fear, but that’s somewhat understandable. David keeps trying to play peacemaker and be reassuring, but Clark isn’t really interested in listening.
Syd gets a shock when she gets pulled into the white room refuge she and David have been using. This time, instead of it being a pleasant interlude, Syd gets confronted by Lennie. Lennie AKA the Shadow King is in tune with Syd’s brain after the body switch earlier in the series. They argue with each other, each threatening in somewhat different ways. It’s not a pleasant exchange.
Clark asks what’s happening with David, and after a lot of back and forth, Syd tells him the whole story of David’s possession, for lack of a better term. Clark looks a bit stunned. After Lennie talks to Syd some more, David collapses, worrying everyone in the room. The last thing anyone wants is the Shadow King getting loose again. Clark gets moved back to his cell while Oliver and Carry try to get the machines working right. The Division 3 people are watching through Clark.
David wakes up, confused about why he’s tied down, but he answers his own question by saying he can feel the monster forcing its way out. Oliver tells David to push when they pull, and then “Boom goes the dynamite,” which is a saying from 2005, despite the very 60’s look of Summerland. They are picking up a second set of brainwaves in David’s head, and start trying to get rid of everything that isn’t David. There’s another musical interlude as Pink Floyd plays while David wanders through his own memories, seeing the past versions of Lennie disappearing from each one. David is going into seizures with nosebleeds, which is always a horrible sign on tv and in movies.
Lennie finally turns up in David’s head, if that makes any sense, and they argue. David calls her his phantom, as in phantom limb. In the real world, David’s body is not handling the strain from the machines and the process well. Oliver is off playing engineer, trying to keep the power running right. Syd takes things into her own hands and goes to David, using her own power to get David out of harm’s way. This kicks off a series of body hops as the Shadow King works his/its way through several of Melanie’s people. Finally, in a major cliffhanger for next season, he gets away in a hijacked body. David reassures the people that are still around that the monster is gone, and tells Clark they still need to talk peace. After picking up the pieces, the credits roll, but like many good Marvel projects, there’s an after credit scene that leaves another big cliffhanger.
What I liked: It was a good season finale. I liked that Clark the Interrogator came back, and he got a lot of good lines. They set up the ongoing tension between the Division and Summerland, or set up to continue it. Clark gradually giving them some credit and listening to what they had to say made sense. Where the Shadow King ended up was tragic but made sense.
What I didn’t: The show still occasionally feels like they are being weird just to be weird. The lack of clarity in some of the story is a stylistic choice, just one I don’t care for. Letting Clark see division in the ranks before he was treating them like people was a bad idea on Cary/Kerry’s part.
It was a really unusual season, not at all like most of the superhero shows on right now. It was interesting enough that I’ll be back for Season Two. I’ll give Chapter 8 a 3.5 out of 5, and the same rating to the season.