Legion: Chapter 9


Yeah, this about sums it up…

After a long break, the psychedelic super-powered show Legion is back. Last season ended with David being drone-napped, and we find out some of what’s been happening while he’s been gone. The episode, Chapter 9 (they’re very creative on titles), begins with Oliver and David’s formerly imaginary but now kind of real friend Lennie enjoying a pool together and realizing some strange things are afoot. Of course, on this show, strange is relative. That scene ends with a series of camera zoom-outs involving people’s eyes.

There’s a strange voiceover about a maze and madness before another odd scene. Agent Clark and Ptonomy are working together, which is strange enough, but they find a peculiar scene in a club before finally finding David inside. The club has people frozen in place except for something the Joker would probably approve of. We next see David being brought down a hallway with a lot of weird red lights and some of David’s concerned friends. There are flashes of David trapped in some room with metallic walls and flashes of electricity as David is welcomed to Division 3, which used to be what was hunting the mutants of Summerland.

To continue the oddity, Syd is channeling a cat (possibly literally given her abilities) while Kerry looks on, a bit freaked out. The new leader of the Division, who is really hard to describe, has some harsh pronouncements about David’s possible future, but Agent Clark speaks up on his behalf. That’s impressive if you remember some of what happened to Clark last season. Cary the scientist and Kerry the fighter manage to stave off doom for now, but when David finally snaps out of whatever is going on with him, he starts off with a nonsensical question.

David and Ptonomy go to a restaurant that is… unique, as David gets filled in some changes involving Summerland and Division 3. We also learn a bit about the Admiral, the strange leader of the Division, and hear what the other Divisions are. David has a lot of catching up to do. He recounts some memories, and Ptonomy is taken aback.

The rest of the crew are divided about if they believe David or not. Syd talks to David for a while, and we learn how long he’s been gone. It’s longer than he, or any of the audience, thought. David thinks his abduction was just yesterday, so there’s a lot of confusion around. Syd and David have a reunion, in their own unique way due to the problems of Syd’s powers.

Oliver and Lennie are going for a ride as the Division talks over what they’re up to. Since Oliver’s body was highjacked by everyone’s big enemy, the Shadow King, everyone is worried about what seems to be the world tour he/they are taking. The Oliver/Shadow King hybrid is causing some strange plague, leaving victims wherever they go, and they don’t have a way to stop it or cure it so far.

Syd has a meeting with Dr. Melanie Bird. Melanie was the leader of Summerland and a driving force behind what they did. Now, she’s… not. At all. Melanie alternates between asking questions about David and, as far as I can tell, wallowing in self-pity. She’s not dealing well with the changes to Oliver over last season. This scene ends with something that might account for the changes in Melanie.

There’s an aside about the old story about a man not sure if he was dreaming he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was a man, they talk about how delusions are formed with some disturbing visual aids. David tries to prod his missing memories back, and has a chat with Agent Clark. David realizes he has no idea what Farouk the Shadow King looks like, since he body-hops so often. Clark offers some theories about Farouk’s origins which are a surprise. This weirdly changes to Clark telling stories from his childhood before passing on a message from the Admiral.

David meets with the Admiral and learns why his telepathic powers don’t work on the leader. David tells the Admiral he can still sense the King, but not well. Cary Loudermilk has come up with a device to help David in the search for the evil mutant. David also learns that the Admiral has some different goals than the heroes if they manage to find King Oliver. The Admiral tells David what’s behind the madman’s world tour, and it’s troubling news.

In the lab, Loudermilk explains his invention to David, and what he needs to do. Even for David, this is a bit weird. Syd teases him a bit, and leaves them to it. She believes David, but Ptonomy has some doubts, which is fair enough when a rogue, incredibly powerful mentalist is running around. David has some flashbacks, and then there’s a dance battle between David, Oliver, and Lennie. No, really.

After that weirdness, David and Syd get his clothes sorted out. They talk about Farouk and David’s search for him. Syd is also worried that David is keeping secrets from her. I can’t tell if he is or not, since so much of this show is dream- or nightmare-like, and leaves it up to interpretation if many of the events actually happened or not. David gives her a special present that is kind of cool, even if seems to have been derived from something from the Pirates of the Carribean movies.

The episode ends with some weird black stuff behaving ominously, and David in another odd circumstance. He ends up playing a sort of charades with someone who is either a major character from the show or some kind of representation of them. This ends with more flashbacks to the club that has shown up so many times, and David ending up staring down at Syd sleeping, although it’s not clear if that’s in the real world or not.

What I liked: The show is off-beat to say the least, but it was good to check in with the characters after the long break. We do at least seem to have a clearly defined goal for what Farouk is up to, and what the Division needs to do to stop him.

What I didn’t: The way they chose to tell the story on this show makes it hard to follow. I’m one of the few people in the country who knew who David Haller/Legion was before this show started, and I’m having trouble keeping up with what’s going on. I also don’t like what they seem to be doing to Melanie Bird.

I’ll give this one a 3 out of 5. It was weird, as was all last season. It was interesting enough to get me back for another episode or two, but I’m really not sure if I’m going to make it through the whole season.