Legion: Chapter 16


In a rickshaw with a parasol, because why not?

Legion continues wandering through its second season as things keep getting weird in “Chapter 16.” After some more desert landscape, we see David and Syd trying to figure out who else might know where Farouk’s body might be, now that the monk is dead. This leads to a side conversation about David having a fight, or not, with Syd’s future self. David at this point is determined not to help Farouk, after the death of his sister. Syd isn’t sure about this approach, but they don’t have a lot of options. Ptonomy is trying to adjust to his new circumstances of being trapped inside the Division’s computer.

The mysterious Admiral seems to be reliving his origin, showing us how he became what he is and some of the thinking behind the government’s choice to create him. It appears the Admiral, if I’m understanding what they showed us correctly, had some gifts of his own, which led into their selection. Of course, a lot of what happens on this show is open to interpretation, so I might be wrong. Ptomony chases down some some sparks in his new computer realm, and finds he’s not alone in there, although the other person is only making modem sounds with their mouth.

Ptonomy, after talking with his new neighbor, hijacks one of the Admiral’s weird “Vermillion” servants and goes to find David. He manages to relay some crucial information, although he lost a lot of time convincing David it was really him. Then it’s back to the desert again, as Oliver/Farouk goes to visit an old woman who holds the key to something Farouk needs. Farouk does have some devious ways of getting people to do what he wants, and they’re hard to resist.

David does some planning, mostly in his head, and tries to decide who he should tell about his new information. David has a conversation with Lennie. Lennie is showing some of Amy’s old traits, which is disturbing. David promises Lennie he’ll do his best to take care of her. He then sneaks out of the Division to go hunting, leaving a note behind for Syd. Syd isn’t pleased with this development, and shows she has a new toy. David teleports to the desert, and there’s a lot of strange inset screens moving back and forth as David goes toward some ruins and Farouk and Oliver are in a rickshaw. No, really. Who the guy is pulling it, we never learn.

Syd reflects on her mother’s string of bad boyfriends, much to Clark’s confusion. She does finally get around to telling him that David left again. This turns into a talk about what David is really like, if he lies, and if he’s delusional among other things. Clark has some deep reservations about David, which I understand from his point of view. Syd makes a decision about what she’s going to do, and the camera pulls back to show Melanie Byrd has been listening in on all this.

David keeps trudging along. I guess he doesn’t have this teleportation power down that well. Somehow, from where he is, he engineers Lennie’s escape from the Division. Farouk and Oliver enjoy their ride, talking about David being behind them but it doesn’t matter unless he figures out “the secret.” David himself finds a pump that doesn’t work, but it has him keeping still long enough for a jet to fly overhead and Syd to parachute in. The girl knows how to make an entrance. She gives David a good talking to before they set off again. David comments that they are close to the monastery, but that it’s moving. Even he doesn’t seem sure what that means. There are several more clever camera tricks with inset panels moving around going back and forth from David and Syd to Farouk and Oliver.

Then it’s time for another lecture, this one about other people not mattering. It ranges from the classic philosophy bit about shadows on a cave wall to modern social media. They also touch on narcissism and social filters. They do like their weird lectures with their subjects set in a white void.

David and Syd hike along and come to a campsite as lightning flickers in the sky. They find a pair of skeletons on a bed inside, which somehow or other are David and Syd. There’s some weird bit about time loops here, as well as David’s dream for the future, which Syd doesn’t seem to share. Clark has some disturbing dreams back at the Division. He goes to look into them and gets ambushed from behind. Oliver and Farouk have managed to get someone else there under their sway. The episode ends with what appears to be a twist on the classic minotaur menacing someone.

What I liked: I get David not wanting to help Farouk at this point, no matter what Future Syd tells him. Ptomony is still trying to help, even with what’s happened to him. Clark has a unique perspective on the powered people at the Division.

What I didn’t: They’re still getting weird just for the point of being weird, and some of what’s going on is unclear. I really want to slap the smug out of Farouk. I’d really like some of the weirdness to slow down long enough for a few simple answers. I’m not sure I understand how David went from furious about Lennie killing his sister to helping her escape.

The show continues to be visually stunning but with a confusing story. I’ll give this one a low 3 out of 5.