Legion: Season 1 Episode 6 Review – Chapter 6
This review contains spoilers.
After last week’s jaw dropping conclusion, Legion takes its foot of the gas in what is a calm but not quite uneventful episode. Tonight’s events take place within the familiar walls of the psychiatric hospital of the pilot, but in true Legion fashion something is off. Or rather, many things are off. From mysterious disappearing doors to hearts in the wall and bugs in the cherry pie. This is not the real world; this is the monster’s domain.
The way Legion shows where the characters are varies in its degree of success. The aforementioned door and the bleeding wall are great as both a way to show that this is not reality, and to make the place more mysterious. The bugs in the pie serve as a callback to the previous episode, and a reminder that this is a space in the astral plane where the Demon with Yellow Eyes is in control. These are details that are clear enough to pick up on, but small enough to not be too on the nose.
Where the show goes wrong in my opinion is that it deems these details to be insufficient. They feel the need to include an elaborate dance sequence through different places in David’s memory, which, while stylish, is a bit too over the top for me. Over the top has been Aubrey Plaza’s default mode throughout the series, and for the most part it has worked, making this a rare misstep. It works on a thematic level as it ties in to the monster’s speech about power, which it is clearly revelling in here. There is just something jarring about the execution.
Talking about power, the most revealing moment of the episode comes during the tête-à-tête between David and Lenny. Lenny is of the opinion that power is the most important thing in life. And with that we finally have the monster’s main motivation. At first she wanted only to infect David and spread from there, like a fungus to an ant. But when she realized David’s true power that changed. Now she wants to use him to achieve the power she desires. But all she needs is his body; she does not care about his mind. And the problem is that in this space she has all the power, so she takes what she wants and leaves David’s mind trapped in a box.
It is not all doom and gloom, however. The show has already planted the first seed for a possible rescue through the presence of the diver. Jemaine Clement’s presence loomed large over Chapter 4 when we were first introduced to his character, and while he never appears on screen in this episode it can certainly still be felt. One by one the characters are being whisked away, presumably to a safer, and likely much colder, place. Maybe that barbershop quartet is finally coming together.
It seems plausible that Oliver Bird and the rest of the gang will come to save David in the foreseeable future, but that still leaves two notable characters unaccounted for: Walter or ‘The Eye’, and David’s sister Amy. Both take on somewhat different personalities to a certain extent, and the question is whether this is revealing a hidden part of them or if there is something else at play. Right now it seems that their negative qualities are coming out, which is part of the course for Walter but come as more of a shock in Amy’s case. It almost seems as if she is being used by the monster to torment the others by targeting their weaknesses, like Syd’s aversion to being touched and David’s feelings that he does not belong. It is truly horrible to see, which is the point, but still not all that fun to watch.
The same goes for Walter’s sexual instability. He feels personally attacked when Lenny questions him about his delayed development as a boy, and later makes some objectionable remarks towards Kerry, the most damning of which is “Young but not too young”. It is the first time we see this side of him come out, in part because we know so little of him. Nonetheless, it is a dangerous direction for the show to take, and I hope they can aptly handle it.
In comparison to last week, very little happens in Chapter 6. The brunt of it is the monster displaying its power, and the diver coming to the rescue. It is a clear example of a show that is preparing for the endgame of its first season, and this episode is mostly setting things up for that. Luckily the first season will not be its last, as Legion has today been renewed for a second season, returning in 2018.
Image credits: FX Networks