Legion: Chapter 10
April 11, 2018 6:54 AM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

David causes a distraction by taking a trip to the desert...

... while Farouk takes Oliver's body to Division 3, where he believes the last surviving monk of the Migo Order may be hiding—the Migo monks had played a role in hiding Farouk's body. Farouk does not find the monk, but does kill several soldiers and traps Cary Loudermilk within the body of Kerry. Members of Division 3 begin to suspect David is working against them. He regrets helping Farouk now that it caused loss of life, and convinces the Loudermilks to further enhance his abilties to contact Syd in the future. David then confronts Farouk who agrees to no longer kill people in exchange for David's continued cooperation. David tells Syd what he is doing and she agrees that they should do as her future self says.

Vulture recap: Legion: Bigger Than Jesus
posted by elsietheeel (39 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
First off, Aubrey Plaza's glowing eyes in the corner of a dark room is infinite nightmare fuel. I literally shrieked and then was glad that I watched this in the morning, rather than right before bed.

Summerland had circles and Division 3 has hexagons, Farouk's sunglasses were oddly heptagon shaped.

Going along with the number 7, there were a lot of rainbows associated with the Shadow King. On the carousel, Lenny wore rainbow pants and had that giant lollipop. Oliver had rainbow neckwear. The dog and the tick were rainbow colored due to the heat camera. And there were a lot of rainbow lens flares, especially when David was talking to Farouk in the desert/prairie. So many rainbows...and homoerotic wrestling.

No idea what any of it means, but it was there.

Also did Syd actually say that a plague came, or was David jumping to conclusions? Because the implication to me was that something/someone worse than Farouk came -- I felt like it was David himself, after killing Farouk. I think the show was maybe pointing toward Lenny in a new body as being worse than Farouk, but how could that be more powerful than David?

Finally, it takes one heck of an actor to play against a cat.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:01 AM on April 11 [7 favorites]


There were little nods towards the comics that aren't replaying plots rather offering homage to the source: the whole season has a very Days of Future Past vibe; giving Kerry's hair a white streak (a la Rogue who is really represented by Syd). I'm sure there are others that I'm not picking up on.

Takes a lot of skill to play out the 'what is real?' storyline once again while bringing the question of trust more to the forefront. In season one, it was can David trust himself? In season two, it seems to be can David trust others and can they trust him? All played out in many dimensions (Division 3 as an organization, the Admiral, Clark, Syd, Cary/Kerry, Ptonomy, Melanie) - each with their own questions of internal/external trust.

Lenny talking about wanting to be set free and Farouk asked where would she return to... in season one, didn't we learn she was really he? Not that I'm complaining about having Aubrey Plaza on screen, but what was the resolution there? GuyLenny was David's drug partner and GalLenny was someone David met at Clockworks?

Do we believe Farouk is the real center or is he just another mask over someone even older? Maybe that is who/what causes the future destruction when David kills Farouk?
posted by kokaku at 7:17 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


I can't shake the idea that David himself is the future threat, and Future Syd wants David to save Farouk so that Farouk can kill David.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:06 AM on April 11 [9 favorites]


Or that killing Farouk is what turns David into the future threat and so she's trying to stop that from happening and figuring out another way to deal with Farouk?
posted by elsietheeel at 8:11 AM on April 11 [2 favorites]


I don't know if Farouk has ever created a persona as full and complete as Lenny, possibly because he had to create her with David in order for her to be accepted and trusted.

Every other creation we've seen by the Shadow King has been meant to induce terror (the drippy bloated man, the large headed angry boy) or enticement (David's dog that never existed)

Perhaps in the minds of weaker, older humans that's enough to barge in and take control; he didn't need to build a deeper repertoire. He hardly had to do anything to take over Oliver.

But trapped in the mind of the most powerful infant in the world, he had the time and need to learn some new skills, and this one might bite him in the ass.

Re: Lenny, she is full of these bits of terror and enticement, from her penchant for snarled threats, drippy claws, and glowing eyes, to the sexy dances and sexual come-ons that have nothing to do with David's view of her as a platonic drug buddy and friend from the psyche ward.

Goddamn this show is good. AND WHO'D REFERENCE OMIGOD
posted by elr at 8:32 AM on April 11 [2 favorites]


Lenny talking about wanting to be set free and Farouk asked where would she return to... in season one, didn't we learn she was really he? Not that I'm complaining about having Aubrey Plaza on screen, but what was the resolution there? GuyLenny was David's drug partner and GalLenny was someone David met at Clockworks?

My benign reading of that scene was that Farouk, like David, can contain other psyches within his own. So when he's questioning her about what would happen after she lived her second life and then died, he's leading up to the idea that she would then go on to an afterlife (heaven?), which is where she already is, sitting in a pool alongside Oliver. So there's no need to be instantiated again for a brief time, only to come back to the same place (ideal case) or to simply die and cease to exist if she was not recaptured by Farouk.
posted by Balna Watya at 1:26 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


That's awfully benign for a character who was so creepy in this episode that I'm pretty sure I'm going to sleep with the lights on tonight...
posted by elsietheeel at 1:40 PM on April 11


I agree that Farouk's point was that Lenny has nowhere safe to go, but that's not a terribly "benign" reading; I read it more as a riff on abusive relationships. "Oh, sure, I'm going to keep using you, hurting you, and holding you prisoner - but it's pointless to object, because this is the *best* case scenario for you." Creepy as hell.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 4:33 PM on April 11 [2 favorites]


Ok, I rewatched the scene, and the music near the end makes it clear that nothing good is going on. Scratch that earlier interpretation! I have no idea what happens to Lenny but I'm sure it is terrible.

But the show in general, wow. This is an hour of television that consistently leaves me amazed and elated.
posted by Balna Watya at 5:27 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


I know. I was afraid during that entire conversation between Lenny and Farouk that he was going to suddenly dismiss her to dust because he was getting bored with her petulance.
posted by kokaku at 6:39 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


I really like the various ways this show is able to demonstrate psychic combat, like the wrestling scene here or the dance-off in the last episode. I always love reading about these kinds of things in novels and it's never seemed obvious how one could put it on screen - generally movies and TV go with furrowed brows and bloody noses as shorthands for invisible mental effort, with the occasional exploding head thrown in for emphasis. With the entire show having a general hallucinatory quality, Legion can cut to a three-person disco competition and it fits in perfectly.

I'm not sure how convinced I am that future-Syd from last episode was really future-Syd and not just a Farouk projection, since that kind of trickery and manipulation seems right up his alley.

I'm not super familiar with the Shadow King lore from the comics, does anyone know if there's an equivalent of the Migo Monk there?
posted by whir at 6:46 PM on April 11


Going along with the number 7, there were a lot of rainbows associated with the Shadow King. On the carousel, Lenny wore rainbow pants and had that giant lollipop. Oliver had rainbow neckwear. The dog and the tick were rainbow colored due to the heat camera. And there were a lot of rainbow lens flares, especially when David was talking to Farouk in the desert/prairie. So many rainbows...and homoerotic wrestling.

No idea what any of it means, but it was there.


Let's not forget this!
posted by jason_steakums at 8:31 PM on April 11 [6 favorites]


On a re-watch of episode 1, I wasn't sure if the dance-off was combative or cooperative. In the carousel conversation, there was a diversion mentioned; I thought of the dance-off.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:47 PM on April 11


I had assumed Future Syd was the madness that the Shadow King had nurtured to infect David. It seems like Farouk gets everything he wants, if that's just a delusion, and it would explain why David couldn't read Future Syd's mind (because it's just a part of his own, hence the feedback he got when he tried it) and also why he keeps, a la Charlie Brown, making deals with Farouk despite Farouk being self-evidently untrustworthy.

Aubrey Plaza's glowing eyes were such a cool, horrible touch.
posted by tautological at 11:27 PM on April 11


Joanna Robinson, via Twitter, summarizes my thoughts nicely:
#LEGION S1: I’m hella weird yet lovable and don’t care about alienating my audience.
#TWINPEAKS: Hold my bee—
#LEGION S2: —NO YOU HOLD MY BEER DAMNIT.
Interesting to note that this episode was directed by Ana Lily Amanpour, of the very excellent A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:19 AM on April 12 [5 favorites]


It's refreshing to come here and read all this speculation on the story. Because boy I hated this episode, or was bored by it, and I fear I have a structural problem with the show. I do not like any of the characters. By which I mean mostly I don't like David, and this show is all about him. I don't enjoy watching him on screen, I don't like his story, I don't care what happens to him. Is this a personal feeling? Do folks out there empathize with David and watch the show for his personal journey? I like some of the other characters OK but they're given so little room to be.

So maybe I'm watching the show wrong. This isn't a personal drama like The Americans. It's a scifi show. I love the production design and the baroque details and the various odd narrative devices like the wrestling match this episode.
posted by Nelson at 6:36 AM on April 12


I think some of us who suffer from mental illnesses find the characters and the situations to be very empathetic. At least I do, as does my friend who just started watching the show and is in love with it.

Also I will watch anything with Rachel Keller in it.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:50 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


Also, it's a comic book... character development is often secondary to neat art and a twisted up storyline.
posted by kokaku at 7:08 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I'd really love to talk about this episode with you guys, but whoever it is at FX that pushes the button to drop the episodes digitally after they air is apparently on spring break. 36 hours later, it's still not available.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:58 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I'd really love to talk about this episode with you guys

One of my favorite things about this show is that you can talk about most of it pretty openly and you're still not really going to spoil anyone because nobody seems to understand what's going on yet.

I was thinking about saving this season and watching it all in one go like I do with Dirk Gently (which I have to do because otherwise I would be too lost to follow what's happening), but peer pressure won out.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:44 AM on April 12


So for the last few years, I've been slowly getting through ALL X related continuity. I have hit a few reader blocks during the 90s, so it's an ongoing project.

Braindump of the deep cuts:

The orb might be Widget. With Future Syd analog to Katherine Pryde of Earth 818 - the Future Past timeline, but the story line from Excalibur.

We seem to be going all in on David's reality warping abilities. I'm mostly familiar with his Age of Apocalypse story which first hints at the brain breaking possibilities. Though I'm sure we're also borrowing quite a bit from Franklin Richards.

I think it's pretty well telegraphed that David is the world ending problem. And my guess is that Future Syd, and probably all of the survivors, have undergone a perfected electronic brain switch similar to Fukyama as protection against David.

I am curious about the timeline of some of these scenes. Which are memories of his missing year and which are moments from the psychic plane? I have my hunches, but I'm also keenly aware of the fact that it's unreliable. Particularly since David is down on the soldier deaths, but to some degree it seems like he shrugged off the psychic deaths like what happened at the nightclub. I think Hawley is too detail oriented to let that incongruity pass.

Also very glad that David let Syd in on Future Syd.
posted by politikitty at 12:18 PM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Oh! And while Melanie seemed to be a Moira stand-in for season 1, she's feeling more like a Val Cooper stand-in this season. Glad to get a bit of life out of her this episode. I was nervous that her drug addled state was a way of ghosting her out of the storyline. But it now seems more like a Claremont long game.

I'm enjoying watching them imprinting favorite bits of existing characters onto our new for the series slate of characters. It creates all the easter eggs for the detail oriented fans without creating a set of expectations based on previous storylines. So when I speculate that it could be referencing Days of Future Present or Age of Apocalypse, it doesn't have the same weight of spoilers like it might in more conventional adaptations.
posted by politikitty at 12:53 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I think it's pretty well telegraphed that David is the world ending problem.

Yeah, same - for me it seemed so obvious that I was wondering if it was a fakeout, but it definitely seems like if she's real, then she was dancing around the fact that David is/was the "plague".

Did you guys notice that when OneArmedSyd started to say "you can't read my mind because-", David cut her off with "- because you're from the future, yeah!" Which strongly suggests to me that maybe she ISN'T from the future. Maybe an alternate timeline instead?
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:51 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


(I had a bit of a hard time with the fact that David was being SO DUMB about Farouk throughout this episode, but I'm hoping it's because Farouk has persuasive powers or something.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:55 PM on April 12


Lots of singing, lots of dancing. I notice after the Vermillion have spoken I'm vary aware of the cadences and musicality of the speech of whoever speaks next.
posted by Grangousier at 4:39 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Disney please give Noah Hawley the keys to the movie studio and a bunch of Morrison New X-Men books when you finally bring the X-Men into the MCU fold, because I need his Cassandra Nova and Xorn and Quentin Quire.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:58 PM on April 12 [3 favorites]


I'm digging that there seems to be a good narrative possibility set up in this episode that I fully expect will be completely turned over and made irrelevant by the end of the season. "Ok, so David is going to help Farouk because FutureSyd said he was needed to prevent the destruction, which will make everybody else at Division 3 think that he is still in Farouk's control aaaaand _go_!"

I keep feeling like I'm missing something important in the Melanie scenes, but I always sort of zone out during them. Brain just sorta goes off on vacation for a bit. Dunno why, I even acknowledge that they seem like there's good information being dumped in them.

I'm super happy with how they're depicting psychic battles, it would be so _boring_ to go with the usual squinty eyes and bloody noses, and you're right, the show has a loose enough grip on reality that the audience is just along for the ride.

And the _style_. The cinematography. "Hey, you know all those lenses you never get to rent? We're going to use all of them this episode." Mmmmmm.
posted by Kyol at 8:11 PM on April 12 [4 favorites]


Man I’d love the Noah Hawley take on the Demon Bear saga. Esp since the New Mutants movie is in reshoot hell.
posted by politikitty at 9:29 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Those giant green hand balloons floating around outside of Division 3 HQ are one of my favorite things. Everything about Division 3 is just so Weird Marvel in the best way, like any moment Noh-Varr and Oubliette are going to tear through the place or Omega the Unknown is going to turn up or something. Hawley gets that specific tone of the best Weird Marvel stuff so well, Admiral Fukuyama and the Vermillions, the D3 henchmen in season one dressed as Sentinels with powder blue jumpsuits and pink knit hats, the sets for Division 3 HQ and Summerland, it's a side of Marvel that's been missing in all the other live action representations, that Steranko, Steve Gerber and (as mentioned by Grangousier in the last thread) Sienkiewicz strain of Marvel.

And I may be mistaken, I don't know if the production timeline would have even allowed this, but the meeting with FutureSyd in this episode was very Twin Peaks the Return Purple Room, and if this show is incorporating some influence from that show, this is possibly the best showrunner to carry that torch.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:12 PM on April 12 [4 favorites]


I was thinking about saving this season and watching it all in one go

I gotta say, I watched season one each week as it came out and I didn’t seem to be as enamored of it as many others were. It seemed overwrought and slow and taking itself way too seriously. Way too much style, little substance. But I rewatched the whole thing in one go this past weekend to prep for this season and I’ve revised my opinion. I think season one is pretty fucking spectacular.

That said, I’m still watching this season week by week because it’s great and I’m a weak-willed person.

The question above: Do I empathize with David? Sure. He had something living in his brain making his experience of every waking moment a living nightmare. And now it’s left his brain, and he gets to experience perception like many others do and take for granted. I think that’s worth watching. I’m intrigued by Syd, although I don’t know if I like her. Lenny is fun to watch. I love Carrie and Cary. And the other characters, while not as developed as they could be, are pleasantly fucked up. Interesting to watch, because I can’t guess what they’ll do next.
posted by greermahoney at 11:50 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I keep feeling like I'm missing something important in the Melanie scenes... I even acknowledge that they seem like there's good information being dumped in them.

Reading your comment, I suddenly saw Melanie as the Greek chorus commenting on the activities of everyone around her, the one who didn't live her dreams, who doesn't have powers, who has been swimming in the wake of those who do.
posted by kokaku at 5:41 AM on April 13


I don't like his story, I don't care what happens to him. Is this a personal feeling? Do folks out there empathize with David and watch the show for his personal journey?

Seconding elsietheeel. I loathe most portrayals of mental illness on film, tv, or in comic books, even those that aim to be sensitive and informed. I'm glad to have sympathetic stories about people with mental illnesses and don't begrudge anyone else whatever comfort or affirmation they find in them, but they never ring true to my experiences, which makes them alienating and unpleasant.

Legion is very much the exception. The portrayal of David's mental illness in season 1 regularly had me in tears. I won't go on about why I found it so affecting, but if you're interested in reevaluating David's arc, I'd suggest reviewing three scenes: First, when Amy asks junkie-David why he doesn't think he'll ever fall in love and settle down for a nice life, he looks at her as if *she's* crazy and says, "Because I'm sick." Second, when he's at Summerland and excitedly tells Syd "I'm not sick! I have powers!" And last, near the end, when he is free of the Shadow King but tells Syd that the most insidious part of schizophrenia is that it convinces you you're *not* sick. He's better, but not because he's cured.
posted by This time is different. at 1:26 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


Those giant green hand balloons floating around outside of Division 3 HQ are one of my favorite things. Everything about Division 3 is just so Weird Marvel in the best way, like any moment Noh-Varr and Oubliette are going to tear through the place or Omega the Unknown is going to turn up or something. Hawley gets that specific tone of the best Weird Marvel stuff so well, Admiral Fukuyama and the Vermillions, the D3 henchmen in season one dressed as Sentinels with powder blue jumpsuits and pink knit hats, the sets for Division 3 HQ and Summerland, it's a side of Marvel that's been missing in all the other live action representations, that Steranko, Steve Gerber and (as mentioned by Grangousier in the last thread) Sienkiewicz strain of Marvel.

These little flourishes actually remind me particularly of the Invisibles & the Doom Patrol (but most of my comics exposure is via Vertigo/etc., so I suppose I may have just never encountered Marvel's equivalent psychedelic oddities.)
posted by ubersturm at 11:08 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


The Invisibles and Doom Patrol and much of Grant Morrison's work, especially prior to his mainline DC work of recent years, is kind of an evolution on that path! Among a lot of other influences, but you can tell that strain of weird anarchic Marvel was a big influence on Morrison and his collaborators (and largely on Vertigo as a whole, which kind of carried on that style after it mostly left Marvel for a good long while shortly after Legion was created and we started getting into early-mid 90s Marvel). Like yeah you don't have Morrison Doom Patrol without the original Doom Patrol but maybe even more so you don't have it without Gerber's Defenders.

Hawley and Morrison are a great fit, Doom Patrol especially seems like a point of inspiration for Legion, and this series could very easily tip into Animal Man territory at any moment. I try not to talk about All Grant Morrison All The Time when I talk comics because I can be a total broken record gushing about his work, and Noah Hawley is getting to be that way for me with TV, but I really want to see Hawley play directly in the Morrison sandbox if he ever does more superhero projects. Not slavish adaptations, I think Hawley deviating from the X-properties with his own vision is one of the best things about Legion (ditto Fargo), but I think he'd find new and very interesting things jumping off explicitly from Morrison that would elevate that already stellar source material as much as he's doing with Legion. It's not just that they both play so well with weird stuff and crazy visuals, but they both put so much life into the characters and really dig deep with them, and they both show a lot of heart that sets them above their contemporaries. Like even Lorne Malvo, for all that he was this unrelenting evil, was never as bleak as an Anton Chigurh.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:14 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


> Disney please give Noah Hawley the keys to the movie studio and a bunch of Morrison New X-Men books when you finally bring the X-Men into the MCU fold, because I need his Cassandra Nova and Xorn and Quentin Quire.
Under Fox, Hawley had been developing and scripting a Doctor Doom movie since June of last year. Supposedly it is still a go as of March this year, so...?
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 7:53 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]


Was the disembodied hand that gave Clark his ice cream the same disembodied hand that gave Oliver the cocktail in the pool? And, if so, what does that suggest?
posted by Grangousier at 2:49 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


So Kerry was dissecting the orb, and comes to the conclusion that probably he made it, right? So now we think we know that future Syd and future Kerry were in on the plan that David had to be nabbed and hidden away for a full year to accomplish what? future Syd delivers a message, we know that, but do we know for sure that these events are not still happening in David's mind inside the orb?
How does Syd lose her arm? I'm guessing that the teeth chattering plague might be a result of the psychic noise David makes when he's in the machine, but that's just a guess.

So many questions.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:51 AM on April 15


This is almost certainly a detail I missed, but where did Cary get the orb from?
posted by Grangousier at 9:06 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


The Monk is causing the teeth-chattering plague, he's "contagious." The very fact that Vermillion says it's "impossible" for a Migo Monk to still exist points to the fact that if nobody is capable of saying they've seen him, their intel is fundamentally flawed because it's based on a false assumption.

Nobody can say they've seen him because he makes it impossible for them to communicate at all. Not because he doesn't exist/the monks are are all dead. That flash of him at the end gets shown over the argument where Syd says, "he tricks people... he wasn't lying, it's a trick!"

Yep, it's a trick all right.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:06 PM on April 15


« Older OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: You'...   |  iZombie: My Really Fair Lady ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster