Legion: Chapter 12
April 25, 2018 6:50 PM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

I can't help but think we've seen the last scene with Syd and her mother and mother's boyfriend before? Maybe one of the X-Men backstories? Or did Syd reveal that last season? (yes yes the extended marvel cinematic and television universes are all kind of melting together...)

Ok episode otherwise, I enjoyed slowing down a bit and slightly fewer riddles.
posted by Kyol at 6:53 PM on April 25, 2018

Syd mentioned it last season, for sure, I wouldn't have remembered what was about to happen if it was from the comics.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:00 PM on April 25, 2018

Not to get all pedantic about it but Legion isn't part of the MCU (Disney), it's in the Fox-owned X-Men universe.

I liked this OK, but I felt like both it and the previous episode lost a lot of the momentum that had going into the start of the season (unusually, since the show's plot is usually quite fast-paced).

I'm still not entirely sure whether I'm supposed to like David, but I generally don't all that much, although I do sympathize with him. His ridiculous "love will conquer all" attempt to reach Syd was kind of awful and self-centered, and I'm like 70% sure it was intentionally written that way, but it's kind of an odd stance for a superhero show to take about its protagonist. Syd recognizes what a narcissistic version of love he's offering her, but I'm not really sure I like her response any more, and the whole bit made me wonder what she sees in David in the first place.
posted by whir at 7:17 PM on April 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Syd's teenage punk X-jacket is the best thing.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:22 PM on April 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

I can actually totally imagine the kid who's into mosh pits, Egon Schiele, and Ricky Moody.

I remembered Syd generally describing the incident with her mom's boyfriend last season and thinking it sounded pretty terrible for everyone involved, but I don't think I connected the dots on her and her mom physically switching places part-way through. I'm not sure what I think about what the episode was saying, but I found that scene, especially her mom, really tough to watch.

Were we supposed to wonder what the deal was with Cary vaporizing into Kerry last week? (I guess Clark was rushing off to take care of important security things, but I for sure got the impression he was one of the three hundred people dying to take a leak.)
posted by jameaterblues at 8:13 PM on April 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

I really really liked the first 2/3-3/4 of this episode. Like, really a lot. I found the actual "solution" to be super unsatisfying, though.

David I think intentionally is kind of half-formed. He only had a chance to live life as a fully autonomous, unparisitized person for what? A few weeks (given he can't remember what happened during his year away)? He's still pupating.

But let's be real, this show isn't really trying to be a deep character study. At least, that's not why I'm here. (I've got the David Simon oeuvre when I want that.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:50 AM on April 26, 2018

I posted some thoughts on Syd and David elsewhere, in response to what we've seen about Syd previously compared to this ep:
Syd is desperate for love but cynical and scarred enough to know what to not give up for it, even when she knows that David is genuinely her only chance at ever having a physical connection with someone. When she says David's her man (her magic man), it's honest and with no metaphor; he's the one for her.

The issue has been, of course, that despite David fawning over her and her being genuinely up for whatever he does, their relationship is extremely basic from what we've seen on screen. There's been room for a lot of time for them to have been together off-screen (whether that's at the mental hospital, at the mutant retreat, or in their white room), but it definitely seems to be the case that this latest episode is the first time they've really had a deep conversation about how she really feels (especially since David was putting forward some very basic readings of her whole deal at the start of the episode).

I honestly don't really know if it's a bad thing or if it's a genuine representation of how their relationship has been, and if it is actually "we're made for each other and should be together, let's work together to actually justify that" it's a really neat take on a relationship that I haven't really seen anywhere else
I think this episode was a really good character study of a pretty complex character! It was also the first episode of Legion I've watched live with commercials instead of later on-demand without and god was it frustrating.
posted by flatluigi at 5:51 AM on April 26, 2018

uh, 'character study' reference being a complete coincidence and not actually a direct response to you, soren
posted by flatluigi at 5:52 AM on April 26, 2018

Den of Geek really nailed my feelings about this episode in their review.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:30 AM on April 26, 2018

This episode very much reminded me of the episode Git Gone from American Gods - also a flashback-centric ep that focused in on the inner life of the main character's love interest in an effort to give her more depth. There should be a name for this type of episode if there isn't already, like with 'bottle episode' - maybe 'portrait episode'?

Is it just me, or was the pivotal sex scene presented as if it was new information, both for us and for David? There was just something about the way it was filmed, and about David's reaction, that said "surprise!!" to me, and no mention of the fact that Syd had already told him about it. It made me wonder if they wished they hadn't revealed it last season and had held into it for this episode.

Incidentally (not that I would have known this without being told) - this episode was directed by Ellen Kuras, best known as the cinematographer for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and "one of few female members of the American Society of Cinematographers."
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:11 AM on April 26, 2018

I actually don't remember Syd telling David about the incident with her mom's boyfriend, so that was a surprise, but I could see it coming as soon as the scene started.

I felt like this episode was trying to elaborate on Syd and David as a couple, which we haven't seen much of even since season 1. The music was really great for me.
posted by numaner at 12:28 AM on April 27, 2018

Is it just me, or was the pivotal sex scene presented as if it was new information, both for us and for David? There was just something about the way it was filmed, and about David's reaction, that said "surprise!!" to me, and no mention of the fact that Syd had already told him about it. It made me wonder if they wished they hadn't revealed it last season and had held into it for this episode.

For me it was important that they mentioned it last season. I took David's reaction to be he knew it, but he didn't really KNOW it. That's how I felt, too.
posted by snofoam at 6:17 PM on April 27, 2018 [4 favorites]

Yeah, my partner reminded me we'd been told about the shower, but remembering being told is very different than being shown.

As far as Syd and David as a couple, I got the impression that those two hadn't really thought much about being a couple. Or at least David hadn't. And I love that all his sophomoric attempts to explain Syd's maze only to get shot down were hilarious.

That said, I'm not sure I agree with Syd's conclusions though that really does fit in with the theme of Marvel comics; love isn't strength, but something for those strong enough to fight.
posted by happyroach at 2:19 PM on April 28, 2018

It was revealed last season when (i think) they had sex in the white room and David asked if she'd done that before (or maybe if that was her first time) and she told the story.

And totally what you said snofoam.
posted by kokaku at 12:48 PM on April 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed that cover of White Room which s'far as I can tell was done by Jeff Russo and Noah Hawley. There's audio from the episode but I can't find the full track anywhere. If any of you come across it one of these days please let me know.
posted by komara at 6:42 AM on May 17, 2018

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