Legion: Chapter 14
May 8, 2018 8:24 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Madness visits Division Three.
posted by homunculus (31 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of droogs.
posted by homunculus at 8:25 PM on May 8 [2 favorites]




BRYAN FERRY MOUSE
posted by jason_steakums at 8:29 PM on May 8 [6 favorites]


I thought it was kind of interesting that the 90-year-old version of David was styled to look like Charles Xavier in the comics, i.e. totally bald with prominent and striking eyebrows. For a moment before the central conceit of this episode was revealed, I wondered if they were finally introducing Professor X in the show in some form.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:16 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I believe old bald David was also supposed to be the older version of young mustachioed David, so he would also have been paralyzed like Professor X.
posted by runcibleshaw at 8:59 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]




Well that was some of the saddest shit I've ever seen. Jesus.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:30 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Still think the main part of the show is in David's mind. It was interesting how his alternate realities seemed much more grounded in well... reality. Much less mod styling and surreal architecture.
posted by runcibleshaw at 8:01 PM on May 9


A.V. Club: A heartbreaking Legion presents a David who wishes he were anywhere but here

This reviewer saw this episode as David processing his grief and ultimately accepting it, but I read it differently. I had actually thought this might be the beginning of a "why NOT meddle in the workings of the universe" phase for David, but now I'm really not sure what to think.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:25 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


OK, so I just looked up the director for this episode and realized what the A Clockwork Orange homage was doing there.

(I also highly recommend his Twitter thread from a few months ago, detailing his father's love of California Pizza Kitchen...)
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:28 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


They were actually listed as "Droogs" in the credits.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:12 AM on May 10


So curious where they're going to go with Farouk's reminder at the end that David can create his own reality. Wondering if Farouk is a manifestation of David's guilt over losing control of his powers when he was a child (is that the Red Hook incident mentioned in season 1? is that the last page of the creepy children's book where there was a village on fire? maybe he did something to his sister?). Maybe the whole story is a process of healing for David?
posted by kokaku at 8:52 AM on May 10


OK, so I just looked up the director for this episode

I don't mean to ruin the mood, but apparently IMDb has it wrong. The director is John Cameron. Looks like the production cast and credits for the episode are listed for episode 7, the next one, which also includes the correct title, Chapter 14. I only noticed because this flashed on the screen and for a second I thought it said James Cameron, which would've only created more questions.

I love trying to piece together all the different possibilities. So we only saw the old David of 3 timelines, but I wonder how the other ones turn out, like suburban David with the family.
posted by numaner at 9:04 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


So having just watched this, there are really only three distinct timelines in this episode, right? I'm sure the Internet has thoroughly dissected all this, but I've learned my lessons from Westworld not to actually venture into the Twitter/Reddit speculation world which abound in inadvertent spoilers, so I'm just venturing it here. It seems to me the three timelines (not including the one that develops into the "real" timeline of the TV show) are:

File cabinet job -> sniffing whiteout -> homeless druggy -> meth head -> old homeless guy.
Milk job -> shot -> old bald guy.
Office coffee job -> happy suburban dad -> old evil billionaire/Farouk.

Some of the sequences are obvious, like the second one, but some seem to only be hinted at. The most speculative connection is the happy suburban life -> old evil billionaire, but his hair and the view from the pool in the final happy suburban scene seem to connect it to the billionaire scenes. What I don't know, though, is where each of these timelines diverge from the "real" timeline, though I'm sure the Internet has figured that all out already too.
posted by chortly at 9:16 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


the milk job is the most obvious one where the divergent was that David stayed on his pills and never moved out of his sister's place.

not sure where the other two diverged, but I would say sniffing whiteout -> homeless is a stretch. even crazy diner David to homeless is more plausible. i didn't notice younger homeless David doing drugs, did anyone?

also, which one was the grave headstone for? I thought it would be homeless David but Amy looks too young and the headstone said "taken too soon" so maybe that was baby David we saw that died as an infant?
posted by numaner at 9:28 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I agree all of it is arguable! The sniffing whiteout scene is immediately followed by the "first" homeless scene in a manner that traditionally would suggest a sequential development (though of course it may not in this case). And the beat-up face of crazy diner David seems to lead into the old homeless David's beat-up face. But again, all purely speculative. In some ways I'm more sure of the suburban dad -> billionaire sequence, since the pool view and the hair in that final happy scene seem so distinctive, and it seems like the sort of reversal a clever writer would plant a hint at.

And I agree about the last point -- like the potentially successful hanging, there are also a few "divergences" where he dies and the branch is pruned, potentially including the tombstone moment, which did seem like it commemorated a baby who died so young they avoided the dates, though the implication of that remains unclear to me.
posted by chortly at 10:02 PM on May 10


clearly the entire show is a dream of baby David
posted by numaner at 10:32 PM on May 10


Also, I just realized the two young people in the opening shot at the billionaire's house -- the woman in the pool, the naked guy on the balcony -- could plausibly be the happy dad's two children, given their (slightly ambiguous to me) ethnicities.

One fly in this ointment is the crazy diner David explicitly references the homeless, billionaire, and suburban timelines, implying they are all separate; but if the suburban and billionaire timelines are ironically the same, it's plausible that the diner and homeless timelines are the same.

But I know enough literary scholars to know that trying to prove these sorts of things just leads to David-like madness...
posted by chortly at 11:05 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


There's also "regular" timeline David in the striped shirt, the drug user who tried to kill himself and who then went into Clockworks.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:42 AM on May 11


This reviewer saw this episode as David processing his grief and ultimately accepting it, but I read it differently. I had actually thought this might be the beginning of a "why NOT meddle in the workings of the universe" phase for David, but now I'm really not sure what to think.

Those aren't mutually exclusive, exactly. I think both happened. When confronted with that grief, if you had the power to unmake it, I think your first impulse would be to wonder why not? David looks into these other alternatives, sees some are acceptable-to-happy, others not so much. Then Farouk tells him he has the power to make his reality whatever he wants it to be, and all he has to do is claim it. He's tempted to do just that. But then he remembers his sister telling him that he has to live in the world he's been given and do the best he can, and he makes a conscious decision to honor her by rejecting Farouk's easy way out and do the hard work of moving forward in this world.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:38 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


I don't mean to ruin the mood, but apparently IMDb has it wrong. The director is John Cameron.

Oh, weird. Just when I thought I understood an aesthetic choice in this show, it still eludes my grasp. Still an odd coincidence though.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:47 AM on May 11


I'm glad imdb had it wrong, because otherwise I might never have read that amazing Malcolm McDowell California Pizza Kitchen thread.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:58 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


File cabinet job -> sniffing whiteout -> homeless druggy -> meth head -> old homeless guy.
Milk job -> shot -> old bald guy.
Office coffee job -> happy suburban dad -> old evil billionaire/Farouk.

What I don't know, though, is where each of these timelines diverge from the "real" timeline, though I'm sure the Internet has figured that all out already too.


Here's my take:

The first one is him self-medicating. He doesn't get taken over by Farouk, he doesn't use his powers (until late), Amy doesn't take care of him- it's not shown why.
The second one is him continuing taking his prescribed drugs. Farouk haunts him but doesn't take over. Possibly the drugs suppress both his powers and Farouk. Amy takes care of him.
The third one is him not taking drugs, but not meeting up with the Summerland crew and, without their help to stop it, Farouk just takes him over wholesale
posted by BungaDunga at 11:20 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's where I was leaning too -- though the drugs/job/Amy behavior seem intertwined in the origins of all three. It would also be nice to figure out when the drug decision forks occurred exactly...
posted by chortly at 11:37 AM on May 11


I have been trying to figure out if there's a way that Farouk never left David's mind at all, or at least is spending more time there than David realizes.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:12 PM on May 11


I was struck by the way David scrunches that one dude up into a ball, because I just saw a character do a very similar thing (with very similar FX) over on the final(?) episode of Agents of Shield, and I feel like I've also seen the same effect previously (which may have been on one of these two shows, I'm not sure -- my memory fails me occasionally.) Anybody recall any other instances of enscrunchening?
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 12:16 AM on May 12


Lenny/Farouk did it to what's-his-face the bad guy with the curly hair last season.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:27 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


what's-his-face the bad guy with the curly hair last season
Walter..... The Eye
posted by kokaku at 3:17 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


I really needed this episode. The past couple went so far afield of the main plot that I was beginning to lose the thread. Nice to get back to David, even if it is multiple mutually exclusive David’s.

Also for fans of Bryan Ferry mouse, the Netflix import “Babylon Berlin” has the real human thing in a couple of the later episodes as a cabaret singer. Really nice touch.
posted by hwestiii at 6:37 AM on May 12


(Hey mods, this episode is titled Chapter 14, but it's really Season 2, Episode 6. Can it be edited to show that when you look at the main Legion page? Thank you!)
posted by elsietheeel at 6:38 AM on May 16


[Fixed!]
posted by taz at 6:58 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


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