Legion: Chapter 7   Show Only 
March 22, 2017 8:28 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

David tries to find a way out of his predicament.
posted by oh yeah! (48 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Holy hell, this show. I'm so blown away by this episode, I can't think of anything intelligent to say, I'm just in kind of quivering in geektasy.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:45 PM on March 22, 2017


It seems like David is going to have to tap into the Shadow King's powers if he wants to get out of this D3 jam. That might set up a dynamic where Shadow King can be a recurring character, instead of a season-length villain.
posted by codacorolla at 8:59 PM on March 22, 2017


Holy shit that was good.

Sepinwall liked this ep. [Some potentially-spoilery speculation in one of his footnotes; take care.]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:18 PM on March 22, 2017


Aubrey Plaza is amazeballs in this show. And the show is nuts, but in a good way.
posted by Justinian at 3:51 AM on March 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


Without getting into spoilers, I loved the use of Stevens' British accent, especially the humor from it (including American David briefly affecting a "British" accent and other David calling him on it).
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 5:25 AM on March 23, 2017 [8 favorites]


Just a reminder, there's a show and comic book joint thread over here. Spoilers abound there.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 8:15 AM on March 23, 2017


British actor playing American-accented character doing a bad British accent such a fun tv trope, I was so happy they put that moment in, in addition to the whole rational-mind-David character.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:35 AM on March 23, 2017


I also love the quip about, 'why are you talking in a British accent? because i'm your rational mind', playing on the trope of the staid and rational Brit.
posted by kokaku at 8:44 AM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


Heh, when British David showed up and said he was David's rational self, I turned to my husband and said, "Because of course rationality is British," which David echoed almost word for word.
posted by tracicle at 8:53 AM on March 23, 2017 [3 favorites]


An AV Club commenter pointed out something I completely missed: Rudy's blood dripped upwards because his flinging-stuff-into-the-sky power was based on gravity manipulation instead of telekinesis.
posted by Iridic at 9:04 AM on March 23, 2017 [4 favorites]


And unrelated: my therapist and I have started talking recently about ego states and Rational David seemed almost exactly to be that based on the little I learned.
posted by tracicle at 9:14 AM on March 23, 2017


Also, I enjoyed Walter/The Eye learning origami.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 9:50 AM on March 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


Did anyone else notice The Interrogators cloudy eye?
posted by politikitty at 10:14 AM on March 23, 2017 [3 favorites]


This was definitely my least favorite episode, so far. I didn't really buy David coming to the conclusions that he did in the classroom with the information at hand. Also, and this could change, but there was no explanation as to how The Shadow King was recognized by Carey and Oliver. I guess all of this could change - these exposition-dumps just seemed like huge (but maybe necessary) narrative oversights.

Of course, I love the show overall so if this 'pacing' issue ends up being my only complaint about the whole season, I'll be very happy indeed!
posted by destructive cactus at 10:23 AM on March 23, 2017


The pacing is very similar to Chris Claremont's writing. He likes to leave a lot off-panel, and often starts issues in the middle of a crisis, leaving the reader to catch up. Sometimes it's there to move the narrative along, but mostly it's to create the feeling that the whole world is too big to capture on the page.
posted by politikitty at 10:44 AM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


On the technical side, I liked when they switched to black and white silent film presentation complete with dialogue cards. And does this show often change the aspect ratio? I noticed it toward the end of this episode when they made it back to Summerland that mid-shot black bars appeared above and below my screen to become more widescreen.
posted by Green With You at 11:53 AM on March 23, 2017


Was the intro this ep a Stranger Things intro shoutout?
posted by porpoise at 8:48 PM on March 23, 2017


> I didn't really buy David coming to the conclusions that he did in the classroom with the information at hand.

Yeah, this part made me squint a little and go "hmmmmm" but overall the ep was so good that I will forgive it. I know we're coming up on the last episode of the season and I'm getting sad that Things Will Be Explained because I've been so happy being all "wtf is going on DON'T STOP" so far. But maybe I am sad for no reason. We shall see.
posted by rtha at 10:36 PM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid, I thought it would be cool to be famous enough that you traveled with an entourage, like Sinatra. Really now I just want my own personal Jemaine Clement to go everywhere with me and provide meta-commentary.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:14 AM on March 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


"My memory's a bit...what's the word?...dishes."
posted by middleclasstool at 5:15 AM on March 24, 2017 [13 favorites]


Wait, are they missing a member of the crew? Where's Ptonomy?

[edit] OK, he was at breakfast.
posted by amtho at 5:24 AM on March 24, 2017


I loved that whole climax scene, especially because they used Bolero
posted by LizBoBiz at 5:47 AM on March 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


God, thank you, it was killing me not-quite-remembering what piece that was
posted by middleclasstool at 7:29 AM on March 24, 2017


They lampshaded the info-dump at the beginning of the show pretty well with the classroom scene, but I kind of think it was unnecessary and lame. I think it was pretty clear what was going on, and they could have cut all that in half. The show had been doing so well with 'showing, not telling' up till that point. I don't even like that they gave the thing a name.

The tone of the show went from being very 'Charlie Kaufmann meets Wes Craven' to 'just another super-hero show'.
posted by empath at 7:57 AM on March 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


They lampshaded the info-dump at the beginning of the show pretty well with the classroom scene, but I kind of think it was unnecessary and lame.

I agree with everything before the comma, but I think to some degree it was needed. I think they really felt the need to spell it out for people who are coming into this cold with no familiarity with the X-Men universe or the standard tropes of that kind of comics storytelling.

I agree with you that it was a kind of disappointing break from showing to telling, but (1) they dressed it up fairly well, and (2) I've heard a couple of people now say that the show was confusing enough that they might have bailed after this season if things weren't really clarified. Even as beautifully as they were presenting the confusion, at some point your viewers have to feel like they've got their legs under them.

Normally a writer laying things out in such an explanatory fashion reveals a kind of insecurity: Are you suuure you understand? I'm worried I'm not being clear enough here. But in this case, it feels more warranted in the face of the combination of trying to get totally new people up to speed and having done a REALLY disorienting lead-up through the entire season.

I agree that it probably could have been done more artfully, but I don't know by how much. They certainly didn't have to spoon-feed out quite that much detail.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:38 AM on March 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


so maybe rationalDavid's power was being able to tap into the Shadow King's memories?


Yeah, I think there's even a brief mention along the lines of, "you know what The Shadow King knows because he's in you" and honestly that would probably satisfy me, if they'd just do a bit more to clarify.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:59 AM on March 24, 2017


I loved that whole climax scene, especially because they used Bolero

Instantly recognizable to Brits of a certain Torvill-and-Dean-at-the-Sarajevo-Olympics age; I liked how it took an electro twist.

I got quite a strong Metropolis vibe from the silent-movie scenes: angry smudgy Lenny as robot-Maria.

(And the reality glasses are pretty much a straight lift from They Live, no?)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:07 PM on March 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


FINALLY CAUGHT UP

Btw, the two previous classical pieces used in Ep. 6 were the Faure Requiem and the Verdi Requiem. Two masses for the dead. The Faure, which comes first in the episode, uses the "In Paradisum" movement -- "in Paradise we dwell amongst the Angels." The Verdi uses the Libera Me -- "Free me, O Lord, from eternal death."
posted by KathrynT at 11:28 PM on March 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


I was OK with the classroom scene as David coming to a clear understanding (and meanwhile filling in the members of the audience who weren't clear yet), but by the end of the episode I was a little irritated with Oliver-as-deus-ex-machina. Don't get me wrong; I adore Jemaine and Oliver as a character is hilarious and brilliant, but he has been in a (self-imposed?) icecube jail now for a long time, and clearly has incredible powers, so a) why is he even in the icecube and b) why now?

Also please tell my husband that we don't have to listen to Jemaine singing Moana's "Shiny" after every viewing of a Legion episode.
posted by tracicle at 2:39 AM on March 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted; please don't bring stuff from other sources into the show-only thread, folks reading these threads are trying to avoid spoilers. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:12 AM on March 25, 2017


I think it's possible they're not yet in the "real" world.
posted by amtho at 12:09 PM on March 25, 2017


British actor playing American-accented character doing a bad British accent such a fun tv trope,

He was doing a Patrick Stewart imitation, right?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:21 AM on March 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


Yay I loved this episode! I know nothing about the funny books or the Marvel universe and have barely been following the plot here, so I'm grateful for the Basil Exposition scene with the chalkboards. As a matter of pacing I thought it was good to start to wrap up the plot here. The Bolero / silent movie shtick is the producer's twist that we're starting to expect, the thing that makes this show work. All a tidy bow.

The only loose end for me was Rudy, acted by Brad Mann. Who the heck is Rudy? I only know the name because I read some eight commentaries online. The guy in the wheelchair, the one who physically heroically saves the day in the big fight. And then.. dies? I guess? They were burying him in the forest? It seemed like a mistake to hang so much story on him.
posted by Nelson at 9:30 PM on March 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Would have been nice if it was Rudy's name called out on the silent movie card instead of Cary when Rudy suddenly becomes the Eye (just so we could remember who just helped save the day).
posted by kokaku at 6:07 AM on March 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


My question is: why was Ptonomy not in the hospital?
posted by Golem XIV at 8:41 AM on March 27, 2017


He was briefly - he was in the drooling scene, where he was delivering the lines delivered by Lenny in episode 1. But then he wasn't.
posted by kokaku at 8:53 AM on March 27, 2017


Sorry - I meant in this episode, the nightmare hospital. Ptonomy wasn't shown experiencing that.
posted by Golem XIV at 9:24 AM on March 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


I usually watch tv while eating dinner and I spent the entire time with my spoon halfway to my mouth because I just could not look away. This is phenomenal television and Audrey Plaza is killing it.

I had kind of settled into assuming that the show was set in the mid-1970s based on other timeline clues dropped, but Amy's reference to needing to send her husband an email has thrown that into complete disarray.
posted by athenasbanquet at 10:07 AM on March 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


TBH, I think the vague timeframe works really well for fantasy stuff on TV. Gotham does it too. It gives the show more freedom for interesting visuals, and helps to also establish a cartoony and surreal atmosphere.
posted by codacorolla at 10:27 AM on March 27, 2017


I think there was also a CNN reference, and there were one or two others I'm forgetting too. Showrunners have said this is alternate-dimension setting so they aren't tied to movie or other continuity, and I think they just decided to embrace that and have fun with aesthetics.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:29 AM on March 27, 2017


One example of confusing timelines; the space tourism posters in David's childhood bedroom. These posters were made in 2016 as an internal commission for NASA JPL, so by a strict timeline that'd set the show in about 2040 or so. But they have a retro look to them, so maybe were picked to put David's childhood in the 1970s which sets us around 2000. Best not to think too hard about it.
posted by Nelson at 11:10 AM on March 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Are we supposed to know who Amahl Farouk is? I was a bit disappointed that one of the central mysteries of the show thus far (the identity of the parasite) was answered in such a perfunctory way.

Fun episode, otherwise!
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 4:41 PM on March 27, 2017


Comics people do. For them it's a nod: we're going at least broadly where you thought we might. To non-comics fans, it's a not-terribly-suspensefully-executed "who is Keyser Soze" tease.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:26 PM on March 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Legion - Bolero Sequence
posted by homunculus at 12:05 AM on March 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


I watched that sequence and now it's stuck in my head, which is a great way to start Friday morning.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:45 AM on March 31, 2017


I love this show. It seems in many ways like the spiritual offspring of Twin Peaks in terms of how few fucks it gives about TV conventions. I'm grateful for it, but also surprised that it's taken this long for someone to plant something in the field Twin Peaks plowed. So much technology and person-power in the industry dedicated to making things seem realistic, instead of liberating imagination from the confines of "reality." Not every creator (TV and movies) is capable of using techniques like the ones on display in Legion without it becoming wankery (Hi, Zach Snyder!), but I really appreciate the visual and storytelling imagination on display here.

On the downside, Syd is horribly underwritten. She's barely a character. As a result I don't really feel the connection between her and David. It feels like they're in a relationship because the writer wanted them to be. I think Rachel Keller is elevating that role substantially.

They've completely ditched Ptonomy. I was thinking they were deliberately avoiding him so he could come back with something unexpected and important, but they just... forgot about him.

Bill Irwin is amazing. The scene with Syd in the tube of silence was great, he communicates so much with his physicality (I mean he's Bill Irwin so of course he does, but he's just so compelling to watch).

I love how much they're showing us between Melanie and Oliver with so few words. When writers and directors trust their actors like that, it seems like the writers are the pencillers and the actors are the inkers and colorists. It can yield wonderful results, as shown here. I've mostly seen Jean Smart in smaller, more stereotypical roles where she doesn't get the screen time (or scripts) to demonstrate her range. She's so good! And wow, I can't think of anyone other than Jermaine Clement who could make Oliver feel like a real human being instead of a caricature.

Aubrey Plaza. Wow.

When they first introduced Ptonomy and Kerry I could swear they called her a name other than Kerry.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:07 AM on March 31, 2017


And does this show often change the aspect ratio? I noticed it toward the end of this episode when they made it back to Summerland that mid-shot black bars appeared above and below my screen to become more widescreen.

I've been reading some recaps which proposed that the widescreen mode kicks in whenever the show starts imitating some sort of movie convention. Another example being the 'spy thriller' scene from the first episode.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:40 PM on April 1, 2017


I want to go back through this series and take screenshots of every single time big obvious circles appear onscreen, because what does it meaaaan??
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:41 PM on April 1, 2017


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