Legion: S2E1: “Chapter 9”

8.9 Overall Score

Legion has been one of the most interesting and puzzling shows to hit our television screens since the often compared Twin Peaks. There’s a point to everything – including colors and usage of music. As we go down the rabbit hole of David Haller’s (Dan Stevens) psyche, you continually question the blurred lines of reality. The goal of Noah Hawley and Nathaniel Halpern is to put your mind in knots while adding a unique experience to the Marvel universe.

We last left off with The Shadow King now becoming a part of Oliver (Jemaine Clement) and David getting zapped by a orb. At the start of the new season, a narrator (Jon Hamm) speaks about mazes. This is exactly the way the episode operates. There’s a big time jump (David has been gone for a year) and we have to piece together the recollection of events surrounding David’s disappearance. Division 3 finds David at the night club, but he has absolutely no memories of this happening.

However, the second story that is told in the second part of the episode is key. In speaking to Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris), we see that they are now working for Division 3. This is headed by Admiral Fukuyama and the The Vermillion, three female androids with mustaches that act as Fukuyama’s voice. His motives seem pure, being that he wants to eliminate The Shadow King even with Oliver as a cost, but with Legion, there’s probably another layer to this.

The narrator recites a story from the The Zhuangzi called “The Butterfly Dream.” This story deals with the veil of dreams, reality, and the power of belief in an idea. The main character dreams that he is a butterfly, but awakes from that dream into a man questioning what his true form is. Sometimes the idea manifests itself into something darker. That “idea” could be The Shadow King. It’s the same depiction of the mutated chick that Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) is holding and crawls under David and Sydney’s (Rachel Keller) bed.

Although the Shadow King is seemed to have left David last season, there are many instances throughout this episode to show that a piece of him is still present. If you take a look at the entrance to the night club sign, it’s red. There’s a red spot light that blinks upon David during the big dance number with Oliver and Lenny. This ties into the relationship between David and Sydney (Rachel Keller). More on this in a bit.

Within the Shadow King being out into the open world, there’s a new danger that follows them. The Catalyst, a physical virus that freezes everyone and leaves them in a teeth chattering stupor. Pay attention to when the chattering happens. David finds himself within a huge deprivation chamber to enhance his abilities made by Cary (Bill Irwin). Extremely reminiscent of Professor X’s Cerebro. Before Sydney finds David after his experience, you hear the chattering. Fast forward to the meeting of David and embodiment of Sydney in the future who is missing an arm and unable to speak. From there, she tells them that David should help The Shadow King find his physical body. Why?

At the very end of the episode, David finds Sydney drenched in red. We see two split scenes of them cuddling in bed and them being separated by this red pillow. Is this version of Sydney just a piece of The Shadow King that’s still with David? Why couldn’t this Sydney recall the conversation that she said with David inside the orb? There’s a nice tie-in with the conversation between Sydney and Melanie (Jean Smart) that recall the kettle that Sydney used waiting for David to come back. Is Melanie infected herself and who is she waiting for?

While the first episode of Legion’s season two gives more questions, it also brings about a more concrete story to follow. Surely, all of this will be turned inside out by season’s end as David still fights with his hold on reality despite being “cured” last season.

Main Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

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Author: Murjani Rawls View all posts by
Writer | Photographer | Beast

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