Monday, July 1, 2019

REVIEW: 'Legion' - David Insists He's a Good Person Despite Kidnapping and Brainwashing People in 'Chapter 21'

FX's Legion - Episode 3.02 "Chapter 21"

David prepares for a journey

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of FX's Legion.

"Chapter 21" was written by Noah Hawley, Olivia Dufault & Kate Thulin and directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada

This final season appears to be a battle of perception over whether David will end the world or save it. He believes everything he does is to better the lives of numerous people - including himself. He wants to create a reality in which better choices were made that can save lives. To the people hunting him down though, they see David as a monster who has no remorse for any of the actions he has taken and is willing to perpetrate even more sinister ones in pursuit of his mysterious goals. Now, it remains a secret how David is planning on saving the world. Everyone knows that the fate of the planet is reaching a turning point. That was made clear by everything that happened during the second season. David presented as the person capable of ending the world with future Syd trying to go back in time to prevent him from committing to that path. It didn't work. David was a monster and will forever be seen in that way. He doesn't perceive himself like that though. He wants to romanticize the bond that he shared with Syd. Of course, he continues to insist that he's not doing whatever he has planned because of a girl. He tells his followers it's much more important than that. And yet, his interaction with Syd is the one moment that sends his emotions spinning. The quality of his feelings fuels the drugs that now seemingly excrete from his body and allow his followers to get high. The blue symbolizes love and good times. The transition to red is a powerful visual because it shows the intensity of his anger. He doesn't enjoy being called out and labeled as a rapist who will destroy the entire world. But those are the facts that are made apparent to everyone who once knew him. They can't just leave him alone to go unchecked. His actions will have far-reaching consequences for everyone in the world. He is the largest mutant threat that faces the population. It has created some strange bedfellows. Syd is determined to figure out his plans in order to get ahead of David. Meanwhile, Farouk actually enjoys the chase. He sees it as the excitement necessary to make his life fun and engaging. He may have the powers and skills to survive whatever is coming though. The rest of Division 3 does not. And so, they are repeatedly trying to hunt down David and his followers. They come close. And yet, they too are very prone to getting distracted in the field which opens them up to counterattacks. David and Lenny don't really care about the man left behind who was then interrogated. They just wanted to take Cary so that he can create more technology that they can use. Switch's powers only go so far. Here, it is established that she can't take people with her when she time travels. Sure, that may create some questions as to how she moved an entire house at the end of the premiere. But she was determined and on a mission at that point. Or perhaps it was David who did so because of the advance warning he got. Right now, Switch tentatively has to prove that she is up for whatever job David may have planned. He wants her to extend her powers. They need to be amplified. They need Cary to get that particular job done. His brainwashing happens very quickly. In fact, it's important to see that Cary and Lenny don't have any choices regarding the actions they take. They too are the latest victims of David's who are forced into doing whatever he orders. Switch currently has her independence. She exists outside of the free love happening within the cult. She isn't getting high on the drugs. She's just listening to her tapes about time travel. She is learning and trying to control her powers. It just may come at a great cost to the rest of the world. But again, the show chooses to be vague with what everyone has planned for the future. They speak around the central event that could either end or save the world. The sooner the show brings clarity to that talking point though the better this season will instantly become.