Monday, July 29, 2019

REVIEW: 'Legion' - Syd Receives a Shocking New Opportunity at Life and Receives Helpful Advice in 'Chapter 25'

FX's Legion - Episode 3.06 "Chapter 25"

Syd grows up in a foreign land.

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 25" was written by Noah Hawley and directed by John Cameron

Syd is the hero of this story. This hour makes that abundantly clear. It's up to her to save the world. She doesn't need saving by one of the most powerful mutants to ever exist. Instead, it's her responsibility to ensure that compassion and love win at the end of the day. All of time may be in jeopardy at the moment. She may not know exactly how to be the hero and save the world. But that's her responsibility at this point. She has to take charge of everything she has been taught and apply it to this situation. This isn't really a lesson that she needs to learn right now. Syd knows that she has to be the one to stop David from ending the world. She knows exactly how he's likely to do it. His adventures messing with the timeline unleash time demons that consume and scramble everything in the world. Those creatures aren't kept at bay for very long. And yet, Syd goes on an entire life journey in the span of twenty minutes. She is given the chance to start over. It never challenges or changes the final outcome. Her destiny still needs to be fulfilled. But this hour also gives her the love, support and safety she has always wanted in her life. She clung onto her bond with David because he could offer her a place to feel safe and loved. His powers allowed them to be together in the most personal and intimate of ways. Syd grew up believing that she could never get too close to anyone. Otherwise, it would destroy the relationships that she has with them. That always left her far removed from the world. And now, she is given the opportunity to grow up under Melanie and Oliver's protection as the loving parents she deserved. It's such a stark storytelling choice because it's unclear for a long time how all of this will factor into the narrative. Sure, it incorporates characters and story ideas that the audience has a firm understanding on. This isn't the first adventure within the astral plane. But it does present it in a new way. Here, it seems as if an entire world exists within a potted plant on a windowsill overlooking the city. As such, there is a clear separation from the real world and the safety of what Melanie and Oliver can provide. Melanie has already been a strong mentor who taught Syd how to be effective with her powers. She was still vulnerable to deception and chaos because of the life that she had lived and the actions done to her though. But now, she accepts her new reality with Oliver. This is their place in the world. It's not on them to save all of humanity as well as space and time. They just feel the importance of teaching the person who ultimately has to go on that particular adventure. They don't want Syd to leave them. There is so much fun to be had in this very specific world that presents the astral plane as a fairy tale. It's a land with clear heroes and villains. Jason Mantzoukas is delightful and terrifying as Jerome the wolf. And yet, real life is so much more complicated than that. It should be easy to save Cynthia. She shouldn't be a captive of the wolf. And yet, she chooses to stand by him because she can't bear to see him die after losing a rap battle to Oliver. That's where her compassion and hope lies at this moment in time. It may be unfortunate but that's the choice that she makes. That has to be respected. Syd learning that final lesson allows her to wake up to the true extent of what's going on. She is given a second chance at life. Things seemed bleak at the close of the previous episode. And now, Syd is on a journey to stop David and save the world. She does so with a renewed sense of vigor and purpose. She no longer does so as a woman defeated and closed off from the world. She has experienced love. She doesn't have to lament the death of David as the death of all love and intimacy for her. She deserves and can have so much more. And now, she is armed with the ability to save the world. It may just remain difficult because of the mounting threats and the uncertainty of what David's new plan - plus his own instability - has become.