Monday, August 5, 2019

REVIEW: 'Legion' - David and Syd Have Different Guiding Principles Regarding Their Efforts to Change the Past in 'Chapter 26'

FX's Legion - Episode 3.07 "Chapter 26"

The beginning of the end.

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 26" was written by Noah Hawley & Olivia Dufault and directed by Dana Gonzales

David and Syd are on separate journeys to change the past. Syd, Cary and Kerry went through the time portal that was left open in order to stop David from ending the world. David and Switch went back in the first place to fix the tragic life that David has lived. He saw that as the root of all of his problems. Of course, this season has made it clear that his mind is broken in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with Farouk. And now, David embarks on this mission once more hoping for a different outcome. Previously, he was unable to interact with his parents. He couldn't warn them about the tragedy that was coming with Farouk infecting his young mind. But now, everyone is allowed to exist as a part of this world. David can reach out to his father in the hopes of helping him defeat Farouk for good this time. Meanwhile, Syd lands at David's childhood home. As such, it becomes a competing battle over ideologies regarding this core mission. David is on an extremely personal quest to change his fate. He doesn't care about the potential consequences that anyone will have to pay because it will all be undone by these actions. That's his driving principle when it comes to time travel. Switch just happens to be the one who is continually abused by time until she is completely broken. That's devastating. It's all a part of David's need for vengeance. The pieces of his mind can't justify what he is doing as either revenge or justice. They don't know how to explain what they are trying to do. It's just important for Farouk to die. That's the only way he believes he can magically fix everything. Of course, it's unlikely that any of this is going to work. Charles may now be gifted with the knowledge of everything that has happened in his son's life. And yet, he remains confused about what David is aspiring to do. He doesn't quite understand how these various events created the person who is now standing before him. Of course, Charles is still just getting adjusted to the astral plane and things in Farouk's palace not being what they seem. His servants are people trapped inside horrifying situations without the ability to speak or reach out for help. Charles sees Farouk as a monster. That makes him easy and open to aligning with his son in this fight. It just may not lead to a different outcome because the Farouk of the future has also arrived in the past which may even things out in a way that could only lead to even more tragedy. Meanwhile, Syd has a completely different guiding principle. She has experienced two very distinct childhoods. She was given a gift by Melanie and Oliver. She may not be able to explain everything that happened to her in that second life. She doesn't quite understand it herself. And yet, she knows that it was real and it has changed her completely. She knows that everyone has the potential for redemption. She knows that David as a baby isn't responsible for his future failings. This world may be the past to Syd, Cary and Kerry. But it very much feels like the present because the future has yet to be written for these people. This could be the way for them to also change the past in the hopes of creating a different but meaningful future. She could do all of this by embracing love. She feels more comfortable and resilient because she had an upbringing defined by feeling safe and secure. That's what parenting needs to boil down to. That's the best way she can describe its purpose and the impact it can have on everyone in this world. If David were to get this do-over like she did, then he too would likely grow up as a different person. It may not solve his underlying issues of mental illness though. So, it remains unclear if any of the actions the protagonists take will lead to a dramatically different future. In fact, it seems more likely that the time demons will continue to destroy the entire timeline. They are powerful and the protagonists largely just battle them in the moment instead of plotting for a way to fix everything from this danger.