Monday, August 12, 2019

REVIEW: 'Legion' - David and Farouk Wage Their Final Battle to Determine What the Future Holds in 'Chapter 27'

FX's Legion - Episode 3.08 "Chapter 27"

The end 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 series finale of FX's Legion.

"Chapter 27" was written by Noah Hawley & Olivia Dufault and directed by Noah Hawley & John Cameron

This final season may ultimately be all about the personal evolution of Switch. She went from a woman who felt disconnected from the world searching for meaning to a fourth dimensional being of time who understands all of history and its importance. She is absolutely pivotal and may be the only person with the clarity to tell this story at large. With the other main characters, it's all fragmented. They have achieved various things across the run of the series. But so much of the world they have known is erased here. David saw time travel as the magical cure that could fix his entire life. He could go back and make his parents see the urgency and anguish that have long plagued his life. He believed that he could eliminate whatever threats that prevented him from having this happy upbringing. The previous hour was all about David and Syd's differing positions on how to best change the past. David was gearing up for war with Farouk while Syd was trying to be compassionate and loving to Gabrielle. At the end of the day, it is love and compassion that wins out. Sure, Syd and her team may be separated from the rest of the action. They are simply battling time and trying to save the world. They are dealing with the threats as they come after them. That means Kerry has to be willing to make her biggest sacrifice in aging rapidly in order to save her life and her friends. She does whatever it takes to go out in an epic battle. She is victorious. Her life is changed though. In fact, it's made clear that the actions taken by these protagonists has made a difference in the timeline and in the lives of those they've touched in the past. These time demons could wage so much destruction. Their brutality could disrupt so much without really distinguishing what they destroy. But the future informs the past in so many inspired ways. Farouk from the future didn't emerge in the timeline of the past in order to fight David. He has long seen him as a troubled soul and kindred spirit. Someone who has needed guidance his entire life. Farouk was right there alongside him to experience all of the pain that David endured. He understands and sympathizes with it in a way that no one else can. It makes it overwhelming when he shares all of those lessons and emotions with his former self. In fact, he notes just how petty he used to be in the past. This experience of being defeated and latching onto David made Farouk a better man. He may be sacrificing that identity. But he also wishes to forge a bridge of strength and connection instead of fighting. He doesn't want to kill Charles. He doesn't wish to see things in such binary terms. He just wants to help David get what he desperately needs. David is plagued by the belief that his parents abandoned him after putting him in such a dangerous situation. His life was ruined as a result. He yearns for the chance to do better. He sees himself as a good person who deserves love. He's not. David is a monster who has raped and killed. It's fascinating how the show suggests that he's not beyond redemption though. Syd understands the baby that she is now fighting to protect can make drastically different choices based on how they are changing the past. She has to believe that that is enough. It ultimately is. This series doesn't end with any tragic deaths. Instead, it walks away with the understanding that change can be a powerful motivator. People should always aspire to do better. There needs to be that impulse to be held accountable while willing to put in the work to embrace such redemption. David may not have earned that. But a hug can go a long way to ease his suffering. He can be less angry. He is a monster. But he is gone now. He, Syd and everyone else from the future fade away. Their lives are gone. Switch has the clarity that Syd will once again be an incredible mutant important to the timeline in the future. But that's not the story this show is telling. Instead, it's all about the lasting impact these versions of the characters have had on the world. It may all be erased but a few will remember. It will make a difference. People at large and the audience themselves may not understand the full picture. That may forever be withheld from us. The show never depicts what becomes of the characters in the present day after these changes are made. It instead wants us to comprehend and accept that meaningful futures are set for many of them. The keepers of time are distant and mysterious. They are the ones who hold the true understanding of what occurs. Their influence is known from time to time. Switch gives Syd a tremendous gift in validating her concerns. That's enough to make everyone feel as if things are resolved in a way that improves the world. That hopeful ending is unexpected but also a fitting conclusion for this story.