Title: Legion Season 2 Episode 9: “Chapter 17”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Superhero
Platform: TV – FX
Director: Noah Hawley
Writer: Noah Hawley & Nathaniel Halpern
Release: May 29, 2018
Cast: Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jean Smart, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Jemaine Clement, Hamish Linklater, Navid Negahban
Feature image: Source
“All those years, did they make me unrecognizable?” Melanie Bird – Legion
At the end of the last episode, Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) had just knocked out Clark (Hamish Linklater). This causes Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement) to say from his rickshaw, “It’s done, she’s ours.” We go back 13 days before the incident. Melanie is in her room getting high. In fact, this is after David Haller (Dan Stevens) returned. She is having the conversation she had with Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller) about ‘their men’. I won’t bore you with the dialogue again. Later that night, Oliver enters singing; to his surprise, Melanie pulls a gun on him. Oliver: “Well that’s most uninviting.” Oliver tries to sweet talk her with remembrance of the good old days. Melanie: “You left me.” Oliver: “I always come back to the girl I love.” Melanie looks in the mirror and sees a younger version (Jaclyn Hales) of herself. Melanie: “All those years, did they make me unrecognizable?” They kiss, and now young Melanie is in the astral plane swimming in Farouk’s pool. Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban) asks her about the Monk in Division III. He wants her spying for him. Melanie wakes up in her bed. Later we see Melanie sitting by Oliver’s body in his diving suit. He tells her she should have burned his body so he could have explored the other dimensions instead of being stuck in the ice cube. She asks what about them. He says she could have tagged along. Oliver apologizes for saying tag along. Oliver: “There was a time you’d follow me anywhere.” Melanie: “Yes, yes I would. And where did that get me?” Oliver: “Things, they’ve changed between us.” Melanie: “Yes they have.”
“I’m gonna go—you’re clearly having a senior moment.” Kerry Loudermilk – Legion
Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder) is visiting an addled Melanie. Kerry: “Seriously Melanie, when are you coming back to work?” Melanie wonders if this is all a dream and if any of it is real. Melanie: “How do you know the world is real?” Kerry: “I’m real.” Melanie: “How do you know?” Kerry: “Because when I hit people, they fall down.” Melanie: “Hm. Cause and effect.” Melanie now wonders if Kerry and Cary (Bill Irwin) are delusions of each other. Kerry is clearly annoyed. Kerry: “I’m gonna go—you’re clearly having a senior moment.” Melanie asks Kerry if she ever met Oliver. Kerry reminds her she has. Melanie talks about Oliver. She wanted to stay in the ice cube with him and he asked her, “what about the world?” Now she realized her mistake. “There is no world to save,” Melanie explains to Kerry. “It’s all in my head.” Kerry leaves frustrated by Melanie while Melanie inhales more drugs.
While Cary is tinkering with something in his lab and Kerry is upstairs working out, they both get images of David’s plan. Kerry: “Cary, did you…? Cary: “I saw it.” Kerry wonders how they both saw the plan, and Cary remembers David implanting it in his and Clark’s mind. They head out to implement their part. After grabbing the case, they head outside and see a blue car. Kerry: “I’ll drive.” Cary: “Since when did you learn to drive?” Kerry: “How hard can it be?”
“Some straight-up Caligula shit… since it’s been straight up years since I let loose.” Lenny Busker – Legion
Lenny Busker (Aubrey Plaza) is back at her old haunt. Everyone there is inhaling vapors from different animal figurines. She sits down at a table where a blond woman (Vanessa Dubasso) is cutting a man’s toenails. Her name is Janine; she’s the new Janine, replacing the old Grace. Janine: “I like your eyes.” Lenny: “Thanks their new.” The man getting his toenails trimmed, Squirrel (Alex Knight) wakens from his stupor and recognizes Lenny. He proclaims to the other addicts that their Queen is back. He tells Lenny they are going to throw her a welcome back party. They throw quite a rager, with Lenny making out with Janine. She looks across the room and sees Amy Haller (Katie Aselton) partying along with them. Lenny grabs Janine and takes her to the bedroom to have sex. While the two women make love, Lenny has flashes of Amy becoming her. She also sees herself in the desert with a rifle with a scope. Lenny wakes up later that morning with Amy standing over her. Amy asks if she used to do this to David when she was under Farouk’s control last season. Lenny offers an apology. Lenny: “Sorry about…” Amy: “Yeah.” Lenny: “About your body. It’s a nice body. Much healthier than the one I had.” Amy wants her body back; Lenny doesn’t know how to get it back to her. She warns Amy what she plans to do with it. Lenny: “Some straight-up Caligula shit… since it’s been straight up years since I let loose.” She advises Amy to enjoy the ride or leave. Amy: “Are you a good person?” Lenny: “You’re kidding right?” Amy: “Are you a good person?” Lenny: “I’m not the worse.” Amy: “Are you a good person?” Lenny: “Not the best.” Amy: “Are you a good person” Lenny: “What difference does it make?”
“In all my dreams as long as I can remember, I was never myself. Now I’m only myself in dreams, isn’t that funny?” Amy Haller – Legion
Cary and Kerry arrive outside a bar with a neon octopus sign. Cary wants to leave but Kerry wants to go inside for a drink. Lenny is listening to Squirrel and Janine talk while Janine is poking the drooping ceiling with an umbrella. She sees the neon octopus sign of the bar the Loudermilks are at and the Angriest Boy in the World. As Janine keeps poking at the ceiling, Lenny sees her part in David’s plan. She is in the desert with the telescopic sniper rifle. Lenny is in bed and Amy turns over. Amy: “Bad dream?” Lenny: “You know man, when you walk with the Lord, the Lord walks with you.” Amy: “In all my dreams as long as I can remember, I was never myself. Now I’m only myself in dreams, isn’t that funny?” Lenny nods in sympathy and tries to smother her with a pillow. Amy appears on the other side of the room. Lenny: “What do you want from me?” Amy: “You need to do what you’re told.” Amy wants her to carry out David’s plan. She asks her will she help David. Lenny seems unsure; she doesn’t even know where the bar is. Amy figures out why she’s acting like she is. Amy: “You love him.” Lenny: “Don’t be stupid.” Amy: “Like the flower loves the bee.” Amy finally gets her to agree to help David. It turns out that the bar is across the street. Janine enters holding her stomach. Janine: “Your Majesty, we’re going to have a little prince?” This is weird even for Lenny.
The Loudermilks are at a table, Kerry wonders if they have cream soda. She isn’t too keen on David’s plan. Cary tells Kerry he is worried about Melanie being blue because she’s alone. Kerry is confused with the concept of Melanie being blue, and she argues about how Melanie can be alone when people surround her. He tries to explain these expressions. Cary changes the subject swiftly. Cary: “I am going to die.” Kerry: “What” Cary: “Someday, I’m getting old. And then you’ll be alone like Melanie.” Kerry: “You’re not going to die.” Cary: “No.” Kerry: “I would stab Death twice in the heart before he could get you.” He appreciates her sentiments. They see Lenny walking towards the car. She gets in the car; it turns green and vanishes. Cary tells Kerry not to worry; he has a tracking device on the weapon. The car materializes in the desert. Lenny gets out and the car catches on fire. She coolie walks back to the car trunk to get the case. The car explodes as she walks away. A group of monks with safes on their heads sits near a big hole with a large pink drain stopper nearby.
“Just one more thing. Why does it always end in violence?” Melanie Bird – Legion
Melanie is psychically talking to Oliver. She is filling him in on what is happening at Division III. She is completely out of it, and isn’t clear on what David’s plan is. Melanie wants to join him. Oliver gives her an instruction. Melanie: “Just one more thing. Why does it always end in violence?” She knocks out Clark. She ends up at the monastery with Oliver.
Melanie is under the thrall of Oliver and Farouk. Along with it and all the drugs she is inhaling, she is a total mess. She is completely questioning reality. I think Oliver contacted her doing the raid he and Lenny did to steal the device that Farouk and Oliver used on Amy. Speaking of the dearly departed Amy, she is haunting Lenny. I don’t know if Amy is a ghost, a psychic remnant of Amy’s personality to her stolen body, or something David is doing to keep Lenny on point with her mission. Lenny wants to do plenty of drugs, party and have sex, but Amy stays on her until she agrees to help David. New development, Lenny loves David. That’s not hard to believe. They were quite close at Clockworks. Cary and Kerry are carrying out their part of the plan to. Kerry is showing more independence by driving. Cary is worried about dying and leaving Kerry alone, but she promises she’ll kick deaths arse before she lets that happen. Knowing Kerry, she might just be able to pull it off.
The episode mainly followed Melanie, the Loudermilks, and Lenny. It would have been a great episode if Melanie wasn’t involved. Jean Smart is a great actress, and Melanie was a great character last season. This season, they had her on the sidelines most of the time, and her only scenes were being high. I find a delusional Melanie to be repetitive. Either because of the drugs or because of Farouk’s control, a Melanie without agency is sad and boring. On the other hand, I got a kick out of Cary and Kerry. They are a great comedy team, and the only people on the Division III team you can trust. I thought it was touching for Cary to be worried about Kerry when he dies. It was sweet how determined she is not to let it happen. I like how literal minded Kerry is. The MVP is Lenny, as always. Lenny is my favorite character on the show, and she never disappoints. Whether she is being scary, funny, broken, or anything in between, she carries it off with aplomb. Her scenes with Amy were funny, and she showed some vulnerability concerning David. She was a total badass and degenerate at her welcome home party. The party was shot through a hazy kaleidoscopic lens. The scene with the car was a homage to the movie, Repo Man. And Lenny has the ability to make other women pregnant, wow, who knew.
I really enjoyed the music selection this episode. I was ready to party with Lenny. The Castle by The Flaming Lips played while Melanie was getting high and during Syd’s visit. When Lenny arrived at her old haunt, Space Is Only Noise If You Can See by Nicolas Jarr played. At her welcome home party, Kick Out the Jams by MC5 rocked the party. Mon enfance by Jacques Brel played in the scene where Cary and Kerry go into the bar for a drink. When Lenny gets in the blue car in front of the bar, Destroyer by The Kinks played while the car is teleported into the desert.