Title: Legion Season 2 Episode 1: “Chapter 9”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Superhero
Platform: TV – FX
Director: Tim Mielants
Writers: Nathaniel Halpern, Noah Hawley
Release: April 3, 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
Welcome back to Legion, Season 2. It has been over a year since the show was on last. I know I had forgotten who some of the characters were and what the storylines were. Here are two brief recaps from Marvel Entertainment and SYFY Wire. I’ll wait to you catch up. Are you finished? Good. Now on to the Chapter 9 recap.
“You’re inside the maze now. You can’t escape. Welcome to madness.” Narrator – Legion
Lenny Busker (Aubrey Plaza) and Oliver Bird (Jermaine Clement) are floating in a pool sunning themselves. Lenny: “Is it Tuesday?” Oliver: “This is a conversation about time; I try never to have conversations about time.” Lenny starts laughing and Oliver joins her because they are trapped. We switch to the Shadow King (David Negahban) in front of the Eifel Tower enjoying a drink. Next, we see Oliver in a bar surrounded by beautiful women but not appearing to be happy. A Narrator (Jon Hamm) begins to talk about a maze in the desert. Narrator: “You’re inside the maze now. You can’t escape. Welcome to madness.” Ptonomy Wallace (Jeremie Harris) and Clark (Hamish Linklater) enter a club and find David Haller (Dan Stevens) slumped over a table. He tells them they are in the maze. In another room in the club are a large number of people in a comatose state, standing with their teeth chattering.
An alarm is blaring as Ptonomy, Clark and kid security guards wheel David into Division 3. Cary Loudermilk (Bill Irwin) in a hazemat suit joins them. Over the speaker is this announcement: “Beware of ideas that are not your own.” Cary takes his hood off to talk to David. Cary: “David, if you can hear me I need you to say something.” David “Do you have any waffles?” Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller) is holding a cat and licking herself. Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder) sticks her head in the door to tell Syd that they found David. She is annoyed because Syd has swapped bodies with the cat [again]. David eventually gets up and he and Ptonomy are in the dining hall. The dining hall has a small canal in it with tiny boats transporting plates of food. David picks up a plate of waffles and starts eating. There is a man wearing a basket over his head surrounded by mustached women with the same haircuts and black outfits. Ptonomy explains to David that they are in Division 3. Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) and Syd convinced them that most mutants are harmless and just want to live their lives in peace. Ptonomy explains the Divisions breakdowns, “Division 1 – Global command and communications. Division 2 – Pure science, genetics, technology. Division 3 – Tip of the spear, day-to-day, boots-on-the-ground engagement.” We see that within Division 3 Ptonomy and Clark are in Investigations, Cary is in Research, Kerry is in Tactical and Syd and Melanie are in Strategy. Ptonomy asks David what is the last thing he remembers. David says that he has no memories after the orb abducted him, except for trees on top a building and dancing.
“I found a grey hair. I like cherry pie now.” Syd Barrett – Legion
Syd shows up and asks, “Are you the magic man.” David thinks he has been gone for only a day but Syd tells him he was gone for 362 days. Since he was gone, “I found a grey hair. I like cherry pie now.” Syd asks him where he was. Everyone else thought he was dead. She continues, “I used to play games with myself. If I can hold my breath until the kettle whistles, he is alive.” We see Syd do this every month. David is sorry she went through this. He asks can he kiss her, she says he can. Soon they are in the astral plane making love. [If they touch, they swap bodies, even though if they were making love, why would it matter.]
Cary and Ptonomy inform David that the Shadow King is still inside Oliver. While tracking Oliver, they discovered the Catalyst, a psychological virus that makes people freeze like statues except for their teeth chattering. They think Oliver is affecting them. Melanie is in her room and sees Syd; she wants to talk to her about David being back. She is not the put together woman she was last season. Syd tells her that Admiral Fukuyama wants to know when she’ll be coming back to work. It’s clear that it won’t be soon. Melanie begins complaining about men leaving to do noble things and using their absences to control women. Melanie: “It’s never their fault—our men.” She continues, “What kind of bitches would we be to stand in their way? God forbid we have any feelings about it.” She asks Syd, “Do you know what the saddest words are in the English language? Vacant lot.” Melanie doesn’t elaborate on what she means. She warns Syd, “Here’s what they never tell you, after they come back, things are never the same.” After Syd leaves, Melanie inhales vapor from an elephant vaporizer and blisses out. Some strange creature wheels past her.
“For a delusion to thrive, other more rational ideas have to be rejected, destroyed. Only then, can the delusion blossom, into a full-blown psychosis.” The Narrator – Legion
The Narrator begins talking about reality and perception. Zhuangzi dreams of being a butterfly, but he begins to wonder if he is a butterfly dreaming of being Zhuangzi. A man begins to think that his leg doesn’t belong to him. He becomes so convinced by his delusion that in a bathtub, he uses a hacksaw to saw it off. One egg produces a cute chick, another egg produces a hideous creature. Lenny holds the creature and it later eats the chick. Narrator: “You see an idea alone isn’t enough. We have ideas all the time, most die before they can grow. For a delusion to thrive, other more rational ideas have to be rejected, destroyed. Only then, can the delusion blossom, into a full-blown psychosis.”
David tries to remember the past year. Clark joins him in the dining hall. They discuss Farouk. Because of the many faces he uses, David doesn’t know what he looks like. Clark says that the earliest information they have about him is from the 1800s. David is surprised he’s so old. Clark isn’t sure all they have heard is true. Clark: “Like probably the devil is some guy named Lucifer who beat up kids for their lunchables and then a few hundred years later…” He tells David that they are going to run tests on him. Clark is skeptical that David doesn’t remember anything. He tells David that Admiral Fukuyama wants to see him.
“Now we are this—the machine that bleeds.” Fukuyama-bots – Legion
The robotic women who speak for Fukuyama [let’s call them Fukuyama-bots] describe how a device was put in Fukuyama’s head as a child. Fukuyama-bots: “Now we are this—the machine that bleeds.” They explain to David that they are looking for Farouk’s body. It was separated from him when Professor X [David’s father] defeated him. They have to destroy it. Fukuyama-bots: “On its own the Shadow King’s mind is powerful but if he were to rejoin his body. He’d be unstoppable.” David: “So where is it?” Fukuyama-bot: “This information isn’t available to us this at the present time.” David: “So you’re saying it’s a race. We’re in a race.” They tell him to report to Cary, he might have a way to help David locate the Shadow King.
Cary: “How do you feel about small spaces?” David: “I’m against them.” To boost David’s perceptions, Cary is going to put him in an amplification chamber. Cary explains the mixture he’s made to enhance his perception. It is mostly made up of sucrose with some strawberry flavor in it in case he swallows some, but he warns David not to swallow any of it. David jokes, “I’m supposed to find the shadow king in a daiquiri?” Syd is with Cary and David but she leaves the lab and runs into Ptonomy. Ptonomy: “You believe him.” Syd: “Which part?” He thinks that the Shadow King could still have a hold of David. The club that they found him at, he and Oliver were spotted dancing there. Ptonomy: “You still trust him.” Syd: “He’s my man.”
David is in the amplification chamber naked [the mixture has to touch him directly for it to work]. Cary is plugging wires into a machine like a telephone operator. David’s mind travels out of the chamber back to a rave with Oliver and Lenny. We go to a big dance number that symbolizes a psychic battle between David and Farouk. Cary begins dancing in the lab. [Bill Irwin has some great moves.]
Syd find David in the hallway naked. She takes him to her room. He won’t tell her what he saw while in the tank. Syd: “You’re keeping secrets.” He tries to deny it. Syd: “How long to you leave again?” To reassure her he says, “Close your eyes. Okay, now look.” It is a necklace with a compass. David had Cary make it for her. It points to wherever David is. David: “We get lost together.”
“I’m in the present, so you’re in the future. You’re in the future?” David Haller – Legion
Later that night while Syd sleeps, David remembers what happened in the sphere after he was taken. He sees Syd, except she looks older and troubled. She doesn’t speak, but she uses a wand to draw pictures, it’s like charades. David eventually figures out, “I’m in the present, so you’re in the future. You’re in the future?” She wants David to help Farouk find his body. Future Syd is the one who sent the orb. Thinking about the rave, David sees a monk with blood on his forehead. Lenny and Oliver stop him from catching him. He kisses Lenny [I think]. David is standing in the shadows staring at sleeping Syd.
David is back and no one trusts him. He says he doesn’t remember anything from the year is was missing, but no one believes him. They fear that Amahl Farouk might still be controlling him. David being spotted at a club with Oliver doesn’t exactly assuage their fears. We learn that their fears are reasonable, when David was taken, he met future Syd who asked him to help Farouk find his body. Could David be possibly working with Farouk? Might David’s agenda be different from Division 3 and Farouk? David is holding a conversation in his head with one voice telling him to hold back the truth. Who really knows what is going on with David, especially David.
It’s good to be back in the weird, vibrant world of Legion. I’m not quite sure what is going on, but I’m going to enjoy the journey of trying to figure it out. A lot of changes from last season, The Summerland crew is now under the jurisdiction of Division 3. Division 3 is weird as hell, led by Admiral Fukuyama and his attendants, the Fukuyama-bots. Their headquarters is visually stunning, especially their dining hall. Fukuyama’s office was disorientating. Melanie Bird has completely fallen apart from losing Oliver again. She’s using the same vapor David and Lenny [it was actually Benny] used. Instead of a frog vaporizer, Melanie uses a fancy elephant vaporizer, she isn’t low rent like David and Lenny were. Syd is swapping bodies with a cat, she seems fragile from David’s absence. I’m not sure how Ptonomy, Cary and Kerry are doing yet. The Summerland crew are working in different sections of Division 3 so I don’t believe they are as unified as they were in Summerland. That could prove to be a major problem.
The cinematography, set designs pick up where they left last session. The show looks gorgeous and the set design is evocative. Since this is the first episode of the season, it was required to do a lot of heavy lifting. They had to reintroduce the characters from last year and place us in a new setting. The new setting and characters are weird, I haven’t decided yet if they are weird for weirdness sake. Once the season kicks into gear if might fit in with the story.
Jeff Russo is doing a fantastic job with the music. His song Chaos and Madness plays during the dance scene in the club. I don’t know who choreographed the dance scene, but they did a great job. We Love You by the Rolling Stones played while David and Syd made love in the astral plane. Melanie got high while I Would for You played.