Legion: Monk on the Loose

Title: Legion Season 2 Episode 3: “Chapter 11”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Superhero
Platform: TV – FX
Director: Sarah Adina Smith
Writers: Nathaniel Halpern and Noah Hawley
Rating: TV-MA
Release: April 17, 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


“If the idea of illness can become illness, what else about our reality is actually a disorder?” The Narrator – Legion

The episode begins with the Narrator (Jon Hamm) explaining conversion disorder and how it can become viral, using a set of cheerleaders as his example. The Narrator: “You’ve heard of the placebo effect, but have you heard of the nocebo effect? Your mind can create its own physical effect. A conversion disorder…In that the body converts a mental distress, to a set of physical symptoms. It can be contagious. If the idea of illness can become illness, what else about our reality is actually a disorder?”

Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban) is with two beautiful women at a restaurant. Through his shades, we can see a battle raging in his mind. We hear lazar blasts and gunfire. He collapses at the table. [This is the fight between him and Charles Xavier.]  Some men place an egg shape coffin with Farouk’s body in it, in a hearse. The hearse drives up to a monastery. The monks lower the coffin into a deep hole and cover it. The monks are at meal and begin to hear a loud booming sound coming from the coffin.

“There are certain…impulses…I have to resist.” Syd Barrett – Legion

At Division III, Ptonomy Wallace (Jeremie Harris) is sleeping, the little deformed creature that symbolizes delusion crawls into his ear. Ptonomy wakes up with dried blood around his ear. Public Announcement: “Reminder, a loss of meaning is not normal.” Admiral Fukuyama and his Vermillions are surveying the building watching some screens. They watch Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder) punch a punching bag. Cary (Bill Irwin) walks in, it is time for lunch. He is teaching her how to eat. She isn’t a willing student. Kerry says she get all the nutrition she needs being in him. He reminds her about the past incidents [From Season 1 and Chapter 9], “We need you to be independent.” Kerry does enjoy cream soda. After eating and drinking cream soda, she has to go to the bathroom. Kerry: “This is so disgusting.” Cary offers to help her, but she quickly turns down the offer. He’s outside the door giving her instructions. Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller) is walking down the hallway as a cat. She is helping David Haller (Dan Stevens) look for the Monk (Nathan Hurd). David: “Is it weird…being a cat?” Syd: “There are certain…impulses…I have to resist.” Cat/Syd asks about Future Syd, what she looks like. David wants to avoid comparing the two. There is a commotion; Cat/Syd goes to investigate.  Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) and Clark (Hamish Linklater) enter the confinement room in hazemat suits and find that someone has left. David gets a flash of Future Syd trying to communicate with him. Syd goes back to her human form and she asks David what happened. David: “I saw a flash of you in the future.” The person who left the confinement room was the Monk.

“I’m Lenny. She of the great escape. Said every girl I ever banged.” Lenny Busker – Legion

David gets in the tank to talk to Farouk. He is at Farouk’s mansion in the astral plane where he sees Lenny Busker (Aubrey Plaza) in a swimsuit drawing an exit arrow near the pool. She decides to ask David about Syd, “the black guy, the old bat”, [you know, his friends]. She explains the exit arrow, “I’m Lenny. She of the great escape. Said every girl I ever banged.” Lenny finally gets to what she wants from David, “Dude…you got to help me. I’m dyin’ out here, I’m like a pet or houseplant. Put me out of my misery please.” She begs David to talk to Farouk for her. David is generally ignoring her, as he is there to talk to Farouk. The master of the house calls for him. David reports that the Monk has left the confinement room and is out in Division III. David calls Farouk a villain and Farouk decides to explain its meaning. Villain means someone from a village. Farouk: “Do I seem like a peasant to you. You called me a villain, me a King.” He explains how he was a King and David’s father, “a white man” thought that Farouk’s people could do better. Farouk: “Who is he to make such choices?” Because of Xavier, he is a refugee. David is not sympathetic to Farouk since he fed off him since he was a baby. Farouk: “If the choice is between death or life…I choose life.” [In the background, Lenny hangs herself and shoots herself in the head with a water gun that shoots bubbles.]   They get back to discussing the monk and Farouk tells David the Monk, not him, causes the chattering disease. The Monk is Typhoid Mary in this case.  Farouk thinks it’s funny that David is helping Future Syd change the future. If he changes the future, Future Syd won’t exist. Farouk: “So really you’re helping her to commit suicide.” David exists the tank but no one is around.

“I saw him. The monk. He had the children follow him. He was humming a tune that was very catchy.” Cary Loudermilk – Legion

Looking for anyone, he goes out into the hallway and finds bodies on the ground. A man is standing chattering his teeth. David sees a cow but it appears to disappear. The dining hall appears empty but he finds another man chattering his teeth. Cary pops out of hiding and accidently sprays David with a lemony household cleaner. He tells David what happened while he was gone in the astral plane. An alarm went off; Kerry went off to fight. Cary: “I saw him. The monk. He had the children follow him. He was humming a tune that was very catchy.” We see the Monk doing a chant that has the kid soldiers entranced, following him.  They find Ptonomy on the ground, teeth chattering. David and Cary go inside his mind. They find themselves in a beautiful garden. David wonders if everyone with the chattering disease is in a garden astral plane. Cary: “I’d say the contagion locks people into their own brains…inside their own reality. This is Ptonomy’s maze.” Ptonomy is in a snazzy suit picking flowers. David speaks to him, he only says “Hello.” He doesn’t know them. Cary figures out that Ptonomy’s fantasy since he remember every moment of his life is to live in the moment, no past or future. They debate whether to leave him there but decide to bring him back to reality. David touches his head with a lighted finger and Ptonomy wakes up. The cow is standing in front of them. David gets another glimpse of Future Syd drowning in sand.

The Monk is still leading the kid soldiers. The three find Melanie chattering her teeth. They take her into Cary’s lab where they go inside her mind. It’s dark and empty. They find a typewriter. They can communicate with her by typing. Cary hypothesizes that Melanie’s maze is to allow her to control everything, to be omnipotent. A Minotaur in a doggie wheelchair heads towards them. Melanie’s mind writes in big letters, “You keep moving or the Minotaur will get you.” [It’s the same Minotaur we saw in Chapter 9 in Melanie’s drugged out state.] David tries to use his powers to bring Melanie forward but it doesn’t work. David types the story about Melanie and Oliver and her not having her own dreams. This gets her to appear. He touches her head and she wakes up. David gets another flash of Future Syd trying to write him a message. They split up, Melanie and Ptonomy to find Admiral Fukuyama and David and Cary to find Syd. The cow is in the lab now so Cary says, “Don’t touch anything.” The cow responds, “Moo.”  When David and Cary get in the hallway, Cary sees Kerry standing chattering her teeth. He stays with her and tries to recombine unsuccessfully. [He disappears, so maybe he did.] The kid soldiers zap David and drag him off. The kid soldiers bring David to the Monk. He whispers something to David and we go back to the monastery. David is with them as a monk, he has switched places with the Monk. Farouk is causing the booming noise by trying to get out of the coffin. A monk starts laughing uncontrollably. David walks outside and two monks have hung themselves. Soon the monks start chattering their teeth. Farouk’s booming noise is decimating the monks. The Monk has switched places with David again and is in the monastery.

“We want the weapon. To kill the monster.” Vermillions – Legion

Ptonomy and Melanie find the Admiral with the Vermillions passed out around him. The Monk is on the ceiling. He talks through the Vermillions. “We want the weapon. To kill the monster.” Melanie tells the Monk, “David is the weapon.” David is awake and walks into the room. The Monk tells them he doesn’t trust David, David teleports the Monk to the roof. The Monk tells David he knows he is working with the Shadow King; he read his mind. David tries to explain the situation with Syd and Future Syd. David gets another flash from Future Syd and he reads her message, “HURRY”. He asks the Monk where is Farouk’s body, he knows it is buried at the monastery. He doesn’t believe David’s assurances that he’ll destroy the body and falls backwards off the roof to keep the monastery’s location secret. David finds Syd on the roof chattering her teeth. He goes into her mind into a snow blizzard.

The Monk breaks out of his hiding place in the containment room. David sees Farouk to talk about the Monk. Lenny wants David to talk to Farouk so that he will release her. Release her to what is the question. When David returns to Division III, nearly everyone except the kid soldiers and Cary were infected. The Monk uses his chants to mesmerize the kids and have them follow him like the Pied Piper. David has to get inside the minds of both Ptonomy and Melanie to free them. We get some insights into both Ptonomy and Melanie from their mazes. David doesn’t go into Kerry’s mind, which I would have loved to see. I’d imagine it would be like a Bruce Lee movie in there. The kid soldiers capture David and take him to the Monk. He whispers in David’s ear and David switches places with the Monk and sees what happened when Farouk drove the Monk’s insane and created the teeth chattering disease. The Monk is infecting people with it, but Farouk is the cause of it. The Monk has control of Admiral Fukuyama and the Vermillions and wants the weapon to kill Farouk. Melanie thinks it is David. The Monk doesn’t trust David since he read his mind and knows that David is working with him. Rather than tell David where to find the body, he falls backwards off the roof to his death. David sees Syd on the roof; she is also affected. David goes inside her mind. Syd is a piece of work, so that should be interesting.

The Narrator explained what a conversion disorder is. The chattering teeth contagion sounds like one. The Narrator asks, “What else about our reality is also a disorder.” The reality that all of our protagonist are living through seems to be a disorder. Reality itself might be the disorder. The episode was very off kilter. Scenes like the cow, the kid soldiers following the Monk, the monks’ decimation by the booming noise from Farouk, and Lenny trying to get free of the Shadow King were disorientating.  It was good to get some insight into the other Summerland gang beside David and Syd. The show is doing a better job writing for the other characters. The set design is a visual treat as usual, with Division III, the monastery and Farouk’s mansion being prime examples. With David being in the others minds, it felt weird like last season.

Grade: A-

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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