Title: Legion Season 2 Episode 8: “Chapter 16”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Superhero
Platform: TV – FX
Director: Jeremy Webb
Writer: Noah Hawley & Jordan Crair
Release: May 22, 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
“There are listeners, watchers, creatures from science fiction who can steal our secrets.” Brubaker – Legion
“To create fear, hold up a mirror.” Mi-Go Monk Adage
David Haller (Dan Stevens) and Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller) discuss finding Amahl Farouk’s (Navid Negahban) body. Syd asks if they can get Future Syd’s help. David acts squirrelly. Syd: “You ask her? David: “No, but we’re done.” Syd thinks they had a fight. David just says that they no longer see eye-to-eye. Syd quietly asks if they are still helping Farouk. David doesn’t answer. “What about the end of the world?” she asks. “One thing at a time,” he replies. Ptonomy Wallace (Jeremie Harris) is watching them from the mainframe. A faceless man grabs him and Ptonomy can see the Admiral when he was a student (Ian Teves), around seventeen. Brubaker (David Selby) sits by him to talk. Brubaker: “Our thoughts were our own. Private. Do you understand? There are listeners, watchers, creatures from science fiction who can steal our secrets.” He tells the young Fukuyama, “There is a plan…Create a mind that can’t be read.” He tells him the government has been keeping tabs on him, he never gets sick, he wants to serve his country, “You have a gift, you are a gift.” They are going to do a surgical procedure to his brain so that he can, “Keep our secrets.” The surgery looks painful. During his recovery, the nurse (Sloan Robinson) [who we saw in the mainframe hushing Ptonomy] reads to him. “Whenever you learn something new,” says the nurse, “the whole world becomes that much richer.” Ptonomy chases a lit wire and finds the Monk (Nathan Hurd) tied up in the corner of the ceiling with wires. Ptonomy: “You’re in here too.” He touches the wire and sees what the Monk saw. Ptonomy sees some Vermillion walking down the hallway; he touches a panel that affects one of them. It walks into the dining hall and sits down at the table with David. It tells David its Ptonomy. David doesn’t believe him at first. Ptonomy: “I don’t know how long I can-can keep control.” David believes him and hears Ptonomy say, “The Monk, he hacked the Admiral’s mind…The main frame hacked him back…I know where to find Farouk’s body.” David urgently asks where, with great difficulty, Ptonomy stammers out Le Désolé.
Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement) is driving to a retirement home to see the driver (Lavelle Roby) who drove Farouk’s body to the monastery. Oliver sits down before her. Farouk: “Your mind’s eye, can you see me in my true form.” She can and she asks how he found her. Farouk: “A little bird in the future [Future Syd] told me where to find you.” He asks where she drove his body. The Driver: “If I tell, will you give me the one and only.” Farouk: “The endless dream.” In a dreamlike state, the Driver drives Farouk to the monastery. She asks when it begins, he tells her right now. Oliver and Farouk drive off while the Driver slumps in her chair.
David is in the tub trying to locate Le Désolé. He finds it. It begins an internal debate with his inner voices on who should he tell. He decides that he can’t tell anyone because Farouk would be able to read his friends minds. David creates a map and has little flags with the faces of those he’ll need for his mission. David plans to use Lenny Busker (Aubrey Plaza), Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder), Cary Loudermilk (Bill Irwin), Clark (Hamish Linklater) and the Vermillion. He doesn’t have Syd on the board.
“Tell me something, and don’t screw with me okay. Am I really here?” Lenny Busker – Legion
Lenny is in her cell snapping her fingers and going crazy from the solitude. David walks in. David: “You awake?” Lenny: “I’m not sure.” He gets closer to her. Lenny: “Don’t do that.” David: “What?” Lenny: “Look at me like I’m in a zoo.” David: “How are you?” Lenny: “Who cares?” David: “Me. I always care.” After seeing, Lenny doing Amy’s nervous habit of playing with her hair, David asks, “Is there anything left of her in there?” Lenny: “Tell me something, and don’t screw with me okay. Am I really here?” She thinks this could all be a Farouk trick. David: “Hey you’re here with me.” He gives her a brotherly kiss on her forehead. David later walks by Clark and Cary and says, “This won’t hurt.” He implants their parts in the plan in their minds. David leaves Syd a note that says, “Gone to kill the monster.” Syd is frustrated with David; she takes out her compass to find him. David teleports to the desert. Farouk and Oliver are on their way too; we see them in split screens. Oliver recites a poem, “America, I’ve given you all, and now I am nothing…I can’t stand my own mind. America when will we end the human war.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen the Untouchable Barretts.” Syd Barrett – Legion
Clark joins Syd in the dining room. She begins discussing her mother. Syd: “She was the tragic lay. The one they could not touch. I’m saying maybe it was my fault, maybe I pushed him away. Ladies and Gentlemen the Untouchable Barretts.” Clark: “That’s not funny.” Clark begins to ask Syd some questions about David, is he gone, has he left before. Syd asks if this is official. Clark: “Off the record, just girl talk.” Syd: “Have you seen him lie?” Clark: “No.” Syd: “Me neither but I think he lies all the time.” She laments, “Who teaches us to be normal when we’re one of a kind?” Clark: “You don’t trust him.” Syd: “No. I love what we were, I’m just not sure if we’re that anymore.” Clark reminds Syd how powerful and unstable David is, if she were to hurt him badly, he might end the world. Syd: “I’m going after him.” Clark: “Because of what I just said?” Syd: “Because love is what we have to save if we’re gonna save the world. I’m just not sure that’s what he’s doing.” Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) is outside the door eavesdropping on them.
“Time and space aren’t relevant here.” Amahl Farouk
David is wandering the desert. David: “On your mark, get set, go!” Lenny’s cell door opens. She carefully sneaks out and rides off on a motorcycle. Oliver and Farouk are now riding in a rickshaw. Oliver: “Is he following?’ Farouk: “A day behind maybe more.” Oliver: “So we’re close.” Farouk: “Time and space aren’t relevant here. The Earth changes. It’s part of the trick to keep me from myself.” Oliver: “And David?” Farouk: “A lost boy will wander this no place for the rest of his life, unless he figures out the secret.” David finds a rusty pump and tries to get some water. He sees a jet fly overhead. Someone parachutes from the plane, it’s Syd. Without breaking stride, she hits him for bailing out on her. David: “To be fair, I left a note this time.” Syd: “Gone to kill the monster.” After hitting him she explains, “I’m on our side. Asshole. Whatever some maybe me says in the future.” She asks where they are, he tells her the monastery is moving, he doesn’t know why it’s moving. [We do] David and Syd begin walking while Oliver and Farouk keep riding. Farouk tells the man pulling the rickshaw that they are almost there. We see the two parties in different split screens.
“The most alarming delusion of all. That other people don’t matter.” Narrator – Legion
Narrator: “The most alarming delusion of all. That other people don’t matter. The world they see in the shadows is not the real world. If you show them the world as it really is, they would reject it as incomprehensible.” He illustrates this by showing people living in a cave and only seeing the world through shadows. Now we switch to people being stuck to their smartphone screens. Instead of looking at the world and dealing with people, they only see the world through the phone’s screen. It allows people to be cruel to others. Narrator: “This is the delusion of the narcissist who believes only they are real.” It will only change if we engage with life. Narrator: “Unless you woke up and left the cave no longer living in shadows.”
A thunderstorm erupts. David sees a fancy tent, “Let’s get inside. [He sees two skeletons lying on a cot] They’re…” Syd: “Us.” We see them enter once again, to find their skeletons. They begin discussing their situations. “Every story ends the same,” Syd says. “I don’t believe that,” David replies. Syd: “That’s sweet. Do something for me.” David: “Anything.” Syd: “When the time comes, prove me wrong.”
“It’s done. She’s ours. Mine. Ours.” Oliver Bird – Legion
Clark is asleep dreaming when he hears David’s voice say, “Find the clock of the long now.” Clark wakes up with David’s message in his head. He is walking down the hallway when Melanie sneaks up behind him and knocks him out. The scene goes backwards, and we find out that Oliver has gained control of her. Oliver tells Farouk, “It’s done. She’s ours. Mine. Ours.” Farouk tells him they are near. We see an image of the minotaur walk by.
David and Syd are having relationship problems. Syd doesn’t trust David. David isn’t sharing anything with her now. When he draws up his great plan to defeat Farouk, he nearly includes everyone but her. Instead of sulking about it, she somehow gets a jet and parachutes out into the desert to aid him. David breaks Lenny out of her cell to assist him. Melanie has been lurking around Division III spying. When Clark is walking down the hallway to begin his part of the mission, she knocks him out. Oliver is controlling Melanie. We don’t know how much she knows of David’s plan, but she knows enough to try to prevent Clark from participating. Oliver and Farouk paid a visit to the driver who drove his body to the monastery. She told him where it was, I don’t know if he kept his part of the bargain to give her the endless dream. Since it doesn’t cost him anything, he might have done it. David and Farouk are finally on the big race for his body. It only took most of the season to get started.
This episode was a vast improvement over the previous episode. It felt sluggish, while this episode moved. The storyline finally has some momentum. I loved the use of the split screens. It was so stylish. It also let us know what the two primary parties were doing in relationship to each other. The Narrator didn’t bother me that much. I don’t know how much his dialogue tied into the storyline, but it was an interesting commentary on our addiction to our phones and not interacting with the world around us. The episode was stylish with the split screens, and the scenes in the desert were lovely. The background music on the soundtrack by Jeff Russo gave the episode a jaunty energy. There was one song that stood out, Comanche Moon by The Black Angels. It was used during the montage at the base, when David was putting his team together. I’m glad the slump was just one episode. The last three episodes should be great.