Don’t Sit Down, It’s Time to Dig Another One: Legion, “Chapter 8”

Following the breakneck and breathless events that led up to last week’s cliffhanger, the Legion finale plops us into an entirely different opening scene, flashes us back through the near-death experience of a strangely sympathetic would-be enemy. After suffering third degree burns during David’s early-in-the-season pool rescue, Division’s Interrogator, aka Clark is on a mission:  War. Following his long convalescence, Clark brushes off Bureau 19’s desk duty recommendation (“Perfect, except — you know — in the field. I’ll bring the desk with me”) and true to his word, brings us right back to the face-off moment Chapter 7 ended on.

With the skill of a master puppeteer, Noah Hawley’s Season 1 ender pulls us in, simultaneously calms and unsettles before nonchalantly dropping us back into the action. In a flash, what seemed dire circumstance is turned on its most amusing ear; David easily bends and renders weapons useless, stacks soldiers for a quick game of human Jenga, and proves more formidable than Clark or Division cold have imagined. Halo-contained (barely, temporarily), David’s almost completely in control and with a forlorn “Shit”, Clark finds himself at the Summerland-gang’s mercy, Division carefully watching through his glazed-over eye.

While Syd helps David work through self-doubt’s denial, Ptonomy (kill!), Melanie (use!), Cary (but, the parasite!) and Kerry (hurt) debate Clark’s fate; Blenny/Farouk/the Yellow-Eyed Devil/Shadow King fights against Cary’s device, threatens to take back control. Syd feels the enemy coming, and flashes to the white room where a weakened Regan-Blenny plays Let’s Make a Deal (“You ever try to unmake soup?”) for David’s freedom. As David attempts to negotiate with Clark (and by proxy, Division) Blenny wrests away David’s control.

The dulcet sounds of Pink Floyd’s Speak to Me, Breathe (In the Air) carry David and us away, as the Blenny King interrupts his This Is Your Life backward glances. The song transforms into On the Run as David wonders what he is without Blenny, and his dispossession-ing almost seems to soften Blenny … until it doesn’t, and she makes a last ditch effort to wipe out her host brain’s existence. The montage of events here is some of director, Michael Uppendahl’s finest Legion work, with Craig Wrobleski’s camera eye trained on Oliver’s frantic tinkering; David’s convulsing body; Syd’s rush to save him; Division, Clark, Melanie and Co. slow-motioned, helpless watching as everything goes out of control. With a kiss, Blenny’s Shadow jumps from David to Syd, from Syd to Kerry; and in the blink of an eye, flip of a switch — “Boom goes the dynamite” — Kerry and a reinvigorated David explode into each other, evicting (allowing its escape?) Blenny’s Smoke Monster form and for one, brief millisecond, a parasite is homeless. As one host-door closes, another opens, and a hapless, wonderfully mod, once and former astronaut is  suddenly an unwitting Bed and Breakfast owner/chauffeur to would-be snowbird, Blenny the Yellow-Eyed Shadow King.

In true Marvel fashion, what is the end is never the end; Hawley’s saved us a little surprise. After everyone recovers from the parasite war (“Did we win?), Syd and David get as close as they dare, Cary (“I don’t understand; it needs a host”) and Kerry reconcile, poor Ptonomy stands alone, and Melanie wonders where Oliver is (headed south to look for … what?) the credits roll to the tune of T-Rex’s, Children of the Revolution. But it ain’t over until it’s over, on the Summerland balcony where David and Syd are interrupted by an orb — some sort of flying drone that “likes” the looks of David so very much, it scans him, teleports (?) him into its presumably cozy lounge, and flies off into the night sky, the sounds of David’s cries for help left ringing in Syd’s — and our — ears.


Deep Thoughts:

That was about as perfect as a television series gets; it’s immediately added to my top ten list, alongside Fargo, Season 1.

Division’s General said, “Send in Equinox“; I’ve no idea if this has anything to do with the Marvel character (likely, not, see below)D

At another point, near episode’s end, Division asks Clark if they should “send in the Peacemaker“, and Clark says “No”, he’s giving “your man” one more hour. Did Division send the orb? (I think so, and it would seem Noah Hawley has confirmed.)

Clark’s walking stick (cane) has a glorious wolf head handle; the camera zoomed in on it multiple times. Who is Clark, really? His family was adorable.

Kudos, yet again, to Aubrey Plaza, whose Blenny is sheer perfection. The way she was Exorcist-ed up and was being exorcised from David was beyond cool; the visuals and effects (as always) add so much to this show, without being over the top.

Did that Nissan President — “mainly used by corporate executives and government officials” that Oliver drove away belong to Clark?

A wonderful mix of horror and joy overcame me when Blenny jumped into Oliver. Of course, this means we’ll see the ever-fantastic Jemaine Clement in this role of a lifetime more in Season 2 (confirmed by Noah Hawley).

That also means we’ll get more of Jean Smart’s incredible, nuanced reactions to anything and everything Oliver. The expressions on her face whenever she’s speaking with him, or about him, are heartbreaking and all I want is for them to be together again.

“What’s happening Space Captain?

“Would you like to have dinner”?
“I’m on a mostly liquid diet”.
“I like liquid”.

“You remind me of someone”.
“Your wife”?
“No, that’s not it. No”.
“We can figure it out over dinner”.

Blenny jumping from person to person was perfectly executed, as was the scene with David and Kerry running at each other.





Tons of great lines this hour …

Melanie to Clark:  “Better learn to fly like a bird because the age of the dinosaur is over”.

David to Clark:  “Isn’t that the history of the world, People of different nations, different languages, learning to live together”?

Syd to Blenny:  “My mother died a few years back; cancer. She tried all the things … You know what they do with a tumor? They burn it”.

Blenny:  “So I’m the tumor?”

“You ever make soup. You ever try to unmake soup. I’m part of him, and the only way you’re gonna get me out is if I leave on my own”.

Syd to David:  “Babe, I don’t care if you save me or the world, if you don’t save yourself …”

As similarly employed by Westworld, the hour began with a fugue — Felix Friedrich, Passacaglia C-Moll (BWV 582) — likely referring to the amnesiac state Clark was in.

Songs this hour include:  Oliver singing Tony Bennett’s If I Ruled the WorldT-Rex, Children of the Revolution, Pink Floyd, Speak to Me, Breathe, On the Run.

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over ten years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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