When Two Tribes Go to War, A Point Is All You Can Score: Legion, ‘Chapter 15’

***Spoiler Warning:  Spoilers for Legion through Season 2, Episode 7 follow. Spoilers*** Last week

When the opening credits are a marvel (*cough*) unto themselves, you know you’ve stumbled onto something spectacular. And so it goes, week after week, into the minds of madness .. greatness, with another lesson by our fearless Narrator (Jon Hamm). no doubt Thanks to Farouk (“Tapeworm, Shit Beetle, I’m calling you out.”), coming to believe something terrible is happening hasn’t been difficult for the Summerland gang. Falling in line, we viewers have been taken in by the growing (Part Eight Moral) panic, fought alongside in our own minds, but what is real?

Whether David’s delusion or Farouk’s farce, a dinner discussion showdown between would-be hero and villain (“Now, you’re telling me the opposite is true?”) finds David back at the kids’ table, defending himself to a pseudo possessed version of his sister (“Those were just thoughts”), but really, he’s still in the tank and like us, trying to find his way through the haze. While Syd tries to reason her way through the relationship mines caused by her Future Self, Farouk suits up for another mind attack, though he can’t quite believe his ears when Future Syd tells the Shadow King she wants him to live.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Lenny (is there even a Lenny any longer, anywhere?) goes all in, but her Farouk’s masked attempts to manipulate Syd (“You’re the song they play outside of a hostage crisis to keep criminals from thinking clearly”) fall on cleverly deaf — attuned — ears. Infected, Ptonomy spreads to Clark, to Syd, to Kerry, and as David heeds the Shadow Signal, the Insanity monster John Carpenters its way right out of Wallace’s fragile human shell, leaving a mind-rescue by the Vermillion Tree of Life his only option. We humans don’t believe what we see, we see what we believe, but in its final moments, “Chapter 15 “clears the Farouk fog … we see the monster for its eggs. Hushed behind a veil of code, Ptonomy (and we) assess our surroundings; there must be some kinda way outta here.

Deep Thoughts:

“Ostensibly on Legion … ” I mean, tou-fucking-ché. Nothing is as it seems, and what appears to be happening (probably) isn’t. Is the entirety of this season a spreading insanity infection? The moral is the moral; moral panic has spread throughout the Summerland group of mutants, and I’m not sure Syd, Melanie (wherefore art thou?), Carey, Kerry, Ptonomy (*sob*) or Clark have a clue what’s really happening — though at times, there are characters who seem to have moments of clarity.

Clark, in particular, may have more of a handle on what’s happening than anyone. I remain convinced he’ll eventually be identified as a Marvel character (that walking stick), but as yet, we still don’t know what mindpowers Clark has.

What a wonderfully horror-filled episode? Amy’s The Exorcist devilishly possessed laugh; Ptonomy’s The Thing-ening, and Admiral Fukuyama’s Creature from the Black Lagoon-ish head were all exceptional.

All hail Navid Negahban, whose pure transformation into the Shadow King is beyond anything imaginable. He is just all in, eats up every word of dialogue with gusto, and spits out gorgeous, multilingual phrases without skipping a beat. Pretty much everything he says sounds like poetry (a credit to the writers, as well); the musicality of his speech patterns is hypnotic. And, the whole title sequence made me squeal with delight.

Once again, I must rave about Noah Hawley, and all the creativity expressed through his series. Constantly in awe, we are.

In particular, Farouk’s speech about villains and blue-eyed, white-skinned heroes, truly resonates. I often wonder how Navid must feel speaking such lines.

Clark continues to be one of my favorite characters, thanks to Hamish Linklater’s subtle humor. His inward something belies the outward seriousness, especially in scenes like when he spoke about Fukuyama’s purported proclivities:  “Rumors, whispers, people go and they don’t come back. [“What does he do to them?”] “He eats them.”

Future Syd tells Farouk, “In my timeline, the race ends and you lose”, which begs the question, whose timeline prevails? And, if both David and Farouk can manipulate time, does any timeline actually win out over another?

Speaking of Future Syd, she reminded Farouk he couldn’t hurt her where she was, but can he manipulate her? David recognized (“You’re not my Syd) that she wasn’t who she seemed to be … unless he simply meant that she wasn’t the future he sees for himself. “Everyone hides behind a mask.” (Gotta give Farouk that one …) So, when David says, “You’re not my Syd”, is it because he knows what she’s hiding? That she’s actually working with Farouk to take down David (to be fair, to stop him — the monster — from destroying the world)?

Insanity eggs and monsters, oh my! Ptonomy was in the service of Farouk — seemingly.

In between all the surreality, I love the normalcy of David and Syd’s relationship. This is so a regular couple exchange:

David:  “Hey, I love you. Are you gonna say it too?”

Syd:  “Shut up …

I love you.”

What’s with all the fruit? The Yo! Waffles room is now a Yo! Fruit room, and when David and Farouk sat together, the table was fruit laden.

From the Yo! Fruit room to Yo! Rooms …

Westworld (and The Matrix) allusions:  Ptonomy inside — becoming the code. What is real?

Blade Runner-ish shot

Speaking of, Ptonomy’s NOT dead, right? He’s stuck in a moment, right? (I wonder if that means Amy has a shot at still being alive, somewhere outside her body?)

Loved Kerry’s Matrix wall-usage during the fight with the Vermillion.

Syd sums up the Legion experience:  “Sometimes in a dream, you remember you’ve had this dream before. But, that memory is just part of the dream — a dream memory of a dream — when in truth it’s all really happening for the first time, again.”

Anyone recognize the imagery on Farouk’s throne? And wasn’t it interesting how Farouk and Syd kept shifting power during that scene, alternating who sat on the throne? Is this Farouk’s way of attempting to tempt her with power?

Where is Oliver?


Songs This Hour:

Ingolf Turban, Volker, Op. 203: No. 3, Im Rosengarten zu Worms. Tranquillo

Nicholas Jaar, Mi Mujer

Jeff Russo, 89 Days

(In recited lyrics only) Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Two Tribes

Great Lines:

The Narrator explaining Part Eight Moral Panic:  “Moral panic is described as public anxiety or alarm in response to a perceived threat to the moral standards of society. The road to moral panic has several stops. The first is concern. This concern, limited at first, spreads from person to person, amplified by cultural forces, until rational concern becomes irrational fear. People come to believe something terrible is happening, something they can’t see, that they can’t control. It has come for othersIt will come for them. Whether or not the threat is real, the response certainly is. And it is often excessive. Ask youreself what’s more terrifying, fear or the frightened?”

Farouk to David:  “Use your words.”

David:  “I was sick.”

Farouk:  “You were a joke, something to laugh at with her friends. David, the dancing bear.

… Did she help you, or did you wish horrible things? Remember, no secrets”

David:  “Those were just thoughts.”

Farouk:  “Remove your mask, show them your face. You could be beautiful.”

David:  “I’m not like you.”

Syd to David about Future Syd:  “Maybe you should. Talk to her, if you’re not gonna talk to me.”

David:  “That wouldn’t bother you?”

Syd:  “What, if you talked to me in the future, why?”

David:  “No reason … I wouldn’t want you to be jealous.”

Syd:  “Of myself?”

Farouk to Future Syd:  “You think he is the only one who can outsmart the universe.

I want to live. I know why this is what I want. The question is, why is this what you want?

… And who will end the world? The ants? The humans, with their bombs, world war three? … No, it’s not possible.

For centuries people said Amahl Farouk is the villain. Year after year they came with their blue eyes and white skin to kill me, the king. They thought by killing me they will save the world. Now you’re telling me that the opposite is true; that the villain is the hero, and the hero is the villain. Oxymoron.”

Future Syd:  “Maybe we’re all villains.”

Lenny to Syd:  “Isn’t it weird that we were both inside David? Mentally, I mean …

Syd:  “I know what you’re doing. You’re not Lenny, you’re not Amy.”

Lenny:  “We’re gonna be best friends.”

Syd:  “Whatever Farouk told you to do, your secret plan, is just noise.”

Lenny:  “He raped me,, over and over again. Like one of those Amish girls snatched from the side of the road.

You know, whatever; bros before hos. Girl power, I guess.”

David to the Insanity critter right before exploding it in a jar:  “‘Member, I was gonna let you go.”

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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