Legion: ‘Chapter 16’ Review

In Legion’s most mind-bending episode yet, David and Syd evaluate their relationship while the Shadow King gets closer to finding his missing body.  The visuals in this episode alone make it worth watching, with amazing scene transitions, beautiful scenery and bizarre yet poignant interludes.  The opening moments with Ptonomy in the mainframe were especially fun to view and led into a very eerie title sequence.  The scene in which  David sets up where all the players stand was probably the best way to do a quick recap and exposition, as it’s both visually creative and rather playful.

The allegory of the cave interlude was incredibly interesting, well executed and insightful towards the character of the Shadow King.  It was also a very sudden break from the story, so much that I thought I was watching a commercial.  Normally that would sour me towards the episode, but many of the scene shifts felt very sudden, with the resulting disorienting affect fitting the themes of the show perfectly.  The only criticism this reviewer can find with the sequence is it’s length.  Regardless of how relevant it may be to the story, these educational interludes shouldn’t be too long as it tends to destroy any momentum the  episode has built.  The use of cellphones in this modern retelling shows one of the negative aspects of technology, something not foreign to Legion this season.

With the introduction of the very hack-able mainframe, Hawley has delved into the fears surrounding the sharing of information and anonymity.  This very relevant fear is well-represented in the opening sequence when Ptonomy discovers the Monk’s hacking of the network.  Speaking of which, Fukuyama’s origin is told in this episode through information found in the network and it’s very promising.  Hopefully more details on the mainframe and Fukuyama’s backstory are included in the season’s remaining episodes.

David and Syd’s relationship in this episode is somewhat strained due to David’s commitment to the future version of his girlfriend’s plan.  Syd knocked some sense into David when he went for a hopeless revenge mission and the two strengthened their bond.  Their relationship has moved beyond the infatuation of their initial meeting and now Syd has to see if their relationship will work practically.  Her defense of David against Clarke’s comments shows that despite everything she still sees the best in him.  Young Haller has gone through quite a bit in recent episodes and is caught between his own desires and the best outcome for the future.  It’s good to see that at least some of the characters present a united front in the wake of all this crisis.

Lenny’s own personal crisis seems to have placed her exactly where David needs her for his final move against Farouk and this makes one wonder how the larger plan will reveal itself.  Aubrey Plaza gives a good performance for the small amount of time she spends on screen.

The Shadow King scenes were excellent as Negahban perfectly captured the joy in Farouk’s face as he gets closer to his final goal.  Despite his largely malevolent nature the Shadow King does provide one of his body’s captors with a simple request in exchange for the location of said body.  One great directing choice was having Negahban appear as Farouk alongside his current host as he uses him as a chauffeur.  A very simple way to show how Farouk views the people around him, as shadows, perfectly tying his character to the allegory of the cave interlude.

This week’s episode of Legion was beautiful, inventive and brings the story closer to the season’s climax.

Rating: 8.7/10


What did you think of Legion’s latest episode?  Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts (there’s a Legion related joke somewhere in there).

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