Legion Chapter 7 Plot Summary:
As more is revealed about the parasite living inside David’s (Dan Stevens) mind, David attempts to embrace his powers so he can free his friends from imminent death.
If you ever wanted to see Tim Burton direct Inception, you got your wish. Wow. This was one of the most extraordinary hours of television I’ve ever seen. Are you kidding me? Absolute insanity. The creativity and imagination that went into this episode is something that needs to be appreciated, especially in the age of retreads and reboots. This was warped, weird and spectacular. Unlike a Terrence Malick, who craps out random images and nonsensical gobbledygook, the weirdness actually means something. This wasn’t weird for the sake of being weird. This was art with a purpose. That’s brilliant storytelling, baby! We have a crap load to sift through, but let’s start with what last week’s episode lacked – a progression of story.
If last week was filler, this penultimate episode was overload. We got an onslaught of information. This was by far the most X-Meny episode yet, including two big OMFG reveals. The first was a simple image, but it was a big one. This basically confirms David’s parentage. The only reason this pissed me off isn’t the fault of the show, but the fact that it was spoiled for me before the series started when I read a random plot description on the Internet. That damn Internet. Unbelievable.
The other little factoid we learned was not spoiled for me, and thank Moses, because it was quite the reveal. We finally learn who the big baddie is, and if you’re an X-Men fan, in particular of the ’90s animated series, you will LOVE this reveal. This villain was involved in some of the best episodes from that show, and to see him confirmed here was flat out awesome.
Not only do we learn who the villain is, but we see his past play out through David’s eyes. Not only do we see David finally put the pieces together with a clever set-up, but to see it play out the way it did was riveting as hell. Dan Stevens crushes it. I could have watched this sequence for another twenty minutes. It’s very reminiscent of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 when Hermione breaks down the story of the three brothers as you watch the animation play out like a fairy tale. When this scene ended and they went to commercial break, there was no doubt in my mind that would remain the highlight of the episode. Dead wrong.
As good as the animation was in the previous scene, it pales in comparison to the visuals that permeate throughout the screen in what is by far the best sequence Legion has offered yet. Holy matza balls. This plays like one of the greatest music videos of all time. What other show can offer you a guy controlling music notes to build a shield around bullets, fabricated zombie images, a guy being melded into a cube, silent film word boxes and a main character who finally comes into his own? No other show will do that. This is one of the most well-crafted sequences of television I’ve seen in years. The costume and look of Aubrey Plaza in particular was morbid and depraved, like something out of a 1970s Ralph Bakshi painting.
Aside from all the jaw-dropping visuals, all of it actually matters. Through all the crazy shenanigans, it still manages to develop characters. Screenwriting doesn’t get much better than that. And as I said before, it’s not being weird for the sake of being weird. The silent film word boxes make sense, playing off a simple plot device from a few episodes ago. Brilliant.
If I had one complaint, it would be with Jean Smart’s character, Melanie. She just isn’t doing much for me. Her husband, Oliver (Jemaine Clement), makes a comeback though, and he remains fascinating as ever. Him and Cary (Bill Irwin) have a fun chemistry early on.
Aside from David’s big moment, they still manage to sneak in some meat for the minor characters. Kerry (Amber Midthunder) literally has one line of dialogue with Cary, but it’s all that needed to be said. One of the characters I’ve heavily critiqued is the minor villain, the Eye (Mackenzie Gray). While he still bores me, I loved him here only because of what happens to him. Yikes.
This was a near perfect episode of television – creative storytelling with a purpose. This show has balls that so many superhero movies lack. Both Suicide Squad and Doctor Strange could have taken lessons from Legion. The main villain, in particular, is simply nasty. The last image is unsettling. This season has one more episode left, but there’s no way in hell they are topping what they just did.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10 (O…M…G)