Insanity spreads as sickness throughout Division Three in the latest mind-bending episode of Legion…
I have enjoyed this season of Legion immensely so it pains me to say this – a part of me is worrying that the show is showing signs of having too many episodes for its own good. While the previous standalone episodes succeeded with terrific insular plots, “Chapter 15” seems to reveal that an ongoing mystery of this season was a throwaway B-plot intended to pad out the season a little.
All season, Jon Hamm has been speaking to us about mass forms of madness in society, a sickness that has often been represented by horrible delusion monsters hatching out of eggs. This episode half-explained them as a product of a creature that had infected the minds of the Vermillion, and then the old Summerland gang. It’s suggested that it is born out of humanity’s madness, but its origins and possible motivations are left unexplained.
This is a shame as, because of this, I feel the episode didn’t have as much to say about mass delusion as it thought it did, lacking the insightful subtle commentary that last week, for instance, nailed in its look at how society can treat the mentally-ill. Jon Hamm’s closing narration suggested his role in the series may be done, now that the running theme of societal madness appears to have been wrapped up. I hope not, though, as you can never have too much Jon Hamm.
What was much stronger was the stuff with Future Syd, David and the Shadow King. As we suspected, David does appear to be the apocalyptic threat that the Shadow King is needed to defeat. Farouk’s delight at getting to play the hero was a highlight of the episode – I adore how Navd Negahban plays him as a man who has been told he is the villain so he acts like it, rather than a pure evil being as in season one.
In amongst all the dense plotting, one moment that really sung was the sweet, funny exchange between David and Syd, in which she lays down some ground rules for what David can do with her future self. Their relationship has always help ground Legion and its scenes like this that give us something to latch onto and acknowledge how crazy this show is. More like this, please.
To clarify, ‘Chapter 15’ featured much to enjoy – in fact, you might have got whiplash from how much was packed into the hour, especially with the leisurely approach to plot the last few episodes have taken. It’s only because I’ve been so impressed with previous hours that this one felt like filler. Even if it was high-class, Legion-level filler.
- Here’s a theory: what if Future Syd is manipulating both David and the Shadow King? Firstly, it does seem that she playing reverse psychology on David when she suddenly turns romantic after he refuses to help Farouk anymore. Likewise, telling Farouk that David is the true villain would be the perfect way to get him onside. Maybe David isn’t actually the big apocalyptic evil?
- I wonder if the insanity monster is Legion‘s loose adaptation of Sublime, an X-Men comics villain that is essentially a sentient virus. It’s worth noting that Ptomony, who was the monster’s host here, closely resembles Lobe, a follower of Sublime.
- Speaking of which, Ptomony is dead! Well, corporeally speaking, anyway. As we know from Lenny, no one is really dead on this show and so his mind has been uploaded into Division 3’s mainframe… where there is an old lady in a rocking chair? Yeah, I’ve got no idea about that one.
- So Fukuyama isn’t anyone familiar and is just some eccentric Japanese guy who likes to wear a basket on his head? It seems so.