Warning: This recap for the “Chapter 7” episode of Legion contains spoilers.
The make-or-break moment of any superhero story is the revelation moment: the moment just before the climax when the hero acknowledges his power, masters it, then sets out to defeat the monster. If you don’t stand up and cheer, then the story’s not doing its job. Well, David cracks it — putting together the monster’s history and breaking out of the coffin it placed him in. When David looks into the camera and says, “I’m going to get my body back,” were you cheering?
Lenny/the Devil has taken over David’s mind and has turned the Clockworks fantasy into chaos. She grills Amy for details on the night David came to their home. Cary talks with Oliver in his ice cube hideaway and they make a plan to rescue the others. Syd is pulled out of her “music therapy” lockdown, and she sets off with illusion-disrupting glasses and meets up with Kerry, who is being pursued by The Eye. Cary and Oliver run into Melanie, who is heartbroken that her husband has forgotten her but also discovers an almost-dead Rudy. Meanwhile, David puts together the pieces with the help of his rational mind. He breaks out and takes control of his mind while Lenny is occupied with Syd, Kerry, and The Eye, and at the same time as Cary places his device to isolate the parasite in David’s brain. They all return to their bodies, and David catches the bullets in his hand. They return to Summerland, but Division 3 is close behind, including a badly injured Interrogator (Hamish Linklater), who orders all of them but David killed.
Even if there weren’t a final showdown with Division 3, there’s still more than enough to fill the next — and final — episode of the season. What if Kerry never forgives Cary for abandoning her, and they live out the rest of their lives separately? What if the swingin’ Oliver, newly returned from the astral plane, never remembers Melanie and decides to find himself an Asian wife? There is no way that Amy’s husband isn’t also locked away in a black site somewhere, being tortured for information on David. And will we finally see the father who fought the Shadow King and gave David to his adoptive parents — which is to say, will we see Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men?
When Melville changed up styles mid-novel in Moby Dick — going from prose to play to poetry to Shakespearean asides — it was a mind-blowing device. While it’s nothing new today, it’s still thrilling when done right. Unlike two episodes ago, where the sound dropped out completely, this time we have silent movie-era title cards to fill in the dialogue. The animated blackboard discussion is a fantastic way to knock out some of that pesky exposition without resorting to Game of Thrones-style sexposition. Is the switch to letterbox format near the end telling us that we’re about to enter the big-screen, blockbuster finale with the big fight, intense special effects, and heroic sacrifice typical of the X-Men film franchise?
Blink and You’ll Miss It
There was a golden opportunity for the dreambreaker glasses to look like the sunglasses from They Live. Also to have Keith David guest star, but that may be taking it a bit too far.
The mother drawing has hair, which means it’s no accident that the telepath father is bald. (But didn’t Patrick Stewart say he was done playing Professor X?)
What was that insane, body-crumpling thing Lenny did to The Eye? It’s awful and engrossing and, guaranteed, if you show a child that, they will have nightmares through adulthood because of it. Go ahead: Ask anybody who saw the Nazi face-melting scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark when they were too young.
The song over the closing credits is “Art of Fear” by the Grassy Knoll. Obviously, the lyrics “Can you fear me coming” and “Icebreaker” are relevant to elements of the show, which is nice. But can we talk about Oliver’s poetry? It ranges from bawdy barroom limericks to Ginsberg’s “Sunflower Sutra,” which must have made the ladies swoon in 1969 but is almost cartoonishly transparent in 2017. Does Melanie’s trepidation concern his amnesia or is it because she’s now dealing with the shallow reality of a man now 40 years her junior?
Legion airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.
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