Legion has produced some of the most (and literal) mind-bending episodes that have ever graced superhero TV. Nay, usual TV. Creator Noah Hawley has melded mental eccentricity with power drama and intriguing character development whilst also producing memorable scenes in the shows unusual set-design and scene exploration. Legion blazed through it’s season with wit, originality, and terror; unique against the backdrop of mutant and superhero fatigue, offering a new spin on the genres that we know.
With it’s finale, it certainly showcased power – though not with the force we’ve known.
Chapter 8 of this fantastic show may play out with the usual garb you’d expect from power-led series. There’s a baddie to defeat, there’s a twist in the fold, there are lovers trying to get back together. The episode picks off where we were left: The Investigator from Chapter 1 has returned and is determined to get David under his fold, regardless of collateral damage. Meanwhile, the parasite inhibiting David is threatening to come out of their electric halo cage and it soon becomes a battle to get The Shadow King burnt out of David’s subconscious.
The whole season has been about perspective and how much it could play on our understand. What we see and know isn’t necessarily the truth. David’s point of view, due to the parasite and his drug taking, manipulates the narrative alongside The Shadow King who distorts it too. In Chapter 8, however, it’s a much more moral perspective that is twisted as we see the Investigator, played incredibly by Chris Melina, ecover from his injuries. With his husband and son, we see him rebuild his life with burn disfigurement only to have him return to his job in pursuit of David. Here is where Hawley spins a different web: Instead of a crutch wearing villain, he presents a character who quite rightly wants revenge for his injuries and the death of the men and women beside him. His perspective, then, is that mutants are all
Certainly Chapter 8 had a tricky path to follow. The last episode set an unprecedented level: A high bar where superhero television series and thriller television series collided in a spectacular display of creative ingenuity that was both gripping and horrifying. Following the penultimate episode, Chapter 8 had to topple that but ultimately fell somewhat flat within it’s presence. There are truly magnificent moments. The Shadow King transferring to Kerry who attracts almighty anger due to her despondency with Cary allows a magnificent battle sequence between David and herself, one that echoes of typical superhero finale but still stunning to watch nonetheless.
What this episode opens is an intriguing look at Season 2 where the danger must be intensified, more so than this already phenomenal series. The thought of Jermaine Clement and Aubrey Plaza now being a tag-team villain as Oliver is newly possessed by The Shadow King is far too tantalising to wait for next year to see. There’s also the thought of David who enjoy a true brief moment of conscious freedom before being snapped away again in the mid-credits scene. This all offers new and uneasy ground for us to explore.
Legion is a show to go back and watch. Though Chapter 8 hums of a familiarity that Legion spent so long trying to differentiate from, it is still an utterly palpable and compelling show.
Come back for our overview and highlights of Legion!