Legion: 1.08 Chapter 8
Episode eight is Legion’s season finale and despite the typical conclusive yet inconclusive ending, it still feels that perhaps it’s ending too soon. Is this an indication that TV shows are getting shorter and shorter? In a way, we spent the whole season of Legion waiting for something to happen; the anticipation of David unlocking his super mutant powers and how a possible mutant revolt would save this Marvel world. However, if like me, you've been watching the show from the start, you would know it simply refuses to adhere to any linear narrative and to expect any straight answers to the millions of questions raised, would be foolish.
In the final scenes of episode seven, The Interrogator (Hamish Linklater) with his army descend upon Summerland only to be met in the first scenes of episode eight with a temporarily lucid and newly powerful David Haller (Dan Stevens), who with one swoop of his hand tosses the troops to one side, rendering them useless. Viewers may recall The Interrogator from episode one, holding David captive and under inquisition to reveal the whereabouts of Syd. An explosion by the mutant rescue team frees David but has the side effect of permanently burning half of The Interrogator's face and body. Linklater brings to his a role a complexity; portraying him less vindicating but more victim, fearful at the presence of mutants. We get a peak into his personal life through flashbacks; being nursed back to health post-explosion by his doting partner, the series’ first openly gay relationship, and their adopted son.
Of course, the episode would be no finale without some type of reckoning and creator Noah Hawley does not disappoint on that front. The episode satisfyingly, sees a face-off between David and Lenny, putting a possible end to their a-symbiotic relationship. We had some indication at the end of episode seven, that Lenny’s captivity would be short-lived, as the head shield created by fellow mutant Cary Loudermilk (Bill Irwin) would only provide temporary relief from Lenny's too strong a grip. Sure enough, the head piece starts to glitch and David becomes unable to fight off Lenny’s re-emergence. This prompts Syd in a light bulb moment to a solution that will remove the parasite once and for all, at least from David's body. She waits for the exact moment, where Lenny takes over David’s psyche once again, and proceeds to touch David, transferring Lenny into her and then through a series of bizarre physical exchanges he ends up in Oliver Bird. This possibly eludes to Oliver Bird, acquiring a new devilish persona for season two, which at first glance appears fitting for him. In the episode’s final moments, we see Oliver drive off in a fetching Cadillac and there in the passenger seat is Lenny, all dolled-up in a floral dress looking almost Lolita-esque, if it wasn't for the usual unhinged look in her eyes. .
It cannot be stressed how utterly brilliant Audrey Plaza has been this whole season. Her villainous Lenny character was a slow build-up; starting the season as a bitchy, cynical if playful side-kick to wrapping up as a, deeply complex, deranged, multi-persona; a truly evil force of nature. Plaza is pure genius in the role, showing her full range as an actor; taking full advantage of this larger than life character she has been give. Dan Stevens is equally noteworthy as the erratic David Haller, he is able to fluctuate his acting muscles; fluctuating from deer-lost-in-the-headlights, to a drug idled youth to doped up psychiatric patient; remaining engaging throughout.
Legion has singlehandedly managed to challenge the somewhat saturated superhero genre, by bringing something completely different to the table; as much for the outstanding special effects but also for wholly subverting the concept of a linear story line. The show’s creators remove a straight up narrative by the continuous introduction of distracting side-plots, personality changes, blending the past present and future into one big melting point, as well as bringing in parallel realities, astral planes, dream sequences. Perhaps the unreliability and lack of continuity may be jarring for some viewers; but for others like myself, I believe this is what makes the show exceptional. News of season two were confirmed this month, with the bonus of 2 more episodes. Now unfortunately all we can do is wait till then!