Legion: 2.04 Chapter 12
Where last episode David creeped around Division 3 and briefly visited the mind mazes of his friends, this week’s episode was entirely devoted to unravelling the mystery of the woman of his life, Syd. In what was absolutely a filler episode - the show's titles not appearing until the end of the episode with the final revelation that actually advanced the plot - Legion knew exactly what it was doing with this one.
Whilst I'll won't speak much on the plot itself, the episode simply recounting the looping scenes over and over again as it did it was, to my mind, a fun diversion off the main plot thread with its introspection into Syd and by extension, David's relationship with her. With only one little insert about halfway through the episode to let us know the other characters were all fine following the mad monk's death, this week's story was all about the two lovers.
Looping through Syd's early life, witnessing her aversion for being touched even from infancy, David tried to fathom Syd's inner most desires. Her secret dreams. And refreshingly he was wrong, Syd telling him to look again and the loop would start over. With each repetition more detail was eked out as David got closer to the core of the woman he loved. The young actress who portrayed Syd during her formative years of realising and first utilising her powers was brilliant in the role, especially when it was revealed that she wasn't necessarily the fair maiden that a lifetime of damsel in distress narratives would have us believe. Those girls that bullied her in school? That guy that tried to force himself on her? Yeah, Syd had a way with dealing with them both.
The incident with her mother's boyfriend is another matter though, one I feel I'm going to have to revisit once I've thought on it some more. And perhaps heard what Hawley's authorial intent was. Because Lord knows there's a difference between intent and applicability when it comes to storytelling and that particular little twist left me feeling... uncomfortable.
Thankfully though, by the end we were given a clear answer to what drives Syd at her core, instead of being left spinning for answers. She believed that love wasn't the answer to everything, the thing that would save them all. She instead believed that a person's pain, their scars, their trauma is what makes them strong. Love would not save them. They would need to save love, because thankfully for all of her intimacy issues, she still believed love was something worth fighting for. It was Hawley telling a survivor's tale, except instead of abuse or violence, Syd had survived her very own nature.
With amazing covers of classic tracks, Jeff Russo and Noah Hawley's cover of Cream's White Room being a stand out for me, Legion continues to nail a mood and aesthetic I didn't even realise I had in me, one I even fail to find words words to define other than “trippy.” Hell, the first 10 minutes of the episode, there was almost zero dialogue. It was all visual storytelling and good vibes.
With the episode ending with David and Syd coming out of the whole ordeal stronger than before, we were treated to the hitherto mentioned opening titles as the episode drew to a close. The final twist coming in the form of Division 3's latest acquisition. None other than Lenny herself, in the flesh. Not some projection of the Shadow King's deviant mind, the real deal it seems. How did she get out? What does this mean for Amahl Farouk? Who the hell knows. But it's about time we got to the bottom of the walking cipher that is Lenny.