Legion: 3.06 Chapter 25
Just when you think you’ve got a grasp of where Legion is going it throws you another curve ball. Last episode saw David declare war against Division Three, leaving death and destruction in his wake. With only three episodes left to wrap the entire story up what’s the obvious thing to do? Obviously if you’re Legion you spend almost the whole episode’s running time in a separate bubble of the astral plane mashing together fairy tales in order to give Syd her moment of clarity.
In another beautifully shot and highly symbolic episode of Legion we catch up with Melanie and Oliver at last. They are living out their existence closed off and away from the real world in a forest that’s inside a planter on a fire escape. Oliver patrols the forest they have imagined for themselves, picking up detritus that people have forgotten about and that has seeped through into their world. One of these discarded items is baby Syd.
Protecting Syd from the real world and keeping her safe as she grows is the framework this episode is built on. The dangers that lie outside this fairytale utopia are represented mainly by the big bad wolf who lives next door. Admirably played by Jason Mantzoukas of Brooklyn Nine Nine fame the wolf seeks to corrupt Syd with tales of death and, for some reason, chlamydia.
For most of Chapter 25’s running time you could be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into the wrong show. Nothing of what has come before is referenced as instead we are treated to a complete diversion from the main storyline. It’s only when a by now teenage Syd starts dreaming of her past life with David that any connections start to be made. I would say this might be a turn off for the more casual fan but by now I honestly can’t imagine there are any casual fans of Legion left. If you haven’t fully committed to the lunacy by now you’re probably watching the wrong show.
It’s great to see Jemaine Clement back as Oliver and his dialogue makes this probably the funniest episode of the series so far, especially when combined with Mantzoukas’ laconic take on the wolf. By the time Oliver is back in his trademark safari suit and utters the iconic words “well there’s only one way to settle this. Rap battle”, I was grinning from ear to ear.
Of course one of the lessons learned is that we can’t stay safe and hidden away forever. Syd finally learns the truth of this and becomes her old self. I suspect some clues about how the show is going to conclude are given as Oliver tells her “not everybody wants to be saved”. He also raises the interesting point that “it’s not us or them, it’s us and them”. This is one of Legion’s more prominent themes, not everything is black and white. Most of the characters in the show cross the boundaries between what is good and evil. Division Three started off as the bad guys and are now the last line of defence against David who himself is the very definition of conflicted. Farouk has also crossed over from villain to hero, although his actions last episode in revealing the airship’s position to David are somewhat suspect.
Syd finally reawakens in the real world and the consequences of David’s attack become all too apparent. In what is a very touching scene Kerry and Cary merge for the first time in ages to transfer Kerry’s injuries over. They figure they’ll need her fighting skills when pursuing David and Switch through the time door. You can feel Cary’s anguish as he takes on Kerry’s pain and is reduced to being pushed around in a wheelchair. The uber creepy time demons return just as our heroes escape through Switch’s door. The design and movement of the time demons is superbly realised and adds a notable threat to proceedings.
What happens next is anyones guess. I have no idea who is even going to end up the hero or the villain of the piece, let alone how the final battle to save the world is going to play out. This ability to surprise keeps Legion miles ahead of most other shows currently airing. Well, that and rap battles.