Legion S1E2 “Chapter 2”

*Spoilers Ahead*

After a first episode as wild as the oneĀ LegionĀ put out it helps to slow down a bit an catch your breath and that’s exactly what we get this week.

The pace may have slowed down this week but that doesn’t mean we are deprived of fun visual and cool story hooks. Those are both present as David takes a trip through his own mind, courtesy of a man with the ability to make people relive memories and what awaits inside isn’t great.

What stuck out to me is Jean Smart’s character, Dr. Bird, and her belief not only that David is not mentally unstable but that he is the key to winning some sort of war. Both of those issues remain a mystery by episode’s end but we get even more evidence that as far as David’s mental health is concerned he is far from being okay. Bird seems to be slowly understanding just the kind of challenge David’s mind poses by the end but it takes some traumatic memories and a teleported MRI machine to get there.

The journey through David’s mind and the attempts to uncover the hidden details inside is the best example yet of this show’s ability to wring tension out of anything. It helps when you have a creature as odd and frightening as the Devil with the Yellow Eyes lurking around. The main thrust of the mind trip is pinpointed on two separate moments. One, where David’s father, whose face is obscured, reads him a book titled “The Angriest Kid in the World” and another where David has a conversation with his therapist and is freaked by a unopened door.

These both bring up elements that could potentially explain David’s problems, provided the events actually happened as we see them. The interesting thing about memories and especially the ones of a man with the powers David has is that you can’t entirely trust them. His father very well could have read a book as frightening as that to him at night or it could be David’s subconscious adding in elements. Similarly, David seems to subconsciously block the incident of his telekinetic freak-out in the kitchen from being seen.

It isn’t that David doesn’t want the help, he seems to be okay with it although that might mainly be due to Syd being there. David and Syd’s relationship remains the most important tether and it’s ultimately what keeps David from stepping into the obvious trap the government plants by capturing his sister. The seeds are planted for some potential woes for the two lovebirds in the future, particularly David unwillingness to share what is in his head but I’m confident that show will handle it in a way none of us expect.

The focus may have gotten clearer this week but that doesn’t mean the story has become simple. We’re still dealing with perhaps the most complex superhero plot put to the screen and it’s thrilling to watch unfold.

Bits ‘n Pieces

  • David still doesn’t have the whole telepath bit under control as he accidentally reads Syd’s mind. I wonder if this is foreshadowing something to come.
  • The government official hunting David, the one who stared at him in the interrogation room, has a name The Eye.
  • He also finally speaks at the end as he ominously says “Shall we begin?” to David’s sister.
  • I want to continue to praise Aubrey Plaza who is doing some amazing work with the little screen time she gets.
  • I’m pulling this out of my ass but could it be the Devil with Yellow Eyes who blocked that memory. I’m pretty certain the Devil is another personality of David’s, perhaps the one the got unleashed when Syd was in his body?

Jesse Swanson is a would-be writer, podcaster and funny guy who covers TV shows of all shapes and sizes. You can find him on Twitter @JesseSwanson

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