Legion 2×01 Review: Chapter Nine
I saw someone ask for a one word description of “Chapter Nine” without spoilers. It was described as ‘trippy.’ ‘So just like season one?’ the person replied. ‘Pretty much, yeah.’ Season two is starting off with the same stylistic trippy storytelling we’ve come to expect from Legion, but pushed to an even more extreme level.
Chapter Nine is laying the groundwork for a new direction with our characters, while still carrying over mysteries from the first season forward. Division 3 is no longer the enemy (or so it seems). Our Summerland group has now joined forces with them to take down a much more powerful force. They are in a race to ultimately find the Shadow King’s body and save the world. We quickly get a massive info dump on Division 3 from Ptonomy, catching us up on some of the gaps on the mysterious organization that were left open in the first season. So while we do start off in a new and mysterious setting, we aren’t completely left in the lurch for long. We have a plot laid out before us fairly quickly and we’ve hit the ground running.
The thing about Legion, though, is that despite all the trippiness and grand story telling, ultimately I love the characters most of all. I particularly love the relationship between David and Syd. My heart breaks for Syd, who seems to have been shaken in the nearly year long gap since David was taken. She’s an incredibly strong character and has survived a great deal of turmoil, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t suffer on occasion, too. She just handles the suffering with a straight face and develops unusual coping mechanisms as a way of survival. Both Syd and David are extremely complex characters, so seeing them navigate messy emotions is as painful as it is satisfying. They feel so incredibly real to me, despite how fantastical the entire show may be.
Meanwhile, I’m pretty heartbroken about Melanie’s direction in “Chapter Nine”. She seems absolutely broken. I can’t exactly blame her for her emotional downfall. She spent years looking for Oliver only to not be remembered once he was returned to her. When he did remember her, she wasn’t around to know that he’d recovered his memories. He was quickly possessed by Farouk and taken away. Still, I miss the powerful Melanie that held the group together in season one. It’s clear the group will have a different dynamic now that they are not only part of Division 3, but don’t have Melanie as their core. I somehow suspect Melanie’s downfall may affect Ptonomy the most, He seemed to be the most loyal to her. I only hope he doesn’t turn on the group without her as his rock.
This season’s villain is sure to be satisfying, though. The Catalyst itself will haunt my dreams. The teeth chattering noise is beyond disturbing. Beyond that, the dynamic between Aubrey Plaza and Jemaine Clement is off the charts. These two actors are just weird enough in their own unique way to make a villain as bizarre as Farouk work. The dance sequence towards the end is something only actors as quirky as them could pull off, too. Dan Stevens also played off them quite nicely and I look forward to even more flashbacks of whatever they went through during that year long gap in his memory.
I have a feeling that dance sequence is one I’ll be watching over and over again. Maybe not as often as the Fauxlero sequence from episode 7, but I’m already itching to watch it again and I just finished the episode. That was pretty well choreographed and incredibly bizarre. Sequences like that are why I love this show so damn much. Well done.
The end of “Chapter Nine” brought the questions and mysteries that will no doubt stretch into the rest of the season. Syd looked quite worn out and weary in the orb, and David seemed to imply that she was the one who sent it in the first place. More importantly, why is she insisting that he helps Farouk find his body? Is Division 3 the actual bad guy after all? Is the partnership between Division 3 and Summerland ill-fated from the start? Or is there another villain out there that’s worse than every player we know so far? This season is off to an amazing start. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Author: Angel Wilson
Stephanie “Angel” Wilson is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and has essays published in Fandom Frontlines.
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