Chapter Eighteen was supposed to be the end of the season, but we’re getting another episode next week. I don’t quite know what they plan on doing next week, because this seemed like a perfect cliffhanger to leave off on.
Noah Hawley takes great care in how he presents the visual elements of the show. “Chapter Eighteen” was by far the most visually bizarre, but incredibly beautifully crafted episode to date. If this show doesn’t get nominated for the technical elements, I’ll be thoroughly convinced that award shows are a complete sham. There is nothing more beautiful on TV right now. Change my mind.
The plot of the episode made us dramatically shift gears. David’s most important ally, Syd, seems to be convinced that he is the bad guy. Whether she genuinely feels this way or this is part of a delusion I can’t be sure, but she’s been his most loyal partner since the show began, so this will no doubt be a dramatic blow. I can’t really blame her for this, though. David shifting from the sweet man she met at Clockworks into a rage-filled all-powerful mutant is bound to make anyone nervous. And we’ve seen as viewers that he can end up as in alternate timelines. Whether it’s the alternate futures from “Chapter Fourteen“, or the world destroyer that we glimpsed in this episode; a powerful and angry David is a scary thing to behold.
Melanie being controlled by Farouk made it easier to manipulate Syd. An article on i09 laid out the difficulties that women face in the Legion universe (It Sucks to Be a Woman in Legion). While Syd has thus far been generally resistant against Mel trying to convince her that their men aren’t worth the strife, with the help of Farouk’s powers and smooth talking, she seemed to finally break through. Syd is hurt and scared and her strong alliance with David has finally began to crumble. RIP to my OTP.
I don’t necessarily view David as a bad guy in “Chapter Eighteen”. There was a line that really got to me. He says, “I’m the lunatic you created, and I’ll have my revenge.” He grew up with a parasite inside him. It drove him to severe mental illness and a life spent addicted to drugs and locked in a mental institution. He has every right to be angry and him lashing out seems like a natural response. When he was torturing Oliver, I feel he thought it was Farouk. While torture is wrong in any circumstances, it’s more understandable that he would set aside morals to lash out at the creature that caused him so much harm than just throwing away everything to torment someone as an emotional release.
We can’t forget about the other characters who made an appearance in “Chapter Eighteen”. Lenny, Kerry, and Cary were fantastic in their respective story lines. We never really got to see Lenny be herself before. When we were first introduced to her, she was a patient at Clockworks. Then she was being used as a mask for Farouk. Likewise, Kerry is gaining her own independence separate from Cary. All three characters were spectacular this week.
And, lastly, we can’t forget Clark and Vermillion, who had one of the most absurd sequences of them all. Vermillion unloading the giant tuning fork out of the van was one of those moments you laugh at, but quickly accept as the reality of this universe. Apparently the fork (or ‘bell’ as some of the characters referred to it) can nullify mutant powers. I see this becoming a plot device next week.
We’re headed into the finale now. We weren’t supposed to get this extra episode, but here we are. We left off with David stepping into the role of an antagonist, which would have been a perfect place to torture the audience with a season break cliffhanger. Instead we may get some resolution next week. What a treat!
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel 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 is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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