FX’s Legion
Chapter 16
Directed by Jeremy Webb
Written by Jordan Crair

* For a recap & review of Chapter 15, click here.
* For a recap & review of Chapter 17, click here.
Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 1.27.35 AMDavid (Dan Stevens) and Syd (Rachel Keller) are left in the wake of the Mi-go monk’s death, wondering how they’ll find Farouk’s (Navid Negahban) body’s now. The two also talk about the future, the future iteration of Syd and her relationship to David. All he knows is they have to find the body, and quick. Trying to fend off an apocalypse is hard work. “One thing at a time,” yknow?
Meanwhile, Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris) is stuck up there, out there, somewhere, in the mainframe, lost in the 1s and 0s of a computer’s code. As is Admiral Fukyama (Marc Oka) stuck in that same space. Elsewhere in the mainframe, Ptonomy finds the Monk (Nathan Hurd).
We see some of a young Fukyama (Ian Teves), reading Freud and studying. He hears of “listeners, watchers, creatures from science fiction” out there who can steal peoples personal secrets. He’s preached to about the vulnerability of having secrets, how this can compromise a person. What’s the solution? A “secret keeper,” an impenetrable mind. The government sought out Fukyama because he’d never been ill, his medical tests all showed he’s biologically unique. So, they wanted him to become their vault of secrets. Thus, the basket-covered head.
Is it possible Ptonomy can find a way to manipulate the mainframe, and contact the outside world? Perhaps talk to David? He hijacks one of the Vermillion, whom he navigates to the dining room where David eats. They have an interesting conversation – Ptonomy knows how they can find Farouk’s body, after sorting through the monk’s memories.
Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 1.29.48 AMOut on the road, Farouk and Oliver (Jemaine Clement) are making a stop at a retirement living facility. They go see a woman (Lavelle Roby) who drove the hearse in which they transported Farouk many years before. She recognises his “true form.” She agrees to tell him where she took it, if he’ll give her the “endless dream.” Hers is being back in the driver’s seat of the hearse, going to and fro one place to another with beautiful operatic Italian music playing in the speakers.
David has to be careful what he tells the others at Division 3, after their minds have been compromised. He has to go it mostly alone. This involves setting people in their various places, like chess pieces across a board. However, that involves its own tough work, such as juggling the various tensions and obstacles. Number one, likely, is Lenny (Aubrey Plaza), whose consciousness has erased that of David’s sister Amy (Katie Aselton). Can’t be easy for David, neither can it be easy to deal with Lenny and her madness.
All of a sudden David is gone, off on his trek “to kill the monster.” At Division 3, Clark (Hamish Linklater) and Syd have a frank discussion. We find out more about Clark, who loved another boy in the army, but the boy died will parachuting from a plane. Syd says she’ll be going after David, she worries about his perceptions of reality and she believes he’s got equal trouble with the truth. She isn’t so sure David is doing what’s best for everyone, blindly on a quest at this point for revenge. This could put them all at odds. And Dr. Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) eavesdrops on the chat between Clark and Syd, so I’m curious what she’s thinking. She’s seen the same thing happen to her own husband, she’s a casualty, a great woman left in the wake of a great yet unstable man. The same road Syd is heading down, too.
Oh, it doesn’t help anybody that Lenny’s been let out of her cage. Seems as if David’s allowed this as part of his greater scheme. No telling what this could cause in collateral damage. This is why Syd could be quite, quite right about her suspicions. David doesn’t seem to fully know what he’s doing anymore.
Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 1.44.47 AM

“Time and space is relative, yeah?”

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 1.56.34 AM (1)In the midst of a great desert, David wanders, lost. He finds an old water pump, barely getting a drop for his tongue. He sees a plane overhead. Somewhere behind him a person parachutes to the desert floor – it’s Syd! She’s not happy with him for listening to future Syd instead of paying attention to the PRESENT Syd.
Our narrator (Jon Hamm) talks about the delusion from which many suffer, the ignorance to the needs of others. He talks about a cave shielding people from an outside world. This is Plato’s allegory of the cave, about people only seeing shadows from a fire projected on the wall. Here, instead of focusing on the idea of perception, the narrator’s talking more about postmodern ignorance. Seeing the world “through a prism” isn’t the same as being in the world. Just as only being concerned with yourself and not with others – the shadows – is not really existing, and reducing people to shadows is erasing them. Legion does well by relating Plato to the postmodern technological world in which we’re all stuck currently.
So, will David continually insist on viewing the Farouk problem through his prism and his only? Will his manipulating everyone via his sole perspective cause worse consequences than intended? Maybe. Or maybe Dr. Bird’s got ideas of her own. Well, maybe not her OWN. They belong to Oliver. Ohhh shit. This puts Farouk at a major advantage, with the dark Minotaur of influence lurking in the labyrinth of Melanie’s brain.
Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 2.17.35 AMJust a goddamn knockout of an episode! One of the best chapters so far. Lord, that was wild. Always surreal, Legion manages to surprise me despite its constant insanity. Bring on more.

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Father Gore is first and foremost a passionate lover of film— especially horror. He's also a Master's student at Memorial University of Newfoundland with a concentration in postmodern critical theory, currently writing a thesis which will be his debut novel of literary fiction, titled Silence. He also used to write for Film Inquiry frequently during 2016-17 and is currently contributing to Scriptophobic in a column called Serial Killer Celluloid focusing on film adaptations about real life murderers. As of September 2018, Father Gore is an official member of the Online Film Critics Society. Get in contact (u39cjhn@mun.ca) if you want to chat movies or collaborate!

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