FX’s Legion
Chapter 17
Directed by Noah Hawley
Written by Noah Hawley & Nathaniel Halpern

* For a recap & review of Chapter 16, click here.
* For a recap & review of Chapter 18, click here.
Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 10.39.01 AMThe dark Minotaur of influence is continuing its destructive path, now lurking in Dr. Melanie Bird (Jean Smart), placed there by husband Oliver (Jemaine Clement) while helping out Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban).
But skip back, nearly two weeks before. Melanie’s been indulging in the smoke quite a bit. She hasn’t been doing so well, not with all that’s occurred. Might as well drift away a while in a haze, right? Only it’s there, in those moments of weakness, where the bad thoughts can creep in. She laments with Syd (Rachel Keller) about “our men,” their grand mission of trying to save the world. Melanie’s like the end stage of where Syd could wind up, if she keeps too closely tied to David.
This is the great parallel between the two women. It’s a question about supposed great men, the male genius, just as we see today in the arts, as many men are revealed to be horrible abusers – sure, David and Oliver aren’t your typical abusers, however, they’ve still left women in their wake like collateral damage, believing they’re the centre of the universe and taking for granted these women will be there for them, eternally. And this is exactly how Oliver creeps his way back into Melanie’s mind, her heart. He uses the past to trap his wife, calling on romantic nostalgia in order to subdue her mentally, all so that the Shadow King can get more information and enact more of his plans.
Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 10.44.00 AM

“There was a time when you’d follow me anywhere”
“Yes, yes there was. And where did that get me?”

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 10.50.55 AMSo, Melanie goes about sewing the seeds of discontent at Division 3. She tells Kerry (Amber Midthunder) maybe she’s only Cary’s (Bill Irwin) fantasy, a “delusion,” or maybe it’s the other way around. Poor Dr. Bird is gone off the deep end, rambling about reality and confusing Kerry a good deal. Parts of what she’s saying are kinda true. Others are more depressing, more intense, and she’s almost trying to drag everyone around her down into that deep, dark pit of despair where her mind currently exists.
What about ole Lenny (Aubrey Plaza)? We see her holed up in an apartment where everybody’s smoking out of those weird animal bong-like things. Everybody is amazed to see her return, even if she’s a little different. Wonder what sort of trouble she’s going to get up to here. But can she escape Amy’s (Katie Aselton) consciousness living inside her? A shabby Minotaur continues lurking in her mind, though.
Later, Amy comes to visit. She questions Lenny over and over: “Are you a good person?” And it’s clear this dual consciousness is going to be a contentious relationship, at best. In the meantime, Lenny is getting laid and planning some Caligula-level debauchery. Yowzahs. Get it, girl. That is, if she can keep her mind from shattering into a million pieces.
Kerry and Cary are busy, as well. They’re out with the weapon from Division 3, the one they were subconsciously instructed by David to get and deliver in the blue car. The two stumble onto a little restaurant while they’re out. Waiting to figure out what they’re supposed to do, they head inside.
Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 11.04.37 AMScreen Shot 2018-05-30 at 11.05.54 AMThings are all coming together, like pieces of a puzzle. I mean, kinda.
Cary and Kerry sit in the Chinese restaurant, chatting about things. It’s fun to see Kerry not fully adjusted to the outside world, taking everything very literally. They talk about Melanie, her troubles as of late. They also talk about death, Cary talks about “getting old” and eventual death. Simultaneously, outside, Lenny is poking around. She gets into the car, as Carry and Kerry see her. Then, in a flash of strange light, she disappears. Ah, yes, now I remember – that car, isn’t it the same one we’ve seen Farouk working on? I’m slow, I know.
And this takes Lenny to the desert.
The planes are all crossed over one another, with Oliver manipulating Melanie from one plane to the next, and Lenny over there at this point in time. The lines between the planes have blurred, more than ever. Although I worry most about Melanie, who seems wholly caught in a daze, unable to think for herself anymore. She’s the long arm of Oliver/Farouk in the real world right now.
Not to mention she’s back in Oliver’s clutches closer than she has been in a long time. This doesn’t signify anything good, for anybody.
Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 11.10.39 AMScreen Shot 2018-05-30 at 11.19.00 AMAnother great chapter of Legion, especially seeing Lenny in a new light, as well as more focus on Melanie, which I love. The women on the show are all so wonderful, I love seeing episodes focused totally on their characters.
Chapter 18 is next time.

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I'm a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) graduate and a Master's student with a concentration in early modern literature and print culture. Although I've studied everything from Medieval literature onward, also spending an extensive time studying post-modern critical theory; I have a large interest in both Marshall McLuhan and Jean Baudrillard. I completed my Honours thesis on John Milton's Paradise Lost + the communal aspects of its conception, writing, and its later printing/publication. This thesis will serve as the basis for a book about Milton's authorship and his influence on pop culture (that continues to this day). My Master's program involves a Creative Thesis, which will be a full-length, semi-autobiographical novel. Author Lisa Moore is supervising the writing of this thesis. I'm already looking towards doing a dissertation for a PhD in 2019, focusing on early modern print culture in Europe and the constructions of gender identities. - I'm a film writer, author, and a freelance editor. My short stories have been printed in Canada and the U.S. I edited Newfoundland author Earl B. Pilgrim's latest novel The Adventures of Ernest Doane Volume I. Aside from that I have a short screenplay titled "New Woman" that went into post-production during early 2018. I was part of a pilot episode for "The Ship" on CBC; I told a non-fiction story of mine about my own addiction/alcoholism live for an audience with nine other storytellers. - Meanwhile, I'm writing more screenplays, working on editing a couple novels I've finished, and running this website/writing all of its content. I used to write for Film Inquiry frequently during 2016-17. I'm currently contributing to a new website launching in May 2018, Scriptophobic; my column is titled Serial Killer Celluloid. Contact me at u39cjhn@mun.ca or hit me up on Twitter (@fathergore) if you want to chat, collaborate, or have any questions for me. I'm also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fathersonholygore. Cheers!

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