Directed by Keith Gordon
Written by Noah Hawley
* For a recap & review of Chapter 18, click here.
* More chapters to come next year!
David (Dan Stevens) gives us a rendition of “Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who, as he floats across the desert landscape. He does a rendition with Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban)— also floating over the desert floor. What follows are more trippy visuals, a comic book tableaux. The two meet on a hilltop. A battle ensues. However, the battle’s changed by Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) and her sniper rifle in the distance, putting it down to David wielding a hefty rock to try bashing the Shadow King’s brains out.
Let’s skip three years ahead.
We see Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement) and Dr. Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) sitting together after the “world ended.” Well, it didn’t end, they just stepped outside of time to the astral plane where they could be together without all the trouble of the world, such as ageing, loss, so on. They hid their bodies and took off. They reminisce about bad things happening in the wake of Farouk and David’s battle, as well as vaguely remembering their own roles in helping the Shadow King.
Back to the desert. David beat Farouk, brutally. Syd (Rachel Keller) turned up for a chat, pointing a gun at her man. She’s seen all the things he’s hidden from her, and she’s doubting him. She sees him as the “real villain” now. David refuses to believe that, sticking with his love for her and his belief that he’s not the bad guy. Things are devolving fast between these two, as Syd feels closer and closer to pulling that trigger.
And she does.
David wakes up someplace. In his childhood bedroom, with the TV playing and the Narrator (Jon Hamm) talking about delusions. A second David chats it up with first David. They talk about delusions. They go back in time a bit, looking into David’s life back at Clockworks Psychiatric Hospital when he originally met Syd. Eventually, yet another David enters the picture, and they’re all arguing together. One’s realistic, one’s angry, David just wants to remember his real love with Syd.
Go back. Lenny watches Syd holding the gun on David. She intercepts the bullet Syd shoots with her own, causing a small explosion that blows David and Syd back. After that a couple vehicles surround Lenny, and from one of them emerges Admiral Fukyama (Marc Oka). The Admiral and the others from Division 3 are there to subdue and arrest the Shadow King.
Everyone returns to Division 3. Farouk is locked up, contained with a device on his head. Syd wants space, retiring to her room alone, as David goes back to his own without her. Things aren’t really back to normal, but at least they’re back to non-life threatening, if only for just a short bit of time. There’s always some kind of danger rearing its head around these mutants. Not to mention David has his own angel v. demon situation going on mentally. David’s used his powers so that he and Syd can be together mentally in a physical way— weird, I know. And yet there’s something continually unsettling about their relationship, despite what’s just happened. That’s because David has manipulated Syd into forgetting, into loving him like it was before all this mess.
How long can he go on with the charade?
At Division 3, Kerry (Amber Midthunder) is jacked after killing the Minotaur with Syd, and Cary (Bill Irwin) is looking over what occurred on the hill in the desert. He sees what David did to Syd: “It‘s treachery.” Uh oh. Not gonna help anybody. Neither is the fact part of the device subduing Farouk has malfunctioned, allowing him just enough energy to exert a modicum of influence. He’s very likely setting into motion an escape.
For now, the trial of the Shadow King commences.
A court assembles. However, David finds he’s been tricked into being the one judged, for mentally drugging Syd and then raping her while she was under that influence. Farouk walks in, free as a bird. A force field keeps David stuck inside, powerless. Syd and Farouk have told everyone about possible future events, at the hands of David, so the court’s been called to assess “future crimes” he may commit. A bit terrifying, really. Authoritarian-type stuff. I wonder what the Shadow King had that little mouse do for him. Everyone’s against him, wanting to put him back in psychiatric care. Or else, they’ll “terminate” him.
This pushes David to use all the power he has in him. Nothing can keep him from escaping. He explodes the force field containing him. After that he disappears into a bright flash of light. He goes straight to Lenny, offering her a ride along with him on the astral highway.
We’re watching David become Legion, and the his becoming is based on his treacherous twisting of his powers to his own wants and desires, rather than all based on the greater good. He’s a complicated hero – an anti-hero, as villainous at times as he can be a force of positive change. That’s what so interesting about him.
Cannot wait for next season! GOOD LORD. What a way to finish off Season 2. Let’s all bite our nails until next year. Pumped for wherever Noah Hawley & Co. take the next go-around.