It’s this season’s penultimate episode of Legion and it is a good one. It’s incredibly weird, but it’s visually stunning and hits some really nice moments. Best episode so far? I think you could make that case. Except that I’m making that case also, so let’s decide which of us is going to make the case and the other one can knock off early for the day.
We’re back in the fake Clockworks and Kerry’s running from the Eye, who is casually pursuing her. The hallway is all wrecked now with sparks blasting from the ceiling and a red strobe providing the only illumination. Cut to the Devil with the Yellow Eyes in some sort of command center and then taking the form of Lenny to ask Amy about the day David came to live with them. She was a kid and doesn’t remember much, but we see little glimpses of a flashback. From there we drift into Oliver’s ice reality, and Cary is very impressed.
Cary gives Oliver a big old hug and Oliver doesn’t remember him. He also doesn’t remember Melanie, though he guesses she might be Chinese. He can’t remember much of his life before he disappeared into the cube. And then Oliver and Cary talk about how David is possessed by Farouk, the Shadow King. I was all impressed that I figured that out, but Oliver already knew. And then Cary is all “Of course! The dog’s name was King!” Which was my logic! I love how offhandedly they’re presenting this. Which is good because, unless you read X-Men in like 1991, you’ve never heard of the Shadow King so it’s not a big reveal to you. Anyway, the Shadow King has locked David away in a tiny corner of his own mind and once he pushes him out entirely, there’s no more David and Farouk is in control. Cary works out that the headband he build in the real world could free David and jolt them out of the hospital fantasy. But they need to do something about the bullets, first.
And then we’re back to Cary in the diving suit appearing to Syd. He leads her into a white space with a weird elevator. They make plans since the monster can’t hurt them in the elevator. Syd agrees to go to the hospital and save everybody from Lenny while Cary fixes the real world. Also, Oliver made some They Live glasses for everybody – if they wear them, they can’t see the illusions. They look like regular glasses, so they don’t even get cool shades.
Back in the hospital, it’s pure bedlam. buy when Syd puts on the glasses, it’s black and white and the monsters aren’t really there. We get a shot of David freaking out in his telepathic coffin. Guys, it’s going to get crazier from here.
In the real world, time’s still frozen(ish) and Melanie is still struggling to solve the bullet problem. And then the diving suit steps out of the mirror and she’s disappointed to see that it’s Cary. But Oliver is there, too! He speaks in rhyme and has no idea who Melanie is – he thinks he might know her from a poetry slam. Cary and Oliver start futzing with science and Melanie steps out into the hall. She spots a blood stain that’s going in reverse, dripping up from the floor to the ceiling. Melanie investigates and finds a time-frozen Rudy with a knife in his chest. She whispers something to him, then we cut back to him in the hospital where he appears to be lobotomized.
Syd runs through the black and white hospital, finding Rudy and Kerry. Kerry especially benefits from the glasses, because she was surrounded by monsters. Cut to David trying to get out of the mental coffin. He panics and then a second David appears, and this one speaks with Dan Stevens’ actual British accent. HEE! British David is his rational mind and he wants to help. First, he explains it’s not even a real coffin and David can make it a classroom if he wants. So he does. Rational David tells him to forget all the tricks and go back to the beginning. Regular David writes “ADOPTED” on the blackboard. They’re sticking to the facts. Another fact – Lenny said she knew David’s father but the thing they’re fighting is the parasite, not Lenny. And it’s probably a mutant. And now we get a cool stick person chalk animation. David and the parents he didn’t know. In a nice touch Dad is wearing a suit and is drawn without hair. They may never tell us directly that Professor X is David’s dad, but they’re making it clear. Dad fights the monster (which has yellow eyes) on the astral plane. Dad won, but the monster somehow managed to keep its consciousness together. David does a Patrick Stewart impression here, and it’s great. They gave him up to protect him, but the monster still managed to find him and possessed him to get revenge. Rational David is impressed. The monster spent David’s lifetime tormenting him and feeding off of his powers and getting strong again. And when it couldn’t hide anymore, it had to attack David directly, and that’s why they’re in this mess.
Our heroes walk the halls of the Clockworks, unmolested by imaginary monsters. In the real world, Cary and Melanie can’t push David and Syd out of the way. So that’s when Oliver takes matters into his own hands. He starts conducting and a really beautiful version of “Bolero” kicks up. As the music builds, tiny glowing glyphs appear our of nowhere and dance around. David bursts our of the mental coffin and starts searching his own memories. And now the soundtrack is nothing but “Bolero” and the dialogue appears on silent movie cards. The Eye tackles Kerry while she’s distracted and takes her glasses. The glyphs, which appear to include letters and mathematical symbols, multiply and gather around frozen Syd and David. This whole sequence is really amazing.
Kerry fights imaginary monsters and the Eye manages to get through and punch her. Syd grapples with him. David is trapped in a repeating maze of the same room over and over again. Lenny appears in the Clockworks, looking like a cross between a Tim Burton character and actual Tim Burton. She has no further use of the Eye, so she folds him up, collapsing him in on himself. In the real world, the Rudy who pulled the trigger turns into the Eye with a crushed face. (Real Rudy was left for dead, and the Eye impersonated him and started shooting – it’s not super clear what powers the Eye has, but he’s taken the appearance of others a couple of times.) The numbers continue to swirl as Lenny advances on Syd and Kerry. But then she sees the image of Oliver and zips into the real world to tackle him. She knocks him into a wall and the gylphs just stop. “Bolero” starts to fade away as Lenny gets ready to kill everybody. David, trapped in a mental hallway, explodes all the doors. Oliver disappears. Time starts to move again. Hospital Rudy wakes up and tackles Lenny, propelling both of them down the endless hallway. Cary puts his headband on David, who wakes up just before time swings back to normal. He pivots Syd out of the path of the bullets just as everybody comes to.
The bullets seeming all hit David but they just end up in his hand. As everybody wakes up, the Eye dies a second time and David raises his hands and erupts into purple light. So now we’re bringing purple into this?
In the real world, the team trudges back to Summerland, carrying Rudy on a stretcher, even though he looks pretty dead. David has to keep the halo on because it’s the only thing keeping Farouk isolated. Back home, Melanie goes to where they keep Oliver, and the diving suit looks all damaged now. She opens the window on the helmet and it seems like it’s empty inside. But then he’s there in the kitchen, making everybody breakfast. Kerry is hurt that Cary left her when she needed him, though in all honesty, he didn’t seem to have a choice. But she’s very young and sheltered, so that reaction makes sense to me. Amy pulls David aside and apologizes for not telling David he was adopted and not helping him the way she should have. It seems like we’re heading to a happy ending until the World’s Angriest Boy in the World screams at David. Cary leads him (along with Syd, Ptonomy, and Kerry) to his lab to try and get Farouk out of his head. Also? Didn’t realize Kerry’s lab was in a different physical building than the living quarters. Oliver and Melanie get reacquainted…. right up until a horde of Division Three soldiers move in on everybody. And their leader is the interrogator from the premiere – thanks to David’s escape, he’s all burned up now – third degree burns over most of his body and face. He says that he and David have a lot to talk about and gives the order to kill all the others. And then we drift into David’s head to see that mental coffin. This time, Lenny is imprisoned and as she freaks out, turning into the Devil with the Yellow Eyes and the World’s Angriest Boy in the World, she manages to break the coffin open.
Season finale next week! I don’t know if they can top this episode, but I’m willing to bet it’s still awesome. And let’s give it up for writer Jennifer Yale and director Dennie Gordon for a serious episode of the year contender. That “Bolero” scene…. damn.