“Chapter 13” was an odd episode of Legion. I know that applies to most episodes, but this one was notable in that Syd doesn’t appear at all. Neither do Cary and Kerry. I think Syd has been in every episode so far and her absence is notable. This episode, with the exception of a couple of odd tangents, is based around two big ideas that turn out to be connected.
First off, we follow up on the return of Lenny. Clark interrogates her in an upside-down room (and probably some of these things aren’t meant to be questioned) and it’s very… weird. Lenny isn’t acting like any version of Lenny we’ve ever seen, chatty and paranoid. And sometimes she refers to herself in the third person. Also, and they’ll point this out, she suddenly has blue eyes.
Now, I’ve mentioned this before, but now it seems important, but I don’t believe that Lenny Busker moved into David’s head after she died. I think she’s a projection of his guilt that was empowered by the Shadow King. The person we know as Lenny is made up of David’s memories of the woman he briefly know, mixed up with his old crime buddy Benny. In Season One, she was mostly inhabited by (or controlled by) the Shadow King but without his power pulling this idea out of David’s head and into the real world (same as he did with The Devil with the Yellow Eyes and The World’s Angriest Boy in the World), now she’s just David’s memories of two people mixed into a single being. And Lenny probably doesn’t know what’s Benny and what’s Lenny, because David didn’t. We’ve already seen her lose her confidence and behave more erratically once Farouk didn’t need her, and now she’s chattering away like, oh, a drug addict, and telling stories that David’s heard a million times before.
Later, after a lengthy scene that involves a submarine car that is also a donut shop. My guess is legal didn’t clear the Weinermobile and this was a stand-in. That wouldn’t necessarily make it any clearer but we really didn’t see the outside world much in Season One, and now we know it’s a world where “Deep Sea Donuts” is a thing. Anyway, this was largely in the service of finding the real Lenny Busker’s body, of which there can’t possibly be much left since she died from merging with a wall.
And then we see Amy Haller, David’s sister. Now, this is very weird. She and her husband(?) Ben live in what looks a lot like their old house but is now located in a desert. There’s a reference to guards, so I assume Division Three is protecting them. But it also seems like Ben is coming home from work, so I can’t quite work out what their lives are in their guarded desert house. But given how often the real world scenes are practically blank canvas, the desert setting may be a stylistic trick more than a literal interpretation. They’re getting rid of everything we don’t need to see. It sure does point to the idea that they’re existing separately of the real world.
Anyway, Amy somehow knows about Admiral Fukyama and the Vermillions and seems to have dreamed that she was one of them. And with Katie Aselton’s hairstyle and darker than usual hair color in this scene, she kind of looks like them. Then, Oliver (as a vessel for Farouk) enters and seemingly kills Ben. Then he does…. something to Amy involving Lenny’s DNA and turns her body into Lenny, only with those Haller blue eyes. It’s not clear whether there’s anything left of Amy or not, but given David’s reaction, I worry that there might not be.
So. I think Amy knew about the Vermillions and such because David maintains a low-level psychic link with her. Sometimes information bleeds through and it’s so surreal, she has to look at it as a dream. And if Amy’s gone, or even buried under the approximation of Lenny, David lost a very important link. This is the first time all season we’ve seen a hint of Season One David who was troubled and very scary. Other than dealing with weirdness and psychic threats, Season Two David is pretty chill. But now, Farouk? You done poked the bear.
Also, Jon Hamm talked about the human tendency to conflate coincidence with conspiracy, and I feel like that was aimed at me and the other recappers.
I’m super pressed for time with a new episode in a couple of hours, but I want to single out Aubrey Plaza once again. She’s so good on this show, and she has to keep bringing new shades to Lenny. Seeing her be scared and vulnerable was weird and not something I would have imagined was in her toolbox, but she was amazing. And that flashback where she crawls out of a pit, naked, and walks across the desert? I don’t know if that was a body double or not, but it was such a striking performance. It genuinely looked like somebody trying out these leg for the first time and not really in a way I’ve seen before. She didn’t stumble as such, but her feet came down wrong with every step. It was really impressive work, especially considering that Aubrey Plaza mostly plays characters who are based on Aubrey Plaza. She’s doing next level work on this show and I hope people notice.
Got it done just under the wire! More Legion to follow!