Legion Review: “Chapter 10”
While Legion enjoys reveling in its fantastical set pieces and wonky mind games, it never shies away for the core of the show: David Haller’s internal struggle to understand what he’s meant to be. “Chapter 10,” more than many of the episodes that came before, brought new depth to his character, reminding viewers that he’s more than just a tool for flashy visuals and mind-bending sequences. He’s a man who can shape reality, but has no concept of what his reality truly is.
This shift in tone for “Chapter 10,” while a bit more lowkey than the hectic season opener, was a necessary follow up. While Legion’s plot has always been one that’s quite a bit more intelligent than its contemporaries, what has always felt most powerful was how it helped to place the viewer in David’s shoes and shows them the world through his eyes. Rarely do the viewers know more than he does or vice versa, which at times gives David’s character a lack of agency despite being the most powerful mutant possibly in history. In “Chapter 10,” viewers begin to see David’s multiple personalities questioning each other more and more and David continues to question his faith in the only people that have given him direction so far in his life.
In this sense, Amahl Farouk has become the perfect foil for David, evolving from an antagonist in season one to an unaligned actor in the events of season two. Expertly portrayed by Navid Negahban, Farouk enlightens David to the true nature of his powers, on par with that of David’s. They’re both God among men, able to rewrite reality without consequence. While David looks to keep reality the same to protect the ones he loves, Farouk knows the world is an apathetic one. He sees the entrapment of other minds into his own consciousness not as cruel, but as a way for them to share in a small slice of the immortality he possesses.
This confrontation and the ensuing telepathic battle between the two is one of the most compelling moments of the series so far, and the theme of questioning one’s relationship with their reality continues throughout the rest of the episode. Cary and Kerry are forced to experience the inverse of their shared body experience, Syd is faced with the warnings of her futureself, and, above all, Melanie continues to realize that she values the bygone love of her marriage with Oliver more than their goals he sacrificed himself for.
It’s gloomy material to say the least, but that’s nothing new for Legion. “Chapter 10” helps to ground these themes back into the character driven story Legion has always been, while still providing just enough weirdness for the fans only watching for the comic book antics. It’s difficult to compare the season opener and its follow-up since both achieve different goals successfully through such different means. But this speaks more to the strength of the show than as an example of possible incoherency.
“Chapter 10” doesn’t provide many answers to the questions posed in the season opener and even goes as far as to jumble a few plot threads. However, its characters, stylized set pieces and ambiguity feel natural to the world the show has built and proves the show runners are crafting a show that’s much deeper than just a fun comic book romp with eye candy.
Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Senior / Public Relations