'Legion' premiere recap: 'Chapter 9'

Legion

Oh, it’s good to be back.

There’s a new reason to stay in bed all day on Tuesdays — Legion is back.

Legion, for those of you who don’t know, is this super trippy superhero show. While it’s technically based in the X-Men universe, Legion really has much more in common with the works of Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson and Nicolas Winding Refn. It’s THAT good.

If you haven’t seen the first season of Legion, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s time to right that wrong, as you should go watch it right now.

Those of us who have watched the first eight episodes are now starting the journey into season two — and hoo boy, it looks like we’re in for another whirlwind season based on this pilot.

The Legion season premiere, simply titled “Chapter 9,” bombards us with a bunch of strange visuals right from the get-go. That is Noah Hawley and Nathaniel Halpern’s approach to this show, after all, so no surprise there. It takes a good five minutes for us to figure out what’s really going on, done so that we understand the confusion David (Dan Stevens) feels on a day to day basis.

Oh yeah, let’s not forget that Oliver (Jemaine Clement) and Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) are trapped inside this weird mental maze of David’s too. There’s no telling if this is evil Lenny or the actual Lenny from David’s past, but it’s a fair bet to guess that they’ll both be breaking free at some point.

Legion
credit: YouTube

When we finally do come to, we find David in a lab. It’s been 362 days since David was sucked up into that mysterious orb-ball like thing we saw at the end of season one, but to him, it’s only felt like a couple hours.

We’re hit with a few more weird, unexplained visuals — one that’s repeatedly shown is a bunch of psychologically infected people standing in a dark room with their teeth chattering. Not entirely sure what this means yet, but it’s obviously important.

Finally, David’s team from Summerland comes in, and we start getting some answers. All of the mutants living in Summerland are now a part of Division 3 — the very same government organization, led by Clark (Hamish Linklater), that was hunting them in the first season.

At some point in the year that David was blacked out, they convinced Division 3 that they’re all actually on the same side and need to unite against their common enemy: the shadow king.

Of course, that doesn’t explain why the leader of Division 3 is a guy with a basket on his head who’s surrounded by three girls with mustaches, but Legion is gonna Legion, ya know?

Legion
credit: YouTube

Syd (Rachel Keller) and David are then able to spend some time together. Syd tells a somewhat concerning story about how she used to hold her breath for long periods of time while David is away, while David is all still pretty confused by this. To him, it’s only felt like he’s been gone for a couple hours.

Still, the whole thing eventually results in the two having sex once again. Not real sex, of course, because Syd has that thing where she switches bodies with whoever she touches, but their psychological mind palace sex that was also introduced in the first season. Afterward, David gives Syd a Jack Sparrow-like compass that will always point to him, just so she always knows what direction he’s in in the future.

Melanie (Jean Smart) doesn’t really feel like waiting around for her dude, Oliver, to return though. Whether he’s trapped somewhere or not, he’s left her alone too many times. This is her turn. She don’t need no man. You go, Melanie.

Legion
credit: YouTube

There’s all a lot of underlying unease to the whole episode though — no one really knows how to make heads or tails about David’s disappearance. Is he lying about the 362 days? Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris) seems to think so, as he caught a couple glimpses of memories David made during that time. Clark’s with Ptonomy on this one and wants to have the matter investigated further.

He’s also pretty caught up in the whole Shadow King business, which David is becoming more and more involved in. Essentially, the Shadow King’s mental presence is still out there, and it’s desperately trying to reunite with Farouk’s true body. Division 3 is trying to prevent that from happening, but they don’t know where the body is either. That means, as David points out, it’s a race.

That leads to the best moment of the episode. In order to find out where Farouk is, he’s put in some big liquid pool thing that Cary (Bill Irwin) designed. Basically, it’ll let David travel into his memories and hopefully learn some stuff.

And that’s when the dance battle begins. That’s right, an actual dance battle. In a superhero show. Have I mentioned that I friggin love Legion?

Legion
credit: YouTube

After this amazingly bizarre moment, we get to the real meat of the whole episode — David, while trapped in the orb, had an encounter with Syd. Not Syd from the present, but a future version of Syd. She can’t talk, so David can’t ask her what she’s doing here, but future Syd is able to get across one message: help Farouk find his body.

And that’s where we end! We’re only one episode into Legion and it’s already off to a crazy start. I don’t know, it’s weird — when future Syd gave the message my first thought that there was no way he should do this because it’s obviously some sort of mental trap. But, the more I think about it, maybe he should? Syd is, like, the one person who actually trusts David and maybe she knows what she’s talking about.

What do you guys think? What does this ending mean and where are we going from here? Let us know in the comments below, then tune in to a new episode of Legion on FX tonight!

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Brandon Schreur

The fella over there with the hella good hair. Movies and TV are my jam, and the fact that I get to write about them on a regular basis is the bees knees.

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