'Legion' season premiere: 'Chapter 20'


After a subpar second season of Legion (albeit a pretty memorable finale), it only took one episode from season three to remind us why we fell in love with this show in the first place.

FX’s Legion has returned for it’s third and final eight-episode long season, with the premiere episode debuting last week. The acid trip of a show (imagine if Wes Anderson did, like, a bunch of drugs and then tried to direct something) comes from Fargo’s Noah Hawley and off of the Marvel character of the same name.

Yes, Legion is technically part of the X-Men universe, but you’d be pretty hard-pressed find any similarities between this and Dark Phoenix.

The last season of Legion left us hanging with a cliffhanger that stated David (Dan Stevens) had pretty much had enough of everyone’s crap. His friends — or at least, the people he thought were his friends — pushed him around too much. He’s done taking orders. Now, he’s just going to do whatever he wants, and if that does indeed cause the destruction of the world, well, then so be it. Maybe humanity (of which David really isn’t a part of, at this point) deserves to die after all.

We start this season not with David or with Division Three, but with a young girl who eventually becomes known as Switch (breakout actress Lauren Tsai, who gives a really good performance here).

credit: YouTube

Switch, we quickly learn, is a time-traveler — but not in the same way that Avengers: Endgame, Looper or a hundred other movies deal with time-travel. No, keeping true to Legion form, this is a much more hypnotic or supernatural version of time-travel rather than trying to portray it realistically.

Whenever Switch wants to go back in time, all she has to do is simply use her magic fingers to draw a door. That door will lead her into a dark hallway full of many other doors, each with an amount of time written on them — 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc. Whatever door she walks through is how far she’ll go back.

There’s one catch. We learn in an audio recording Switch is constantly listening to (we’re given the impression that she learned about her powers not too long ago and is still figuring out how they work) that if she goes back too far, she’ll awaken a time travel demon. We don’t get a look at that demon in this episode, yet, apart from some glowing green eyes off in the background, but it’s no doubt coming down the Legion pipeline sooner or later.

We also get the impression that, up to the start of this episode, Switch is a bit of a loner. She lives in a big, fancy house that’s presumably owned by her distant parents, but we really don’t see her ever interact with anyone or anything.

She doesn’t interact with anything until she finds a cryptic hand-out that’s looking to hire a time traveler, that is.

credit: YouTube

Interested in what this could possibly be, Switch deciphers the puzzle and, after crawling through a long, glass tube across the entire city, comes into a secret convent that’s in the middle of nowhere.

She’s greeted by someone known only as ‘the pregnant virgin’ (I foresee a Jesus metaphor emerging), who shows her around the place, introduces her to an alchemist named Squirrel (Wally Rudolph) and tells her to wait in a room until their leadership arrives.

And, of course, who should walk through that door besides Lenny (Child’s Play’s Audrey Plaza).

Lenny vets Switch, trying to find out what she’s doing here and making sure she’s not any kind of threat. Switch sees through this pretty easily and says she’ll only talk to David, then getting her a meeting with the leader of this cult as she desired.

credit: YouTube

Switch and David meet inside a cave and, after David runs her through a brief recap of the first two seasons of Legion, cuts to the chase: He wants a time-traveler. He doesn’t have any specific reason for needing one at this time, but it’ll no doubt come in handy down the line.

Before Switch even has time to answer, Division Three comes busting through the doors. Kerry (Amber Midthunder), wielding a samurai sword, manages to cut off David’s arm while Farouk (Navid Negahban) advances. David manages to fight both of them off, but he doesn’t see Syd (Rachel Keller) standing behind him with a shotgun before it’s too late.

As David goes down to his knees, Switch knows what to do: she draws a door, runs through it and re-lives the past hour to try and give David a warning of what’s coming.

It’s still not enough time. While David is impressed with Switch’s power, Division Three still comes busting in there. The two of them get a little farther this time as we’re treated to a very Legion-style one-shot fight scene in a hallway, but the outcome is the same.

As Switch goes back in time again — two hours, this time — she’s followed by Farouk. At this point, he’s figured out who Switch is, but he wants to know why she’s helping David. Maybe, he proposes to her, they can work out some other agreement.

credit: YouTube

Switch isn’t here for it and promptly draws another door to run away in.

This time, however, we follow Farouk back to Division Three Headquarters — which are now some sort of giant, black-and-white airplane. Not sure how this government agency keeps finding the funding for projects like this, but whatever.

Farouk warns Clark (Hamish Linklater) that David has a time-traveler now, meaning that sneaking up on him is going to be nearly impossible. Clark doesn’t really have an answer for that problem and just says they’ll have to kill Switch, too.

So, while Cary (Bill Irwin) is busy making a robot replica of Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris), they try again a third time — and this go-around, they don’t even make it to the front door.

Or, rather, there’s not even a front door for them to go through, this time, as there’s nothing but a giant crater where David’s cult’s headquarters can be. Looks like Switch got to him and warned him of the attack this time around.

credit: YouTube

The world’s in trouble as there’s seemingly no limit to what David can do, now, meaning we should be in for a real treat with this season of Legion. With a first episode that was nothing short of gangbusters, these next seven weeks should be a hoot.

Tune in to FX tonight to catch the newest episode of Legion!

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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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