Episode 2.2 “Chapter 10” (Bigger Than Jesus)
Written by Noah Hawley & Nathaniel Halpern
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour
Starring Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, Jean Smart, Jemaine Clement
Air date: April 10, 2018
Spoilers below for Legion:
Last week, Legion returned to FX to begin Season 2 and to blow the collective minds of viewers everywhere. David Haller (Dan Stevens) shows up after a near year-long disappearance and his team at Summerland have joined Division 3 attempting to track down Farouk; The Shadow King, who has escaped inside of Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement). David reunites with Syd (Rachel Keller) and is aided by Cary and Kerry Loudermilk (Bill Irwin & Amber Midthunder) to assist in finding his former parasitic twin and arch-nemesis. Farouk aka The Shadow King aka Lenny Brusker is played with sadistic gusto by Aubrey Plaza. The mission is to find and destroy Farouk’s body… a task made more difficult after David receives a message from Future-Syd to help Farouk! What path will David go down this week?
NOTE: Writing that introduction made it clear to me how difficult it to decipher Aubrey Plaza’s character, so I will simply refer to her on-screen character as Lenny from this point on. Rest assured, whatever name you call her character, she is appointment television at this point.
David, Lenny, and Oliver open the episode on a carousel devising their plan. David will create a diversion, Oliver and Lenny will enter Division 3 and special rule… Don’t Hurt Anyone! With David and Syd away Lenny and Oli comes dancing and singing into Division 3 and let’s just say they are NOT following David’s conditions. When they encounter the Loudermilks, things get legitimately terrifying.
Back in the immersion tank and David travels through a 2001-esque laser light show and comes out in the future with Syd again. He learns that his status in the future is “complicated,” but at least he gets to kill Lenny soon. She warns him that there is a greater, far darker evil approaching. Another issue David faces is that Division 3 thinks/knows he’s working with them. Whether it’s the androgynous android Vermillion or the scarred interrogator Clark (Hamish Linklater), it’s getting harder for him to hide the truth.
When David finally encounters Farouk himself (Navid Negahban) we get an amazing scene where they literally wrestle for control. David makes him promise not to kill anymore, and they appear to form a truce. We then see Lenny asking Farouk to be freed from her purgatory inside the Shadow King. As much as I love this show, I won’t lie and say it isn’t confusing as all hell sometimes. I usually have to watch a few YouTube videos after each one.
Legion is a show that thrives due to everyone buying into and becoming active participants in the craziness. This episode was tremendous and Ana Lily Amirpour directed the heck out of it. I am a huge fan of her films and would love to see her direct more episodes. It’s also great to have a talented female director leading some outstanding actresses into battle. Aubrey Plaza has deserved Emmy consideration from the second she opened her mouth as Lenny Brusker. Rachel Keller and Amber Midthunder shine in this episode as well managing to be both intimidating and wounded. And not to be outdone, the veteran Jean Smart’s Dr. Melanie Bird delivers a stirring monologue to David towards the end.
I say it every week, but there is nothing on television like Legion. And with FX allowing episodes to run about 75 minutes each week, each episode feels truly like an event. With the amazing cinematography and production design, Legion outclasses everything with superheroes on TV and even some in theaters.
Legion returns to FX next Tuesday at 10:00 pm EST. Also check out my immediate reactions on the Stardust App and follow me @DrZaiusGoD.
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