This Legion review contains spoilers.
Legion Season 2 Episode 3
It’s clear that the biggest difference between seasons 1 and 2 of Legion is the Shadow King. Not only is the character being played by a different actor, Navid Negahban, and not a demonic, bulbous monster, but the entire demeanor of the parasite has changed. Though I enjoyed the nightmarish, evil-to-the-core Boogeyman of Season 1, this sophisticated, modern devil interpretation of the character is infinitely more interesting. Instead of frightening, literal head games, our new-look Shadow King torments David by asking him to consider his enemy’s perspective, asking him if he understands the implications of muddying a timeline, and positioning himself as someone to trust.
David’s poolside visit to Amahl Farouk, complete with Lenny begging for her life before disturbingly and repeatedly attempting to off herself, stood out over all of the stylish detours this week. It’s still hard to trust Farouk, especially if that’s the real Lenny suffering right in front of us, but so far most of what he has said registers as sensible, if not genuine. He especially strikes a nerve with his story about Charles Xavier’s white savior complex, but David isn’t touching that one. The smartest thing Farouk does is point out the fact that changing something in the past for Future Syd potentially could destroy and erase Future Syd. It’s not a thought David can really wrap his brain around, as he’s focused on helping his “two girlfriends” simultaneously, who both are in danger in “Chapter 11.”
The monk’s escape and eventual “infection” of Division 3 is really just a device to reunite and revitalize the bond of our Summerland gang. The “getting the band back together” vibe permeates David’s trips inside our team members’ minds. While making them damsels in distress ultimately doesn’t further the story along, the views inside of Ptonomy and Melanie are luminating. Each character is living their ideal life, trapped in a maze inside of their heads as their outside bodies chatters away; Ptonomy is peacefully gardening and can’t remember a thing, Melanie is omniscient and controls an old text RPG. If we’re going to constantly do these rescue missions, we can hope for them to be as attractive and rich as this.
However, the best character stuff was happening with Cary and Kerry. Out of the Summerland gang, Cary and Kerry were far and away our most compelling, non-David and Syd characters in Season 1, and the writers have kept it up with this dynamic duo here so far. Cary trying to teach Kerry how to be more independent by teaching her about the simple pleasures of eating food and the complications of the digestive system was a delight. Meanwhile, watching Cary in an absolute panic over Kerry succumbing to the Catalyst was heartbreaking because of Bill Irwin’s anguished performance. Not sure what to make of Cary disappearing like that, but all answers will come in time.
There’s so much to like in this episode, even if it ultimately just shows us the whereabouts and background story of Farouk’s body and really nothing more, save for Ptonomy being infected by that little gooey madness creature. With Syd roaming the hallways of Division 3 as a cat, another electric Aubrey Plaza showcase, and the striking images of the monk stuck on the wall, Future Syd’s spelling, and that damn minotaur again, this episode’s smoke is so engrossing, it doesn’t matter that we’re lacking some more fire.