Cameron Lee 20′ / Emertainment Monthly Contributor
Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for chapter 7 of Legion
Wow! Now that was an episode. Legion took things to the next level this week, constantly reinventing itself and delivering some very satisfying moments. It felt more like the season finale by the end, which is a testament to how well written and directed the episode was.
When we last left our crazy cast of characters they were all stuck inside David’s (Dan Stevens) mind in a version of the Clockwork hospital. Lennie (Aubrey Plaza)/The Yellow Devil/the Shadow King is trying to gain complete control of David’s mind. David is trapped inside a coffin deep inside of his mind while Cary (Bill Irwin) is in the astral plane with Oliver (Jemaine Clement). Together, they are devising a plan to save everyone.
Jemaine Clement is a joy to watch on screen. Oliver keeps get sidetracked with Cary, he won’t stop talking about how he remembers Dr. Bird (his wife) being Chinese and brings up his plans to start a barbershop quartet with David. The first half of the episode is composed of a lot of exposition, but exposition that’s clever and fast paced without stalling the plot. Cary rescues Syd (Rachel Keller) from last week’s cliffhanger in Jemaine’s diving suit and they travel back to the astral plane where Cary tries to explain basically the entire plot so far of Legion to Syd. Syd, thankfully, understands what’s going on and tells Cary: “I’ve been paying attention.” Cary gives Syd the glasses from They Live (80’s movie reference) which allow her to see what’s real and what’s fake in David’s mind.
Meanwhile, David gets his own exposition dump by Dan Stevens… I mean David with a British Accent (which is basically just Dan Stevens, as he’s British in real life and playing an American on the show. It’s extremely smart writing on the part of Noah Hawley to come up with this). David’s mind created “not-Dan Stevens” to help him break the plot down. David imagines a classroom and begins to draw pictures of the history of the Shadow King/Lennie. David’s drawings come alive when he talks about them to the other David/Dan Stevens. We also get a pretty good idea of who David’s father is from David’s drawings (it’s really obvious at this point but, just in case you still don’t know, does a man with a bald head in a wheelchair sound like anybody familiar to you?)
Cary builds a device to lock up the shadow King deep inside David’s mind so it won’t be able to hurt David. Cary and Oliver travel to the frozen reality of the real world where Dr. Bird (Jean Smart) is. Oliver doesn’t seem to remember his own wife as he’s been trapped. This greatly upsets Dr. Bird (he still thinks she was Chinese). Then comes the climax of the episode, which is by far the greatest sequence this show has ever devised (deep breaths). Syd returns to the hospital finding it a nightmare with all the fake hospital patients and staff acting like zombies and attacking all of our heroes. Syd finds Kerry (Amber Midthunder) being attacked and puts the special glasses on her, allowing the nightmare to vanish. David breaks free from the coffin and uses his powers to destroy the whole hospital in slow motion. Oliver uses his powers, conducting a musical symphony shield to protect David and Syd from the incoming Tommy gun bullets. Kerry and Syd get attacked by the Eye but, then, Lennie shows up and the whole sequence becomes a silent black and white horror movie. Lennie kills the Eye by squashing his head while, in the real world, blood and brain matter explode out of the Eye’s skull, crushing it to a bloody pulp (gross, RIP Eye).
Lennie comes into the real world and attacks Oliver to disrupt the symphony, but not before Cary places the Device on David’s head just as David and Syd return from David’s head. This causes Lennie to get sucked into a coffin inside David’s mind. The music shield catches the bullets and everyone is back in reality (take that Inception). David is finally free and has complete control of his powers (he even gets a Superman Jesus moment when he starts to levitate in a ray of purple light). The team returns home to the base and Dr. Bird awakens Oliver from his frozen slumber. Everything seems perfect, the bad guy is defeated. For now, everyone is safe. Oliver is serving a mean breakfast. The season must be over, right? No; the government storms the compound and holds everyone at gunpoint. The interrogator from the pilot (now with a burned face) orders his men to kill everyone. To make matters worse, Lennie cracks the coffin. Oliver’s breakfast will have to wait.
Episode Grade: A