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Legion – Chapter 5 Review

Legion just keeps getting better week after week. After “Chapter Four” gave us one of the strangest television episodes in years, “Chapter Five” went full horror, continuing to mess with time and space while providing us the most concrete explanation yet for David’s complex powers and mental situation.

While it’s certainly possible we’ll get another explanation for what makes David who he is down the line, the idea that he’s a powerful mutant with a parasitic ancient mutant attached to his mind seems to be the true explanation behind everything that has happened to him throughout his life. Yes, he can do some amazing things with this mind on his own, but now that we know how embedded The Devil With The Yellow Eyes (and Lenny, Benny, King, and The Angriest Boy in the World) is in his psyche, the new question becomes not what David’s mental state really is, but how much of what David does is really David? Looking back at events from the vantage point of the end of the episode, it seems that David has been possessed or controlled by The Devil since he saved Syd and the gang from The Eye last week (as Melanie told Syd, he hasn’t been acting like David). Which leads to some pretty icky conclusions regarding his relationship with Syd (what she thought was the consummation of their relationship was really her sleeping with The Devil), and the terrifying realization that so long as David and The Devil are one in the same, Melanie and her people are in grave danger. After all, The Devil can absolutely destroy a group of highly trained commandos while doing a jig.

And the mental and physical danger of The Devil was on full display throughout the sequence in David and Amy’s childhood home, complete with The Devil walking through mirrors to complete his takeover of David’s mind, apparently capturing everyone in the house in a hallucination of Clockworks (although it could be read as everyone being under The Devil’s mental control as well, it seemed that Syd might still have her wits about her- which she will need to get everyone out alive). The entire series of scenes was spectacularly filmed, keeping me on the edge of my seat. My one complaint was that I wished the lack of a backing soundtrack continued throughout the entire sequence. Having Lenny appear through the mirror and shatter the complete silence (without having music cues to expect something like that) would have made the scene even more terrifying.

Now that we have solved the most pressing question relating to David’s fragile mind (whether or not he’s something more than just a powerful and untrained mutant), the show can move onto the next major question: What is The Devil With The Yellow Eyes? I suspect we’ll start getting some answers with that one next week, as The Devil is large and in charge of everything surrounding David and company. Considering the great heights the series reached with the horror of “Chapter Five,” I’m almost scared to think what an episode built by The Devil’s mind will deliver.

Final Thoughts:

— I feel like I say this every week, but man this cast is great. Dan Stevens is turning in a complex and emotionally resonate performance every week (even learning to play the banjo just for the Rainbow Connection scene this week), which isn’t easy when one is navigating a character like David. Kudos also to Rachel Keller (Syd) and Katie Aselton (Amy), who turned the terror up to 100 with their reactions to The Devil’s intrusion into their minds. Finally, I would be remiss for not highlighting the excellent silent work of Bill Irwin (Cary). A trained mime and clown, he absolutely killed in that comedic sequence with Jean Smart (Melanie). It was hard to read the lips of the other characters during the time in silence, but I definitely got Irwin’s “What the fuck?” silent exclamation.

— Speaking of Cary, it turns out that once Kerry is stable, Cary can absorb her back into his body and take on her superficial wounds, allowing Kerry to completely heal and be ready to fight again. Although, not sure where she got that nail bat she had in the house. Did she have that stored inside Cary? Was it in the house and she snagged it?

— Scary Aubrey Plaza might just be my favorite Aubrey Plaza.

— David is officially adopted, a revelation that officially starts the clock on how soon his real dad might make an appearance. In case you haven’t heard, Patrick Stewart seems to be game for dropping in, should he be asked.

Rating
9.5
Pros
  • Great performances across the board
  • Excellent use of horror
  • Loved the inability of characters to speak in the house
Cons
  • Would have liked complete silence in the house sequence, to make it even more jarring

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About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeanHenegan on Twitter.

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