Legion Recap – “Chapter 20”

By The Nerdling

Switch, a time-traveling mutant, meets cult leader, David Haller.

Lessons in Spoilers

Legion has always been a difficult show to do a standard recap with. The past two seasons, I did my best. But now, time-travel has now been added to the series. Things are about to get even weirder! The premiere of the third and final season introduces us to a new, pivotal character. Thru her eyes, we’re presented this newest version of David. The charismatic cult leader.

“Something for your M.I.N.D.”

Switch (Lauren Tsai in her first acting role) starts her day off as she normally does. She has breakfast alone and is only briefly joined by her father via a TV the butler wheels in. She goes for a walk and notices a leaflet advertising for a time-traveler. They warn her to watch out for the “Mustaches” and to look for the “pregnant virgin”.

E01 Switch
Images Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment and FX Network

She sees more of the leaflets around town telling her to follow various clues. She even uses her time-travel abilities to catch certain messages she missed the first time around. The cryptic communications send her into the path of David Haller and his cult. David’s followers (including Lenny and her pregnant girlfriend) are a friendly group of hippies, literally high off the blue substance he creates with his mind.

Far Enough Back, But Not Too Far

Inside of David’s mind cave (that is twice this week I’ve had talked about characters sharing a thought space) over tea, Switch learns about his life up to that point. She asks why he would need a time-traveler and he shows her an image of Syd. But it is far more complicated than “a girl thing.” The conversation is quickly interrupted by Forces of Division (the new name for Division 3 now they have joined forces with Amal Farouk). David’s arm is cut off by Cary and then he is shot dead by Syd.

Switch travels back an hour to warn David about the impending attack by Division. He tells her he would sense them coming. “You didn’t the first time,” Switch says. David pulls the two out of the mind cave and into the commune to find it under attack from Division wearing the psychic blocking headbands. He tries to rescue Lenny and Switch from the chaos but is once again killed by Syd.

“Something about regret, perhaps?”

Switch goes back two hours this time but is met with Farouk in the astral plane. After assuring her she is safe, Farouk offers Switch a chance to work with him instead of with David. Knowing he is the Shadow King who haunted David for most of his life, Switch turns him down and escapes.

Farouk returns to the Forces of Division plane and warns Hamish David has a time-traveler in his cult. Hamish decides to press on with the decision to kill Switch as well. The Shadow King pays Syd a visit before they ambush the cult house. He warns she should stay behind. Her love for David might be gone, but strong feelings don’t just disappear. They transform into another feeling just as strong.

Syd insists she will participate in the raid. Things start off much the same, but just as Division is about to drop in, there is a flash of light and the house is replaced by a large crater.

E02 David
Images Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment and FX Network

Thoughts

The season premiere was as good as the series premiere in 2017. Visuals, music, and color were used more than words to tell the story of Switch. It is also wonderful that we get to experience David from an outsider’s point of view. It is a great way to reintroduce the protagonist.

Tsai is wonderful as Switch. She plays the traveler with a sense of loneliness and strength. She wishes to be a robot to be noticed and loved by her father, but she acts as anything but.

Switch may have aligned herself with David quickly, but she does so because her introduction to Farouk, Syd, and Division doesn’t spark trust. David comes to her in an open and honest way. He is truthful as to why he openly will violate a person’s mind.

I really enjoy how Switch’s time-travel abilities are portrayed. Nothing too flashy, just a hallway with doors marked “10 Minutes”, “20 Minutes”, “1 Hour”, etc. But the how-to tapes she listens to throughout the episode warn there are time-monsters who will come out if a person goes back too far.

It is worth noting, when Switch is inside her time-hallway, she checks on her teeth before going thru a door. After the commune house disappears, Syd finds a bloody tooth. Do the time-monsters like to take teeth as a sacrifice for using powers?

E01 Syd
Images Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment and FX Network

I know Farouk is supposed to be a good guy now, but I really don’t like how he talks to the women on the series. He was very condescending to both Syd and Switch. While I may agree with what he said to Syd about her feelings for David, I don’t think there is as much truth in them as he thinks. Syd killed David twice without hesitation.

I’m not entirely sure David put out those flyers for a time-traveler. Before Switch showed up on his doorstep, I don’t think he realized he needed one. Or at least the David we met in the premiere. I think a future David and Switch created and put out the fliers to get Switch to him just in time.

As a side note, Cary is working on building a body for Ptonomy still stuck in the mainframe.

As amazing as the season premiere was, I’m not too optimistic about how the rest of the series plays out. The second season was missing much of the brilliance of season 1. I also worry the final season will come off as rushed. Here is hoping some of the brilliance of “Chapter 20” will remain in the other episodes.

Till Next Week!


The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram

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