Legion recap: Season 1, Episode 7, “Chapter 7,” Aired March 22, 2016
There’s a reason why Legion was renewed for season 2 in the midst of season 1. There’s a reason why the critics with advanced screeners of the show have raved about it.
Legion 1×07 is the reason.
What an episode of television Chapter 7 was. We got answers, we got incredible scenes, and we got incredible acting performances to match those scenes. Legion 1×07 how I love thee, let me count the ways.
Give Aubrey Plaza all the awards
Every character has gone through multiple phases throughout Legion. That’s just the arc of the show. I would argue Aubrey Plaza’s Lenny has gone through the biggest change.
She’s been absolutely brilliant the entire time.
Let’s take a second to think about the transformation of Lenny Busker. She starts as David’s best friend, who turns into a schizophrenic conjure who stirs up shit, who turns full-on demon who takes power and terrorizes everyone in her path. As an actress, Plaza goes from innocent and funny, to mischevious, to dark and twisted. All this culminates in Legion 1×07, where she’s flawless in my mind.
While obviously hilarious in Parks & Rec, I think Legion is by far Plaza’s best acting performance to date. As a huge Parks & Rec fan, I’m happy to see her thriving. As a Legion fan, you and I should both be happy to have her standing out the way she does.
Back-to-back incredible scenes
One thing Legion never hid from us is how “outside the box” it is. Almost every scene in the show takes a chance by being different. Some of them land, some of them don’t.
For my money the two best scenes of the series happened in Legion 1×07, and within a 25-minute span to boot.
First, we step up to the chalkboard. The scene where David “figures it out” is the scene many of us have been waiting for all season, and it did not disappoint. The illustration of David’s family history was comic book-like, which is a cool callback. The allusion to other events and characters that are sure to be revealed later is intriguing. The moment of epiphany for the character and viewer at the same time made the scene captivating. Getting satisfaction from a moment I was anticipating so much isn’t easy to do.
Next, we get an exclusive look at “David’s Room” — a silent film starring the entire Legion cast.
What a trip this scene is. Lenny is in full-blown chaos mode. Sydney is making sure everything stays in black-and-white mode to keep things from getting out of hand. The Eye is being eviscerated. Oliver Bird is choppin it up on the imaginary keys in a parallel universe. Cary is crowning David as the telepathic king, so he can finally become Legion and save everyone.
A lot can be said about a show that gets the “big scenes” right. This is what getting the big scenes right looks like. There’s a ton going on; but it’s different, fun, visually stunning, and monumental to the show all at once. You can feel how important the scene is while you’re watching it. That makes a great scene. Legion has a pair of those in Chapter 7.
We have answers!
It’s almost as if the viewer needed to be as confused as David throughout the first six chapters. None of that matters now, because David knows what’s going on inside his head and we know where Legion is headed. Relatively speaking.
We’re finally clear on David’s backstory, as he figures it out in a mind-made classroom (I think I know a few other things as well, but I don’t want to spoil anything with guesses. Feel free to hit me on Twitter or in the comments to discuss). We finally know the significance of the scene back in David’s childhood room. We finally know essentially the whole damn show was in David’s mind.
I have to admit getting all these answers at once is pretty satisfying. It’s a big reason why Legion 1×07 was so epic.
Intrigue for the finale
Television is in a weird place at the moment, where even the best shows are making their penultimate episode better than their season finale. Legion 1×07 is going to be hard to top, make no mistake about that, but we certainly have a reason to look forward to the season 1 finale.
Generally you can assume when an actor as accomplished as Hamish Linklater signs onto a show, it’s for more than a one episode cameo. That’s exactly what we have here, as The Interrogator (capitalized in IMDb, so it’s a formal character title) returns at the end of Chapter 7. I’d like to say he’s no worse for the wear, but he looks about as you’d expect someone to look when they get electrocuted in a pool.
The point is he’s maaaad. And all of our supermutant friends have guns pointed at them as the episode ends. It looks like David will once again be forced to save the day, and judging by who poked through the mental coffin it won’t be in any small way.
Legion has been a slow burn, there’s no doubt about that. But boy did it get good fast. I had mentioned in the past that I was growing sour on the show. I’m having trouble talking today, with a foot in my mouth and all.
Legion airs Wednesdays at 10pm EST on FX.
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