Legion: “Chapter 3”

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Kyle’s Thoughts

Sorry about the late write-up; I’ve been dealing with an illness. Legion continues to be the cure for the common superhero show. It’s a prestige TV drama with the backdrop of Marvel’s X-Men. And it’s one of the best shows at exploring its main character.

Ptonomy Wallace (Jeremie Harris) can travel with others into David’s memories, but he and the folks he brings with him could get trapped. If the David Haller in the comics is any indication, someone probably will get lost, it’s only a matter of time. A large portion of Chapter 3, the climatic ending specifically, played out like a hybrid psychological thriller and slasher. It’s an unsettling blend.

One half of David’s memory work, that’s what Wallace calls his and his clients’ delving into dreams to search for what happened in the past, dealt with the monster he was. David’s forced to relive his drug addiction from the outside, looking in. He’s forced to see the damage he caused his ex-girlfriend, sister, and anyone else who got close to him. It’s a flashback, but it’s a clever flashback, a flashback that’s part of the current timeline because folks in the present are actively dealing with the past. I worry this could become a crutch for the show, but for now, it’s excellent.

The second half of David’s memory work disassociates David from the monster who terrorized the ones he loved. The angriest boy in the world stalks David and anyone foolish enough to travel his memories. At the episode’s end, Syd, Wallace, and Dr. Bird aren’t sure if what they saw was a memory or something else. I like this direction. I especially like how the episode disassociated David from this monster. It’s true to the comics and the character. And the stalker boy is unnerving.

I still love the positive language Legion uses for mental illness. David isn’t sick; his affliction is part of who he is. Going into this week we knew we’d see more of David’s past and it’s a crooked and perilous landscape. This isn’t just a show about mental illness but about how others treat them and how they treat themselves. The first three episodes have battled the stigma of mental illness. Kudos.

I do have one small gripe. Chapter 3 offered a little information about District 3. I would’ve liked less from dialogue and more from Legion showing us who these people are. It was a data dump, but it’s a start, and the main journey is through David’s past.

Legion is taking an exciting trip with its main character. So many superhero TV shows dive into the action and who’s on which side of an issue that they forget they’re leads are supposed to be real people. I hope it continues to treat the subject matter of mental illness with respect. Let’s hope the journey has more perils.

Thanks for reading.

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