Legion: “Chapter 8”


Kyle’s Thoughts

“Chapter 8” didn’t finish Legion as strong as I would’ve liked. It was still a solid episode but there was a moment where I figured what would happen and it happened as I figured it would. Legion had a knack for keeping me on my toes and it was a little sluggish. It didn’t quite stick the landing.

There’s little chance for me to go over this episode without revealing spoilers, so consider this your spoiler alert.

I figured Shadow King wasn’t going to be defeated; he had to find a new host. The most obvious choice was Oliver Bird and that’s who Shadow King eventually chose. Legion suggested D3 might find a mind for Shadow King to inhabit, Syd offered herself as a sacrificial lamb (Syd is essentially Karma from the comics, and Karma did combat Shadow King, so that would’ve made sense), and Carey even had Shadow King coodies for a short while, but Oliver was the clear winner. He has psychic powers. Shadow King likes that. He got whammied right after he remembered his wife Melanie. That’s not at all manipulative. And he’s off kilter. Oliver’s mental state is the closest to David’s. Oliver as Shadow King’s new host isn’t a bad thing. This development ensures Shadow King and Oliver will be in future episodes. I’m not shocked by it. It felt like the easy way out, and Legion seldom hits the easy button.

I could’ve done without frontloading “Chapter 8” with the D3 officer’s backstory. It was unavoidable but it threw off Legion’s rhythm, and not in the good ways Legion’s found in the prior episodes.

“Chapter 8” also teased David as too powerful a being. I hope Legion explores this in the future because he is. The X-Men spoke to me when I was young because they were outsiders and as a mixed kid from the south, I was an outsider. The team’s roster holds some of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe because folks want the outsider/underdog to win. But can you be the underdog when you’re more powerful than your oppressors? Some of the best X-Men stories are the ones that challenge Apartheid (a minority oppressing a majority) and the various waves of Civil Rights movements (combating institutional racism, sexism, orientation, and identity). Legion scrapped the surface of these subjects and with everything that happened during the season finale, it could dig deeper into these issues organically.

“Chapter 8” may not have been the perfect ending but it did enough to get me excited for a second season.

Season’s Take

Yeah, Shadow King taking Oliver Bird as his new host didn’t come as a surprise. He lived in the astral plane for twenty years.

I wasn’t a fan of learning the backstory of the D3 officer. Like Kyle said, it was unavoidable, but it was also unnecessary. Not every character needs a known backstory. Although, I will admit, he reminded me of Harvey Dent from Batman: Animated Series and Joker from Tim Burton’s Batman when I saw the doctor cutting off his bandages.

“Chapter 8” was interesting and I like Shadow King being David’s nemesis (aside from himself). The scenes when Shadow King takes the form of Lenny Busker were the best. It wouldn’t surprise me if David has a showdown with Shadow King sometime down the road.

I’d like to see how Legion handles David and the astral plane in the future. I’m looking forward to Season Two next year.

Thanks for reading.

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