Shadows in a cave – Legion Chapter 18 review

Syd sees David in a new light as Legion gets closer to its big showdown


Dear readers, I’m concerned. This does not look good. Season two of Legion has been slowly building towards the showdown in the desert, David and Farouk, good and evil, the future of mankind. Over the last few episodes, we’ve been blatantly told that David will turn evil and attempt to wipe out mankind and that the only person who can stop him is Farouk. I never paused to let that sink in, mainly because I’ve been conditioned by pop culture to expect some last-minute reversal, some intervention that will right the ship and return balance. But now, the concern is real. After this penultimate episode, I find it hard to see that reversal. Even more concerning, I don’t think Legion has any interest in finding one. I think David is lost.

David contemplates his nefarious deeds

We pick up where we left off (I love that each episode of this season effectively drops us right into the next one), with Syd and David sleeping in a tent in the desert. Syd wakes up and ventures outside to find a giant hole with a giant pink plug next to it. It’s a testament to how the show encourages you to embrace its nuttiness that I didn’t really bat an eyelid at the giant pink plug, because in Legion’s world, of course there’s a giant pink plug. Syd gets closer to take a look and someone chucks a rabbit at her from the depths (another of this show’s little Alice nods). After freeing it from a nasty hook, Syd herself gets hooked and yanked down into the darkness.

Down there, she meets Melanie, who we know – but Syd doesn’t – is under Farouk’s control. She starts to show Syd glimpses of David that don’t paint him in a good light, playing on Syd’s existing doubts about David’s mental state. Meanwhile, David goes looking for Syd and finds the monastery, where Oliver is waiting for him. Oliver won’t tell him where Syd is, so David goes to town on him with a drill, which isn’t the most heroic of acts. Of course Farouk knew David would do this. Syd’s disappearance was half to whisper doubt into her ear and half to push David over the edge and it works like a charm.

This is a frustrating episode in that all of the work that David, Syd, Kerry, Cary and Clarke have put into stopping Farouk is ultimately undone so easily. Syd’s fears about David are cruelly realised in front of her face. David falls so easily into the trap set for him by Farouk. And everyone else just winds up fighting unwinnable battles. The minotaur is loosed and causes havoc, Farouk simply swats away the central part of David’s plan and David’s greatest ally is now convinced he’s a monster. I’m not sure where the season finale will take us, but I’m pretty convinced we’re not in for a happy ending.

Does this look like a good guy to you?

Questions, questions, questions

  • How brilliantly choreographed and shot was Kerry’s fight with the monks in the desert? For a superhero show that is heavier on tragedy and dance routines, it’s nice to see some good old-fashioned ass kicking.
  • Syd turns away to be sick while David is torturing Oliver. She very nearly wasn’t the only one, am I right?
  • Is this the end of Oliver? Jemaine Clement brings a much-needed levity to this show and it’d be a much darker world without him. Although, that seems to be the direction we’re heading in, right.
  • The similarities between the above image and the comic book incarnation of David Heller are remarkably similar, suggesting that things are only going to get worse for our “hero”.

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