(First of all, don’t read this if you haven’t seen the episode yet Full spoilers await you if you do!)
Tensions rise as we delved deeper into David Haller’s psyche in the second episode of FX’s Legion series. In this installment, we get to see glimpses of his past after he undergoes what his newfound companions call “memory work.”
David, Melanie, and Ptonomy (who, by the way, is known as a “memory artist”) visit various events from David’s past during their literal trip down memory lane. However, these memories are full of glitches, and therefore unreliable, mainly due to David’s traumatizing visions – or hallucinations? We have yet to find out – of the Devil with Yellow Eyes: a detail that he still can’t find the nerve to reveal to his new allies at the “resistance.”
It is interesting to note that Legion’s father here goes by a different name and looks so far from his biological dad from the comics, Professor X. Now, we don’t know what is happening here yet, whether FX is opting for a very different origin story for the schizophrenic omega-level mutant or if this is just a diversion to keep audiences guessing, but we are in nonetheless. For all we know, perhaps David Haller was sent for adoption as a baby.
Going back to the episode, we also get to see another memory where he sits with a therapist and, as therapists are apt to do, talks to David about his condition. But perhaps the standout throughout David’s own mind odyssey yet again comes when he and Lenny (portrayed by the always wonderful Aubrey Plaza) meet to flip an old stove to score some sweet, sweet drugs. The narcotic in question, Vapor, is consumed in one of the most wonderfully weird ways that you just have to see for yourself, not to mention it’s our favorite scene from the episode. Whereas last week, we said that Legion was like having Bryan Singer and Wes Anderson make a baby, this week is no different except you have to imagine the two directors on Demerol.
What makes Legion stand out so far, particularly in this episode, is how it is able to create a twist on the familiar X-Men formula via analogues. The memory work looks just like a manpowered Cerebro; Melanie’s resistance HQ looks like a more mysterious, if not sinister, version of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters; and we have a shady organization to play as an antagonist, which this episode revealed to be named Division 3.
And of course, there is the whole narrative flow: Legion thrives on a quasi-nonlinear narrative. Understandably, this may put some viewers off, but it is very rewarding once you let the show gets its hooks on you – even we are not convinced not everything is as it seems on the show, and that just makes it all the more interesting.
Now, before we go, let us just make one quick guess as to who the Devil with Yellow Eyes is: Many are speculating it's Mojo, some suspect it's the Shadow King we’re thinking it’s a subconscious version of his father. But that’s another story for another time.