Legion Chapter 2 Review
FX‘s Legion: Season 1, Episode 2: Chapter 2 continues to explore the fractured mental state of the reluctant mutant David Haller (Dan Stevens).
In Chapter One, we were emersed in a rich visual landscape of David’s psyche. But in Chapter Two we get a peek into David’s childhood. That pulls up some serious questions about why David is the way he is.
David begins ‘memory work’ with Ptonomy Wallace (Jeremie Harris) to start bringing his life back into focus. Dr. Melanie Bird (Jean Smart), the leader of the merry band of mutants, says she wants to make David “whole again”. This probably sounds re-assuring to David since he’s probably never known what that feels like. But Melanie definitely feels like a wild card. She clearly wants something from David. This isn’t that surprising since David seems like an extraordinary mutant with abilities even he can’t control.
But as we all know when you try and harness a fellow mutant’s ability things can go South quickly (i.e. Hellfire Club and The Phoenix). If there’s one thing to look forward to with this series is when David reaches his highest potential. If that happens neither side will be able to touch him.
Chapter One did a very good job at creating a very intense visual of David’s world. In Chapter Two we are tethered to David’s mental state.
As David, Melanie, and Ptonomy explore his memories they begin seeing strange glitches, or gaps in time. Since we’re in his head we are already privy to what the image is. It is clear the gap is a reference to the time his powers destroyed his kitchen. Ptonomy tries to guide them back to the specific moment in time in hopes of exploring its significance. But David intentionally or un-intentionally shuts them out.
Despite having a front row into his inner-workings there are places in his memory that even David is actively trying to not return to it.
It is in very likely that a lot of David’s memory repression has to do with his father issues from his childhood. In the canon of Marvel David is the son of Charles Xavier. When we “see” David’s supposed father in his childhood memory he is cloaked in darkness and reading a disturbing picture book about decapitation.
It isn’t clear if the father figure in his memory is truly Charles Xavier himself. There’s no stark British accent so one could assume David either forgot his father had an accent or the man in his memory isn’t his father at all. Which would explain why he has no clear image of him. Better yet, it could mean that Charles wiped David of what he looked like in order to protect him in the future. A lot of potential outcomes for that.
The most grounding moment for David though is when his powers excel beyond that of his memories and work in real-time just as he sees his sister become abducted. Despite the short straw that life has dealt David he hasn’t ever stopped loving or appreciating his sister, Amy Haller (Katie Aselton). It was apparent in Chapter One that Amy has stuck by her brother’s side regardless of where he was in life. In some ways, Amy is David’s anchor. She is the constant factor in his life that hasn’t changed despite the many recent changes in his life.
If there is one thing that will force David to channel his abilities: it’s his sister’s well-being.
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