Are you feeling calm? Good. Let’s start our meditation on Legion’s, “Chapter 21.”
1. A Few Charlie Brown References
“Chapter 21” opens with a glimpse of Sydney starring out from The District’s airplane and cuts to Legion (David) mediating, while a song about Charlie Brown is playing. Later on in the episode, The Shadow King is playing “O Tannenbaum.” A Charlie Brown Christmas, anyone? The second reference might just be a coincidence, but I highly doubt it.
I think this all fits together because, in David’s crazy mind, a part of him views himself as a Charlie Brown character-type. Depressed David is looking for the meaning of life and he believes that if he ever got a chance to finally kick the football, his life would be better. He thinks that the forces around him keep pulling the football away, just like Lucy always tricks Charlie Brown. That’s how this ties into The Shadow King. Legion is playing the blame game, blaming The Shadow King and others around him, and can’t come to terms that it’s his own fault he is who he is in “Chapter 21.” Yes, the Shadow King messed David up, but at the end of the day, David still did what he did to Sydney. David can’t realize this and is still going to try kicking that metaphorical football.
“You’re a wishy-washy kind of dope” pretty much describes David at this point. Even if he goes back in time, he’s not going to fully change. He’s looking for a quick way to solve his problems in “Chapter 21.” Would he be a good guy if the Shadow King never haunted his mind? It’s just like Sydney says, his problems aren’t going to be solved that simply. I guess we’ll have to see if David ever figures this out.
2. David is Back at It Again With His Mind Games
It was pretty clear in “Chapter 20” before, but it’s even clearer now in “Chapter 21” that David has everyone around him under his control, even Lenny. We see this when David uses his mind control on Lenny to get her to leave him alone with Switch. This scene leads me to further believe that Switch is probably under David’s mind control too and that’s why she’s helping him. The reason why Switch is helping David is still not clear. Maybe she’s a big believer in second chances? She doesn’t have the full picture of David’s situation yet either. Spoiler: By the end of this episode, Cary is under David’s control too.
And speaking of mind games, The Shadow King, is going to teach Sydney how to stop David by the way of tricking David’s emotions. This isn’t going to end well. I also liked The Shadow King’s role better when he was just the boogie man lurking in the crawl spaces of David’s mind. With his body back, The Shadow King isn’t scary, he’s just a weird dude.
3. It’s Not Enough that Switch Goes Back in Time
David wants Switch to lead him through the time hallway. When David isn’t able to cross the doorway into the hall of time, he starts showing his true colors and gets angry. If this mission doesn’t go his way, Legion’s false hippie facade is going to explode.
4. It Wouldn’t be Psychedelic if There Wasn’t a Reference to Alice in Wonderland
From the drug-induced tea time to the Cheshire Cat colored bus to Lenny switching her role from that of the Cheshire Cat to the Madhatter, “Chapter 21” is laced with Alice in Wonderland references. It’s cliche, but Legion makes it works. I think it works for Legion because each episode seems to double down on its offbeat, psychedelic, science fiction vibe.
By the way, what’s up with that huge pig?
5. Another Good Episode of Legion
“Chapter 21” is another strong episode. Season Three so far has me excited for Legion like I was when the show was first released.
Join me next week for a discussion on “Chapter 22.”