Once upon a time, there was a show that did not concern itself with the standard structure and principals of typical television programs. No, this was a show that would solve major plot points with dance/rap battles or randomly break out in song all while asking you to dig through the acid trip visuals and the absurd to reveal the true content of the series. Within this show is a woman. A woman who has been cursed, or blessed, with an ability that prevents her from sharing in the intimacy of human contact forcing her to form her bonds in other ways. The woman feels isolated and alone. Then along comes a man with unspeakable power who is able to change this woman’s world opening the door to the physicality and intimacy she has long thought was out of the question. Then, like most fairytales tend to do, there’s a dash of darkness. This man, who spouted love and trust while allowing this woman to feel things possibly for the first time ever… betrays her. Using her trust against her in an act of selfish manipulation taking us down a road that could literally lead to the end of the world. As these things often do. This woman, fueled by her anger and centered in her identity, fights back. Makes the ultimate sacrifice and tries to save the world. Sadly, the demons in his head are too much to overcome and her mind is turned to goo… It would seem that this is where the fairytale should end. Our hero is all but gone but you’ve read enough fairytales to understand, the villain hardly ever wins. Our hero re-emerges to help bring the fight to him.
Legion’s “Chapter 25” is the renewed hope in this fairytale that the world could possibly be saved shown to us in the series’s must unorthodox episode yet. Which is saying something. It’s a bit jarring to be thrust into an astral plane where forgotten things go to live out the rest of their days as they’re herded by Oliver. A place where the Big Bad Wolf is played by The Good Place’s Derek, a forgotten thing himself… Maximum Derek! A place where Melanie and Oliver choose to be something else so they can build a life together. Raise a family of people who have been pushed aside, forgotten, or in the case of Syd, banished into a new realm of existence. And while this episode focuses hard on the fairytale aspect of this world that Melanie and Oliver now call home, this is not their story. Not anymore. They are just the catalyst for our hero to make her triumphant return. Like all good fairytales, Oliver and Melanie are the moral that we hold on to. Without them, maybe the world is doomed.
While Legion may be David’s story it has become abundantly clear ever since Future Syd stepped on the scene that Syd is the hero of this universe. We’ve been manipulated by David’s actions. Believed that we could believe in him. Hell, we’ve spent the most time in his head and we’ve barely been able to grasp a true understanding of who he is. Something that is almost impossible considering the number of personalities, the legion, that take residence there. Ever since The Shield debuted it seems that shows are fascinated with the anti-hero. The person we root for even though we know we shouldn’t. Legion plays us for almost three seasons before making its reveal. David didn’t make his turn until the end of last season, but it is now evident he’s been the anti-hero all along. Self-absorbed, selfish, and consumed with the idea of being a good person without understanding what that actually means. So focused on happiness that he misses out on the basic principle of what makes us human. “Chapter 25” takes us away from David, who is currently traveling through time, and reminds us that Syd is the true hero here.
It should have been obvious that Syd was destined to be the hero of this story but Legion works so hard to convolute the narrative. Much like the inside of David’s head, we spend such a large majority of this program wondering what is real, what can be trusted, and what does it possibly all mean. Legion has made art of hiding the truth from us especially when it’s right in front of our eyes. The appearance of Future Syd should have raised a number of flags. Outside of Farouk, who do we know that is powerful enough to cause the end of the world? We should have known as Future Syd proclaimed how nice it was to see David this way again. As he was. We should have known that Future Syd was telling the truth because she’s Syd. Out of all the characters in this show, Syd is the most genuine and honest. The one who actually believes that love can change the world because she understands what love is. With her mind banished to the astral plane, Syd is given an opportunity. To either lay down, accept this new life with Melanie and Oliver, and exist in this pocket of non-existence or she can come back with the knowledge of what it takes to save the world.
It’s not us or them… it’s us and them. This is a throughline to any good X-Men story. Mutants aren’t looking for separation from themselves and humans, they just want to feel like they belong. And while Jonathan Hickman’s latest arc could be spinning a different tale, it’s the idea of unity that has always driven the X-Men and now it drives Syd as well. This story isn’t about her. It’s not about David. It’s about us. The world at large and David is about to destroy it. Whether he means to or not, the very balance of the world is at a precipice and it seems that Syd is the only one capable of stopping him. And who could possibly understand David better than the person who loved him, who was betrayed by him, literally lived inside his head, and now understands how to stop him.
While “Chapter 25” feels a bit odd and a little out of place, it fits the mold of Legion so well. This isn’t the first time the show has dedicated a full episode to the development of Syd. Each season has given her one full episode to shine and grow. And while we’re meant to believe that these are the episodes that transform her, we’re missing the larger point. This story is as much hers as it is David’s and if she’s able to save the world from his mistake… then is it possible to believe that Legion could be her story?
There you have it Geeklings, what did you think of this week’s Legion? Did the fairytale setting through you off? Did you enjoy the rap battle as much as I did? Do you believe that Syd now possesses the weapon to bring David down? Sound off in the comments. If you’d like to talk more Legion with yours truly then you cand find me over on Twitter @iamgeek32. Always up for some crazy weird Legion talk. We’ve only got two episodes left, and things are heating up. I’ll see everyone here next week with a new episode review. Stay weird!