If you came into last nights episode of Legion looking for plot advancement then you probably left slightly disappointed. With “Chapter 12” Legion put all the hanging plot threads on the shelf and took a deep dive into character, specifically Syd, and the results were spellbinding. While the episode slowed down the pacing of season two it did not disrupt it. We were given an episode that was beautiful in its sadness and ended on a hopeful note giving us a better understanding of Syd and underlining the importance of her relationship with David as we move forward.
Considering that David’s quest is coming on the request of Future Syd it’s important that we understand these two together and in order to do that David needed to understand just who Syd is and what has shaped her. Every character who has contracted the chatter teeth virus has hidden within a maze within their mind. A place where they get to be who they wish to be. David figures this out early as he enters the minds of Melanie and Ptonomy to free them of the virus but with Syd he’s too close to the situation. In some ways, David loves the idea of Syd more than he actually loves her. She’s someone who understands his particular way of crazy and makes him happy. It’s all very superficial. Not saying that he treats Syd poorly or that he’s not truly in love with her but as we learn love is a complex emotion. It’s not really something you can just pinpoint. It’s a feeling and as David relives Syd’s life over and over and over again he begins to understand this. There’s a deeper appreciation for the person he’s in love with and that intensifies those feelings. Makes them real.
As for Syd, she doesn’t really believe in love. Not in the traditional way anyway. Love leads to pain and pain is the only thing that’s real to her. All her life it has been one painful experience after another. Living a life void of human contact leaves Syd wanting to feel something, anything, and leads to a series of life events that are complex, difficult to watch, and often times sad. Her inability to kiss a boy or to be held by her mother. Her constant fear of being touched by a stranger or being able to feel anything other than pain. Pain that she often seeks out whether it’s by cutting herself, mosh pitting, switching bodies with a boy in order to get revenge on bullies, or taking over her mother’s body to seduce a man. Each one of those events results in restructuring the person Syd is, pushing her further and further into a darkness that drives her.
At the end of the day Syd believes, and what David grows to understand, it’s everything that happens in life that makes you stronger. All the mistakes and pain is what you learn from, and it’s learning from those events that make Sydney such a strong character. After numerous times reliving Syd’s life like a Groundhog’s Day type equation they both come to an understanding. Love doesn’t make you stronger. It makes you weak and vulnerable, but at the end of the day using their pain they can save love. Whether it’s saving it for themselves or others is unknown but once the puzzle is solved, once David understands the bigger picture, Syd is ready to rejoin the real world with David.
There’s no question about it that through “Chapter 12” Syd became kind of a tragic character who, honestly, is slightly jaded. I can’t fault her for feeling the way she does and I wonder what direction her relationship with David goes in now. Despite its somber mood “Chapter 12” was a fantastic episode that was so richly layered in emotion and substance I easily could have watched another ten loops of Syd’s life looking for answers to questions. Another visually stunning episode that is aided by a fantastic soundtrack, “Chapter 12”, Legion always picks the right songs for the right moments, gets us no closer to the Shadow King’s body but it brought us closer to Syd. For that, we should be thankful.
Oh! It appears that Lenny got free from the Shadow King too.
What did you think Geeklings? Were you moved by Legion’s “Chapter 12”? What do you think of Syd’s perception of love? Is it possible for David to changer her mind or is she to set in her ways? What about that ending with Lenny, is she really free? Sound off in the comments. If you’d like to talk more Legion with me then you can find me on Twitter @iamgeek32. See everyone here next week!
Images from FX