Legion (2017– )
9.3/10
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25 user 9 critic

Chapter 19 

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David battles Farouk and tries to prevent the future.

Director:

Keith Gordon

Writers:

Noah Hawley, Noah Hawley (created by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Dan Stevens ... David Haller
Rachel Keller ... Syd Barrett
Aubrey Plaza ... Lenny Busker
Bill Irwin ... Cary Loudermilk
Navid Negahban ... Amahl Farouk
Jemaine Clement ... Oliver Bird
Jeremie Harris ... Ptonomy Wallace (credit only)
Amber Midthunder ... Kerry Loudermilk
Hamish Linklater ... Clark
Jean Smart ... Dr. Melanie Bird
Jelly Howie ... Vermillion #1
Brittney Parker Rose ... Vermillion #2
Lexa Gluck ... Vermillion #3
Marc Oka ... Admiral Fukyama
Jon Hamm ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

David battles Farouk and tries to prevent the future.

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Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 2018 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Goofs

(at around 23 mins) Cary's hand touches Syd's arm without triggering her power. See more »

Quotes

Syd Barrett: What do we do now?
Clark: Now... we pray.
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Soundtracks

Behind Blue Eyes
Written by Pete Townshend & Jeff Russo
Performed by Jeff Russo featuring Dan Stevens & Navid Negahban
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User Reviews

 
Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
15 June 2018 | by TastentierSee all my reviews

I don't know where to begin. Maybe with a quote that I came across recently in an unrelated movie review Richard Brody wrote for the New Yorker:

"No genre comes to the world accursed, and the superhero movie is no less a fertile ground for cinematic imagination than the political thriller, the romantic comedy, the Western, [...] or the war movie."

If you substitute "TV show" for "movie", the first two seasons of Legion have certainly proved Mr. Brody right. I mean, talk about cinematic imagination! While I have to admit that some episodes of the rather slow-burning second season put my patience to the test, I've never seen such a boundary-breaking TV drama that draws its visual inspiration from so many sources, playfully explores vastly different artistic styles, and challenges our perception of reality in a way that almost puts Rashomon to shame.

Not only did the season two finale surpass my wildest expectations in terms of plot, visual effects, and the fantastic musical score. It also brought to show back to what originally drew me into it, namely the unique and eerily accurate depiction of delusional mental disorders. During the early episodes, David exhibited countless symptoms of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (unlike his comic book counterpart, who suffers from DID). When Melanie Bird assured him that his alleged mental illness symptoms stemmed from his suppressed mutant abilities, she did it so convincingly that both David and the audience, or at least I, wanted to believe her. Now I realize that the writers had her crack an egg that hatched a delusion.

There was also David's dark passenger, to borrow an analogy from Dexter, who made a perfect scapegoat for his ongoing mental issues. After Farouk had finally departed from David's mind, one might have thought that David was completely cured. I know that I did, and I was almost disappointed since the show had so brilliantly captured what it's like to be unable to trust one's own mind. The new, seemingly sane David Haller was a little too perfect, a little too much of a regular mutant superhero, to be real. Now it turns out that he wasn't. And in hindsight, there were so many signs and symptoms during this season that this information hardly constitutes a spoiler.

Think of David's trouble focusing, which was most obvious in his conversations with others. He often paused and searched for words, had difficulties pursuing a train of thought and stringing coherent sentences together, and sometimes left a sentence unfinished. His vocabulary became increasingly simplistic and limited. At the time, these maddeningly dragging, unfocused conversations seemed like a play for time by the writers, an attempt to stretch out an overly thin plot. What we were really witnessing though was a schizophrenic David off his meds exhibiting so-called negative symptoms.

In case you're unfamiliar with schizophrenia-type disorders, periods of negative symptoms occur in between manic, psychotic or delusional episodes. The suffering individual may appear relatively normal, but his thoughts are disorganized, he has trouble concentrating, his speech appears impoverished, he is often irritable and moody; in short, he acts like David did during most of this plodding, confusing, and seemingly disorganized season. But as the individual approaches a manic state, he becomes increasingly energized. His thoughts begin to race and he is full of purpose. He may hear voices and have lively conversations with himself.

He might have delusions of grandeur and develop an urgent sense of mission. He may become convinced that someone is his enemy, the source of all his problems, and experience sudden outbursts of exhilarating RAGE and aggression when he confronts this person. As the psychotic episode progresses, the individual may become increasingly suspicious of everyone in his life, if not to say paranoid. All his friends, relatives and neighbors might conspire against him, especially those who seem concerned for his health and suggest medical treatment. Nobody can be trusted except for the voices in his own head. Does this sound like anyone we know?

I should probably add the caveat that physically violent behavior during the angry outbursts mentioned above is exceedingly rare. Nevertheless, David's face as he tortured Oliver captured the true face of psychotic mania. No wonder he seemed like a frighteningly different person to Syd, who first met David when he was still medicated, stayed by his side throughout his withdrawal psychosis (or his internal battle against Farouk, depending on which competing truth one chooses to believe), and began to suspect that something was still wrong with him during his following negative symptom stage.

Her feelings of estrangement from David increased during the onset of his manic episode. When she finally saw the full picture, she knew that the unmedicated David was not the person with whom she fell in love. Her effort to break away from him, followed by an attempt to get him the help that he so obviously needs, seemingly confirmed his worst suspicions and completely pushed him over the edge into a state of paranoid delusion. I believe this may be the truth of the mind. What the finale showed us instead was the truth of the heart. Pick whichever truth you like best. To me, it seems clear that a lot of this show is allegorical rather than literally true. But like all great works of art, Legion allows for different interpretations.


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