Legion Review: “Chapter 11”
Outside of the great set pieces and character insights, “Chapter 11” solidified Legion as a show that is unparalleled in the realm of visual storytelling. No matter how interesting or engaging the plot gets, viewers can't help but be captivated by the show’s brilliant orchestration of so many visual elements. There are times when rewinding the last fifteen seconds of the episode became necessary, realizing you just missed multiple lines of dialogue admiring the stunning display on the monitor in front of you. From the cinematography to the editing, lighting to production design, costume design to visual effects; Legion tells its story in a way that not only demands the viewer’s attention but makes the viewer willingly give up mental control to be in awe by it.
It’s appropriate given the thematic content of “Chapter 11.” In the grand scheme of the series, it is a smaller and more ancillary episode in terms of progressing the plot forward. However, the episode brings viewers deeper into the inner psyche (figuratively and literally) of the beloved cast of characters in a way viewers can't look away from. From the lush gardens that allowed Ptonomy to simply live in the moment, to the Zork and Greek myth-inspired labyrinth Melanie presided over as a god; “Chapter 11” doubled down on the character-driven plot direction that took root in “Chapter 10,” but delivered it in a much more visually and emotionally engaging way.
“Chapter 11” saw the reprisal of symbols introduced in the first two episodes as well such as the delusion insect and minotaur, both of which are slowly beginning to rival the horror elements of the first season. Their continued use of the show calls into question if the viewer can truly trust David as their medium into the events of the show.
Legion purposefully wants the viewer to consider the nature of the show’s reality, to distrust the already bizarre plot pieces continually stacking on each other like a Jenga tower.
While trying to best the mysteries of the show can often get in the way of actually enjoying the thematic and character-driven content of a show (looking at you diehard Westworld fans), Legion’s entire premise is to question the nature of one’s reality. From the first episode, viewers have followed David on his quest to discover who (or what) he truly is, and the show’s abstract methods of delivering that journey helped to put the viewer into his shoes.
Beyond some of these grander scale facets of the show, the smaller details continue to add a layer of polish to the show that enhances its captivating aesthetic. The small moments between Cary and Kerry are slowly growing into one of the most heartwarming relationships of any show on TV, and Navid Negahban has perfectly fleshed out the once one-dimensional antagonist the show had in the Shadow King. Lighter moments such as the Syd’s continually running cat gag and the inclusion of a cow in Division 3 for no apparent reason help to balance out some of the show’s more thrilling moments.
Overall, “Chapter 11” continues to do what both “Chapter 9” and “Chapter 10” did before it: provide viewers with an engrossing story and engaging character with a true-to-form comic book aesthetic that elevates the show’s narrative rather than simply use it to appeal to a mass audience.
Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Senior / Public Relations