A Look at Legion- Season 2, Episode 5: “Chapter 13”

Lenny’s back, but how? And at what cost? Let’s find out in Chapter 13.

Clark asks Lenny for her real name Legion FX Marvel

The episode begins with Clark entering what looks to be an upside down interrogation room as he takes a seat to speak with Lenny, who finds the room scary. He asks for her hand so he can draw some blood by using a device. When Clark asks for Lenny to identify herself, she instead wants to talk to David. Plus, her name is right in front of Clark, but he wants to hear her say it. However, she just needs some drugs.

She finally identifies herself as Lenny Busker, but her given name is Lenore, after her grandmother, who was a real salty broad. Clark shows her a card and asks what she sees- it’s blank, though. She tells Clark that she’s his puppet, or was. But now she’s escaped. She was once without physical form, but now is back in a corporeal state.

Lenny talks up her grandmother’s love of citrus soda- vodka. Lenny would go there every day after school for Hippie Hour. They would watch cartoons and drink citrus soda…when Lenny was nine years old. Though Clark wants to know if Lenny is the Shadow King, Lenny continues, saying that her mother wanted a family. But her father liked watching black guys bang preteen girls on the internet.

Again, Lenny asks for David because she really needs to talk to him. Clark tells Lenny that there are rooms here where people are dumped and forgotten. Lenny responds that Farouk knows where the monks hid his body. As for why Lenny is here, she sees herself as the victim. She was dropped inside of a wall…and then the Shadow King took her mind. She’s not a bad person. There’s bad and then there’s really bad.

After all, she’s only hustled to get high. She is not a villain. Clark, though, wants to know whose Lenny is inhabiting. Lenny, unable to answer, still wants to talk with David. The end of the world is coming and she doesn’t have a lot of time left. The light turns red and Clark exits the room. Now alone, she stares at the ceiling.

We then end up on an open road as Oliver drives…with Farouk in the backseat. Oliver asks if he’ll have to touch the body. He’s not afraid- just he’s wearing a new, cream suit. Priorities, after all. Farouk is focused on the beauty of the plan. That sort of beauty is sublime. He wonders what the universe is like without each sunrise. That’s how we judge our gods. Oliver, though, is just unclear on the body’s recovery.

It’s buried underground, so some digging will be required. The reward will be a sunrise unlike anything Oliver has ever seen. Unreal, even, but nothing’s felt real to him for a long time.

He eventually arrives at a spot in the desert and starts digging. Farouk soon gives him a hand with the casket and soon enough, Oliver opens the coffin. Inside rests a body. Oliver then presents a device- the very device that he and Lenny came upon when they attacked Division Three- that Farouk uses to insert a skin sample into from the body.

Ptonomy speaks to Lenny about concepts: past, present, and future. He understands the past- it’s everything that happened before. The future is everything that’s still to come. But what is the present? Think about light about the speed of light. No matter how close something is, it takes time for its image to reach our eye.

In time, the signal goes from the eye to the brain, and the brain still take time to process this. His theory is there is no present- only past and future.

Lenny puts on Ptonomy’s glasses and asks what color her eyes are. He guesses brown, but they aren’t…anymore. They were, though, in her old body. Ptonomy asks whose body she’s in, but Lenny says that Ptonomy should be worried about Farouk’s body. She’s with the good guys now. The evil Lenny was just faking. Right now, there’s no trickery. Apparently.

Ptonomy then enters Lenny’s memory as we see Grandma hand Lenny some of that citrus soda. As Ptonomy examines Lenny, his ears begin to bleed.

We then find Ptonomy back in bed as the delusion again heads right for his ear. He awakens and finds himself before Admiral Fukuyama. And inside his glowing lantern rests an angry beast.

He snaps back to reality and chokes Lenny against the wall, but soon lets her go. With that, he exits the room.

Time for Chapter Six: Conspiracy. Jon Hamm asks if we’ve ever seen a shape in a cloud. Every few months, Jesus appears to the unsuspecting in a piece of toast, as he does with a woman eating a slice of toast. Or, does he? Human beings are pattern seeking animals. For thousands of years, our survival depended on being able to spot patterns in nature and spot predators in the wild.

Centuries later, we’re still looking and searching every cloud, as if our lives depended on it. So strong is our belief that a pattern exists that the human mind rejects pieces that don’t fit. The pessimist sees danger hiding behind every back, but the optimist sees friendship. That’s why, when we encounter coincidence, we often see conspiracy.

Back in the desert, Oliver and Farouk observe some diggers nearby as they talk about morality. Well, Farouk does. Oliver is transfixed on the fact that electrons making up their car were part of a star that exploded billions of years ago, killing all life that may have existed on hundreds of planets. Or did it? If those atoms still exist and are holding this car together as we speak, then perhaps the idea of life and death – is obscene.

Or, at the very least, irrelevant. Oliver turns to Farouk and asks what they were discussing- morality of killing. The two of them are not human, though, but Homo Superior. They’re like lions. The lion doesn’t ask for morality when it kills its prey. And Oliver, all of a sudden, is reminded of Melanie.

Morality, Farouk says, is another problem. Oliver bluntly tells Farouk that he’s going to kill him. The diggers soon drive off in their mobile submarine, with Oliver and Farouk following.

Night has fallen at Division Three as David finally joins Lenny. He tells Lenny that he had no idea what silence was until Farouk was out of his head. After Lenny reveals that she did once date a guy- for a week- she receives a Twizzler from David, who wants to know about the Shadow King. Plus, he can always read her mind. She says that she wasn’t working for him and it wasn’t her idea. Farouk sewed spiders into her brain.

But David can’t tell the difference between Lenny and Farouk’s ideas. Some of Lenny’s memories, like stealing her mother’s checkbook, are still there. She doesn’t know where Farouk’s body was found- she’s just here to tell David that it was located. David assures Lenny that Farouk can’t reach her here, but even still, she has no intel. Farouk kept secrets from both Lenny and Oliver. They were kept in drawers, like at a morgue.

After catching a glimpse, David asks why Lenny is here. She says that she missed him. Remember the good old times at Clockworks? As for why she’s real again, Lenny has no clue. Only Farouk would know that since he’s a god, but David contends that Farouk is no god- just a mutant with psychic powers.

But then David is caught off guard when he suddenly has a flash of a childhood memory with his sister, Amy. He demands to know whose body Lenny is in, but she doesn’t know. One day,  she was in her drawer and just woke up. She was in the absent place and there she was in the mirror, looking back at her. With blue eyes. And somehow that was the weird part.

The digging team on the road approaches a guarded home. Oliver and Farouk observe from a distance, with Farouk fixated on Oliver’s comment that he would kill him. The Shadow King is more powerful than Oliver, though Oliver believes that he’s found Farouk’s weakness. He won’t reveal it, though. Farouk will learn, in the moment of attack, but then, it will be too late. Farouk, though, finds it funny, and wants a hint.

The hint is a mathematical question: what is one plus one? Naturally, Farouk guesses two, but that’s incorrect. The two then head for the building.

David senses that Lenny is telling the truth- she has no idea how she got here. She just woke up. However, he still wants to know Farouk would make her real again, but Lenny assures David that the Shadow King has plans. That’s all she knows.

Indeed, that’s just what we flash to as a bloody, naked Lenny emerges from a giant hole in the desert and starts walking towards the sun. Then David has yet another memory of Amy, this time of her singing happy birthday to him, which we saw back in the pilot.

Back in the home, one of the diggers, who turns out to be Ben, speaks with his wife, Amy, with Matt Hamilton and Katie Aselton reprising their roles. She tells him that she had a dream again- during the day this time, though. As she attends to her flowers, she remembers a person with a basket for a head. And in her dream, she had a mustache. Her voice was music. Indeed, she remembers the words of the Vermillion.

To Ben, it was probably nothing. He asks Amy if she’s ever had a feeling that something bad would happen, but it hasn’t happened yet. There’s a word for it- dread. As the wind blows ominously, Amy looks outside as the guards are suddenly gone. Ben then goes to answer the door.

Time passes and nothing happens, so Amy arms herself with a knife, dreading what may be coming next. As she approaches the door, she finds nothing but ashes and a beer bottle. When she returns to the kitchen, she finds Oliver in the kitchen, washing his hands and singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song.

Back at Division Three, Lenny asks David what was done with her old body- the one in the wall. According to David, it was buried in the desert. Lenny realizes that Farouk probably didn’t find his body, he found hers.

Oliver tells Amy that David is back and he’s come to take her to him. Before Amy can grab her coat, Oliver lifts her body into the air with telekinesis. She screams for dear life and soon collapses against the table. He takes out the device used on the body in the desert and activates it over Amy’s body so he can, as he says, find his sculpture in the stone. He continues to suck the life out of her until the new face is revealed.

With the conversion complete, Farouk and Oliver stand before Lenny’s naked body, with Farouk proclaiming that the sun is here. Amy Haller, conscious and all, is gone. In her place is Lenny.

And it’s here we see that after Lenny emerged from her burial spot, she was carried through the desert by a horse.

At Division Three, David, who realizes what has happened and that his sister is dead, crumbles at the door of the interrogation room. As Lenny cradles him, David telepathically tells Farouk that he’s coming for him.

It’s redundant at this point to say that watching Legion is an experience. When an episode ends, I’m often left wondering what I just witnessed. In a good way, mind you. But it’s rare that an episode stuns me into silence similar to, say “The Rains of Castamere” episode of Game of Thrones. That changed with this week’s installment.

And with that, let’s jump right into the ending itself. In hindsight, it’s brilliant on the show’s part that we saw next to none of Amy in the marketing or episode descriptions. Given how far removed this was from the previous season, I didn’t expect to see Amy at all. So to reveal that she and Ben are living in seclusion and that she became one of Farouk’s victims was an excellent surprise.

Tragic, but excellent all the same. At first, I wasn’t even sure that was Amy because, at least to me, she looked a bit different and, again, I wasn’t expecting to see Katie Aselton at all this season. But this ends up being an unfortunate reunion as she becomes another of Farouk’s victims. Another pawn in his game, if you will.

Much of Legion is a slow burn and this reveal is no exception. I like how the mystery unravels, from Lenny’s sudden reappearance to the revelation that she’s inhabiting Amy’s body, and that, we weren’t watching one timeline play out. We were, in fact, watching the past and future play out.

On initial viewing, I thought Oliver and Farouk locating the body happened at the same time Lenny showed up at Division Three, but that couldn’t have been the case because how could Lenny be at Division Three and later at Amy’s home at the same time? Not unrealistic for a show like this and especially one involving mutants with godlike powers, but I enjoyed the buildup to the reveal.

It made me appreciate the Lenny scenes a lot more because of what she does and doesn’t give away. Her eyes are a different color, and while that could’ve just been Farouk messing with everyone, it’s not until episode’s end that we and David learn the horror behind Lenny’s rebirth. More than that, we never see the body that Oliver and Farouk find. Given what the monks tried to do, it couldn’t have been Farouk’s body.

And we know from both this and last season that the Shadow King inhabited Lenny’s body. Combined with the reveal that Lenny’s original body was buried in the desert, it makes sense that she would be the one that Farouk sought. It’s building upon established knowledge of how the Shadow King operates and takes advantage of the bodies he uses as his play things.

That said, the scene of Farouk draining the life from Amy and inserting Lenny in her place was horrifying. From the moment we arrive at the home, the tension continues to build with a growing sense of dread, as Ben indicated. Indeed, it felt as if something bad would happen, but no idea what that would be.

The question that comes out of this for me is why Amy? Of all the bodies and hosts in the world, why would Farouk pick her? If I had to guess, perhaps he just wanted to hurt David. What better way to do that than by attacking a family member? But I don’t imagine we’ll get a greater explanation of how Amy of all people factored into Farouk’s plan to supplant Lenny into her body.

Having said that, I’m not complaining. It’s an even more painful discovery for David because not only is Lenny back, not only has Farouk found the body, but his sister’s dead. That’s a hell of a whirlwind he’s faced. After all, he just brought Syd back and told Lenny how relieving it was to no longer have Farouk in his head. Though David’s life is far from perfect, he was at least in a somewhat good place.

Is it a coincidence, then, that David saving the love of his life is followed by the return of the devil on his shoulder that is Lenny? Or perhaps it was all a matter of timing on Farouk’s part as a piece of a bigger conspiracy to hit David hard without ever laying a finger on him.

But neither we nor David had any reason to suspect that Farouk would target Amy. As Jon Hamm said, humans are pattern seeking animals. We survive based on the patterns we find. And Amy’s been such a non-factor in this greater storyline so far that the idea of her now mattering to Farouk doesn’t compute with David. It’s something that we would reject because it’s unfamiliar, but now it’s reality.

By the way, I like to imagine that Jon Hamm’s role on this show besides being the narrator is secretly being an all-powerful mutant, given how much he smack talks humanity.

But speaking of mutants, we do get another slight nod to the greater X-Men lore when Farouk speaks of Homo-superior, not at all unfamiliar to how Magneto refers to mutants compared to humans. And I’m now curious if Oliver does indeed have a plan at play to take down Farouk. He’s playing along but, unlike Lenny, doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to leave. As far as we can tell.

He does still show some reluctance and resistance to this line of work, though. There’s some clear remorse when he confronts Amy, as if he’s apologizing for what he’s about to do. But at that point, he wasn’t the one in control.

But Lenny remained the unwilling companion. And I must say, while Aubrey Plaza has been stellar on Legion from start to finish, this episode, for my money, was her strongest performance since Chapters Six and Seven from last season. And credit goes to both Plaza and Noah Hawley for crafting such a compelling character in Lenny. She’s untrustworthy, but there are added layers of tragedy to her here.

While it’s all fun and games to cause mayhem in Division Three, she is still, at the end of the day, just a body in the morgue that Farouk can use at his leisure. More than that, he knows that there’s not much to Lenny’s life. She’s merely an object. The more time spent with her, the more frantic she becomes at the thought of becoming free, even though Farouk will always be with her.

The sun is indeed here. Lenny’s back, but at the expense of Amy. However, there’s still a lot at play here. It remains to be seen what Oliver’s long term strategy is to kill Farouk, but it looks like David wants to strike that blow himself. All in all, a very tense installment for Legion. And with the recent news that the season has been extended for another episode, there’s even more fun on the way.

See you next time for Chapter 14.

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