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Legion series 2 episode 1 ‘Chapter 9’ review

At long last TV’s boldest, most brilliant and completely bonkers series returns to our screen – that’s right Legion is back, and boy have I missed it!

We rejoin David (Dan Stevens) and the Summerland team a year on following David’s time trapped in the mysterious silver orb. While he’s been absent the team have been working hand in hand with Clark (Hamish Linklater) and Division 3, lead by newcomer Admiral Fukuyama, to track down the Shadow King and other threatening mutants. Meanwhile The Shadow King/Amahl Farouk is still bonded with Oliver and on the run, searching to reunite with his original body and become all powerful once again, with Oliver somewhat trapped inside his own mind. However a new threat, known as the The Catalyst, has become present, which seems to be following The Shadow King around wherever he goes. The Catalyst is leaving a trail of masses of people ‘infected’ and frozen to the spot, afflicted by constantly chattering their teeth in a creepy, almost nightmarish scene.

With David out of his comma and quickly getting up to speed with the team’s current objectives following his amnesia, I can’t help but think they’re slowly falling apart. Syd is understandably upset that David has been missing so long, and worries that he’s going to leave again. Cary and Kerry seem unbalanced and at odds with eachother, Ptonomy is suspicious that David remembers more than he’s letting on and Melanie is completely broken following the (second) departure of her husband Oliver. Can David’s return bring the team back together?

The production quality and cinematography in ‘Chapter 9’ is as phenomenal as the first series, with Noah Hawley really pushing the creative boundaries for a show on the small screen. There’s plenty more of the trippy and psychedelic scenes we love from Legion, with highlights including a lengthy dance off party between David, Lenny and Oliver in the astral plane as well as the scene featuring David’s first meeting with Admiral Fukuyama, (the guy with a basket on his head!) and the three moustached androids. There’s also a sprinkle of David Lynch Twin Peaks psychological horror in this episode, what with the victims of The Catalyst and the black goo ‘delusion’ creature from the third chapter.

As much as I love the complete off the wall bonkers-ness of Legion, I must admit I did find ‘Chapter 9’ a little more confusing and harder to follow than usual, especially with the added sections featuring Jon Hamm’s speeches about mazes, the power of ideas, Chinese fables and self-amputations. I’m presuming that further into the series all will be revealed and that they link into the revelations at the end of this episode? Or are these tales merely a metaphor for madness, as we have to remember that we have a very unreliable narrator in David. To top that off, the added addition of time travel and amnesia will surely deepen the rabbit-hole! I do have faith in Noah Hawley though and I’m sure the mysteries will be slowly unravelled throughout the second series.

Legion continues to be one of the most refreshing and inventive series currently on our screens and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the series is going to play out, especially with another big bad out there. One of the most common complaints of this show is that Hawley goes for style over substance, so lets hope with all of the questions raised in this episode, that we’ll get a satisfying resolution. At least we know we’ll be in for one wild ride!