LEGION Season 3 Review: Chapter 20

When we last saw David Haller, played by Dan Stevens, Division 3 had trapped him. This was a direct result of to all the secrets David had been keeping as well as his attempt to erase Sydney’s memory. David’s friends came to the conclusion that David was truly mentally ill, which further raised concerns about the future prediction of the world coming to an end at David’s hands. 

Sydney trapped David with the intent to try and help him through medicine and counseling. David, already spending most of his life in therapy and on medication, decides to escape. On his way out, he picks up his old friend, Lenny. 

Chapter 20 of LEGION starts off with an interesting premise — time travel. We are introduced to a young mutant, Jia-Yi, who has the ability to time travel. Luckily for us, she is studying lessons in time travel. 

This allowed LEGION to clearly define its own set of time travel rules. In this universe, the present is just a feeling and time isn’t a river, but “a jungle filled with monsters.” 

Jia-Yi begins to notice strange signs and events that correlate with a strange poster she saw in the city. This starts her on a quest to find “the pregnant virgin.” David and Lenny seem to be sending signals and clues to Jia-Yi. They even have clues that require her to time travel. At the end of her quest, Jia-Yi finds a strange clothing shop with the symbol of the pregnant virgin on the door. 

As if things weren’t weird enough, the season starts to show off its amazing cinematography and practical effects as Jia-Yi tries to navigate through a maze of moving clothing racks. Her purple outfit nicely contrasts the other similarly colored clothes. 

I have such a hard time watching LEGION because I constantly have to resist the urge to rewind and watch a certain effect again or to pause any frame of the episode and awe at the spectacular color schemes. Each episode of LEGION is a perfect example of visual storytelling. 

On top of all that, I also find the music fascinating. It has such a unique tone and it always sets the mood perfectly. For example, the violins of The Shadow King theme always make the hair on my arms stand up. 

Once Jia-Yi solves David’s puzzle, she is sent into a glass crawl tube and begins to realize that weird is now her new reality. At the end of the tunnel is a hippy-like room with men and women smoking and lying around. The people here seem to worship David and Lenny. 

In this strange new place she is given a new name, Switch, and is brought to meet Lenny. Just as she did the last two seasons, actress Aubrey Plaza steals the scene as Lenny and I hope we get to see even more of her. 

The episode begins to slow down as Switch and David finally meet. In what seems like an unnecessary recap, David explains his powers and past life. 

After a bit of exposition, the episode explodes with momentum as Division 3 comes knocking on David’s door. David is attacked by Kerry, who shockingly cuts off his arm. In return, David kills Kerry and the other D3 soldiers, but he is fatally shot by none other than Sydney, his ex-lover. 

Horrified at the events that just unfolded, Switch draws a time travel portal with her finger and disappears into the floor. She is immediately transported into a time travel realm where she can choose what moment in time to go back to. However, her time travel lessons warn her that appearing too close to a point in time might make it impossible to change the outcome. On the other hand, the further back she goes the more risk she has of releasing a demon. 

Switch goes back in time and tries to warn David of the impending attack, but the same events unfold in a different way. This time, the Shadow King is revealed to be part of the Division 3 team. David meets the same fate as last time, which forces Switch to go back in time once again. 

LEGION introduces a very imaginative version of time travel. I love the idea of drawing a “time portal” into different objects or surfaces and being able to jump through it. What stood out to me was how the show displayed the moment between going back in time and arriving somewhere else in time. It was a refreshing change of pace after two intense action sequences and the set design had my eyes glued to the screen. 

While going back in time for a third attempt at saving David’s life, Switch is suddenly caught by The Shadow King. The Shadow King tries to persuade Switch to betray David, but she is able to escape the astral plane with her powers. 

The audience switches views and we are able to see the attack on David’s home from the eyes of Division 3. Sydney, Kerry, Cary, and the rest of D3 are moving forward with their plan to kill David before he ends the world. 

The episode ends as the team attacks David only to realize just how bad their situation is. They can’t ever surprise David because Switch can just go back in time and warn him of the attack before it happens. 

Although Chapter 20 had a slight bump during the recap segment, it was overall a solid episode. My favorite thing about LEGION is it has a distinct style without being predictable. Season 3 is looking like it will continue the show’s positive legacy of great music, visuals, acting, and a new unique way of displaying the characters they’ve built in this strange world.

Written by James Philbrick, LEGION Beat Writer