FX‘s Legion: Season 1, Episode 7, Chapter 7 spells it out for the audience on a drawing board, in the most literal way possible.
The past six chapters have been an abstract, creative buildup. Chapter 7, however, gives a literal breakdown of details of events that have transpired from before David Haller’s (Dan Stevens) birth.
Surprisingly, Oliver Bird (Jermaine Clement) is the one to figure it out. Oliver doesn’t have the best grasp of reality. But I suppose it takes one to know one in this universe.
The guts of this episode are when David, stuck in his mental coffin. He has a conversation with his rational mind (who just happens to be British). David’s rational mind forces him to put all the pieces together. It is also very possible, that since the rational side has a British accent it could have to do with the fact that his father is Professor Xavier.
The rational mind could have been a failsafe installed personally by Xavier before giving David up. This would have probably been done in case his worst fears happened. It helps David to realize the monster has been feeding on him his whole life. In this moment, David finally embraces who he is and what he has to do to become better once and for all.
There’s a really nice segment that loops back and forth between characters. In one: Oliver is trying to create a shield around David and Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller). In the next: we see everything set in a black and white silent film style. There, Syd and Kerry Lundermilk (Amber Midthunder) are in the hospital. The last one is David running through the memory rooms in his mind to find a way out. The music is intensely eerie. The lack of audible dialogue elicits a string of tension that leads us to believe things are about to go South for our heroes.
The Shadow King (Aubrey Plaza) shifts into peak bad guy. She kills The Eye (Mackenzie Gray) and readies to kill Syd and Kerry one and for all. This is one of the big moments for the Shadow King. We really see what she is capable of. We see the abilities transcend from the Astral Plain into the real world in the most brutal way possible. This illustrates not only what could possibly happen by the end of this episode, but the havoc the Shadow King could wreak at a later point in time.
When we examine this further it becomes very apparent that restraining the Shadow King doesn’t totally work. The fact that Charles Xavier battle with the Shadow King didn’t do much to protect David speaks to the fact that it may take an even bigger force to defeat the Shadow King.
It isn’t until the final scene that Division 3 finally catches up to our ragtag heroes and we revisit the coffin that David has managed to lock the Shadow King in. Again, a mere mental coffin is unlikely to hold the force of the Shadow King. But everything that we know about this character is designed to show that it is smarter and always one step ahead. If he was able to reach David from the Astral Plain it definitely won’t take the Shadow King that long to find a way around the halo that Cary Lundermilk (Bill Irwin) developed.
One would expect that David is going to use the Shadow King’s presence to his advantage. He may have enough control of his power to save himself and his friends from Division 3.
In comparing this chapter to earlier chapters is how much more lucid David’s mind is. The show’s editing really shows this. The first few characters were everywhere. Nothing seemed like reality. But as the show has progressed David has been able to gain a better grasp of things. The way the show is edited demonstrates this.
Hopefully, David’s upcoming battle with the Shadow King will clear the decks. Then eventually he will be on route to becoming a powerful mutant, much like his father.