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Legion – Season 1, Episode 7: Chapter 7 Review

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★★★★

Spoilers lie within for the episode. Don't complain to us if your brain explodes after reading...

Now that's more like it. After last week's meandering trudge through a warped reality, the plot kicks properly back into gear as the show races into the home straight. Not only was there a lot of satisfying development in Episode Seven, the show had the smarts to put some of the show's best performers together in different scenes and let them deliver exposition seamlessly without it ever becoming dull.

One of those duos was Bill Irwin as Cary Loudermilk and Jemaine Clement's Oliver Bird, who finally broke free of his ice cube astral plane existence to help the team free themselves from "Lenny"'s warped prison of the mind. And we learn that Oliver has figured out what "Lenny" truly is, beyond the description of a psychic parasite. Check out the Big Questions for more on the mysterious Shadow King.

The scene with Irwin and Clement gave them some fun dialogue (courtesy of this week's writer, Jennifer Yale), wound them up and let them chatter, and the results were very funny. You can get an awful lot of useful information across if you have performers as talented as these two. But they weren't the only ones giving their all this week.

Nope, after mostly sitting out the last episode, Dan Stevens was back in force for this one, after finally figuring out what was going on. And that was thanks to the projection of David's rational mind – Stevens again, using his own accent for once – which of course is a British person gently explaining to an American what's really going on. And while the dual David scene could have generated into another exposition-heavy slog, Stevens and director Dennie Gordon kept it light on its feet, set in a classroom as our hero figures out his own history. The series finally acknowledged his mutant parentage (we also see a quick flash of Professor X's wheelchair in one of the memory montages), and explained a lot more about what is actually going on with David. It was bracing to have it all come out at last.

And while some series would simply stomp on the accelerator at this point, abandoning more stylistic moments for pure plot and action, Legion instead took the opportunity to demonstrate why it is like no other show on TV at the moment. So the big face-off between "Lenny" – finally revealed for what it is – and Syd and Kerry cross-cut between scenes of Oliver, Melanie and Cary trying to save David and Syd in reality, and a wonderful silent movie technique that had Lenny threatening the others like some sort of mutant Charlie Chaplin.

Thankfully, the show also found a more original way to wrap up the disappointingly pedestrian sub-plot of Kerry being threatened by The Eye, as Lenny takes him gruesomely out of commission because he's ruining "her" fun. RIP The Eye, at least for now.

A very satisfying episode of the show, which, while it perhaps appeared to wrap things up rather quickly, had one more stinger left to deploy with the arrival of Division Three and Hamish Linklater's now badly scarred Interrogator we met back in episode one. Even given that the screener we watched was a rough cut, it was pretty much complete – though we can't guarantee Team Legion won't sneak something extra in for the final version. They're tricksy that way. This was a great episode of the show, rough cut or no, and given the last moment with the monster looking likely to break out again, we're eagerly awaiting next week's episode.

As the show's first season dashes to its conclusion in the next episode, we have to wonder how much closer it will come to its mutant movie brethren. Just don't expect to see Logan showing up any time soon.

Big Question

So who is the mysterious Amahl Farouk?

The Shadow King is "allegedly a multiversal manifestation of the dark side of the human consciousnesses, spawned by the first nightmare." Look, you can find more about him here).

Will the show be back after next week's finale?

Yes! Legion was renewed last week for a second season.

Legion airs on FX in the US on Wednesdays and Fox TV in the UK on Thursdays.

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