Legion, Chapter 17

You are at a potluck. You arrived a little late, which was unavoidable. Everyone else has taken food. There is one main dish that hasn’t been picked over, some chicken. (For the purposes of this potluck, you are not averse to chicken.) The chicken is very good!

Everything else only has a few bites left. Some well-seasoned vegetables, a little delicious curry, some well-prepared basimati rice, a fruit salad with all the good fruits. A very small piece of a beautiful chocolate cake. There is a meal to be had here, but it will mostly be chicken.

This potluck will be held again next week. Your logistical constraints are inflexible; you will be unable to arrive in time for a reasonable portion of anything except for chicken. Do you attend, or do you seek food elsewhere?

Legion has a great main story, but it focuses on that story, to the neglect of its supporting characters. This is understandable, given the short seasons and the need to advance the story, but it still feels unbalanced at times. Even if that main story is very appealing, there is a need for balance if not course correction.

In Chapter 17, the plot only moves forward a little, but there is plenty of development, and it is incredibly welcome. It is nice to see that David’s flag markers and desert playset were not just for show – that there is some strategy here. But more than that, the supporting cast is allowed to have some run, and they absolutely shine.


Unfortunately, Clark is out of the picture early. And Ptonomy is still dressed beautifully, but trapped inside the binary tree. So who is left?


Melanie’s story is difficult to watch. In the first season, she pined for her lost husband and fought to help David. Now, with Oliver returned from the astral plane but no less lost to her, and David proven to be stable, she is adrift in a life she barely recognizes. I can hardly imagine losing 21 years of my life waiting for another person, only to have them return and leave immediately.

This is very much how people end up in cults. Melanie is no longer in touch with reality, and Farouk preys on this with little effort. It seems as if Melanie may understand that she is being manipulated, but it may not matter. She is lost.


Our other friends fare better. Cary and Kerry spring into action, spurred on by a vague psychic suggestion from David, and they escape D3 with some kind of a weapon. The only disappointment here is that their segments are so brief; I would watch a whole episode of their capers. It’s a real credit to Bill Irwin and Amber Midthunder that their polar opposite relationship seems sweet on both ends, and never forced. “I would stab death twice in the heart before he could get you.”


Kerry and Cary converge on the blue octopus with our favorite junkie in a reclaimed body, Lenny. Some things haven’t changed – Lenny is still self destructive, and happy to revisit her irresponsible past. But the new body, while much healthier than the old one, comes with a tenant who has a much stronger conscience.


These scenes between Amy and Lenny may be less freewheeling than the Cary/Kerry antics, but they’re very welcome. These characters may not share the other pair’s affection, but they find some coexistence. Amy, to her credit, manages to communicate with Lenny, who is taking her/their body for a joyride, and makes a successful appeal without resorting to screaming. This is good development for two characters who could use a little time to be themselves.

All of this leads us to the desert, where Oliver continues riding towards some unknown destination, with at least three people in pursuit. There are glimpses of what may happen – Clark and the Vermillions, Lenny with a sniper rifle. The minotaur?


The episode ends with Melanie coming to Oliver, somewhere outside of reality.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Everything Kerry/Cary in this episode is great. Their concern for each other – expressed in their own ways – is legitimately touching. Also, I enjoy Kerry’s newfound eagerness to embrace life.
  • “I’ll drive.” “Since when did you learn to drive?” “How hard can it be?”
  • Some good music in this one. I particularly liked the rambunctious party music, but it’s also nice to hear the Flaming Lips.
  • Lenny’s old crew is basically exactly what I pictured.
  • Amy’s role in this episode is great, honestly.
  • There is never enough Clark for me.