Something I had not contemplated before last week was the prospect of disliking this show. I had a strong feeling from the previews that I would enjoy Legion, despite (or possibly because of) being relatively ignorant of the source material; it’s part of why I volunteered to write about it every week. While I did not dislike last week's episode, I was willing to admit that it had problems. I would have to write that my feelings are basically the same for "Chapter 7." Could the show turn this around in the finale and make me eat my words? Certainly. And if it doesn't, we’ll always have "Chapter 1" and "Chapter 4."
This episode picks up with the weakest story element of the series so far: Kerry running through the halls of the fake Clockworks trying to escape the Eye. Only now, the hallway has been transformed into a zombie-infested nightmare with the same sparks and bad lighting that we saw in the real Clockworks after Syd unleashed David’s powers. Thankfully, this victim narrative doesn’t last long, and we are reintroduced to Oliver Bird, explaining everyone’s peril to Cary in his ice cube in the astral plane.
Just in case any viewers weren't paying attention during that scene, everything is repeated twice during the course of the episode. Cary passes on what he’s learned to Syd, who already knows all of this, in a scene that is actually kind of funny thanks to the actors involved. Cary also provides glasses of Oliver’s invention that will help Syd see “what’s real.” There are some unsettling moments and interesting transitions, as she puts the glasses on to see the hospital is empty. Reality is rendered in black and white, in a subtle They Live reference that also comments on the morality of the situation since the villains are obvious at this point.
When we check in with David, he's still trapped in a tiny box, but ends up talking to his "rational mind" that has split off as a defense mechanism. (I can only imagine Dan Stevens being relieved to get at least two scenes in which he got to use his normal speaking voice.) Once more, we were treated to exposition, this time with plot points literally written on a chalkboard (or perhaps not so literally, since we're in David's mind). Director Dennie Gordon tries to make this go down easier with some excellent chalk animation, but the effect was still the same for me.
The real directorial flourishes came in the bravura silent-film-styled confrontation of Lenny (now revealed as the Shadow King) against Syd and Kerry. Aubrey Plaza clearly relished the chance to finally act as deranged as she could, and the result did not disappoint.
Ultimately, the villains are dispatched and David's powers ensure that he and Syd escape the hail of bullets that have been threatening them for two episodes. Melanie and Oliver are finally reunited, and this is possibly more satisfying than we could have expected. All of this comes crashing down (naturally, since we still have one episode left) as Division Three agents swarm Summerland and the Interrogator returns. He looks about as one would expect after the events of the pilot, but we'll see if he can bring this show out of its narrative slump.