“Chapter 25” was an irritatingly self-indulgent decline from previous high form, returning to Legion‘s most persistent issue of all style and no substance.
This recap of Legion Season 3, Episode 6, “Chapter 25” contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
“Chapter 25” was, if nothing else, a perfect example of why you should never give a show too much credit. Despite its previous third season form, and despite seemingly making an abundance of changes born of legitimate criticism, Legion nonetheless couldn’t help itself. So close to its finale, after several episodes of well-balanced plot development and engaging character turns, we get a cloyingly self-indulgent diversionary episode that abandons the main plot and any sense of coherent tone in order to reinforce a lesson for one of its characters which should have long-since been learned.
When Legion did this with David, it amounted to one of the best episodes of the season. But “Chapter 25” isn’t the same thing. By revealing nothing new or interesting about Syd, its focus, and instead attempting to hit played-out coming-of-age beats in as whimsically off-beat a manner as possible, all Legion Season 3, Episode 6 manages to do is alienate an audience who were already mistrustful of the show, to begin with.
Well, maybe. I’m sure “Chapter 25” will find its fans, but the questions about whether it mattered to the show overall — beyond its plot-relevant final five minutes — is inarguable. This was pointless. Diversionary. Empty. With it, Legion falls back into its most persistent and damaging habit: Style over substance. And its insistence on not only being irrelevant but also irreverent was more harmful still. A rap battle? Really?
Whatever. It’s embarrassing, sure, but at this point, I genuinely can’t tell if “Chapter 25” is a huge miscalibration or Legion taking liberties just because it feels like it — then again I don’t suppose it matters either way. After this third season so capably won me over, I’m very disappointed to have to be typing these words, but it’s also, I suppose, kind of vindicating. Of course you couldn’t trust a show this reliably bonkers to play it straight all the way to the end. The question is whether or not I — and the rest of Legion‘s audience — should feel short-changed by how much joy the show takes in proving its skeptics correct.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.