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Legion season 3, episode 3 recap: Chapter 22

In “Chapter 22” of Legion, Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller meet in a psych ward, create their own reality, and have David. We’re serious. And, we have the recap!

“Chapter 22” of Legion was written by Nathaniel Halpern (The Killing) and directed by John Cameron (Fargo). It’s very creepy. All of the vibrant colors from the first two episodes of the season are gone for most of the episode. The color we do get is desaturated. Even the mundane beiges are drained gray. All of the color is replaced by this eerie sense of dread and sorrow. It’s easily one of my favorite episodes of the entire series.

Am I There or am I Still Here?

Charles Xavier (Harry Lloyd) is in a mental hospital in what feels like post World War II. The war could still be going on, but it’s done for him and everyone in the ward. Everyone there is suffering from some kind of shell shock or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are one or two patients that look like they may have possible brain injuries,. For the most part this serves an example of Western society’s practice of taking war veterans and tucking them away with minimal care.

More: Legion season 3, episode 2 recap: Chapter 21

Although he’s in pajamas and receives therapy from a Martin Heidegger quoting doctor, Charles appears to be in charge in some way. He walks around with impunity and is able to get personal information about other patients just by asking for it. Charles is very intrigued by the green eyes and catatonic Gabrielle (Stephanie Corneliussen). Charles uses his powers to reach out to her. It looks like heat waves coming out of her brain and into hers.

We flashback a little father within the flashback. I believe this is when Legion’s version of Professor X realizes the extent of his powers. Charles lowers himself into a basement. He’s part of the British Army. Charles is clearing the dark basement with a revolver and a flashlight. He shines a light directly on a Nazi and a fight ensues. Charles, in his own head, tells the Nazi to kill himself. The Nazi backs off of Charles, picks up Charles’ gun, and commits suicide. The Nazi lands next to Charles with half of his face missing.

It’s Not a School, Yet

Back in the mental institution, Charles remains interested in Gabrielle. She is always cradling a shoe box. Charles checks what’s in it. Oh, hello. It’s a normally proportioned, yet still bizarre, doll of The World’s Angriest Boy. Charles reaches out to her. He can hear the sounds of her family being rounded up by Nazis, suffering in the camps, and being executed. Charles learns she has no family. He looks away for a second. When he looks back, Gabrielle has gotten up and walked to the window.

Legion-Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

Gabrielle looks up at the dark clouds and heavy rain falling against the window and tells Charles that it’s a beautiful day. The two have cherry pie. Well. Gabrielle does. She eats both their pieces and explains to Charles what a tomato is. It is not an apple. The two start a relationship. At one point, Charles sheepishly looks around while they’re dancing. He’s not afraid of guards. Charles is awkward about his dancing.

One night, Gabrielle comes to Charles’ bed. She wants to leave the institution with him. Charles asks what they’re waiting for. They get up, open the privacy curtain, and it’s bright out. Charles is in a smart suit. Gabrielle is dazzling in green. The doctor opens the door for them. They walk into their new home. It looks like a cozy version of the mental institution. We get an exterior shot of the building. It could easily become this universe’s version of Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Children. Is that where they’ve been the whole time?

Mommy! It’s Me!

Things are going well for the young couple. They have a son. It’s David. Gabrielle cradles him like her Angriest Boy doll. She reads him The Boy with the Purple Crayon, which is about a boy who creates his whole world with a purple crayon. At the end, when he’s tired and needs to go to bed, he simply draws his room and a bed.

We know this is what David (Dan Stevens) has done with his commune. It’s what he did by changing Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) into a female. It’s what Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban) has done by making Lenny exist after she’s killed in the pilot episode. Is Charles making Gabrielle believe she is out of the institution when she’s not? She can’t shake the memories of being hospitalized. They are more real than her family’s deaths. Is Charles just living in her head?

Legion-Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

David and Switch (Lauren Tsai) want to know. They’ve been haunting Gabrielle with Captain Sensible’s “Wot.” The time traveling duo have come far back to try and prevent Farouk from ever getting to baby David. But, David can’t materialize to his mother the way he did to Syd in “Chapter 21.” Gabrielle can’t see much of anything besides the occasional waves and shadows caused by Farouk and David trying to get to her. Farouk starts to taunt her with impossible doors placed just outside and in the garden. When she opens them up, Farouk is allowed inside.

Why is Farouk even interested in Gabrielle? Well, Charles found him via Cerebro. He goes on a trip to meet him. The isolated Gabrielle slowly goes mad. By the time Charles warns her that Farouk is a monster and may be coming for her, The Shadow King has already been creeping around the home for days. David is finally able to partially materialize, but that’s when Charles returns home. He is able to make David dissipate. He expels David and Switch from the time access point. Exhausted, Switch loses another tooth and passes out.

Was David Always Real?

Check this out. Charles has PTSD and is at his family’s home. He convalesces in a made up institution that he manifests for himself. Gabrielle is somewhere in the house. Perhaps the Xavier family is providing the refugee shelter. When he reaches her in her catatonic state, Charles creates a new, cozy world for them. A warless world. They are in love. They have a child. But the child is just a projection.

Charles and Farouk battle it out on the astral plane for eons. Farouk analyzes possible weaknesses in Charles. He finds his projected family. Charles’ son could be as powerful as him, if not more powerful. What if Farouk could get to the child painted with the purple crayon and make him a real boy?

When Farouk does posses baby David in the “Chapter 22,” I believe that is exactly what happens. Within baby David’s eyes is an image of Farouk paternally rocking David. He calls him “My boy.” Farouk has been calling him “My boy” since we met him last season. Why would Charles and Gabrielle give David up for adoption? It doesn’t make sense to David. The family looks loving. While the episode is fairly faithful to the comics, I don’t believe David was given up for adoption because Charles was busy.

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I think it’s because Charles never intended to have a baby with Gabrielle in the first place. David was just a projection. Until he wasn’t. Charles knows from the start that this kid is a ticking time bomb. He doesn’t kill David. He hopes no training or acknowledgment of his true potential is ever realized. David and Lenny are perfect for each other because they are just alike: children of Farouk that’s he willed into existence. This is a reminder of how dark and twisted Amahl Farouk really is. Man, alive!

Were you blown away by “Chapter 22” of Legion? Do you think my theory is total madness? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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