Warning: This recap for the Season 1 finale episode of Legion contains spoilers.
And it ends as it began: with David locked up against his will. The last eight episodes have proved that the superhero genre has vast untapped potential and doesn’t need to be confined to the ghetto of action-adventure shows. The show has had interesting and valuable things to say about the nature of mental illness, of loss, of family, of fear. Especially fear. Fear of the unknown is the core driving concern of the entire franchise — what humans do when they fear. David’s litany, “You don’t have to be afraid,” nails that point home but, as it turns out to be untrue, also points to the complexity of the issue.
We see what happened to the Interrogator, Clark (Hamish Linklater), as he recovers from burns suffered during David’s breakout from Division 3 in the first episode. In the present, he orders his men to kill everyone, but David — in control of his powers — incapacitates the soldiers and takes Clark captive. Division 3 can see everything through an implant in Clark’s eye; David wants to convince them all to settle this peacefully, but Melanie is more suspicious.
Lenny contacts Syd in her safe White Room in astral space and offers to leave as long as they don’t kill her, but Syd refuses. Cary’s device trapping the Shadow King begins to fail, so they set up a new device intended to eradicate him from David’s mind completely. Farouk fights back and, believing that David will be killed, Syd runs in and swaps bodies with him. The Shadow King hops from her body to Kerry, who then takes out Cary, Ptonomy, and Melanie before facing off in a psychic showdown with David. Unable to defeat him, he flees Kerry’s body into Oliver, who drives off in the ensuing chaos. Clark agrees they need to work together to track down Farouk. Later, while standing out on the Summerland balcony, David is abducted by a small, floating metal ball.
Points of view
Legion has always delighted in wreaking havoc with our perspective. This time it’s a very necessary shift of perspective because it looks like, in Season 2, Clark and Division 3 will be working with Summerland to stop the Shadow King. Even still, it’s an abrupt change. Rather than seeing him as the cruel tormentor that threatened to put 100,000 volts through David, we see him at home recovering from a devastating workplace injury with his husband and young son. We see a devoted public servant who just wants to keep people safe. To his spouse, it must look like he went to the office one day and came back a tragic, burned monster. That is, until it’s revealed that Clark’s husband is also his superior in Division 3. Shifting perspectives.
Where is Oliver/Farouk/Lenny/the World’s Angriest Kid in the World/King/the Shadow King heading? He drives off into the sunset to T. Rex’s “Children of the Revolution,” which resonates with David Bowie’s “Oh! You Pretty Things” from a couple episodes ago. Since Farouk likes to work through proxies, maybe he plans to build an army of mutants to exact his revenge on David and Summerland?
And what was that floating ball? Where is it taking David? It feels like alien technology, not human. If the show were to continue down the path of reality-warping head games, series creator Noah Hawley might be hinting at Mojo. Early in the season, some suspected the Devil with Yellow Eyes was Mojo — a monstrous creature who has abducted people in the past to create his reality TV shows.
Blink and you’ll miss it
* What is David doing with those soldiers? Is it supposed to be sculpture? Is he making a human croquembouche?
* Whatever happened to Dr. Kissinger? Is he still locked in his cell back at the destroyed Division 3 base?
* Of course Oliver would disappear for 40 years but still know what “boom goes the dynamite” is.
Pink Floyd has returned, calling back the references from the first episode — including the name Syd Barrett (both the Legion character and the original frontman of Pink Floyd). You might recognize the song Oliver is singing as he walks out of Summerland: The Tony Bennett version of “If I Ruled the World” appears in an apocalyptic context in the 2005 War of the Worlds and more comedically in Bruce Almighty.
Legion has been picked up for a second season on FX in 2018.
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