The 'Legion' Finale Set Up Season 2 with Psychic Fights and a Secret Scene
FX's first superhero series, Legion, ended its first season this week with body jumping, psychic fight, and teases for Season 2 (this on top of the penultimate episode, where we saw two versions of lead actor Dan Stevens -- one American, one British).
In "Chapter 8," just as we're able to fully understand how long the Shadow King had it in for David, all hell breaks loose at Summerland. Amahl Farouk (Aubrey Plaza) and Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement) drive off together, on the lam and primed to cause more terror. And that's that… until a mid-credits scene, where a metallic sphere whisks David off to who-knows-where, much to the dismay of Syd (Rachel Keller).
True to form, Legion's finale was… a lot to take in.
The episode also gave us more of a look at the power of Division 3, the shadowy government branch that hunted David all season, and as we learned, is in a hidden war with Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) and her band of mutants. The finale opens with The Interrogator (Hamish Linklater), who had half of his face and body badly burned in the premiere. We got to see that he has a husband, a son, and a communications device that allows him to transmit audio and visuals back to a bunch of important-looking men who use him as a pawn to peek in on the Summerland mutant team trying to yank the Shadow King out of David’s head.
What exactly Division 3 wants didn’t get any clearer than “anti-mutant shadow government evil-doings,” which is what most Legion and X-Men fans had guessed. At one point in the finale, Division 3 threatens to send in a “peacemaker,” which in context sounds like a bomb (or a weaponized mutant?). They decide to wait for The Interrogator to get more information, which he does in the form of a flash of Amahl Farouk’s yellow-eyed monster face. Back at Division 3, we see the horrified face of Interrogator’s partner as one of the shadowy men says “send The Equinox.” A climactic battle between David and Farouk in the body of Kary (Amber Midthunder) obscures the fact that we're never told who or what "The Equinox" is.
Or are we? Could The Equinox be the floating orb scanning/shrinking robot in the mid-credits scene? While David is out enjoying the night air with Syd, he says “they” are going South, implying that the Summerland team may be on the move to track down Oliver and the Shadow King next season. Except David's a floating orb robot that bleeps like a droid from Star Wars as it drifts away. If the orb is The Equinox, then David has fallen back in the hands of Division 3.
When David was in Zen mode before the climactic battle, he suggested to The Interrogator that Division 3 should end their war against the mutants. The Interrogator might be on David’s side after he’s flung down the hallway by The Shadow King, though the decision is likely above his pay grade. Optimistically, Division 3 nabbed David to negotiate the terms of peace now that Farouk is a mutual enemy. Or there's someone barking orders at the top who wants to use David as a weapon.
While the orb doesn't appear to be a direct reference to anything in X-Men lore, it's possible that the post-credit tease is our introduction to a completely new threat and/or a familiar comic mutant.
The idea of a floating camera orb could point to the gladiator-like television shows of the "Mojoverse," a parallel realm dominated by Mojo, a spineless yellow blob, who has ties to Legion in the comics. Mojo is visually similar to Legion’s Amahl Farouk, but doesn’t haunt the astral plane or target psychics, which would make David an odd choice for a capture from Summerland. Surely there’s some combat-ready mutants better fit to kill in the name of inter-dimensional TV ratings.
There's still room for Legion to expand its current antagonist, thanks in no short part to Aubrey Plaza's powerhouse performance. The show didn't wholly address what the Shadow King wants or needs. By allowing David to explain the backstory of Professor X and the Shadow King’s battle, the motivations of both astral-fighting parties are left unknown. In "Chapter 7," we learn about the day David joined his adopted family after hearing the Shadow King (Yellow-Eyed Demon version) grumbling, “Where did you put it? What did you do with it?”
We know Amahl Farouk wants to take over David’s body and use his world-breaker powers to become God-like. What the the benevolent entity is searching for once he re-enters the physical plane remains a mystery. The vessel of David was so sapped by the Shadow King leeching off of him for his entire life that he was hospitalized, contained, and unable to find… whatever Professor X hid from him. Being inside the powerful brain of Oliver Bird at the end of the Season 1 is still a parasitic life for Farouk, so it'll be gunning for the mystery MacGuffin as quickly as possible.
All of this sets up great possibilities for the second season of Legion, which has officially been picked up by FX. Creator Noah Hawley has said that searching Legion’s comic book history won’t necessarily help fans divine what’s in story for Season 2: "My goal was always to sort of use this character as a way to have a conversation and tell a story that was my story, that was interesting to me, and to try to get at the heart of what this character is and [what] this journey is for him, not literally sort of reenacting issues of the comic book, or storylines from the comic book. So, I don’t think you’ll see the show suddenly look to the comics for storylines, but you may see ideas or characters or images that are familiar to you."
Hawley also hasn’t ruled out either cinematic Professor X, Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy, showing up, though he has said that it’s basically out of his control, given how the actors' schedules and the X-franchise are structured.
The David Haller of the comics is a schizophrenic anti-hero who has many personalities and powers locked in his head, and while the first season of Legion looked like it was going in that direction at the start, the end left questions about who the central protagonist is without his darker half.
As David explains to Syd, the worst part of schizophrenia is when it tries to convince you you’re healthy. Both the Division 3 and Summerland camps know that David is a very powerful telekinetic force, and the finale revved the engines, surrounding him in psychic energy while charging down possessed-Katy. But no one has been able to define the extent of David’s powers or sanity. In theory, he can only go up from here.
Legion was a show that spent two-thirds of its episodes keeping viewers in the dark about what was reality and what was a vision or delusion. It managed to end by balancing on the tightrope between explanation of what we saw, and keeping us in the dark about questions on the world outside Division 3 and Summerland. We viewed everything through David’s character, who'd been corrupted by the Shadow King, and Farouk’s finally out. Next season on Legion, things could get real.
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