Four simple words, but to fans of both FX’s Legion and the comics the show is based on, they were big ones: “Legion the World Killer.” Spoken by Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) in “Chapter 18,” they’re game changers in terms of the show. And tied to a tantalizing image from the open of the episode, they paint a stark picture of where Legion Season 2 may end up.
First, let’s talk about the context, in case you missed the episode.
“Legion, the World Killer”
With Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban) closing in on his body, he plays one last gambit to stop David Haller (Dan Stevens). Specifically, he separates David and Syd (Rachel Keller), who together might be able to stop him. While David is busying torturing Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement) for info, Melanie works on Syd.
She shows Syd images of his infidelity (mind you, with a future version of Syd). She shows him destroying Division 3 back in Season 1. And she shows him torturing Oliver. Calling his look of manic intensity his “true face,” she calls out his name: “Legion, the World Killer.”
This has a lot of implications, but most notably ties into some info we, the audience, knew but Syd hasn’t known until now. Talking to future Syd, David discovered that after future David killed future Farouk, it set off a chain of events that led to the apocalypse. Later, Future Syd tells regular Farouk that the person who causes the apocalypse is none other than David.
That explains the “World Killer” part, but what about Legion?
Legion from the Marvel comics, now on TV!
David on the show has never really looked like David Haller from the comics. Part of that is on actor Dan Stevens, who has noted his hair doesn’t do what Legion’s does in the books. Which is to say, shoots up straight in the air like he was a scared cartoon.
David also hasn’t exhibited one of the comic character’s other main traits: being able to access a different power, for each of his personalities. TV David clearly has powers far beyond psychic abilities. And in Season 1, he wrestled with schizophrenia… Or so he thought. His “multiple personalities” were caused by a psychic parasite who turned out to be Farouk.
And then we got this flash at the start of the episode:
That’s almost an exact replica of the costume Legion wore in “X-Men Legacy, Vol. 2”. Granted, that David never sat on a pile of bones while Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) writhed at his feet. But this is arguably the closest the TV show has come to matching the comics.
What does this mean for the Legion Season 2 finale?
There’s been some speculation that the Legion you see above is the actual Legion from the comics, an alternate universe David. I don’t think that’s accurate? Instead, I’d argue we’re seeing a glimpse from the future.
In the New Testament, Legion is a demon or group of demons who possesses people. That’s what I’d suggest Melanie is referring to (in some sense), not that David is turning into an X-Men style superhero.
And what we’re headed towards is a confrontation between Farouk and David. We know from Future Syd that David destroys Farouk, which probably leads to this Legionized David. Will “our” David make the same choice? Will he become the villain, and rule from a throne of bones?
Honestly… I’m not sure. And if I were you, I’d be afraid. Very afraid.
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