Tonight, Legion pays off seven weeks of complex stories and surreal hallucinations with an explosive finale. But perhaps you got a little lost along the way, so here, before the finale, are some answers to a few questions.
What’s the deal with Lenny, Benny, and “Lenny?”
Probably the series’ most complex mindscrew is Aubrey Plaza’s Lenny, who was supposedly killed off in the first episode, embedded in a wall. Then, she appeared as a hallucination, seemingly manifesting David’s guilt and paranoia. Then we learned Lenny, as we’ve seen her, was actually Benny, David’s shiftless, no-good drug-buddy, the first hint that something more than just mental illness was plaguing David. And then we learned Lenny was just a front for Amal Farouk, the real bad guy this season. Maybe. The question remains as to just why she chose to present herself as “dead” to Syd, David’s love interest, and there may be more to Lenny than we know.
Who’s Amal Farouk?
Let’s start with the bad guy, mostly played by Aubrey Plaza. Sometimes David Haller’s main antagonist takes the form of a giant grey head known “The Angriest Boy In The World” or in what seems to be his real form, appears as a giant yellow slug-like thing in a ripped suit and a combover (played by Quinton Boisclair). Farouk, the Shadow King, is essentially a parasite lodged in David’s brain. Farouk isn’t exactly forthcoming with the evil plans, but it looks quite a bit like he lost his body, checked into David’s brain, and is looking for a way out, preferably a body with a huge amount of power, like David’s.
Is Farouk defeated now?
As the ending of “Chapter 7” tells us, he’s contained but he’s not going to take his fate lying down. Why would he? He’s fighting for his life and all that’s between him and running David again is a thin band of electronics.
Is David still mentally ill?
If you pay attention, there are hints along the way that David, while he really genuinely does have another person in his head, still has some pretty severe problems. Leaving aside a lifetime of psychological trauma inflicted by a psychic parasite (and his addictions), there’s evidence he has more deep-seated problems. Is his ability to make his rational mind a separate personality he can talk to a manifestation of his power? A hallucination caused by stress? A disguise worn by another telepath to help him? Or is David suffering from another dissociative disorder nobody’s been able to treat because Farouk’s been running amok in his head?
Where’s Division Three in all of this?
They still have a role to play; don’t forget that most of the last few episodes have taken place essentially frozen in time as we go inside David’s head. Also, there is that whole matter of destroying not one, but two, of their top secret facilities David trashed and killed a bunch of people from. Somebody has a grudge.
So what’s the deal with Oliver Bird?
Oliver (Jemaine Clement) has been trapped on the astral plane, the world between our physical one and the realm of the mind where a fair chunk of Legion has taken place. It appears, somehow, that the sheer amounts of power slopping around, and Farouk dragging everyone into the astral plane, has managed to free Oliver from the psychic ice cube he’s been living in for 20 years. But it’s not all happy days as he appears to have lost a fairly big chunk of his memory, and if you pay attention, it’s slipping quickly. But at least he still has his encyclopedic knowledge of limericks.
Is David really related to The X-Men‘s Professor Xavier?
In the comics, yes. In the show? It’s a bit up in the air. David has some vague early memories, unearthed by his rational mind, of a suspiciously familiar wheelchair, and the witty chalkboard animation sequence depicts David’s dad as a bald telepath. Also, it would make sense that Amal Farouk, whose body dies in a psychic battle with Professor X early on in the good professor’s comic book wanderings, would try and get revenge on Xavier through his offspring. But Legion doesn’t hew very close to the comics; bar David and Farouk, everyone else is original to the series. So David’s parentage is likely to remain an open question for a while.
Is Syd at risk from Amal Farouk?
Considering Amal Farouk is a psychic parasite, it’s a valid concern that Syd might be the first woman to catch the psychic version of an STI. And the fact that she has body-switching powers has no doubt caught Farouk’s attention.
So is all of this real?
That’s a good question. The show’s more or less sidestepped the issue by spending most of its time deep inside David’s mind, and it seems at the very least some of this is happening in the “real” world. But if there’s one thing the show has made abundantly clear, it’s both David and Farouk can warp reality and perception with ease. The finale will clarify a few things, but David’s question in the premiere — “Is this real?” — still hangs over the show.
Hi, I came back to this after the finale to ask: WHAT THE [REDACTED] JUST HAPPENED?
I’ve been trying to work that out for a week, and still haven’t gotten anywhere. At least we’ve got a second season to explain it!