Directed by Noah Hawley & John Cameron
Written by Hawley & Olivia Dufault
* For a recap & review of Chapter 26, click here.
Is this the beginning? Is it the end?
Or, can it be both?
Right now, “all we can know is ourselves.”
We start with one of the first series of images we saw when Legion premiered— David (Dan Stevens), growing up, figuring out he was ill, and everything that came after this discovery. Now, David and his father Charles Xavier (Harry Lloyd) are preparing, in the past, to face Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban), the Shadow King. Father and son are sharing methods to create chaos, using their minds to bring weapons into the real world. Poor Switch (Lauren Tsai) is all used up and falling apart while David assures he’ll fix things. Then David and Charles see the two Farouks together. Both the past and current versions of Amahl taunt David, so it’s only moments and the four of them are fighting.
Meanwhile, at the childhood home, Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller), Cary (Bill Irwin) and Kerry (Amber Midthunder) Loudermilk, and Gabrielle (Stephanie Corneliussen), along with baby David, must face the Time Eaters. The world’s ending.
Cary realises having “twice the temporal identity” as normal— meaning himself and his sister— is an advantage to throw off the Eaters. The Loudermilks are ready for one last hurrah, regardless the outcome. They merge as one, letting Kerry have her sword fighting fun while Syd protects Gabrielle and her child.
“Who we were
does not dictate who
we will be,
but often it’s a good indication.”
In the past, David and Farouk go head-to-head. The doors in that mental space rattle with more Davids dying to come through, and soon Amahl is buried in copy after copy of his nemesis. A quick flash and Farouk’s on the astral plane. He finds Charles waiting for him, wielding a knife. He’d rather have drinks.
Back in that room, Amahl blasts the Davids with his mental powers, leaving big, tough Legion wrapped up in a straitjacket. David’s locked away in his head, forced to listen to the Shadow King tell him he’s not “a good person” and that he doesn’t deserve love. He must sit in that dark, lonely place by himself.
Soundtrack note: David and Gabrielle sing “Mother” by Pink Floyd
Gabrielle’s love refutes the Shadow King’s words, giving David strength enough to send Farouk flying across that mental space. “Time to die,” says David. At the same time, Switch can see time coming apart at the seams. She has enough in her to make it into the Hall of Time. Unfortunately she spits out a dozen teeth, and the Time Eaters are already crowding around her. She can’t go on any longer. Yet this is the greatest lesson her father was trying to teach: time is “an ocean, not a river,” so means she can become her old self and at once become new. She rid herself of those baby teeth to grow wise.
On the astral plane, Charles and Farouk drink, chatting about David. They speak of fatherhood, both biological and surrogate. This future Farouk tries to explain he’s grown over time. He’s no longer the same man he was back then. He wants to help David, supposedly. Can Charles trust him?
“Bedtime is over”
David nearly has the past Farouk strangled to death when current Farouk and Charles show up. Dad stops his boy from killing. He and the current Farouk made a deal to stop “this barbarism.” They’ll all respect one another’s existence. David can’t accept this, but Charles wants to save the rest of boy’s life, to make up for everything he missed: “Let me be your father.” Then there’s current Farouk, showing his past self everything he’s learned about David, how the boy’s life would play out. The past Farouk appears touched.
Before Switch can go with her father to an “existence untethered” as Time itself, she goes back to find Syd. She says the universe acknowledges Syd’s struggle. She tells her the past has changed. This means “everything will be new.” That doesn’t mean everything goes away. Yet everything they all know currently will cease to be, and then begins a new existence. They have time for one last act before they fade away.
David and the Farouks say their goodbye. They shake hands and part ways, perhaps for eternity. Kerry, rapidly ageing, and Cary reminisce on a time long ago when they were little. Their relationship has changed, as well— for the better. Gabrielle soon receives Charles back at the house after his journey. She thinks about their past while he tells her of their son as a man, his hope for the future. He’s decided to settle down to a life of academia rather than fighting wars, to give their child a proper life.
And Syd stands over baby David as the grown David turns up. They talk of second chances and new lives. He apologises, and she tells him she didn’t do any of this for him, she did it for the boy he was, before he grew into an angry, hateful man. Her one piece of advice? “Be a good boy.” After that, they’re gone. Nothing left but a baby, who could grow up to be anything, anybody.
The final song is “Happy Jack” by the Who
There were many ways this could’ve ended. Instead of total chaos and anger, as Father Gore expected, Legion went for a beautiful series finale that rewrote wrongs while not copping out on personal responsibility. David was able to make up for what he’d done, at least a little. He didn’t get an undeserved win, either. Everyone has to start over now, and it could end up just as bad, or worse, if David doesn’t live his life right. And he didn’t ‘get the girl’ in the end, he only got Syd’s good heart aiding him when it was necessary.
So, there’s a beautiful conclusion that doesn’t entirely rehabilitate David’s shitty male power trip. Because, in the end, the onus is on David to change, not everyone else, and though they’ll all start over, he’s the only one who has to fundamentally change who he was in order to truly change the course of events.
All hail Legion! The best superhero adaptation out there.