Legion May Have Gone Too Far in Making David the Villain

first_img The second season of Legion came to probably the most shocking end possible last night. And not entirely in a good way. I love this show for its unpredictability and artistic tendencies. I love its complicated main character and willingness to flip our expectations of what a superhero TV show should be. This season was messier, and a little more inconsistent than the first, but the high points were overall much higher. The show has grown more confident, and was willing to challenge us with a less tidy, more complicated and conflicted story. When its one truly bad episode told us that the hero would become the villain, nobody expected this extreme. I’m all for revealing we’ve been following, and rooting for, the bad guy the whole time. I’m not sure we had to see him commit sexual assault to do it.It’s a shame that scene leaves such a bad taste because as an episode of TV, this was a pretty great season finale. It had just about everything we love about Legion. Just in case you thought the final showdown between David and Farouk would be a little too traditional an ending for a superhero show, Legion reminds us right away that it’s just as weird and unapologetically artsy as ever. After the mutant-dampening tuning fork bounces perfectly into frame, miraculously sticking straight up into the ground, we’re treated to a video of David and Farouk singing The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” at each other. This show has given us a ton of different takes on mental battles, but even the dance battle wasn’t quite as surreal as this. iT’s 0N. #lEgiOnfX pic.twitter.com/H1zyzZg3Na— Legion (@LegionFX) June 13, 2018As David and Farouk sing and dance at each other in the superhero musical theatre sequence I’ve always dreamed of, comic book art forms around them. These drawings morph into superheroes and giant creatures, fighting each other in an intense animated battle. It’s like the old X-Men cartoon only with better animation. Lenny, positioned with her rifle, notices the tuning fork stuck into the ground. She shoots it, causing the powers shielding both men to break. And then… we cut to three years later. This show really does know how to disorient us. Three years into the future, Melanie and Oliver give an old-fashioned-looking SDTV interview about the events of the fight. They seem happy together at least. They laugh, they flirt, they briefly cavort in bed. Then they start to remember helping Farouk. The interview takes a turn. They become somber, and get back to discussing the events of David’s fight with Farouk.Back in the present, David is beating Farouk to an absolute pulp when someone interrupts him. Good news, Syd’s alive. She killed the Minotaur and laid its head on the ground. In any other superhero show, I’d be disappointed we didn’t see the end of that fight. What they did here is much more interesting. We saw the mental battle that mattered. And now, we see another one. Only this time, David isn’t the hero. Syd lays it all out for him. How he turns, how he hides the monster he truly is. How her future self-tricked David into saving his greatest enemy, so when he became the villain who destroyed the world, someone would be able to defeat him. Syd affirms that she’s the hero of this story. Right before firing her gun at him.Rachel Keller (Photo via FX)Legion has never been afraid to go against our expectations of what a superhero story looks like. Who the hero is, how a final battle against the big bad is supposed to go, it’s not even afraid to rewrite the last two seasons. After presumably getting shot, David wakes up inside his mind. Jon Hamm’s delusion monologue from episode one plays on a TV. Another version of himself reiterates the definition of a delusion over and over again. The Davids take us all the way back to the show’s first episode, when David first saw Syd at Clockworks. The idea that she loved him, David tells himself, was all a delusion. And we see it start to form in past David. He tells himself that he deserves to be loved and that he is a good person. That morphs into the idea that Syd loves him. That… certainly casts an uncomfortable shadow over the past two seasons.Of course, there is going to be a third season of Legion next year. David Haller is not dead. Just knocked out. What happened was Lenny saw Syd pointing a gun at David. She fired her own rifle at Syd. She missed, but caught Syd’s bullet perfectly. The shock of the bullets hitting each other knocked both David and Syd back. Before Lenny could do anything else though, she found herself captured by Admiral Fukuyama. As the Division 3 crew moves on to capture Farouk, alive, David comes to, wakes up Syd and suppresses her memories. He tells her she had a bad dream. It’s a strange place for the show to be at this point in the season. David and Syd’s love story has been pulling the rest of the season along until now. Now, they’re out of sync. They don’t trust each other anymore. Don’t Hold Your Breath For Noah Hawley’s ‘Doctor Doom&…How ‘Legion’ Uses Superpowers to Explore Mental Illness deCodinG hIS Own FORmULA =/ #lEgiOnfX pic.twitter.com/UFByDHTFDM— Legion (@LegionFX) June 13, 2018Back at Division 3, David starts acting real creepy. Syd, confused and disoriented, doesn’t fully realize that David’s monster turn wasn’t just a dream. She’s still hesitant about spending the night in the same room with him. Discontented over this setback, David has another argument with his different selves before astral projecting himself into Syd’s room. After she made it pretty clear she wanted to be alone. We’ve been rooting for David for close to two seasons now, and it’s super uncomfortable to see him do things like this. Syd is accepting of him, glad that his astral projection means they don’t have to escape into their minds to touch. Though she has her memories suppressed, Syd still senses that something isn’t quite right. Then David kisses her, and… well, there’s no other way to say it. The guy we’ve been following for two seasons, who we’ve been meant to feel sympathy for, sexually assaults his girlfriend.The show knows it too. To its credit, the show doesn’t mince words or make excuses. After Farouk becomes a hero, psychically using a mouse to whisper in Syd’s ear and break David’s hold over her, David is put on trial. The scene where Division 3 captures him is exciting. As soon as he arrives for what he thinks is Farouk’s trial and sees Farouk’s not there, we know what’s going on. We realize this trial isn’t for the Shadow King. He realizes too, just a second too late. He tries to make excuses, insisting he’s the good guy. Syd makes no bones about what he did. “You drugged me and had sex with me.” There really isn’t any coming back from that. I just hope the show realizes that.last_img

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