David goes full psychic on this week’s Legion.
And it’s about time.
It’s no secret that last week’s episode left us on a bit of a cliffhanger. The entire gang were left suspended in the firing line as The Man with Yellow Eyes brought them into a weirdly misshapen alternate reality… probably in some dark corner of David’s mind. Well, now we finally know exactly who this evil entity is – none other than The Shadow King.
And that’s all kinds of awesome.
Comic book fans will instantly know the name – he’s a powerful psychic in the ‘X-Men’ comics known as Amahl Farouk. A crimelord from the city of Cairo, he’s encountered by Professor X during a trip to the city… and an epic battle soon follows.
This is hinted at in this week’s Legion – as is David’s lineage.
Yes, it looks as though David really is the son of Charles Xavier, exactly like the comic books. During a slightly-trippy encounter between David and his rational self, he paints the picture of his bald, suited father taking on the monstrous Shadow King.
And he soon comes to the conclusion that the reason his father had him adopted was to save him from the Shadow King’s grasp.
Of course, the Shadow King was defeated but his non-corporeal form remained… and latched onto David, becoming the parasite we now know has been feeding on David’s powers. It’s all explained rather spectacularly throughout the episode, with a rather cool animated chalkboard scene depicting Professor X and his fight against the Shadow King, as well as everything that presumably followed.
But for David, it’s more than just a cool moment.
Finally, he’s feeling empowered… and it’s time to take the fight to the King.
Thankfully, he’s not that only one working against the monstrous Shadow King, with Cary and Oliver coming up with a cunning plan to save the others. Being equally powerful and at home on the Astral Plane (or wherever they are), Oliver creates some cool specs that allow everyone to see the difference between what’s ‘real’ and what’s an illusion created by the Shadow King. Obviously, there’s a touch of irony here – differentiating between the ‘real’ imaginary world and the one created by the King. Nevertheless, it helps them sidestep the creepy dangers created by the Shadow King… and with Syd on the case, they’re able to get their plan in motion – using Cary’s weird halo device to suppress the Shadow King within David’s own mind.
And it works… sort of.
Obviously, the entire team has to work in tandem to pull this off – distracting the King so they can set this all up. David has managed to claw his way out of the depths of his own mind, too so he’s able to confront the Shadow King the best way he can – with his mind. Remember, he is also a powerful psychic mutant… and as he unleashes a wave of psychic energy throughout his own mind, the Shadow King falters. Now is the time to strike.
It’s such an interesting premise, and one of the trippiest fight scenes I’ve ever seen. It’s all in the mind, and with a series of oddly-filmed black and white scenes, as well as those neon-lit halls of the imaginary psych-ward, it’s a joy to watch. Of course, the Shadow King returns as Lenny on a regular basis and Aubrey Plaza is clearly having the time of her life as she stomps around, crazy hair and all, kicking all kinds of ass in David’s head.
That is, until David gets the upper hand.
Thankfully, the Shadow King is subdued (for the time being) but it’s clear that the battle may be over, but the war rages on. After all, when Division 3 turns up at the end of the episode, it isn’t clear what they want… or whether they’ll inadvertently unleash the King once again.
All in all, this week’s Legion was an excellent team effort, with most of our favourite characters grabbing the limelight for a moment or two. Obviously, it was wonderful to see Jemaine Clement back as Oliver Bird – his retro-obsession and penchant for not quite getting things adding a touch of humour to an otherwise pretty heavy episode.
Then there’s the excellent teamwork we saw from the likes of Cary, Kerry and Syd as they set about sorting out David’s parasite problem. Even Melanie Bird got in on the action, with almost the entire team pulling together to get this done. But while David came into his own this week, the real standout star was Lenny. Once again, she proved to be the dominating star of Legion, with the rest of the cast dancing to her psychotic tune.
Will we see more of her in the season finale?
Of course we will. I have no doubt about that. But whether or not THE Shadow King will return for a second bout in Season Two remains to be seen.
Legion stars Dan Stevens as the titular hero, alongside Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, and Jean Smart.
Legion returns to Fox next week, 9 March 2017.
What did you think of Legion’s penultimate episode? Will the Shadow King be back for an epic finale? Leave your comments below… and follow Ryan Leston on Twitter, and Facebook for more on the latest TV shows.