It’s the Legion season finale… and it’s going out with a bang.
Everything comes full circle this week as David sees the return of a familiar face. Sure, he looks a bit different with 40% of his body covered in third degree burns, but David’s former Division 3 interrogator, played by Hamish Linklater, made a surprise return last week.
And this week’s episode picks up with a recap of what happened to him.
Yeah, it includes that grisly encounter he had with David.
If you cast your mind back to the very first episode of Legion, you’ll recall David’s almost-miraculous escape from the clutches of Division 3… and when he plunged into the swimming pool at Syd’s behest, all those around him were summarily burned alive.
All, it seems, except for the interrogator.
A quick recap gives us a glimpse at his recovery, and a rather sweet look at his family life – one half of a gay couple who have a doting son together. They love him to bits… and it’s a nice touch, getting to see the human side of the enemy.
They are the heroes of their own stories, after all.
And that couldn’t be more apt. Turning up with his Division 3 pals at Summerland, the interrogator is quick to throw his weight around. But he has no idea how powerful David is these days. Of course, David gets rid of the entire squad, piling them up (still alive and writhing) into a weird, human pyramid. They’re going nowhere fast… and now it’s time for David and his former interrogator to have a little chat.
It turns out his name is Clark… not important. But the big deal here is that he’s a lot nicer than I was expecting. When a villainous government agency sends in the big guns, you tend to expect them to be all bad. But clearly Clark is somewhat sympathetic. Especially when he finds out what’s been going on with David all along.
That’s right – they tell him about The Shadow King.
Melanie and the gang don’t want to tell him, of course… but Syd agrees with David – they need to build trust if they’re going to end this war. So she tells him all about Amahl Farouk and how he’s been a psychic parasite, latched onto David since he was a baby.
Surely that means Clark will take advantage of this knowledge?
Well… no, actually.
Once again, Legion subverts expectations. It turns out that Clark is a good man, and he certainly seems to care in some way about what happens to David. It’s an astounding way to break through the well-worn superhero tropes – making the face of the villainous organisation a rather nice guy. He even promises to talk to his superiors, presumably in a bit to get them working together for the common good.
And there’s a good reason they’ll need to do that.
Let’s put it bluntly – The Shadow King escapes.
It’s one of the most satisfying season finales I’ve seen in a long time, not least of which because the evil villain doesn’t get his comeuppance. Aubrey Plaza has been astoundingly brilliant as the Lenny-version of The Shadow King… and it looks as though she’s likely going to be back for Season Two.
After all, following an attempt to pull The Shadow King out of David’s body, the entity instead latches onto Syd. How does that come about? Well, it seems the Shadow King has an affinity with Syd after the whole body-swapping-with-David thing… and he lays out straight – the only way you’re getting me out of David is if I leave of my own free will.
Syd’s solution – offering herself as a vessel of the King. But that’s not exactly good enough, and after a visually impressive tussle through the Summerland compound, The Shadow King eventually settles on a new host – Oliver Bird.
Of course, it had to be him.
After all, we know he’s a capable psychic, just like David. And let’s face it – if you’re going to share a body with someone else, it’s got to be someone interesting, right? I can think of no-one else I’d rather spend eternity with than Oliver Bird. Just think of all the Martinis.
By the end of the episode (and indeed, the season) we’ve seen a good-guy turn bad, a bad-guy turn good and The Shadow King make a dastardly escape with one of the most powerful psychics we know. It’s an amazing end to Legion Season One and it really feels appropriate. It sets up another season, leaves us with an amazing cliff hanger and still gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling about how our main characters have ended up. Sure, they may still have to take on The Shadow King, but at least they’re all okay, right?
That is, until a post-credits scene pulls the rug out from under us once more.
All in all, it’s an amazing crescendo to finish off a truly unique TV series.
I just can’t wait to find out what happens next.
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 Season Two has been confirmed… but no air date has been set.