Legion: A New Beginning

Legion | Season 3 | Episode 8 : “Chapter 27”
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For a quick read, go to Review. For a complete summary, go to Recap.

KBear Recap [Read  time: 5-7 min]

“Your boy has always been broken, I’m told. Now I know you. David. The victim. A boy pretending to be a man. Always blaming others. Boo-hoo.” Amahl Farouk

The episode opens with this prologue. “This is the end. The beginning. The end. What it all means is not for us to know. It is for history to decide. All we can do is play the parts as written. All we can know is ourselves.” We get a montage of David Haller (Dan Stevens) throughout his life. Now David is with his father Charles Xavier (Harry Lloyd) in the astral plane preparing to kill Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban). David pulls out a psychic mace from his ear, while Charles pulls out a psychic bullet from his ear. While they are doing this, David monologues: “Lesson in time travel, chapter zero. Who we were does not dictate who we will be. But often…it’s a pretty good indication. Time travel does not give one the opportunity to change oneself. But rather, to eradicate oneself…and allow something else to form in the wake of grace…or madness. Because if we don’t believe in change…then we don’t believe in time.” Switch (Lauren Tsai) deliriously calls for her father. David tells a dying Switch that he’ll fix it.  They walk in Farouk’s chamber to kill him, but they are surprised that there are two Farouks. Present Day Farouk is amused. Charles blames them for what they’ve done to David. Charles: “You broke my boy.” Past Farouk: “Your boy has always been broken, I’m told. Now I know you. David. The victim. A boy pretending to be a man. Always blaming others. Boo-hoo.” David uses his mace on Past Farouk while Charles shoots Present Day Farouk.

Sydney Barrett (Rachel Keller), Gabrielle (Stephanie Corneliussen) with baby David are trying to escape the time demons. Time is glitching badly around them. Gabrielle thinks she’s going insane. Sydney tells Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder) and Cary (Bill Irwin) that they have to get outside the house. To their surprise, instead of being outside, they are in the basement. Gabrielle asks what is happening, Sydney tells her it’s the end of the world. Kerry asks Cary what to do. Cary has a theory, “They consume time, yes? So theoretically, were someone to have twice the temporal identity, then that someone would be twice as difficult to consume. Like…like a loaf of bread with two times as much yeast.” He proposes he and Kerry merge. Cary goes inside Kerry.  [Phrasing] Gabrielle looks at this in amazement. Gabrielle: “I see it now. You’re gods.” Sydney: “I wish.” Kerry fights the time demons with her two katanas while Sydney shoots them.

David has taken Past Farouk inside his mind. David tells him he isn’t fighting Farouk alone, he is Legion. The other Davids start showing up. Farouk makes them explode, but more keep showing up. The Davids overlapping each other scream, “Monster! Monster! Monster! Monster! Monster!” They all jump him together.

Charles is in the astral plane with Present Day Farouk. He has a gunshot wound but heals quickly. Farouk [chucking]: “Such a disappointment. We can make anything we fancy in this arena of infinite promise, and this what we come up with? Weapons? War? Surely we have more imagination than that.” Charles has a knife in his hand but Farouk offers him a beer instead.

Kerry is fighting the time demons, but she has some grey in her hair and looks older. Past Farouk scatters the Davids and puts David in a straightjacket. Farouk taunts him. Farouk: “Do you know why you failed? Because under all your anger…there is a baby. Scared, small. Given away by his mother and father. A baby who is unloved, and knows that he’s unloved.” David: “I’m a good person. I deserve love.” Farouk: “No you don’t.” David screams in pain. David starts singing the Pink Floyd song Mother. While Gabrielle is holding baby David, she starts singing to adult David. During the singing, Kerry and Sydney are in the background fighting the time demons and the Davids are screaming and dancing. Gabrielle gently says, “My boy. My beautiful boy.” This gives David the strength to break loose from the straightjacket; the straightjacket is Farouk. David starts strangling him. David: “Time to die.”

“At long last daughter you have discovered the true meaning of time: an ocean, not a river. A force more powerful than anyone being can control.” Switch’s Father

Switch hears the time demons cackle, she sends herself back to the time hallway. She spits out the rest of her teeth. The time demons close in on her. She says, “I surrender to you. You were right. Bedtime is here.” She puts on her headphones and listens to music. Her father (Ben Wang) shows up and kneels beside her. Father: “At long last daughter you have discovered the true meaning of time: an ocean, not a river. A force more powerful than anyone being can control. Wake now and see what you have become. [Switch wakes up] Congratulations, your baby teeth have finally fallen out. And look what have replaced them – wisdom teeth. Come, rise from your slumber, bedtime is over.” Switch gets up and they hug.

Present Day Farouk and Charles are sitting at a table, drinking their beers and discussing David. Farouk tells Charles that at first he considered David his prison, but watching David grow up he began to know him. Charles: “It’s hard to hate someone you understand” Farouk: “I love the boy, Charles. I consider him, uh, my…” Charles: “Son?” Farouk: “Would that I could be as strong a father as you are. [Takes a sip] May I be honest with you?” Charles: “Please.” Farouk: “The man you met, the man I was, he brought you here with base intentions. To dominate, to punish. Not because he was strong, because he was weak. I was weak. Now I’m older and weary of this churn. I did not come here to defeat David, but to aid him in his quest.”

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Kerry is still fighting but getting older by the minute. Switch’s father explains that the time demons are there to protect time. They can be controlled and he blows a cosmic dog whittle to control them. Switch asks what they are; he tells her they are four-dimensional beings. He tells her it’s time for them to go back out into the cosmos. Switch tells her father she has one more thing to do before they go.

David strangles Past Farouk; we see flashes of the yellow-eyed demon and the Angriest Boy. Charles and Present Day Farouk walk in, he asks his son to stop. David raises his hand to his father but Charles transports him to a white room (astral plane). David throws a hissy fit and tells Charles he had Farouk. Charles apologizes to David, he tells him this wasn’t his war, they have to end the barbarism and go for peace. He and Present Day Farouk have struck a deal. Charles will leave Farouk alone, and Farouk will leave David alone, so he won’t enter David when he’s a baby. David asks how they can trust Farouk, Charles reminds him that they are telepaths; they don’t have to trust him.  David asks how his parents were able to abandon him. Charles: “David, David. I wasn’t there for you. You needed me, your mother, and we gave you away. I can’t imagine doing it, but…I adore you David and that will never change. I could only have done it to protect you.” He again asks David to give up this fight. Charles: “So please my darling boy, let me be your father.” David relents and they hug.

Present Day Farouk talks to his past self. He can see how horrible a person he was. He wants to show his past self what he has learned. He gives him his shades so that he can see all the evil they have done to David and the sad life David has lived because of their actions. Past Farouk cries when he sees what they have done, and tells his present day self that he is sorry.

“Nothing of value is ever lost.” Switch

Sydney is fighting the time demons alone now because Kerry has become too old to fight. Switch enters looking angelic and blows her cosmic dog whistle. The time demons stop attacking and she commands them to leave. The time demons vanish. Sydney thanks her. Switch: “Sydney Barrett, Gabrielle Xavier and the infant David, the universe acknowledges you, and that you exist and that your existence is important. I can see that you’ve suffered, that people you love have suffered, and you want to know that it meant something. It did. It does. Nothing of value is ever lost.” Sydney asks about David, and she tells her his future is changed. Sydney asks about herself. Switch tells her that her old self will vanish but assures Sydney that the new she will be glorious. Sydney asks how Switch knows this, and she tells her she is Time. Sydney asks when she’ll die, and Switch tells her she is giving her time for one last thing. Switch vanishes. Kerry: “What just happened?” Sydney: “I think we saved the world.”

David and Charles are saying goodbye to the two Farouks. Farouk asks what will David do, he replies he’ll be a baby again and grow up. Past Farouk jokes that when he’s grown, he should look him up; they can rule the world together. David politely declines. Switch is above overlooking them. Switch sets everything in motion and leaves to join her father.

Sydney: “Look at you.” Kerry: “I feel like I look sophisticated.” Sydney: “I was gonna say wise.” She leaves and Cary appears. He looks at her and reminisces when they were children. Kerry: “You okay old man.” Cary: “I don’t think you call me that anymore, huh?” Kerry: “Then…how about brother?” Cary: “That works, my love. That works.” He helps her up and they hug.

Gabrielle is on the porch sitting alone. Charles joins her. Gabrielle: “This world makes no sense when you’re not in it.” Charles asks about baby David, she tells him that he’s fine; he’s with his friends. She marvels that their baby son already has friends. Gabrielle tells him about the time demons, he laughs and tells her about fighting some tyrants with their adult son; it’s been quite a day for both of them. Gabrielle: “I can’t do this without you. He needs us both Charles.” Charles: “No more travel. No more bloodshed. You know I always wanted to become a teacher.” Gabrielle: “Are you gonna kiss me?” Charles: “Abso-bloody-lutely!” David’s parents embrace.

“Be a good boy.” Sydney Barrett

Sydney stands over baby David. Adult David joins them. He quietly tells Sydney he’s sorry. She doesn’t reply. David: “I have to say, I didn’t think you’d help me.” Sydney: “I didn’t. I helped him.” [Looking at baby David] David: “Yeah.” Sydney: “Be a good boy.” They both vanish and David gets his second chance. Don’t blow it kid.

KBear Review [Read time: 1-3 minutes]

The episode picks up from the last episode. David and Charles prepare to kill Farouk and Sydney and the gang back at the Xavier’s house are trying to escape the time demons. They aren’t successful. David and Charles are surprised to find two Farouks. David ends up fighting the Past Farouk while Charles squares off against Present Day Farouk. The present day one has changed and regrets his past actions. Probably has something to do with being stuck in the time between time. He and Charles strike a deal. The past Farouk is still a dick and he psychologically tortures David. With inspiration from his mother, David gets the upper hand on his nemesis. Before he can kill him, Charles stops him. He apologizes for giving him away and asks David to let him be his dad. David relents. Farouk shows his past self how big of a dick they were to David, and he agrees to leave baby David alone. Switch is dying and spits out her remaining teeth. The time demons close in on her and she surrenders to her fate. Her father shows up and tells her she’s discovered the true meaning of time. She has lost her baby teeth, but her Wisdom teeth have replaced them. Switch and her dad are four-dimensional beings. Before they go off into the cosmos, Switch has a few things to take care of. She saves Sydney and the gang at casa Xavier. She is able to control the time demons now and makes them vanish. She tells Sydney that all that they have been through has meaning. David and Sydney will have new beginnings. [She doesn’t say what will happen to everyone else, but I’d have to guess David and Sydney lives being different would change theirs too. I hope so.] Before they go, David and Sydney have one final conversation. He tells her he is sorry and that he’s surprised Sydney helped him. She tells him she didn’t help him, she helped baby David. Her last words to him are, “Be a good boy.” They both vanish. The End.

At the beginning of the season, David was looking for a time traveler to help him change his past. He finds Switch, and after killing a lot of people, destroying the survivor’s lives, and nearly destroying the world, David succeeds and gets the new beginning he wished for. He doesn’t have to pay any real consequences for his actions, he doesn’t have to redeem himself or even learn any lessons. All of the dumb and harmful things he did this season paid off, so I guess YAY!? Sydney also gets a new beginning, and she’s assured it will be glorious. For everyone else like Lenny, Clark, Ptonomy, and Kerry, those are the breaks. David’s life changing might have changed their lives, but we’ll never know.

It might sound like I’m down on this episode and the season, but I’m not. Considering how Season 2 ended, the series ended about as well as could be expected. I like David and felt sorry for the way Farouk destroyed his life. [By the way, Farouk also got off pretty easy.] The writers decided to completely destroy his character by having him rape Sydney. I thought it was a mistake, because I didn’t think this show was equipped to deal with such a serious matter. Even though Sydney clearly hated David this season, the rape was in the background, if you were new to the show this season, you wouldn’t have known specifically what David did to earn Sydney’s ire. [Except for probably causing the world to end.] The show ends with David’s rape being erased because of time changing. So, I ask, why bother to do it in the first place? If you weren’t going to really deal with it, why do it? It still feels like they did it because they wanted to make sure we all knew David is bad now. It gave me and others a bad taste after the end of last season. This season was strong and they gained back most of my good will, but I’m surer than ever that the rape storyline was a bad idea.

Legion was an audacious superhero show that wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries. Instead of the usual fight scenes you’d get between antagonist, the show would have a dance off or a rap off. Music and dance were used in interesting and bold ways. They took chances with storytelling techniques. Not everything they tried succeeded, but most did. It proves again that the show’s creator, Noah Hawley is one of the television’s brightest visionaries. The cinematography on the show was often breathtaking. The acting was superb led by Dan Stevens and Rachel Keller. The show’s MVP was Aubrey Plaza [For those who’ve read most of my recaps, this wouldn’t be a surprise.] I was a fan of hers from Parks & Recreation, but I wasn’t prepared for the depths of her talent. Lenny was a unique creation, and Ms. Plaza took full advantage of it. The first season was a tour de force for her. She didn’t disappoint in the last two seasons either. I can’t say that for all the characters, during the second season, the writers let down Ptonomy, Melanie, and Oliver. At least this season, they had Jean Smart and Jemaine Clement back to have a proper ending. Unfortunately for Jeremie Harris, he would have been better off if they had killed Ptonomy last season. It probably wouldn’t have been good for his bank account, but it would have been better for the character. Two characters who grew stronger each season were Cary and Kerry Loudermilk played by Bill Irwin and Amber Midthunder. By the end of the series, they became two of the most important characters, as they became the show’s heartbeat. Their final scene together was the episode’s most touching.

My final music rundown. It began with Darkness (Full Suite) by the show’s composer Jeff Russo. He was consistently great, and he and Noah Hawley collaborated on a lot of the music.

Here’s the original version of Mother by Pink Floyd. I have the version performed by Dan Stevens and Stephanie Corneliussen posted above. It was another example on how the show used music for storytelling.

Al Sharp by The Beta Band played on Switch’s headphone as the Time Demons closed in on her. Lauren Tsai was a wonderful addition to the cast this season. Who knew how important Switch would turn out to be to the resolution of the series?

Finally, the show ended how it began, during the show’s premiere episode, Happy Jack by The Who played. This time we hope David’s new beginning provides him a happy life.

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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