Cameron Lee ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Contributor
Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for chapter 8 of Legion.
Noah Hawley (creator of Legion and Fargo) has a track record of ending his seasons on a more subtle and quiet note. While this wasn’t the case with the season one finale of Legion, it was notably less crazy and out there than compared to the rest of the season.
The finale begins brilliantly with an extended flashback of the interrogator (Hamish Linklater) waking up and slowly recovering from his third degree burns. We learn that he has a husband and an adopted son who were waiting for him to wake up. It’s a touching and unexpectedly sweet scene that continues into a montage of his personal life and scenes of him recovering. In just 10 minutes we completely understand where the interrogator is coming from and he becomes a genuinely compelling character instead of the cliche villain we expected him to be. After the long montage, we return straight to last week’s cliffhanger. It’s resolved as we see the interrogator ordering the soldiers to open fire on everyone, but David (Dan Stevens) uses his powers to push all the soldiers onto a totem pole and makes them permanently stuck. The gang of mutants quickly take the interrogator inside to the compound but they are completely unaware that the government is watching them through a camera in the interrogator’s eye.
The Shadow King / Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) is desperately trying to take full control of David. Lenny pulls Syd (Rachel Keller) into the White Room. Lenny is decaying and looking more and more creepy. Lenny wants Syd to help her escape from David’s mind or else she is going to kill David. Once Syd returns to the real world, she tells the interrogator, and thus the people watching them, about the Shadow King. The device that David is wearing can only hold for a certain amount of time and our heroes need to get the Shadow King out of David. They bring him to the lab and proceed to start the operation which involves using lasers to create an energy field around David and electrocuting him in order to get the Shadow King out. It’s kind of confusing, but that’s par for the course for this show. The operation begins and Pink Floyd music starts to play. The Shadow King is being erased from David’s memories and David is literally watching his life flash by: David talks to Lenny, saying, “What I am without you?” but Lenny is not going down without a fight and she starts to strangle David. David’s nose starts to bleed as Syd rushes into the lab and kisses David.
This causes a huge chain reaction: Syd gets possessed by Lenny, who then touches Kerry (Amber Midthunder), who then attacks Memory Man who bursts in with his gun to kill it (not a great plan, dude). She then kicks Cary in the chest (Bill Irwin) and escapes the room. The interrogator, who now fully understands what’s actually going on, tries to take down Kerry but is force-pushed into a wall. While all of this is going on, Oliver (Jemaine Clement), who still thinks his wife was Chinese, is working on providing power to David’s operation. He suddenly remembers his wife’s name: Melanie. David shows up to confront the Shadow King. They run at each other with intense energy and lighting exploding everywhere (What is this, the Flash?). They collide into each other, sending a shockwave throughout the base that knocks them both out. Oliver, in a case of bad timing, opens the door from his power room and is immediately hit by the Shadow King.
While everyone is out cold, Oliver/Shadow King makes a break for his car and drives off singing “If I Ruled the World”. Everyone comes to their senses; everything seems to be in a good place. David has full control of his powers, the Shadow King is gone for now, no one died (somehow). Oliver may be in the control of Lenny, but at least they’re going to be a presence next season. The two of them should really consider submitting for the Emmy’s this year as well as Dan Stevens. The credits start to role and the show appears to be over…not. Surprise post credits starts to play: David and Syd are talking on the compound’s balcony about Oliver when suddenly David is kidnapped by a mysterious flying orb. Syd screams for help while David also screams and panics inside the orb.
With an amazing first season, Legion has surpassed every superhero show that has come before it. It’s unique style combined with a rich cast of characters and gorgeous aesthetics has made Legion the go-to show in terms of creativity and inventiveness on television.