Blast From The Past
Legion’s latest episode feels like a very familiar stroll down memory lane. With a much more methodical pace and only snippets of psychedelic imagery this time, Legion dives into David’s past and more specifically, his time as a baby.
The episode begins with Gabrielle and for much of the episode, it’s her we follow. As a Holocaust survivor, she finds solace in a mental institution, scarred from past events until she meets David’s infamous Father – Professor X himself, Charles Xavier. He uses his telepathy to push through the trauma in her head and the next morning, Gabrielle appears to be free from her mental shackles. With faint whispers of David’s voice from the future floating ever nearer, the episode intersperses fragments of our protagonist from the future with suitably funky music.
From here, we see Charles and Gabrielle falling in love within the confines of the psychiatric ward before Charles flexes his mental abilities and frees them both from the ward. After birthing David, we see Charles trying on cerebro and experiencing visions of Farouk. Interestingly, as we cut to David as a child, we see the familiar doll from his visions seasons past tucked up in his cot with him.
As Charles heads off to find out more about his visions, he unwittingly leaves Gabrielle and David vulnerable to the preying Farouk. He taunts David’s mother before manifesting itself into David’s body. Hearing the cries of her son, Gabrielle awakens in the middle of the night to find herself trapped in a hexagonal prison. She breaks free though and scrambles to David before a projection of David as an adult appears, warning her. She faints, but not long after Charles arrives and uses his abilites to blast David back down the time corridor and into present day.
Switch passes out from exhaustion after ripping her tooth out and it’s here where we leave the episode, seeing Farouk in David’s eye, cradling him as a baby and affectionately referring to him as his son.
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for writing off Legion’s latest episode as nothing more than filler. In a way, it actually proudly flaunts this fact, with a plot line we already know the outcome of and a lack of trippy, stylistic ticks in favour of a more straight forward origin story. Having said that, the episode itself is an important one, establishing more rules around the time travel we’ve witnessed briefly this season and also cruelly showing that David may well have been the catalyst for Gabrielle’s mental decline all along.
At times Legion has sacrificed substance over style but here, Legion’s latest stand-alone segment is a beautifully written love story; a bittersweet ode to a time before David’s powers consumed the world. It’s a simpler time for the mutants so tirelessly hunted and vilified too. It’s not perfect, and at times the episode feels a little slow paced, but for the most part Legion delivers a highly enjoyable slice of superhero drama here.