One of the biggest problems with Legion last year stemmed from the profound lack of urgency with its plot. A lot of the episodes relied heavily on artistic, stylised shots but in the grand scheme of things, there wasn’t a whole lot of plot movement. This third season has ironically taken this concept and run with it, delivering a time-bending, thoroughly enjoyable trip into the final chapter of this X-Men Universe.
We begin with Kerry glitching through time on board Farouk’s airship. She speaks to Syd about it before they leave the room where an apple on a desk ages rapidly. David is time travelling and ultimately this proves to be the catalyst for the various glitches we encounter throughout the episode. We catch up with him and Switch jumping through a portal, straight into the path of Lenny and her girlfriend as they discuss future plans.
Time is corrupt. Worldwide glitches and lapses occur which leads Syd to struggle through the same sentence multiple times, telling the crew to “shut it off”, referring to a strange, shadowy demon that attempts to grab them through the monitor. Thankfully, Farouk manages to stop it which sends alarm bells ringing; this is how David destroys the world.
We catch up with David soon after, calling a meeting in a tranquil, rainbow-lit room where Switch tells them about the Time Demons unleashed on the world thanks to their multiple jumps. The same creature that attacked Farouk’s airship. As Lenny demands a plan of action, the Time Demons appear; shadowy creatures that move lightning-quick, but only at the rhythmic sound of clock ticks. They teleport David to a strange prison while those on the airship question how to stop these time eaters.
Meanwhile, the Professor is harrassed by the Time Demons that help him see David’s treachery. As he hurries down the corridor, we see them following him from the shadows before hiding with Switch in one of the nearby rooms.
In the alternate dimension, David talks to his Mother and pleads with her to save his own life. After making his case, he confronts two hooded figures who happen to be Time Demons in disguise. He tries to attack them but they glitch him back in time and prevent him from talking. He asks them to stop smiling before we see Switch and the Professor working together to save time. They ring the airship and ask for extraction but there’s a problem – a time code error.
As time continues to implode, Syd and her past self get acquainted over some drinks after she glitches forward into the future. They discuss love and relationships, which leads to a discussion about David and his power. She tells him their relationship began wonderfully but then his power corrupted, which she relays to her past self. Syd and her past self hug but something isn’t quite right. Her younger self fades and in her place, the maniacally grinning face of the Time Demon.
We then skip to Lenny who sees her child Violet grow up right before her eyes. The clock in the background ticks by and Lenny’s life unravels before her, showing her daughter age and eventually die. As the clock strikes midnight she screams in pain.
What follows is one of the most stylised shots in the show’s three season history, as we see an amazing stop-motion book flicking through pages that show Farouk and the others battling the Time Demons, one frame at a time. It’s an amazing segment and one that perfectly illustrates the futility of time that they’re fighting against.
Thankfully, David breaks time, burning one of the Time Demons before convincing the rest to call off their attack. They agree, and leave as quickly as they arrived. With the threat averted for now, David comforts Lenny whose heartbroken over what she’s witnessed. David heads inside and learns Switch and the Professor are gone which sends him over the edge, ending with one ominous fourth-wall-breaking word – “War”.
Legion’s latest episode perfectly blends style with substance, delivering consequences to David’s time-bending adventure last episode and really adding some dramatic weight to proceedings. The fight with the Time Demons is interesting, unnerving and incredibly imaginative. The only other creature I can think of that come close to this concept are the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who.
Having said all that, Legion continues its chaotic ride toward the final battle and with the battle lines drawn, and Switch now out of David’s grasp, David’s war-path spells almost certain doom for all involved. Perhaps this is the real catalyst for David destroying the world but for now, unironically, only time will tell whether this prophetic message comes to fruition.