The Penultimate Push For Power
After 3 seasons of build-up, the final fight over the fate of the world is upon us. Last week’s filler episode felt like a proverbial deep breath and in many ways it worked perfectly to set the foundation for this episode to follow. Effortlessly blending three separate time periods whilst setting up the conflict to come, Legion’s stylish, unusual tone continues with another strong, hedonistically charged dose of drama.
Donning cerebro and flashing into the past, we begin with Charles Xavier transported to the surreal tranquility of a stage performance where a bull is stabbed repeatedly by a luchadore. From here, the weird imagery continues as we see him exit a plane and head off in a taxi, arriving at Farouk’s palace. This time period happens to be before Xavier was infected with the demon and it’s here we’re introduced to a much less menacing iteration of Farouk.
After slipping into the corridor last week, we return to David and Switch continuing to walk further down the mysterious hallway. Dizzy and trying to remain sane amidst the time glitches, we see the walls move around them before David is consumed and separated from the time traveler. As he stumbles through time, he crawls closer to his intended destination while the time demons begin their crusade; moving Farouk (who’s currently trapped in a land between time and space) toward the same time period.
Kerry, the Professor and Syd all arrive in a separate time period, 0ne that sees David still a baby. Syd talks to his Mum about life before realizing that the baby she’s holding is David himself. She tells his Mother not to let the monsters in and to love David as best she can. Unfortunately, they’ve run out of time as the demons arrive and methodically remove everything from his room. Thankfully, Syd manages to stop them from infecting David with a swift axe blow to the back of the head. However, in the basement an entire army of time demons prepare to attack.
Back at the palace, Farouk shows Xavier a place that exists between time and space, home to the Astral Plane. Fragments of David show up here too; shattered warnings through time that don’t quite materialise, as images of the demon begin to penetrate Charles’ psyche. Just before things spiral out of control, David arrives and sees his Father in the flesh. He takes him inside his own mind and feeds him knowledge cake, allowing projections of David’s life and Farouk’s influence to play out and get him up to scratch on what’s happened up until this point.
With this newfound knowledge, David himself shows up and as the familiar chimes of Captain Sensible’s Wot floats eerily through the air, he plants a message in Farouk’s mind, causing the demon to jerk upright and take his leave. As things begin to unravel, Switch fails to wake up leaving David to deal with his own instability, eventually leading Xavier inside his own mind where multiple Davids appear and take over. They question his Father about the demon being planted in his mind before surrounding him menacingly.
Thanks to his telepathic powers, Xavier manages to escape, leaving David to continue experiencing issues adapting to this time period. Xavier soon discovers more about Farouk too, seeing first-hand the real monster he is. Regaining control for now, David convinces his Father to team up with him to crush the demon once and for all. Unfortunately, the future Farouk – the powerful, all knowing one – appears before his past self and smiles, setting up a final fight for the ages.
With the end in sight, Legion delivers another deliciously tantalizing episode, with more stylish imagery and much more urgency injected into the plot line. Syd and the others appear to be pre-occupied with the time demons in the past but this could end up being the most important time zone to influence the future of the world. The fight between David and Xavier against the two Farouks is the real kicker here though and whether Legion goes out with a bang and shows this cerebral battle in all its glory may well define how Legion is remembered for years to come.
Whether the finale will live up to expectations remains to be seen but there’s no denying that this third season has been much improved over what we’ve seen before in this show. With the exception of last week’s episode, the stylish imagery has complemented the urgency of the plot and Switch’s introduction has really given the series the perfect kick to get the plot back on track. Big question marks hang over next week’s finale but all the ingredients are here for one of Legion’s best episodes but perhaps the biggest one of all remains whether Legion will deliver the goods or not.