After the episode ended, I took a good long time to think. For a while, I loved the episode, and the chances it took to get where it is now. The idea of having this show be a super villain origin story is appealing to me, and now that Legion is now… well, Legion, we can start a new with characters of old.
But after a bit, I started questioning the episode. Beyond the parts where a few character actions didn’t make sense (something I’ll get to later), I wasn’t sure if the whole villain route was completely earned before this episode. To me, David has always been an Anti-Hero up to this point. He’s never always been a morally sound character, but he’s never done anything awful to the point of question. All bad things he did were when he was under the Shadow Kings control. Also, he seemed driven to villainy by his friends, and they started reminding me of what people thought of Skyler White, of Breaking Bad, a character I actually loved. Because of all the characters, she’s the one who makes all reasonable, and logical decisions, based on all her situations. Everyone hated Skyler because she was basically a foil Walter, but that’s exactly the character she should be! In Legion, I didn’t get enough opportunity to have David try and hide his villainy from his friends, so they can be his foil. They just went strait from friend to enemy. As well as David never went successfully from hero to villain.
I thought a little bit more about it, and the clues were all there, not overtly, but they were there. See the main thing I forgot about was Jon Hamm. He’s been there the entire season literally telling us that everything is not what they seem. This whole time, I thought he was talking to us, but I think he, in a weird meta way, was trying to warn David. Keeping secrets doesn’t mean evil, but at the same time, the secrets you keep away from yourself make you the most delusional. The delusion that Jon Hamm was trying to warn David about was that he “is a good person, and he deserves love.”
That whole thing really comes with a whole slew of questions. Like what makes you a good person? Can you become a good person after being a bad person, and visa versa? How can you change when everything you thought was right, is wrong? In every episode before this (because in this episode, he does some horrible things), I really thought his intentions were good. They still were, Farouk is a terrible individual, and needs to be dealt with, one way or another, but just because you are doing something good, does that make you a good individual? I do believe people can change, and bad people can become good, but the opposite is true. Before I thought it was David’s friends turning him to the dark side, but it was David… well, his personalities. Both personalities are brash, quick to accuse, nigh unreasonable, and incredibly toxic. This isn’t a mutant power, this is mental illness taking advantage of omega level abilities. There’s a line in the beginning of the episode, where Lenny is in a prison truck, and David talks to her, where he says…
“Don’t worry, God has plans for you!”
“I don’t believe in God.”
“Oh, I think you do!”
One doesn’t refer to himself as God, unless he’s a little megalomaniacal. I mean, look at Magneto in X2, calling Pyro “A God amongst insects.” All season, he’s been told by Farouk that he is a God and take advantage of it. If you get called something enough times, you may start to believe it. Especially when, after you have an amazing psychic/anime/musical number battle, to the tune of “Behind Blue Eyes”, when you defeat another Omega level mutant, you can do anything… like make your girlfriend love you right after she was trying to shoot you. Especially sick is consummating that love with a really, effectively creepy, sex scene. Villainy towards one person, still make you a villain. David, for as much as he told Syd about what’s been happening, has kept so much from her, and it’s just kept piling at time went on. It could have been clearer, but I do appreciate that the villain twist didn’t completely come out of nowhere.
What did come out of nowhere, however, was what happens with Farouk. In the beginning of the episode, he is defeated by David, and is fitted with a crown that takes his powers away from him. He’s stuck in jail, where he’s visited by David. Farouk tells David that he is becoming a villain, like he was, and he goes to court. We think that the trial is supposed to be for Farouk, but it turns out it’s for David. And Farouk is there completely free… which… I get what they are going for, but that doesn’t even make metaphorical sense. I get that David is worse, but Farouk is such a bad guy! He’s killed so many people, and he’s getting the moral high ground? David is almost right to be mad at everyone in the room, because Farouk killed his sister, and has infected him for all his life. One interesting thing said was that Farouk might have been trying to level David, so that he couldn’t become his own worst enemy, and that he was actually in a symbiotic relationship with him. Maybe his other personalities are the ones that needed to be stop, and the Shadow king was doing that. That’s a neat idea… but that doesn’t excuse why he’s free at the end.
Chapter 19 signifies the end one type of show, and the beginning of another. David as a full on villain is rife with possibilities. We already know that the world is going to end in 3 years, but how do we get there? This is the end of David’s show. Welcome to Legion.