Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Legion's season 2 premiere
The season 1 finale of Legion ended with a post-credits cliffhanger in which David is kidnapped from Summerland by a mysterious orb. When David returns almost a year later, he claims that he has no memory of who took him or where they took him. However, in the final scene of the season two premiere, it's revealed that David was taken by Syd... from the future.
If Legion wasn't complicated enough already, season 2 introduces time travel as an additional dimension of mind-bending mystery. David, trapped in the orb, walks through darkness to find his girlfriend, Syd, whom he just left on the balcony at Summerland. But this Syd's clothes and hairstyle are unfamiliar. She wears the compass that David will give her after he returns from the orb, signaling that Future Syd comes from a later time than any events in Legion so far. She appears to have dirt on her face, and she is on the verge of tears.
Syd signs to David that she can't speak to him, although she appears to be able to hear him. Taking out a wand with a light at the end, she proceeds to draw a series of images in the air in front of her. David interprets these drawings with her help: an hourglass meaning that time is running out, a present with a bow on top to signify that David is in the present, an arrow and clock to signify that she is in the future, a crown to mean the Shadow King, a stick figure to mean the Shadow King's body. The wand drawings create a stark visual contrast against the darkness that surrounds David and Syd, but there is no explanation given for why Syd is unable to speak or simply write words out with the wand.
Finally, Syd does write out words: HELP HIM. David is horrified: why would Syd want him to help the Shadow King? Syd, crying, signals that there is no time to explain. She draws a heart, staring at David longingly before disappearing into the darkness.
While working through Syd's visual clues, David doesn't question whether or not this is really Syd, if she is really from the future, or if she is being coerced or forced. This wouldn't be the first time that the Shadow King has possessed Syd, but David does not entertain the possibility that Future Syd may not be telling the truth or even that he has misinterpreted her message. It's possible that David is able to psychically verify that Future Syd is who she says she is, but even then, he does not take into account how distressed she is or what might be causing that distress. It's more likely that David is easily duped when faced with the woman he loves. Syd has always been David's blindspot, making her the perfect messenger for this unwelcome command.
However, the story would be more compelling if Future Syd did have an unknown reason for David to help the Shadow King. As season 2 unfolds, David will have to decide whether or not he will listen to Syd and help the Shadow King. Undoubtedly, the future is more complicated than David realizes — after all, nothing on Legion is ever simple.
Legion airs Tuesdays at 10pm on FX.