Legion’s first season might have come and gone on FX like a telekinetically-controlled wrecking ball to the cerebellum, but viewers still can’t stop wracking their brains over it. Noah Hawley’s mind-bending TV show has become the new gold standard for not only comic book adaptations, but also psychologically challenging television. Legion might heavily pull from the lore of Marvel’s X-Men, but the series has very quickly started building its own universe full of many challenging questions. Legion’s freshman season does an impressive job at connecting many of its mutant dots and actually providing resolutions for a lot of its riddles. That being said, there are still a number of balls that the show leaves psychically hanging in the air.
The show was full of mysteries, and only a handful were solved through its first eight episodes. Now that Legion’s first season is over and it’s allowing its audience some breathing room, here are 15 Unresolved Plot Holes From Legion’s Season 1.
15. What Kidnapped David at the Very End of the Season?
Legion might have done an effective job at more or less tying a nice little bow on the whole “Shadow King possessing David” storyline, but viewers that stuck around past the end credits (and really, why wouldn’t someone?) were shown that David has already found himself in a new predicament. In a nice nod to the post-credit sequences in Marvel movies, Legion offers up a glimpse of what to expect in its second season when David is scanned and abducted by a floating orb. This could easily be setting up season two’s antagonist. Some viewers have speculated that this could be the work of someone like Arcade, as he takes David off to an island of challenges.
That being said, Hawley has hinted that the answer is already staring people in the face. Division 3 threatens to bring on “The Equinox” when it seems like the whole David situation is going to turn sour. Hawley has implied in as many words that perhaps Division 3 did deploy the device after all. This sort of ball tech is also depicted in Issue #7 of X-Men Legacy as S.W.O.R.D. technology. Maybe D3 and them are co-producing an abduction?
14. In What Year is the Show Set?
Curiously, on Hawley’s other big TV series, Fargo, the time period in which it’s set is such a crucial factor that it’s shoved in the audience’s faces. Legion is a show that’s much harder to peg down when it comes to timeline. Hawley has said that when he wrote the pilot, he was imagining that it was set in present times. However, a “fable-like” feeling began to creep into the show. Furthermore, Melanie says that it’s thirty years since WWII, with other touches like the clothing and Cary’s technology certainly feeling like they’re from the ‘70s. That being said, other elements like cell phones, e-mail, high-tech eye cameras, and societal touches like gay marriage and adoption being legal are certainly from modern times.
This is clearly a very anachronistic depiction of things, with an “alternate universe” explanation being a plausible answer for this. At the same time, Hawley has also said that what’s being shown to viewers isn’t the world, but rather David’s experience of the world. It’s meant to be subjective and steeped in nostalgia and memories, which is naturally going to leave the present day feeling a whole lot more like yesteryear.
13. Division 3’s Other Prisoners
Legion’s “Chapter 5” features one of the season’s most visually stunning set pieces as the Summerland Group arrives at Division 3 and sees the telekinetic carnage that David has waged. It also doesn’t hurt that scoring the whole thing to Radiohead’s “The Daily Mail” works eerily well. David’s whole takedown on D3 is done so he can rescue his sister, Amy. When Syd and company arrive after David has busted Amy out, they run across a prisoner – David’s psychiatrist at Clockworks – that they pump for information. He mostly just yells about needing to get out and how awful these people are. Unfortunately, this guy doesn’t receive the same freedom that Amy does. Why was he in there? Was he a mutant the whole time? Did he cross Division 3 in some way? David and company might be out and fighting the revolution, but prisoners like this one are still being toyed with. Is he bound to become a sacrifice? A guinea pig? He’s certainly going to have an ax to grind with the Summerland Group if he does ever get out.
12. What Does the Shadow King Want With Oliver?
Legion’s first season might end with David’s mutant parasite being purged from his system, but the evil entity finds a new cushy home in the form of Oliver Bird. The season concludes with Oliver and the Shadow King high-tailing it in style to greener pastures, but not much to go on beyond that. One thing’s clear, this wasn’t meant as a goodbye to either character. Jemaine Clement has already been confirmed to be returning for season two. Hawley has also been open about the show not needing a new villain each year and the Shadow King’s story being far from over. The creature seems to be the type to hold a pretty bad grudge, so Oliver might be the best way to get payback on David and his superfriends. Additionally, the Shadow King is already powerful enough on his own, that also having access to Oliver’s grand abilities of manipulating the astral plane feels like it could be a very dangerous situation. Any excuse for Clement and Plaza paling around more is a good thing though, even if it might mean the end of these heroes.
11. The Fractured State of Cary and Kerry’s Relationship
One of the best surprises from Legion’s first season was falling in love with the intricate, unusual relationship between Cary (Bill Irwin) and Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder). Part way through the season it’s explained that Kerry is “living inside” of Cary, with her coming out when the situation calls for it. The truth is even more complicated than that, but it’s why the two share such a symbiotic, close connection. Charting their friendship is a small joy in a show full of big, flashy moments. In spite of their bond typically being sterling, the end of the season sees some tension erupting between them. Kerry gets left behind in some dire situations as Cary follows in the pursuit of answers regarding the parasite inside David. Cary’s actions are absolutely necessary, but it doesn’t change the negative energy going on between him and his other half. Admittedly, bygones are largely allowed to be bygones after the Shadow King ransacks the Summerland estate (funny what a ruptured spleen between friends can do), but Cary and Kerry’s scars are still visible. This new dynamic to their relationship will surely only be dug into deeper next season when given the time.
10. Will the Show Be Less Visually Crazy Now That David is “Cured”?
It’s safe to say that some viewers didn’t even make it past Legion’s first few episodes due to their jarring, nonlinear nature. Hawley pulled off something very remarkable with his show, where the audience is just as confused and out of sorts as its main character is. It’s the perfect representation of David’s chaotic mental state. However, as David slowly figures out what’s going on, so does the audience and the show’s frenetic narrative style calms down accordingly. It’s no coincidence that the season’s finale, wherein David is arguably his most “in control” features the most linear, “regular” sort of storytelling. Does that mean that season two will be even more grounded? According to Hawley, not necessarily. The showrunner has gone on to reiterate that even though David might have solved one of his problems, he’s far from fixed and is still suffering from a lot. He assures audiences that the show will still find ways to subvert expectations visually and mess with structure, albeit not necessarily in the same ways as before. Thankfully it seems like Legion will still be one of television’s most mind-bending series.
9. Is the Shadow King Done With Sydney?
In Legion’s finale, “Chapter 8,” the Shadow King drops a startling bombshell on Sydney. Due to that brief time when Syd and David “switched bodies,” the Shadow King happened to get a small taste of Syd while she was sharing space with him inside of David. As the episode continually pushes the idea that the Shadow King needs to leave David’s body, it also needs to track down a new host. Sydney begins to look like more and more of a suitable substitute, with the Shadow King manipulating the power of love to get what he wants. While the Shadow King does get his way and briefly takes control of Sydney (and cause a lot of damage in the process), staying inside of her is not his end game. That being said, the experience seems to have greatly affected Sydney, with her still maybe being mentally haunted by what’s happened. The Shadow King also knows that nothing is more important to David than Sydney, making her the perfect target for him next season. Whether as a host or a corpse. It wouldn’t be the worst time for her to start bettering her defenses.
8. Clark’s Role in the Summerland Group
Hamish Linklater brought such life to Division 3’s interrogator, Clark, that it was a pleasant surprise to see the character return for the finale in such a big way. Clark is actually given a very heavy presence in “Chapter 8,” even receiving a fancy flashback sequence to flesh out his backstory and personal life. Even though Clark might be coming onto David and company a little strong at first, the season ends in a very amicable place between everyone. David spends a lot of time trying to appeal to Clark’s decency and tell him that humans and mutants can live together, with some arrangement between Summerland and D3 being the answer. The intentions of Division 3 as a whole may not be clear, but Clark at least says that he’s in favor of “working together.” Whether that means D3 exiling him and he permanently shacks up with Summerland remains to be seen. Maybe Clark’s radical burns will even see him exhibiting some mutant behavior himself and sharing even more of a connection with David.
7. “The Future” of Mutanthood and Humanity Co-Existing
While on the topic of Clark’s role next season, why not open the whole Division 3 can of worms here? Clearly David is in favor of fostering some peace arrangement between Summerland and Division 3. It also appears that Clark supports such an idea. However, other members of Summerland are not entirely on board with this, with some still having much more of a “shoot first” mentality. It’s inevitable for anything set in the X-Men universe to bring up the topic of mutants and humans trying to live together in harmony, but hopefully Legion will still surprise viewers. Now that David’s struggle seems to be less of an internal one, it’s entirely possible that this Division 3 and co-existence material could fill a larger presence next year. As optimistic as David’s plans for peace may be, if that orb that captured him really is D3’s Equinox, then clearly peace relations between these guys are still far away. Could Clark’s acceptance of David’s ideals merely be him pulling off an elaborate con job?
6. Will Season 2 Have More Mutants?
Legion did the right thing by slowly easing into its superhero aspects and not using them as crutches. While there are a number of mutants on this program, it plays it cool on the subject and is hardly a program about exploiting superpowers. With Legion now having set its stage and introduced its core themes and concepts, it’s almost earned the right to get a little more cavalier with its mutant-play next year. Legion has featured some breathtaking displays of telekinetic powers in action, but characters like The Eye, Ptonomy, and the Loudermilks, all display rather unique mutant abilities, too. With Hawley seeming to delight in shattering conventions, him finding a number of niche mutants or powers to use as new allies or foes next year could be a lot of fun. Even just starting the season off in the middle of some fight featuring bizarre mutant powers would work without stealing too much focus. Division 3 seems to have plenty of prisoners, so perhaps an uprising is about to be afoot. Or maybe they’re even building mutant supersoldiers. D3’s Equinox could always be a mutant, after all.
5. Will Season 2 Be Hitting the Road?
One major clue towards Legion’s second season lies in the image of Oliver and Lenny hitting an open highway and barreling towards the future. It wouldn’t be hard to see the two of them on the road in a Natural Born Killers-sense as they head towards some ultimate destination. Legion is set to return to FX next year and while much of the show will be remaining the same, one production change will see the show moving from Vancouver to Los Angeles. This location shift isn’t being done for cost saving purposes though, but rather to suit the aesthetic change the show’s second season will undergo. Hawley is interested in capturing southern California in a new light, highlighting urban and rural areas in juxtaposition with the astral plane to create something wholly unique. Hawley has also spoken about wanting each season to have its own self-contained nature, with a new season naturally necessitating a new look and location. Not to mention, Oliver and Lenny’s final lines are, “Where should we look first?” “Someplace warm.” Sure sounds a lot like California.
4. Will Someone Be Replacing “The Eye?”
One of the major obstacles that David and company experienced over the course of the show’s first season was the mutant villain Walter, otherwise known as The Eye. Walter almost gave off a Frankenstein’s Monster-esque presence as the towering figure always seemed to be able to sneak up on the Summerland Group. The Eye managed to earn his nickname due to his enviable mutant ability which allows him to look like other people. The Shadow King might rub Walter out of the picture in the end (in an extremely gruesome fashion), but does that mean that Division 3 is going to enlist more security with more foreboding nicknames to knock out David? Could The Mouth be far behind? There’s also the possibility that Walter served a unique role because he was one of the original members of the Summerland Group along with Oliver and Cary. His vendetta might have been fueled with a lot of personal fire, but even so, it’s hard to imagine that Division 3 wouldn’t enlist someone new to take his place.
3. More on David’s Foster Family
David’s family have been a fundamental aspect to the series, even if they were one that often could lose focus in favor of the headier, more psychological material. Amy, David’s adoptive sister is someone that he quite literally risks his life to save. With her now being one of the few pieces of his family that he has left, Amy’s role is likely to grow in the show’s second season. On top of that though, a number of David’s childhood memories have only appeared through a Shadow King filter and therefore can’t be fully trusted. Elements like the faces of David’s adoptive parents specifically not being shown feel like intentional moves meant to make for significant reveals later on. The biggest of all of this lies in the message that the stars told David back in his childhood home. It’s a message so powerful it leads to David destroying that tape, meaning it’s prime to be returned to next year. Everything related to David’s family feels appropriate for a re-visit now that he’s finally thinking straight.
2. How David’s Powers Continue to Grow
Legion consistently made it exciting whenever David would whip out his psychic powers. Some of the show’s most bewildering material came from the show’s final episodes where David, finally in control of his powers, begins to show off what he’s really capable of. That “Pillar of Soldiers” scene is a real delight, but it doesn’t seem like it’d be out of David’s power to do the same stunt but on an Eiffel Tower scale. It’s no surprise that the future of this show will continue to explore how David’s abilities evolve, but seeing exactly how that will be done is what’s exciting. Both Hawley and Dan Stevens have said that the series will only take liberally from the comics, meaning that the many absurd multiple personalities that David has in the comics might not come into the series. But it also doesn’t mean that they won’t, or that they won’t be reflected in some capacity. David’s evolution needs to continually receive obstacles and breakthroughs, and a lot of that is going to manifest in what he’s capable of doing.
1. David’s Unresolved Daddy Issues
Watching Legion for the Professor X connections is the wrong reason to be watching Legion. It even feels like Hawley is trying to avoid playing into this as much as possible, with the guy flinching every time someone asks him if Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy is going to show up down the line. That being said, this is a show about the son of Charles Xavier, so obviously it’s still a crucial piece of the puzzle. Why was David given away? What connections do David’ adopted parents have to Xavier, if any? Hawley has been coy about just how much of a role Xavier will play in the show, if any, but he did emphasize that anything dealing with someone who’s never met their birth parents before is obviously going to be interested in telling that story. Not only that, in the flashbacks to David’s childhood in “Chapter 7” the exact Professor X wheelchair from X-Men: Apocalypse is used. Let that wheelchair be the first piece of connected universes at play here.
Are there other Legion threads that you simply can’t stop tugging at? Season two might not be arriving until 2018, but let us know in the comments below what you’re most eager to see get addressed in season two!
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