Equal parts maddening and mesmerizing, FX’s personal slice of the Marvel mutant pie, Legion, is returning for a third and final on June 24th. The series, created by Fargo’s Noah Hawley, is based on one of the most powerful and obscure characters from the comics: David Haller (Dan Stevens), an Omega-level mutant with godlike powers who also happens to be the secret son of X-Men founder Charles Xavier. Not that his daddy issues have played a huge role in the show thus far. The first two seasons kept the comics connections to a minimum, offering up only a few pointed easter eggs outside of the canon struggle between David and his mental clinger, the Shadow King.
But that’s all about to change as Legion heads into its home stretch — and this latest promo not only reveals that Charles Xavier (and Cerebro!) will be featured in the show, but that Harry Lloyd (a.k.a. Dany’s dick brother Viserys from Game of Thrones) will be playing him!
But why introduce Professor X now? Well, from all the promos released so far, it appears David will be playing with time travel this season (courtesy of a new ally) — and if David decides that changing the past will be the key to saving himself in the future, then going all the way back to his own origin would make sense. Initially the Shadow King was Xavier’s nemesis, after all, and that’s the reason he noticed and possessed the young David in the first place.
Of course, last season ended with Syd (Rachel Keller) discovering that David had tampered with her memories to make her love him again, at which point she and Division 3 attempt to stage an intervention — to help him, but also to save the world from him. It fails spectacularly, and David, still convinced he’s a harmless victim rather than a mind-raping psycho, goes on the run with Lenny (Aubrey Plaza). It looks like this season they’ll be tracked by Syd and Division 3, who have teamed up with the Shadow King himself to stop David. And since David clearly has no qualms tampering with minds or reality, it’s likely he’ll start tampering with time to save himself from them as well.
Also? David is playing around at being some hippy cult guru, and Aubrey Plaza is dressed up as the Mad Hatter. Honestly, I probably should have led with that, huh?
Hawley has talked about ending with the third season because it completes the arc of David’s story — which is less about superpowers than it is a story about mental illness. If season one found him on a path to recovery, season two showed him straying from that path. This season David will either find his way back toward stability, or spiral further. Which are some pretty high stakes for a show that has a lot of good ideas but often doesn’t quite stick the landing.
But look, even when this show is a convoluted mess, it’s still one of the most visually astonishing and inventive things on television. That plus Aubrey Plaza will keep me watching through the end.