Spoilers for Legion "Chapter 12."
She's baaaaack. Although Aubrey Plaza has been a regular presence on FX's superhero series since "Chapter 1," she's only briefly appeared as an actual flesh-and-blood character, existing primarily as a manifestation of the villainous Shadow King, haunting David's mind. But is Lenny alive again on Legion? Plaza's fan-favorite character may officially be back from the dead, if that surprising cliffhanger to April 24's "Chapter 12" can be believed — something that should never be taken for granted on this show, to be sure.
When viewers first met Lenny, she was David's closest friend in Clockworks, the psychiatric institution in which they were both locked up, along with David's future girlfriend, Sydney. But when David kissed Sydney on the day of her discharge, the pair swapped bodies and Sydney accidentally unleashed David's powerful telekinetic powers, teleporting all the other patients into their rooms and turning their doors into solid walls. Only, one patient didn't make it all the way into her room before the wall sealed around her, crushing her to death: poor dead Lenny.
After that point, the Shadow King — who had already been inhabiting David's mind since he was a child — consumed Lenny's personality, using her to gain David's trust, and even conflating Lenny with David's memories of his pre-Clockworks druggie friend, Benny.
But after David finally forced the Shadow King out of his head in the Season 1 finale, many fans — and Lenny herself — began to wonder what the character's continued purpose on the show was. As delightful a presence as Plaza had been on Legion, the Shadow King didn't really have any use for her mask anymore: a frustration that Lenny palpably expressed throughout the first two episodes of Season 2, even futilely trying to kill herself multiple times to escape the astral plane the Shadow King had trapped her in.
In "Chapter 10," Lenny begged Amahl Farouk to use his prodigious power to build her a new body. "I'd live the living sh*t out of it," she told Farouk when he asked her what she'd do with a second chance at life. "Then what?" he asked. "Guess I'd die again?" she responded. "And then what?" he pressed. Viewers didn't get to see the answer to that question… but whatever deal Farouk and Lenny struck in that moment, it must have made him willing to acquiesce to her request, because now here she is, seemingly as alive as ever.
"I'm back," she sheepishly tells David and Syd as Division III soldiers haul her into headquarters at the end of "Chapter 12." The way they're handling her certainly makes it seem like she has a new corporeal form, and is not just a figment inside David's mind — although with the Shadow King's tricks, it's often hard to tell.
But let's go ahead and assume for now that Lenny really is alive again. Do you really think Farouk simply gave her a free pass out of the kindness of his heart? Or do you think it's more likely that he only gave Lenny what she wanted because it he knew it would help his evil master plan in some way?Whether Lenny knows it or not, whether she's a willing accomplice or not, she's definitely still a part of the war between David and Farouk, still a piece in their game of astral chess.
The one thing it is safe to assume is that this particular turn of events means that creator Noah Hawley has thought of a way to keep Lenny around for even longer, and that Plaza's impact on the season is about to increase dramatically. And that can only be a good thing.