Recap ‘Legion’ Season 1 Before The Marvel Series Returns To Further Blow Your Mind
Bollywood dance numbers. Scientists living in giant ice cubes. Demons with yellow eyes. In Season 1, Legion proved that it's just about the weirdest show on television — and things are about to get even weirder in Season 2, if the bizarre promos for the April 3 premiere are any indication. But… what actually happened in the first eight episodes of the superhero show created by Noah Hawley (Fargo)? It could be hard enough to tell what was going on in the moment, much less remember every detail 12 months later. Fortunately, this Legion Season 1 recap exists to remind you just how confusing this show is before the next batch of episodes messes with your mind all over again.
Of course, you'll remember that Legion introduced David Haller (Dan Stevens), a man who has suffered from schizophrenia all his life, only to belatedly find out that he possesses superpowers, not a mental illness. When the audience first meets the character, he's locked up in Clockworks Psychiatric Hospital alongside fellow inmates Lenny Busker (Aubrey Plaza), his best friend, and Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller), his love interest, who supposedly suffers from borderline personality disorder.
Although Syd had never allowed David to touch her, he impulsively kissed her when she was about to be released from Clockworks, causing her to activate her own latent mutant powers: the pair switched bodies and, overwhelmed by the voices in her head, Syd accidentally unleashed David's powerful telekinetic powers, killing Lenny in the process.
Once their own bodies reverted back to them, David was kidnapped by government agency Division III, which captures and studies mutants. He was interrogated by Clark (Hamish Linklater) about his abilities and the catastrophe at Clockworks — until Syd suddenly showed up with a team of mutants to break him out and take him to a facility known as Summerland.
Summerland is a secret haven for mutants founded by powerful mutant Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement) and his human wife Melanie (Jean Smart). Other residents of the facility include Cary Loudermilk (Bill Irwin), a scientist who shares his body with a young native girl; Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder), Cary's alter ego who emerges mainly when someone is needed to kick ass and take names; Ptonomy Wallace (Jeremie Harris), who can view and bring people into a subject's memories; and Rudy (Brad Mann), a telekinetic and Melanie's muscle.
Throughout the season, the team at Summerland try to unlock the mysteries of David's mind and his shadowy past, while simultaneously evading the pursuit of Division III and the agency's sinister henchman known as The Eye — actually a mutant named Walter who co-founded Summerland with the Birds and Cary before being exiled due to his affinity for hurting other people.
While attempting to explore his memories, David's mind essentially turns into a haunted house and Melanie and Ptonomy are pursued by phantoms that have plagued David his whole life, mainly in the form of the title character from the creepy children's book The World's Angriest Boy In The World and a bulbous being known as the Devil With The Yellow Eyes — and now also the ghost of his dead friend Lenny. In an effort to explore his mind unperturbed, Melanie sedated David… and he found himself suddenly in the astral plane, where he stumbled across Melanie's husband Oliver, who had been missing and presumed dead for decades, but in reality simply went exploring in the astral plane and found himself unable to escape.
(David's time in the astral plane also allows him to create a sort of pocket in that dimension where his and Syd's consciousnesses can go to touch and interact.)
Eventually, after a brief stint in which all of the mutants are trapped in a psychic manifestation of Clockworks in which they're all patients and Lenny is their manipulative psychiatrist, Oliver revealed to David the true identity of the force that has been haunting David his whole life: Amahl Farouk. Also known as the Shadow King, Farouk is a powerful mutant who once did battle with David's father and lost, his mind separated from his body and stranded in the astral plane. Afraid for his son, David's father (who is Charles Xavier, aka Professor X, in the comics) put David up for adoption. But Farouk still found David and infected his mind.
During the conflict with the Shadow King, Walter killed Rudy and Farouk-as-Lenny killed Walter. Eventually, Clark and his Division III forces invaded Summerland, where David quickly and hilariously subdued them. In the final attempt to force Farouk's consciousness out of David's body, Farouk taunted that the process will kill David. In an effort to save her love, Syd kissed David and caused the Shadow King to leap into her own body instead. He then leapt into Kerry's body and fought off the rest of the mutants until David forced him out, assuming he's vanquished the demon. But Farouk's consciousness simply latched onto the newly-freed Oliver, and and he drove away with Lenny in his passenger seat.
Witnessing all of this, Clark agreed to ally with David in pursuit of Farouk, and everything seemed headed for a relatively tidy Season 1 conclusion… until, in the mid-credits sequence, a floating orb appeared and absorbed David in front of a horrified Syd, carrying him off to parts unknown.
Who or what kidnapped David and why? Will the team be able to defeat Farouk while also saving Oliver? What fresh terrors does Noah Hawley have in store for viewers in Season 2? Tune in to the season premiere to find out.