I’m just saying, the final fight in Legion makes no sense.
Listen, I loved the show. I’m a big fan of Noah Hawley after the surprisingly awesome TV incarnation of Fargo (both seasons but especially season 2) and I’m all for superhero TV shows even pushing myself to finish Luke Cage and possibly take on Iron Fist next. But Legion botched the landing.
Thanks to stunning visuals and an impeccable soundtrack, Legion felt inspired and wholly original despite retreading familiar territory. It was somewhat disappointing anytime the show ventured towards Xavier and the rest of the X-Men because, well, this was more impressive than many of those films and especially the god-awful Apocalypse. They cast it well introducing many to Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens and giving Aubrey Plaza the role of a lifetime. The show also featured an intense character arc with one of the most charismatic villains since David Tenant’s run in the excellent Jessica Jones.
But the final fight just doesn’t work. Let’s break down why.
In the final scene, David is strapped down undergoing basically a scientific exorcism as Cary works to sever the parasitic Shadow King from his mind. However the King is well aware of this plan and is communicating with David’s mutant girlfriend, Syd, that she needs to cut a deal before the Shadow King fries David’s mind completely. So Syd makes the heroic gesture to kiss her near death boyfriend, doing the Freaky Friday body transfer. The Shadow King, now in Syd’s body, transfers again to the team’s muscle, Kerry, before having a final psychic energy blast fight with David sending it rearing off into the distance right into Oliver who disappears in the chaos. The stage is set for a season 2 dramatic confrontation between David and Melanie’s estranged and powerful husband, Oliver. Cool – except when you think about it.
Let’s back up to that slow motion sequence as the Shadow King plays musical protagonist bouncing around to nearly every available supporting player. We can forgive the fact that the Shadow King manages to corrupt Syd and then Kerry in a matter of a slow-motion half-second as it’s really still David’s consciousness being passed around to them (he becomes Syd when they kiss, then he becomes Kerry when he/she touches her). We can overlook the damaging or possibly fatal consequences of being in the middle of an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind memory wipe when your consciousness is literally swapped out with someone else’s (maybe swapping subjects in the middle of this metaphysical surgery isn’t as fatal as it would be for any other type of surgery).
No, what doesn’t make sense is that last moment, in the hallway, as David and Kerry square off against each other. Think about it. Just who in the hell is squaring off? David (possessed by the king) went to Syd and then went to Kerry. So that’s the Shadow King inside David inside Kerry on one end of the hall. On the other side that should then be Syd inside David though the last time she took over David she mutilated everyone in the mental institution as she couldn’t handle the power. Here, she’s apparently calm enough to have a psychic showdown with the uber powerful Shadow King. That just doesn’t make sense. I gather the showrunners want us to think it’s David vs. the Shadow King in Kerry’s body but based on the rules created by the show in earlier episodes, that can’t be the case. Remember last time they did the body swap way back in episode 1 they remained like that for hours, not seconds as is portrayed here.
Thankfully by the time the dust settles and we get to see Oliver escape plus have an intriguing post credits scene, you’re too exhausted to really think about it. Good show, great first season, but we’re just saying that fight didn’t make any sense.