HomeTelevisionLegion Chapter 14: Will The Real David Please Stand Up?

Legion Chapter 14: Will The Real David Please Stand Up?

Legion Chapter 14
Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

A quick recap of where we’re at in the action:

Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) seems to have been returned to her body, and as we learn at the end of the episode, her body was forcibly taken from David’s sister Amy (Katie Aselton) and turned into Lenny by Farouk (Navid Negahban), presumably to torture David (Dan Stevens). It isn’t necessarily clear his motivations for singling out Amy as the host of Lenny’s consciousness, but David doesn’t appear to take this revelation well.

When we begin this episode, we could not be farther away from that moment in time. If I had to explain it, I’d say that David’s life and his life choices flashed before his eyes. Maybe he was questioning the choices he’s made and wondered how he could have avoided this very upsetting scenario, only to realize that the only successful road was the one that led him here. That, or Farouk showed him these alternate timelines just to toy with him.

Throughout the episode we are introduced to various alternate reality versions of David. I’ve given them the following nicknames: Homeless David, Evil Millionaire David, Elderly David, Business David, Dairy Boy David, Junkie David, Married-In-The-Suburbs-With-Two-Point-Three-Kids David (he gave himself that nickname), Pencil Pusher David, and Our David.

Some of these Davids, as you learn, are the same David; they are the same version of him in different points in his own timeline, that have taken drastically different routes depending on the choices he’s made.

For example, Business David becomes Evil Millionaire David thanks to his psychic powers. Realizing that some men in a business meeting – in which he is initially just “the coffee boy” – were planning on scamming a woman that was about to sign a deal, he warns her with the information he gleaned from peoples’ minds and helps her avoid financial ruin. We see her call David over to her, and then later we see him reflecting on this moment in the future, almost showboating to that same woman and rubbing it in that his power makes him nearly omnipotent. This version of David also adapts a slightly British accent and is almost reminiscent of Profession Xavier, but if Professor X only postured as if he wanted to unite mutants and bring peace to humanity as opposed to actually doing those things.

Evil Millionaire David is also in a unique position amongst the Davids by being in a caretaker role over his sister Amy. Here, she is asking for money to purchase a house – and David seems to delight in saying no, even torturing her by using his powers to give her a nosebleed. This David is also the only one to see Farouk in his real form – not the Yellow Eyed Demon, as the others do, but the real Farouk. It’s an interesting look into what David might be like without shame and without morality. It’s a David that revels in the knowledge that he is not a Homo Sapien, but rather Homo Superior.

Two of the Davids end up dead. One is Homeless David, who may also be Junkie David based on the common thread of a stolen shopping cart that links them. This David gets attacked by a Clockwork Orange-style street gang and ends up evaporating them. Later, some military men (Divison 3, from the look of it) and a sword-wielding Kerry (Amber Midthunder) execute him in a very public display. The other casualty is Dairy Boy David. He is nearly comatose due to the excessive amounts of medication he takes at Amy’s urging. One day while he is waiting for her to pick him up from his job at the dairy warehouse, he sees the Yellow Eyed Demon and begins shouting to himself. This raises some alarm for two police officers who have trouble subduing him and try to arrest him. After one pushes and injures Amy, David loses control and pretty horrifically murders them before he is executed by a cop called in as backup.

Legion Chapter 14
Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

Junkie David explains at one point that he has a theory about alternative universes. He believes there are an endless amount of them where different versions of the same person live out different lives. Each and every decision made by these different versions of yourself can create a branch that veers into a new timeline based on those decisions, and then those branches and those decisions cause new branches, and so on. Again, I love when the show very casually and yet very carefully references something that is a huge aspect of the Marvel universe at large, and this whole episode’s way of depicting the multiple universes was pretty expert.

When I saw the previews for this episode last week, I half-expected this to be an introduction into the multiple personalities of David Haller that defined the comic book version of him, but I actually enjoy this interpretation better. Maybe it’s possible that instead of multiple personalities, he is simultaneously aware of all these alternative universe Davids? Maybe that’s reading too much into it, but I liked the exploration into David and how he would be if even the smallest of circumstances were different.

Then there’s Our David. This version of David is easily recognizable by his white and black striped shirt as the one we met in the very first episode of the first season. The one who did his best to be better for his sister, but who ultimately couldn’t drown out the voices and the visions and tried to hang himself with an extension cord. We see elements of this David’s struggle to present as healthy for Amy’s sake, and we ultimately see the moment in which she drives him to Clockworks and convinces him to go inside and get help. David is desperate, begging not to go in, but Amy reassures him that it will only be a few weeks. We know that this isn’t true, since this is the same David that was in Clockworks long enough to meet Lenny, and Syd (Rachel Keller). This is the David that gets abducted by Divison 3, rescued by Summerland, and then freed of The Shadow King.

This is the David that, at the end of the episode, is exactly where he was when we last saw him: being cradled by Lenny, in his possibly-now-permanently-erased sister’s body, and remembering something that Farouk said to him: “you decide what is real and what is not. You will.”

Here’s one thing that I’m realizing about this show: the action moves really slow, and is constantly taking breaks. This can feel really frustrating when the going is good and you just want to see what happens next, but I also really enjoy it when it completely steps away. Like in “Chapter 12” when it screeches to a halt to show us Syd’s memories, the fact we’ve lifted back the curtain in David’s mind and seen what would happen to him if not this very traumatizing thing, it makes his battle seem all the more worth fighting. I realize that we’re over the halfway point in the season now, and I hope that things ramp up in a major way, but I’m not mad for yet another distraction.

What’s interesting is that the common thread in all these alternate timelines is Amy. Whether she is taking care of David or not, she is there – but she’s usually taking care of David. Certain versions of Amy seem more burdened by this task than others; in one timeline, she explicitly asks David to take his medication so as not to hurt her, and in another she is literally lifting him in and out of bed and bathing him without so much as a word. The dynamic between them is still very unclear, but we know that David cares a lot about her, and was likely the only person in his life that truly cared about him.

I don’t remember if this was the case in season one, but her color palette this season seems to be almost exclusively green. The color green can represent safety and harmony, which are definitely two things that appear slightly more present in David’s life when Amy is around. On the negative end of the color meaning spectrum, green an also represent greed, and jealousy. In Amy’s reason for taking care of David less altruistic than it appears? Is David maybe a little resentful of her for reasons that have only just begun to be explored through instances like refusing to take his medication or the lie she told him when she said he would only be in Clockworks for a few weeks?

In season one, when The Shadow King had trapped everyone’s consciousness inside of Clockworks, Amy played the role of a nurse at the hospital who was particularly cruel to David, something I’ve been curious about ever since. Maybe we’re finally being set up for some insight into their relationship, and what that relationship does for David psychologically.

The show takes a lot of bold risks and does a lot, visually. I understand that these visuals can be polarizing for some, and that it sometimes feels like too much style over substance. I actually believe that the choices – while definitely distracting, at points – work perfectly with the disjointed narrative of the show. If the narrative were to be linear or straightforward, throwing all these visuals into the mix would definitely feel like too much. Once you develop an expectation that you develop a sense of what’s filler, and right now we can’t possibly rule anything out as filler, because the plot is still coalescing. I don’t have any more guesses on where the story is moving than I did last week, and I’m either being distracted by all the wheels in motion, or I’m right where the show wants me to be. Either way, I’m along for the ride.

Legion Chapter 14 Rating: 9 out of 10

Melissa Jouben
Melissa Jouben
Melissa Jouben is an enthusiastic young writer who can usually be seen performing or enjoying live comedy in New Jersey and New York. She has a very limited range of interests which can be summed up by the following list, in no particular order: comedy, cartoons, toy collecting, wrestling, limited edition varieties of soda, and Billy Joel. She was born and raised in New Jersey and can’t wait to leave so she can brag to all her new neighbors about how great the ocean smells at low tide.


  1. I happen to agree with you one liking what they’ve done. I also think that David’s sister dyeing was supposed to be more powerful and no one saw her all season. So I feel they had to do something to make it more powerful. Honestly I kept waiting for evil David to pop up. The one his future girlfriend warned him about and how she hadn’t seen him like that in a long time. One more odd thing I thought about was that his sister was always present (except junkie David but maybe she’s dead or had to cut him off. Don’t know) but the one time David was taking care of her, he hurt her and yea she was shitty but so was he. I almost wonder if that’s the version that the shadow king has him instead of working together. Cause David doesn’t have a British voice and only the shadow king talks of being a god and looking down on every one. I know david could of just liked what TSK was like and adopted his style. But he was looking in a mirror in the scene u see TSK with him. I think it was just TSK admiring himself.
    As you said tho, it might night be as action packed as season one but the imagery, the filming style and character depth combine with honestly some perfect acting (specially David). It’s an amazing show. The whole life to death overtone. Now I don’t dislike his sister to much. Any one now who that guy was with his sister when that happened and was she in a room under division 13 building.

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