HomeTelevisionLegion Series Finale Review: A Fitting End to One of the Best...

Legion Series Finale Review: A Fitting End to One of the Best Shows on Television

Legion Series Finale
Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

What a long strange trip it’s been.

For a show that’s been so wildly unpredictable, my gut reaction is to think it’s a little bit of a shame I saw the ending coming as of a few episodes back. But it’s a very fitting ending, isn’t it? Everyone dies, but everyone gets to live. They get to live lives where they never met, where they never experienced the traumas associated with the journey we’ve watched unfold over the last three seasons. Everyone gets a second chance – or a third chance, as is the case with Syd (Rachel Keller) and Farouk (Navid Negahban).

I can backtrack a bit and talk about what led up to this ending. David (Dan Stevens) thought that he would be able to kill Past Farouk (Negahban, playing two versions of the same character with more range you’re likely to see again for a very long time) and ultimately spare him from the traumatic life he lived. He enlists his father, Charles Xavier (Harry Lloyd) to help him, and while he certainly wants to do right by his future-son, he isn’t really aware of the nuances of the situation. That’s where Present Day Farouk comes in, having clawed his way out of that land between space and time to arrive in the past and stop David.

But here’s where the biggest twist in the finale comes in. Farouk doesn’t want to stop David from succeeding in his plan. He only wants to stop David from killing him. In the time that he’s spent living in David’s head, and experiencing the world through his eyes, then in everything he’s seen and learned once he got his body back, Farouk has become infinitely wiser and more grounded. Farouk wants a happy ending for both of them, because he’s grown to love David like a son.

I didn’t see this coming, because I didn’t consider the possibility that Farouk could change. Something I should have, considering how central that concept has been to the show as of recent, and how hard it’s tried to drive home the point that there is no dichotomy of good and evil. All season I’ve said, “Just because David is the bad guy doesn’t mean Farouk is the good guy now.” But David has always been the bad guy, he’s just been OUR good guy. And Farouk was his enemy, but David was not Farouk’s enemy. 

At the end of season two when David gets “put on trial” and his friends run down a list of the atrocities David committed through the season, Farouk is the one leading the trial. He’s the one who rallied David’s friends and showed them David’s true face. At the time, this played out like an ambush, one that was arranged by Farouk for personal gain. But it wasn’t! Farouk has been worried about David this entire time. The whole time he aligned himself with Division Three, he had quietly realized that he didn’t desire to be a god and amass power. He wanted to help a man that he has spent the last few decades sharing every moment, memory and emotion with. David saw Farouk as his parasite, and he was, but David was also Farouk’s entire world. 

It feels like such an oversight. Farouk was obsessed with David because he felt like he was a part of David, and David hated Farouk because Farouk represented the parts of himself he hated. This was an internal battle David faced for three seasons that we saw through David’s eyes and completely missed Farouk’s point-of-view until he had the opportunity to sit down and have a drink with Charles (Lloyd), his one-time nemesis, and explain that he wants to help David live a life without Farouk as his shadow. It just seemed, right up until the end, that Farouk wanted David for his strength or his powers. 

As for everyone else, Syd (Keller) and Kerry (Amber Midthunder) tried to defend baby David and his mother Gabrielle (Stephanie Corneliussen) from the time demons even as they were becoming overwhelmed by the swarm of them. Syd and Cary/Kerry have always stood up for good, since day one, and sometimes they were led astray but they themselves never strayed away from what they saw as the truth.

The fact that we have to watch them cease to exist in the way that we knew them is almost heartbreaking, because Kerry and Cary (Bill Irwin) have one of the most fascinating and adorable dynamics I’ve ever seen on television, and knowing that they’ll have to one day start that dynamic from scratch is almost too sad to think about. As for Syd, it’s a shame that she won’t be able to carry the experiences she had from her time in the astral plane forward, but it’s not too farfetched to believe that she’ll be able to have a happier life – especially without David (Stevens). 

I wonder how much this will truly affect David in the future. He won’t have to grow up with the demon in his head, but as it was clearly established this season, David isn’t only influenced by The Shadow King. He was mentally ill, and refused to accept it and stopped medicating. That illness is hereditary, and we know his mother suffers from it, and we also know that the love of his two birth parents isn’t going to be enough.

At the same time, having a father who understands David’s abilities and can help him hone them will do wonders for David’s self-esteem, I can imagine. It’s tough to say, but like Switch (Lauren Tsai)’s dad says: time is an ocean, not a river. It doesn’t just move in one direction, it’s all-encompassing. If the past, present, and future can all exist at the same time in an endless pool, what’s to say that the past we’ve come to know can’t bleed into the future? It might or it might not. We’ll simply never know.

As for Switch (Tsai), the time traveler whose powers put all of these events into motion, I was relieved to see that her character had a happy ending. She was underutilized despite being such an integral piece of the puzzle, and the lack of concern David had for her well-being was one of my least favorite parts of this season. But to find out that she is, unlike the others, TRULY a god, is a nice way to wrap up her particular story.

Once she leaves her physical form to unite with her father in the time hallway, and she realizes that she is essentially omnipotent, she makes a point to visit Syd and let her know that she’s a hero and give her a goodbye hug. It’s a powerful moment between two of the most isolated characters on the show, one that would have been so much more impactful had Syd and Switch shared more scenes together. I’ll take what I can get, though, because seeing Syd happy is one of the most satisfying ways I can think to end a series that didn’t always do right by her, but always made sure she was the hero of her own story.

And once everyone becomes aware that David succeeded in changing history, our heroes – and David – fade away into the ether, to be replaced with their past selves who can grow up into different people than they ever could have imagined. Again, it’s heartbreaking to see characters we loved so much disappear and know that they’ll never come back the way we knew them. But the way we knew them was torture, and if they can all get a shot at life that doesn’t involve running and hiding and fighting for survival, then I’m happy to know they can have that. And like I said, who knows if the past and present won’t overlap at some point and see some of history repeating itself. 

All we can safely say is that everyone gets a second chance, and though David doesn’t deserve one, you can’t disagree that Baby David does. We leave Legion closer to where it started than where it ends, a weird way to leave after going on such a wild ride. But we were also treated to some of the best television we’re likely to ever see, and even though these characters and these stories have ceased to exist, we still get to enjoy them as many times as we want.

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10

The Legion Series Finale is currently on demand.  You can catch previous seasons on Netflix.

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.

Most Recent

Stay Connected