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Legion Finally Reveals What the Shadow King Is Searching For

legion shadow king

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Season 2 premiere of Legion, "Chapter 9," which aired Tuesday on FX.

In the penultimate episode of Legion's first season, Lenny Busker (Audrey Plaza), one of the forms of the malevolent Shadow King, repeatedly asks "What did he do with it?," setting up the escape by the parasitic mutant in the body of Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement) to search the world for ... something. While we'd theorized that the he in the question is David Haller's father Charles Xavier, who vanquished the Shadow King to the astral plane, the it remained elusive. However, the Season 2 premiere finally spells it all out.

David Haller (Dan Stevens), last seen being abducted in the Season 1 cliffhanger by a strange orb, is returned after nearly a year to find the Summerland mutants now allied with the shadowy government organization Division 3, and devoted to a single goal: to find, and terminate, Amahl Farouk, the Shadow King. While speaking with Division 3's leader, the enigmatic Admiral Fukuyama, who communicates using a trio of mustachioed women, David learns Farouk is hunting for what's long eluded him -- his own body, hidden many years ago by Xavier.

legion shadow king
A chalkboard rendition of the battle between Xavier and the Shadow King

"Farouk's mind is strong," Fukuyama says through the women, known as the Vermillion, "but the mutations are genetic, meaning, 'of the genes,' physical, not mental. On its own, the Shadow King's mind is powerful, but were he to re-join his body, he would be unstoppable."

Even as the Shadow King looks for his body, so too does Division 3. "So you're saying it's a race," David concludes. "We're in a race."

While the stakes are great -- what would Farouk, who's believed to be at least two centuries old, do if he were "unstoppable"? -- this race is further complicated by the appearance of the Catalyst, a phenomenon Division 3 initially mistook for a weapon.

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"Normal people would freeze, like statues," Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller) relates to David, "except for that creepy thing they do with their teeth." That thing is unnerving, nonstop chattering, like a wind-up toy from a novelty store. "Then we realized, every time it happened, Oliver was there. We think he's infecting people somehow. It's not a virus, not a physical virus. Cary thinks it's psychological."

It's also not yet clear whether the Catalyst is something purposeful Oliver/Farouk is doing to distract Division 3 from its pursuit, or merely an unfortunate side effect from someone coming in contact with him. (Although it should be noted that David spent most of his life as the Shadow King's host, and no one around him suffered from such a malady.) Whatever the case, the number of Catalyst victims is rising, and Division 3 only so much space space in which to store their catatonic, chattering bodies. That's presumably one more reason to find Farouk's body before the Shadow King does.

Airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX, Legion stars Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Bill Irwin, Amber Midthunder, Jeremie Harris, Aubrey Plaza, Jemaine Clement, Hamish Linklater and Navid Negahban.

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