WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for this week's episode of Legion, "Chapter 27," which aired Monday on FX.
If you’ve seen enough of FX’s Legion to care about how the series concludes, you’ll be prepared for some questions to be left hanging, and for some answers to come from completely unexpected directions. In one sense, the world has ended, just as Syd (Rachel Keller) warned it would when she sent a message from her post-apocalyptic future in Season 2. In another, Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban) has fulfilled his role as the one being powerful enough to change the course of events.
Just as David (Dan Stevens) visualized, history changes when the parasitic mutant doesn’t take hold of his mind in his infancy. However, he had thought only in terms of destroying Farouk, whether that meant defeating him on the astral plane or killing his mortal body. One possibility that he never considered when traveling into the past to find his enemy was communicating with him.
Charles Xavier (Harry Lloyd), loyal to his son but conscious of the dangers produced by his frayed mental health, becomes one of the key players in working out a solution that allows David to grow up free from the internal influence that corrupted him. The other, thanks to time travel as well as his ingenuity and skill at manipulating others, is Farouk himself. Two instances of the same man, one from just before he fought Xavier and one from thirty years later, have the chance to talk it out with each other.
As the portrayal of the present-day Farouk suggests he’s still a monster, and that impression is backed up by the assessment of most other characters, it doesn’t seem that he would have much to offer in this situation. The one-on-one comparison provides some surprising evidence, though: He’s grown.
But after being physically dead for 30 years and then devoting himself to a frail alliance with Division 3, how did he get there? The only possible answer is that living intertwined with David -- and experiencing positive relationships with others through him -- has made him a better person. When the Farouk of the past agrees to step aside, he’s kept the David of the past from ever becoming the world-killer, but it’s the Farouk of the present who made that happen, and that evolution results directly from the David of the present.
Xavier and Gabrielle (Stephanie Corneliussen) have taken something valuable from their traumatic experiences, too. With a renewed understanding of the importance of their love for each other and for their child, they now have the opportunity to stand up against the rest of David’s demons. It can be assumed that he’s still a mutant and will still suffer from mental health issues, but he’ll now face them with the support of his parents, each of whom has a relevant, if painful, insight to what he’ll endure.
Other characters have their own chances to share in the theme of renewal. For Cary (Bill Irwin) and Kerry (Amber Midthunder), it’s another bittersweet sacrifice that rapidly ages Kerry. The two are now approximately the same age, but they accept it with grace, along with the way it will inevitably change the balance of their relationship.
David and Syd share a moment of peace, bordering on reconciliation. As they stand together over his cradle just before fading out into the reset timeline, David thanks her for her part in everything, and she responds, “I didn’t do it for you.” Looking down at the innocent baby version of David, she clarifies, “I did it for him.”
The greatest transformation of all, though, belongs to Switch (Lauren Tsai). After a distressing scene in which she reaches an absolute low, losing every one of her teeth and fainting, she’s rescued by none other than her own father. With affection and subdued pride, he explains to her that they’re both fourth-dimensional beings, and that she’s transcended to the adulthood of their kind. She feels her mouth and finds it healed: according to her father, her “baby teeth” have fallen out, replaced by “wisdom teeth”.
Switch’s power when she embraces her heritage is formidable. The Time Eaters, now revealed to be guardians of the timestream, obey her. She’s able to single-handedly correct the damages made by the choices of others, and to set everyone on a path in their rightful places in time. She’s become both the deus ex machina and the hero of the story.
The villain, if there is one, is inside each character. This time, each one is defeated, but as the final screen shown after the credits hints, everything could go another way.
FX's Legion stars Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Bill Irwin, Amber Midthunder, Jeremie Harris, Aubrey Plaza, Jemaine Clement, Hamish Linklater, Navid Negahban, and Lauren Tsai.