Given that I almost bailed after the last season of Legion, the fact that this final season finds enough coherence to justify a full circle story arc is nothing short of a minor miracle. But kudos to Noah Hawley and crew for managing just that, without sacrificing really any of the surreal and bizarre images and sequences that made up the majority of this one of kind (if nothing else) series.
When we last left David (Dan Stevens) he’d become the villain determined to destroy the world and he did not take that pronouncement well. He now seems to be fulfilling that prophecy and has set up a Manson-like cult of female followers who worship his every move and whom he drugs into blissful oblivion with his loyal stooge Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) by his side. Toxic masculinity much? Actually, the metaphor is not subtle and the show makes that point- considering David’s white male entitlement and constant self-victimizing as a the dangerous threat to humanity that it is. That’s an amusing turn (though I wonder if that was always planned or whether the nuttiness of the last season justified a new approach- either way, it does work, so way to pivot in an effective direction).
With all knowing god powers, the show has to find something that David can’t do in order to move the story in any direction, so they’ve decided time travel is the thing (though apparently Legion in the comics can actually do that too, because of course he can). This necessitates the introduction of Switch the time traveler (Lauren Tsai), a four dimensional being who becomes the catalyst for the season long hopping through time shenanigans, leading to the meeting of David’s parents, in particular his father (Harry Lloyd) as none other than Charles Xavier himself. That’s pretty cool, and Lloyd plays the small part well enough that I actually wished we could see more of him- he seems like a potential force of balance in a show this off center.
The supporting cast has now mostly been reduced to Sydney (Rachel Keller), out to save the world from David and get revenge for his genuine victimizing of her, and Cary/Kerry (Bill Irwin and Amber Midthunder), as the rest show up in bit parts or one episode cameos in the case of Jean Smart and Jemaine Clement’s Melanie and Oliver. And of course, there’s Farouk (Navid Negahban), whose epic battle with David has to wrap itself up somehow. The way it does end feels a tad anticlimactic after all that David should have brought on himself at this point, and its eventual conclusion can’t help but leave you with the impression that to save the world from them, you have to give the bad guys what they want. I don’t know about that message. But aside from that, I’ve synthesized the plot beyond all the crazy and outlandish and imaginative scenes and non-sequiturs that you know (if you watch this show at all) make up the majority of the series- those can’t be spoiled and they shouldn’t be, You experience this show more than follow it, you let it wash over you as you absorb the meaning as best you can. I got lost in it last season (in a bad way), but this time there is enough here to grab onto not just its themes, but its characters through one last drop down the rabbit hole. So long, Legion. It’s been.. something else.