This week’s Legion saw the multi-faced villain Lenny, aka Benny, aka the Yellow Eyed Devil (Aubrey Plaza) torturing the team of mutants trapped inside David’s brain. By letting the monster run the show, it leans further away from being a psychological, stylized drama and goes full body horror.
The creature, played by Plaza, unleashes nightmares specific to each character, teasing Melanie about her dead husband, threatening Kerry with rape, sending Syd a vision of a David who treats her badly and calls her crazy, and forcing Ptonomy to relieve his mother’s death over and over. But it saved the worst for David, whose brain is apparently still housing all of his friends: Aubrey Plaza’s character places David in an armchair and tells him she knew his birth father.
While giving him a strange, threatening lap dance, the creature says, “He acts so holy, but he gave you up. He thought he could hide you from me, but I found you …” That’s the closest Legion has gotten to pointing its audience to Marvel comics, teasing the fact that David Haller’s biological father, according to Marvel canon, is Professor Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men.
Fans have already pointed out that the Yellow-Eyed Devil looks a hell of a lot like Marvel supervillain Mojo, a fat, grinning alien who dimension-hops and gets off by erasing human memories. The fact that Legion’s unnamed villain hides in the folds of David’s memory seems too close to Mojo canon to be unintentional. That the creature would hate David’s father for “acting holy” (an accusation many have aimed at Professor X, including his on-again, off-again best bro Magneto) feels pretty in-line with X-Men canon.
Previously, we knew only that David hadn’t met his birth father, and that he couldn’t remember his face — or that the memory of his birth father’s face was erased somehow. Now we know what the Yellow-Eyed Devil thinks of this character, and we know David’s father chose to send him away in order to hide him from supervillains.
Of course, Legion’s showrunner Noah Hawley swears up and down that the show will not crossover into the current X-Men timeline, and he insists it’s a standalone drama. While that does rule out the cameo Patrick Stewart says he’d love to do as Professor X, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Legion will ignore who David truly is. We may get even further information about his connection to one of Marvel’s most powerful telepaths (rivaled only by Jean Grey and David himself) without actually seeing Professor X or his school.
For now, it appears Aubrey Plaza’s monster has played its cards, telling David it doesn’t care about his powerful mind, and only wants his body for unknown reasons. In the last sequence, we see Cary and Syd escaping the trap Aubrey’s monster set for them, so David might be in luck.
Legion airs on FX, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST.