If FX’s Legion does anything exceedingly well it’s in how it challenges our preconceived notions of what a superhero television show is and what it’s capable of. Between excellent but unnerving mini-documentaries about human psychosis and uncannily thrilling dance numbers, the show managed to challenge all those positive things you’ve ever thought about David Haller’s father Professor Charles Xavier.
A new episode of Legion Season 2 aired Tuesday night, and in it, we learned a lot more about Amahl Farouk’s side to his iconic confrontation with David’s father. Seeing and hearing Farouk’s side of it makes you honestly wonder which of them is the hero and which is the villain, and what we see got us closer than ever before to actually getting a Xavier cameo on Legion.
A direct flashback to Amahl Farouk’s side of the battle against Professor Charles Xavier all those years ago. Here’s their “epic” battle perceived from the real world:
Legion also recycled the chalkboard imagery from Season 1 regarding the psychic battle between Charles Xavier and Amahl Farouk as it flashed across his sunglasses. Much like in almost every iteration from comics and other mediums, Farouk’s body is sitting calmly in some kind of cafe or restaurant before he’s defeated on the astral plane and his body slumps over.
If this holds true with Marvel canon, then Charles Xavier is also sitting in that room with Farouk the entire time, battling him on the astral plane. Unfortunately, we never quite get that cameo we’ve all been dreaming of, but we do see what happens to Farouk’s body.
A hearse that looks as if it’s from the 1950s takes the body to a monastary of the Monks of the Meager Order. In the comics, Farouk’s body hardly matters and the Shadow King’s existence transcends his physical form in incomprehensible ways. But Legion rewrites all that to make Farouk’s physical body incredibly important to him. Like Voldemort, the Shadow King leeches off of other physical beings to sustain his astral form — which is why he clung to David all those years — and what Farouk really longs for is a full bodily resurrection.
Unlike Voldemort, however, Farouk claims that he merely wants to live his life in the south of France with beautiful women, which seems as noble a goal as any.
Perhaps the most profound addition to Farouk’s backstory is a healthy infusion of moral relativity. The Shadow King talks about being the king of his country to David, and how a “white man” named Charles Xavier came around with his own ideas. Xavier is then transformed from a hero into just another white imperialist that judges a culture he doesn’t understand
Season 2 has spent a lot of time and energy making us question what we think we know about the Shadow King, Charles Xavier, and David Haller — but this could forever change how we look at the X-Men, because even if the Shadow King is wrong, he still kind of right.
Legion airs Tuesday nights on FX at 10 p.m. Eastern.