CLEVELAND, Ohio -- In a post on Tuesday, I speculated about the identity of a yellow-eyed demon that haunts the memories of protagonist David Haller on FX's "X-Men" spinoff "Legion."
The creature that appears in David's recollections of his younger days could be a manifestation of the protagonist's still-not-entirely-understood powers, some alternative version of an X-Men villain, or a part of David's subconscious.
But after Wednesday night's episode of the trippy superhero drama, I can safely propose another theory.
And it should go without saying that if you haven't seen the latest episode and don't want any spoilers, you should stop reading now.
My hypothesis about the yellow-eyed devil following Wednesday's episode: One of David's multiple personalities.
The David Haller of the TV series is a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, but the David Haller of the comic books had multiple personalities. While the show has gone out of its way to distance itself from the comics, undeniable parallels have emerged -- you can read about them in my previous post, but I'll add one more: Melanie Bird's mutant preserve serves as a place where mutants can learn to use their powers. It looks a lot like Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in the comics.
Here's my evidence:
- When a memory artist and mysterious mutant underground leader Melanie Bird delved into David's memories, they encountered fierce resistance. David assured them he wasn't the one resisting. But with no one else present, the roadblocks had to be coming from David. Perhaps it's a part of his mind that his dominant personality doesn't have access to.
- We learned in Wednesday's episode that David's memory has holes he can't access. Perhaps he simply can't remember the moments when his other personalities were in control.
- After Melanie Bird, the Memory Artist and Syd -- David's sort-of girlfriend -- awoke from their trip into David's past, Syd offered the observation "I'm not so sure those were memories." The horrifying visions they had just experienced could have been David's other personalities trying to get through.
- The angriest boy in the world, a character in a rather disturbing bedtime story read to David by his father, also appeared throughout the journey through David's past in a few equally disturbing scenes. While we know less about him than we do about the yellow-eyeddevil, I'm willing to bet that he's another of David's personalities.
- The show is called "Legion." The title comes from David Haller's nickname in the comics. He was given the moniker because of his multiple powers, but also thanks to his multiple personalities.
All of this is circumstantial for the time being. But each episode has revealed just a little bit more information about David's past and his powers. We'll hopefully find out more next Wednesday.
A few other observations:
X-Men references abound
Wednesday's chapter featured a not-so-subtle nod to the "X-Men" stories in a handful of scenes that saw David and Melanie sitting across from one another in a lounge. One side of the lounge featured a circular window with a giant "X" through it, a symbol long used in the "X-Men" comics.
Observant viewers noticed that the opposite side of the room featured a picture of a large "O," and that David and Melanie often sat across from one another, with the "X" and "O" featured prominently behind them.
There's undoubtedly some symbolism there. Perhaps they're on opposite sides, but don't know it yet?
An older, white-haired man told David's captive sister that her brother is running around with too much power and no self control. The man said he needed to find David so he could "turn him off."
That could mean the white haired man wants to kill David, but the old man could also be the show's version of Wipeout, an elderly mutant from the mutant-phobic African nation of Genosha. In the comics, Wipeout was blessed with the power to permanently block the powers of his fellow mutants, or turn those power "off."
Speaking of Wipeout...
Does Division Three have its own mutants?
David's ever increasing lexicon of superpowers now includes the ability to travel as a disembodied spirt, a gift he briefly shares with Syd when they spy on his sister's interrogation.
But the man with the perm sees them, something one imagines he shouldn't be able to do if he's devoid of special powers.
Mutants hunting other mutants was a common theme in the comics. The aforementioned nation of Genosha, for example, may have hated mutants, but its government didn't shy away from hiring them when it suited their goals.
The enduring mystery of David's father
David's father appeared again in David's memories in Wednesday's episode, his face still shrouded in shadow.
X-Men fans know that team founder Charles Xavier was David's estranged father in the comics. But Xavier is bald and the father in the series clearly has hair.
It's entirely possible that the man reading David a bedtime story is an adoptive father or a step father rather than a biological father. And with doubt cast upon the reliability of David's memory, it's also possible that the man he perceives as his father is a creation of his fragile mind.
The series has so far been stingy with information and slow to make big reveals, so it's likely to be a few episodes before we know for sure.
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