NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Legion” are present in this review
Now reaching the show’s penultimate episode, Legion has officially entered its endgame in earnest, beginning with all of the surviving lead characters tumbling into the past. “Chapter 26” leaves the Time Eaters presumably gobbling the present, while David once again tries to change history, this time by directly engaging his father, rather than trying to spare his infant self from Farouk’s possession. At the same time, Syd, Cary and Kerry find themselves landing at Charles’ and Gabrielle’s house, just in time for a big Time Eater attack, after they inevitably also make their way to the past.
Surprisingly, most of the episode’s thrills actually unfold in the subplot at Gabrielle’s place, wherein Syd quickly discovers that Gabrielle is David’s mother, and David is an infant at this point in the past. Kerry decides that the best course of action is to literally kill David in the crib, which would change the past to erase all of David’s damage, but Syd refuses to do so. Syd being the voice of reason here is a little surprising, since she was the one who formerly and continually put David down before Switch eventually changed the past, but her experiences with Oliver and Melanie in the Astral Plane have clearly changed her way of thinking. Thus, it’s Syd that puts forth the argument that David must be saved, since killing him wouldn’t ultimately create a better world for his family, on top of denying David the chance to be better than he was after his time being possessed by Farouk.
Division 3’s remaining forces don’t ultimately have much time left to debate though, after the Time Eaters make their way to Gabrielle’s house, starting with attempting to feed on the infant David. Syd eventually hammers the Time Eater away though, and grabs David, bringing him into the basement. Immediately, this creates a bit of a head-scratching situation though, since the Time Eaters are suddenly vulnerable to conventional weapons and physical damage. That certainly doesn’t appear to be the case during their former appearance a couple of episodes ago, nor does it make sense with Switch’s previous claims about the creatures. Regardless, Syd grabs a shotgun, and Kerry takes Cary into her body, with the two making a consistent final stand against the Time Eaters. This is where the episode leaves them, but at least this climactic battle is worthy of the coming series finale, even if some may be disappointed that the adult David is somewhere else for Legion’s final duo of episodes.
That somewhere else is, of course, Morocco. The core storyline of this episode doesn’t actually bring in David right away however, instead unfolding from the perspective of Charles Xavier once again, who is now at least given more to do, in contrast to his previous appearance on Legion. Again, the character merely feels like Charles Xavier in name and powers only, but the perspective of Charles does allow us to get a cool look at his first encounter with Amahl Farouk, after Charles is eventually brought to Farouk’s palace by a servant, brandishing a portrait of Charles. That’s not creepy at all, is it? Nonetheless, Farouk appears to receive Charles warmly, despite subtle implications that something is wrong.
The audience of course knows that Farouk can’t be trusted, but seeing Charles using his telepathy to gradually unfold more evidence of Farouk’s treachery is nicely unnerving. We get just enough of a glimpse as to how Farouk seized power in the country, particularly how he turned the previous ruler into a monkey, and said ruler’s loyalists into mute children. This is presumably what provoked the original battle between Charles and Farouk, but again, it’s a battle that we never truly get to see. This is because it’s around this point that David appears in the past to meet his father, while a weakened Switch simply collapses on a bed nearby. Despite Charles clearly seeing David’s contempt for Switch’s health, he eventually goes along with David’s plan to pose as a soldier and kill Farouk in the past as well. This would be enough of a cool setup for the impending series finale to come, but things get even more complicated when the present-day Farouk escapes from the space between time, and teams up with his former self!
Again, this feels like a bit of a narrative cop-out, since the show previously made a point to indicate that Farouk couldn’t possibly escape the space between time on his own, and yet, this is exactly what he does, with no assistance whatsoever. We do get a worthy setup for Legion’s sole remaining final episode here, but, “Chapter 26” does nonetheless need to strain a bit in order to prime the series for its duo of final confrontations. Fortunately, Charles’ time in Morocco is plenty interesting, as is the debate over whether or not to kill the infant David, before Syd ultimately decides that David deserves a chance to try and live a better life, just as she did in the Astral Plane. With an unending swarm of Time Eaters at Gabrielle’s house however, not to mention two different Shadow Kings now ready to face Charles Xavier and his son, Legion certainly doesn’t appear to be ending on a slow note, as not just the world, but time itself is now at stake!
Legion prepares for a very promising duo of final battles in, "Chapter 26", an exciting penultimate episode for the show, despite some narrative stretches.
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THE GOOD STUFF
Syd and Kerry deciding to fight for the infant David
Charles' interesting, yet sinister trip to Farouk's palace
David convincing Charles to ally with him and kill Farouk
THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF
The Time Eaters suddenly being vulnerable to conventional weapons
Farouk simply walking out of his prison outside of time