The yellow-eyed demon's identity is...
The figure who appears sporadically throughout the pilot can possibly be:
- Mojo, ruler of the media-obsessed Mojoverse. Could possibly play some metatextual purpose in the show i.e. Legion is a show that exists in the Mojoverse?
- The Shadow King, who's been involved with Legion in the comics. Appearance wise, he greatly resembles SK's human form mixed with his true form's horrifying grin and sinister yellow eyes. As a powerful psychic entity, his seemingly random acts of evil could be him trying to weaken David's mind enough for him to take over completely. Alternatively, this version of the character is one of David's personalities.
- In a conversation between Amy and Dr. Kissinger in Chapter 4, it is revealed that King, the dog David sees in his memories and talked about with Kissinger, doesn't exist. This makes it very likely to be a form of the Shadow King.
- "Professor Y," one of Legion's most sinister personalities based on his own father. He appeared in Si Spurrier's X-Men: Legacy, which Fox handed out as a promotional material and his beginning form looks a lot like the "Demon with the Yellow Eyes."
- A Tulpa which might be able to give David's schizophrenic delusions form in reality (like the World's Angriest Body).
David's sister is a hallucination and/or another one of his personalities.
Amy's heavily '60s style and relative normalcy does contrast pretty heavily with everything else in the show. It's possible that David accidentally killed her with his powers sometime in the past. Unable to cope with the stress, he absorbs her personality and she manifests herself in his reality from time to time. Her retro appearance is due to his idealized imagining of her becoming a sweet normal woman like their mother, and so he patterns her image after what he remembers his mother wearing.
- Seemingly Jossed by the pilot, as other characters are able to interact with her.
- Hard to say with this series' premise, though. Unreliable Narrator is in full effect and then some.
- The X-Men Evolution incarnation of David actually shapeshifter when shifting between his personalities.
Lenny is not entirely dead because her consciousness was absorbed into David's mind.
It's one of Legion's powers in the comics.
- Partially confirmed: Lenny does survive when her consciousness is absorbed, but it is absorbed into The Shadow Kings mind, not Davids.
The fact that the main character is a phenomenally powerful Reality Warper
means the series can very easily take place both in its own universe, yet also
be a part of the larger X-Men Cinematic Universe.
Specifically, shortly before or after mutants were revealed to the world in X-Men: Days of Future Past
. Anachronism Stew
aside, much of the aesthetic hints at a possible setting of the late-60s and early/mid-70s, and David was first brought to Clockworks six years before the series began. With Days
set primarily in 1973, this means he was likely incarcerated before
the world at large knew mutants existed, when only a select few in the government being aware of them. This allows it to be set in the same universe as the films without intruding on their continuity.
- Even more probable if it's All Just a Dream: The inconsistencies and departures from the films are the product of David's unstable mind creating a fragmentary reality drawing elements from both the pre- and post-Days of Future Past time periods.
Legion is set sometime in the late 1980s
Granted, Noah Hawley is (for now) deliberately trying to keep the show's time-placement vague in order to focus more on character development and plot, but since it was pretty-much revealed (or at least heavily hinted at) in Episode 7 that Charles Xavier
is in fact David's biological father, one has to wonder how that will affect the show's placement in the timeline. Also, given David's ability as a reality-warper, a lot of anachronistic items and statements will be present that confuse the issue even further. Still, there's a plausible theory regarding the show's likely chronological placement, given what was said over the course of Season 1.
A good deal of it actually starts with and hinges on Oliver Bird. He's been in cyrostasis for nearly 21 years, and the last thing he seems to remember was the 1967 Summer of Love ("Is 'free love' still a thing? Girls in summer dresses with no bra?"). Since Melanie said it would be "21 years in February" since he was put in stasis, and the last thing he seems to remember is the Summer of Love, which took place in 1967, it would seem logical to put his placement in cyrostasis as February 1968; by extension, one can argue that the First Season of the show takes place in the late 1980s (around late 1988). Once that's been established, you can actually assume a good deal of things chronolgoically.
For instance, in Episode 5, when it's revealed that the entity in David is a psychic parasite, Cary Loudermilk mentions that it's probably been in David for 30 years (and it's later revealed that the parasite has been with him since infancy). So, if we assume David is 30 years old in what appears to be 1988, then he was born sometime in 1958. This actually works really well because, if the show wants to stick relatively close to comic lore, Charles Xavier (now David's confirmed father) fought Amahl Farouk (the Shadow King) in Egypt in the 1950s, and not long afterwards, met Gabrielle (David's mother in the comics) and conceived David out of wedlock. Also, assuming the 1988 date, that means David's been in Clockworks since 1982 (6 years, as stated in the show).
Other date placements you can assume from there would be, for instance, the death date of Ptonomy Wallace's mother (January 2, a Thursday), which would again be 1958 (since it's a year where January 2 was on a Thursday). That date would be reasonable to assume, since Ptonomy and David seem to be in the same age group (Ptonomy was 5 years old when his mother died). Finally, another date placement would be the founding of Summerland which, according to Melanie, occurred 30 years ago from the present - again, meaning 1958.
Furthermore, regarding when David was born, there's a limit to when this can happen, given Charles' paraplegic state established in X-Men: First Class, which takes place in 1962. So, naturally, David would have had to have been born before then. Although Charles gets the use of his legs again in the early 1970s, as shown in X Men Daysof Future Past, he's pretty much an emotional wreck by that time, living a mostly secluded life in his mansion. From that, it doesn't seem plausible that he has an active social life at the time, let alone having a romantic relationship with a woman that results in a child.
All of this, plus Hawley's emphasis on retro design in clothes, architecture, cars, etc. make these date placements seem plausible.
It will eventually be revealed that David is Professor X's biological son.Flip-Flop of God
on this issue notwithstanding, David has some characteristics which are reminiscent of James McAvoy
's portrayal of Xavier in the First Class trilogy. The most obvious commonality between them is that they began Hearing Voices
during their late childhood, and the onset of their mutant ability is mistaken for a severe mental illness. They both have a weakness for alcohol and drugs. As kids, they were interested in science. When David's happy, he's quite boyish, and Syd says in her mind that he's cute, which mirrors Erik calling Charles "adorable" in X-Men: First Class
. David's brown-haired, and when it reaches a certain length, it's wavy (as shown in the flashbacks), much like the younger Professor. Their bright blue irises suggest a Family Eye Resemblance
- Seemingly confirmed in Episode 7
Syd is not real, at least not in all the scenes at Summerland
She never seems to interact with any of the others at Summerland, she is mostly just standing in the corner or off to the side unless it's just the two of them. Even the scene where she shows up in the car with the other mutants is only based on her account. She seemed to have finished her training and gone on the rescue mission way too quickly, she seems to get over what she did in David's body with ease, and she always seems to be exactly what David wants/needs - knowing what it's like to be in his shoes and constantly reassuring/comforting him.
- Counterpoints - Ptonomy does tell him she threw up in her first memory work and that she was doing talk work with Melanie Bird. Dr. Bird seems to move out of Syd's way when she was standing at his door. She is seen to stop the elevator door from closing.
Alternatively, Syd is real, but her relationship with David is entirely in his head.
All of Syd and David's romantic scenes have a slight dreamy 'too-good-to-be-true' vibe to them. That's perhaps because it is. In reality Syd might be cold or not really interested in David that much at all. However, because he is a Reality Warper
with a mad crush he is altering his memories and perceptions to give off the impression that Syd is in love with him as well. It's similar to how people in real life with crushes tend to fantasize and over-analyze everything about their crush, but David's ability actually allows these fantasies to bleed into his reality. It might not be pretty the day David finds out Syd doesn't really care much for him at all
The entire show is in David's head
The comic book version of David has an arsenal
of powers and abilities coupled with Multi-Personality Disorder, with shots inside his head portraying elaborate locations including a prison. What we're seeing could entirely be inside his mind, and all the other 'characters' personalities who are actually trying
to help him learn his abilities.
- Even the 'Devil With The Yellow Eyes' could be one of David's more violent personalities who takes over in times of anger or extreme frustration.
David lost control of his power when he was young and killed someone because of it.
Assuming 'The Angriest Boy in the World' is actually talking about David, it would appear that he ended up 'beheading' someone out of anger. One of the pages of the book shows the boy with a bruise on his face, perhaps indicating that one of the parents was physically abusive towards him. He gets fed up one night and loses it, thus perhaps either killing his mom (because there is no mention of what happened to her and it's specifically mentioned in the book) or maybe the dog (since he continually disappears in the memories and David has a strange aversion to dogs and dog-like objects). This is why David shuts down his memories so violently, and why he warns Syd that she might not see him the same when she enters his memories. He feels great guilt and trauma from the ordeal and feels like everyone blames him for it. One of the real-life causes of Dissociative Identity Disorder is a traumatic event leading to the development of another personality to take on the guilt and blame.
David met Lenny for the first time at Clockworks
All of her appearances in flashbacks to before then are simply him inserting his copy of her into his own memories. He doesn't even realise he's doing it, but in fact his drug trips and oven-selling were solo affairs, and it was him who ate the cake his girlfriend had brought. He gives these roles to Lenny because he's ashamed of his junkie past.
- Lenny's existence, and that they met the first time in Clockworks, is confirmed in Season 2. However it was Farouk himself who implanted the memory of Lenny in those other events.
"Lenny" is actually the Devil With Yellow Eyes
David never had a friend named Lenny. "Lenny" is just a mouthpiece for the Devil With Yellow Eyes. His memories of her were created by the Devil With Yellow eyes so it could gain his trust; and manipulate him. That's why David saw the Devil With Yellow eyes when he was looking at Lenny. It's why she shows up in the Astral Plain shortly after he's told that the DWYE followed him there. And why she never showed up in the "ice cube"; where David was told he was safe from the monster.
It also explains how his memories of her were actually memories of a man named Benny.
- The problem is that Syd also knew Lenny at Clockworks. Lenny intercepted her when she was about to leave and asked her to bring her a candybar, and Syd remembers accidentally killing her. Furthermore, only two people have mentioned Benny: His ex, who immediately warned Syd and Ptonomy that "they were watching" when they left her, and Dr. Poole, who was actually The Eye in disguise. This makes both their claims untrustworthy at best. It's possible the DWYE manifested in the real world as Lenny, which is why Syd was also able to see her before her death, or that Lenny was a real person, and the DWYE is using her likeness to manipulate David.
- Mostly Jossed. Season 2 confirms Lenny was real, and David first met her at Clockworks. She was indeed killed when Syd swapped bodies with David. The Shadow King then absorbed her consciousness, holding her prisoner and using her to interact with David.
David's breakdown in the season 2 finale is all part of Farouk's plan
Farouk knew that David would kill him in the desert, so he used Melanie to turn Syd against him, and it was Syd's interference that saved his life. However, he also
likely recognized that without a bigger threat for them to deal with, his days were numbered once he fell into the hands of Division 3. So all of his actions in the second half of season 2 murdering Amy, using Melanie, separating David from Syd to turn her against him, and tricking him into torturing Olivernote
were all part of his plot to drive David further into madness. This then allowed him to ingratiate himself with the Divisions by revealing what David did to Syd, making him indispensable in countering the threat that an out of control David represents. This also allows him to reestablish a power base inside Division 3, which will enable him to further his own goals.
David is mentally ill on top of his mutation, but it was only because of Farouk's manipulations that he's begun to teeter at the edge of the slippery slope, all as part of Farouk's plan to reclaim his body and his full power.
Characters who will appear in Season 3
- Professor X, purely to make for a Grand Finale
- The New Mutants (or at least one of them)
- Jean Grey