Legion has shown us what incredible things David can do with his powers, and it continues to make us wonder if there’s anything he can’t do.
Well, we’ve successfully made it through six of the eight episodes planned for Legion season 1. I certainly understand more about David and the world he’s living in than I did during the mindbending premiere, but there’s still a lot to unpack with this series.
One question I keep coming back to is whether or not David’s powers have a limit. He is continually referred to as an incredibly powerful mutant, and we see the sort of destruction he’s capable of, whether that’s due to his own abilities or enhanced by the parasite living inside of him.
What first struck me as we made our way through the series was how David’s powers slowly unfolded in front of us. We became aware that he had telekinetic abilities from the start, but by the time we get to the end of “Chapter 2” and David learns his sister is in trouble, we realize he also has telepathic abilities.
These two powers are closely related, though not all mutants can both move things with their minds and connect with other people’s consciousnesses in the way that David can. But his powers don’t stop there. As the story progresses, David’s abilities get more intricate and more interesting.
By the time “Chapter 3” rolls around, stress causes David to astral project into the room where is sister is being interrogated. He’s also able to bring Sydney along the for the ride, which seems to speak to his innate abilities. In “Chapter 4,” David finds himself in the astral plane, and in “Chapter 5” we see David create a mental space where he can be with Syd without triggering her powers.
There are chinks in this armor, however. The bugs are a clue that not everything in this world is perfect, and there’s always the lingering possibility that either David or Sydney could get caught up in the illusion like Oliver Bird did with his own pretend world.
That said, let’s just take a moment to remember that David’s been passively discovering his powers over the course of a few days — maybe a couple weeks — and he’s already able to create such a powerful illusion that he and Sydney feel as though they’ve physically had sex.
In “Chapter 6,” we learn the Lenny that David has been speaking to is actually an incarnation of the Devil with Yellow Eyes, which is in turn a type of parasite, an archaic mutant, that attaches itself to a mutant host and feeds off its powers. David must be the most succulent treat.
So, not only does David have incredible abilities, the parasite works with him to add to that power and keep them both drowning in it. I’m not entirely sure where David’s powers end and where the parasite’s begin, but it’s obvious that even without David’s little problem, he is much stronger than many (if not all) the other mutants we’ve seen thus far.
This all makes me question what limits there are on David’s powers. In the comics, the character Legion has multiple personalities, each of which has their own mutant abilities. As David’s psychosis grows, it stands to reason that he could continuously develop more personalities with different powers, which will only continue to feed the parasite living in his mind.
I’m curious if, by the end of season 1, David will defeat and dislodge the parasite, or if he will learn how to live with it in his mind. The latter seems like a dangerous option, but you can’t argue with the results. If David can control the parasite, he could use it to his advantage, though he’ll probably always struggle with keeping it in check.
In that way, I have to wonder if the only limit to David’s powers is David himself. His illness certainly allows him to have great abilities, but his insanity will always be a deterrent, making him wonder what is real, what is a product of his powers, and what is a mere hallucination.
To David’s credit, his ability to love and his sense of right and wrong is also a limit to his powers, though where Lenny finds this to be an annoyance, I see it as a good thing. When the Devil with the Yellow Eyes takes over David’s body, it absolutely destroys everyone at the D3 facility in an attempt to rescue Amy from their grasp. The parasite has no conscience; it only cares about power. It rescues Amy in order to subsequently control its host.
But David, the real David, doesn’t want to hurt anyone. He loves Amy and he loves Syd. He has the capability to empathize with those around him, and therefore curb any urges to test the true limits of his power.
As we move through the final two episodes of Legion season 1, I’m curious to see how David will overcome his obstacles and work toward controlling his powers to keep those around him safe from his seemingly limitless power.