Spoilers follow for this episode and the comics on which Legion is based.
O.K., so there it is. We now have confirmation that the Devil with Yellow Eyes/Lenny is in fact the Shadow King, a.k.a. Amahl Farouk, the telepathic parasite from the X-Men comics who has plagued Professor Xavier and his mutant students over the years. And not just that, but we can also now say definitively that David Haller’s dad is in fact old Professor X himself. We even got a really cool animated sequence depicting Xavier’s battle with the Shadow King in the past!
It’s odd that the Shadow King reveal was spoiled in a promo for the show last week, but really it can’t be much of a surprise anyway at this point for comics fans who have been paying any kind of attention to Legion. Still, it’s refreshing and very cool that Legion, despite its lofty, peak TV approach, is willing to mine with such specificity the pages of the Marvel comics on which it’s based. The confirmation of the Shadow King and Xavier — you saw his wheelchair, right? — proves that while the show is content to do its own thing over here in this weird little corner of the X-universe, it nonetheless does exist in that same world (perhaps not specifically the X-Men movie world, but at the very least an alternate reality version of it). And by threading Legion into the X-Men-verse like this, the show now falls even more solidly than it did before into the camp of recent live-action X-Men adaptations like Logan and Deadpool whose diverse approaches to superhero material could be the key to the genre’s longevity.