One of the biggest questions fans have asked since Legion was first announced is whether or not Charles Xavier will be a part of the show.
Last night’s episode finally seemed to confirm that Xavier does exist within the television universe Legion belongs to. After Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) told David (Dan Stevens) that she was a “fungus” who knew his real father from a long time ago, fans started speculating that she was talking about Xavier. It wasn’t until she mentioned that his father wanted to keep David away from her, however, that people put two and two together: Lenny was talking about Xavier and almost certainly referring to herself as the infamous, nebulous Shadow King.
In order to better understand what’s going on, it’s important to look at the history of Haller, Xavier and the X-Men through comics. Before the birth of Haller and the formation of the X-Men, Xavier went up against an evil, telepathic mutant by the name of Amahl Farouk, otherwise known as the Shadow King. It was through Xavier’s encounter with the Shadow King that the telepath was inspired to form the X-Men in the first place, making the Shadow King one of the most influential villains in the comic’s history.
The Shadow King has been rumored to be the yellow-eyed demon in Legion since the show’s very first episode, and Lenny’s monologue seems to hint that she is in fact a form of the King. As an entity of pure psychic energy, the Shadow King appeared in the comics as a variety of different humans. It makes sense that he would take the form of Lenny and try to get closer to Xavier’s son, one of the most powerful telepathic mutants in the world.
As the pieces begin to come together before the finale — there are only two episodes left — one of the last remaining questions fans have is whether or not Xavier will actually appear in the show. Showrunner Noah Hawley has previously spoken about whether or not he’d want to bring in pre-existing X-Men characters outside of Haller. He pointed to Fargo, his other series on FX, as an example of taking an existing property and not having to rely on a group of characters to tell an interesting story.
“With Fargo I adapted a movie without any of the characters or the story,” Hawley told The Telegraph. “Yet somehow it feels like Fargo. So can I take this character and this concept and tell my own story and have it feel exactly like a story that the fans love — but not be constrained by somebody else’s plot choices. Other than David, I’ve populated the show with characters of my own invention.”
While Hawley seems less enthused to bring on existing X-Men characters, there is interest from other actors to bring Xavier into Legion. Sir Patrick Stewart, who has played Xavier in seven X-Men films, told late night host James Corden recently that even though he was retiring from the X-Men franchise, he would love to play Haller’s father in Legion.
“Absolutely,” Stewart responded when asked by Stevens if he’d be interested in joining the show. “One hundred percent!”
Whether or not Xavier actually shows up remains unknown, but the possibility is now officially there. Legion airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on FX.