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Who Is the Most Confused Character on ‘Legion’?

David Haller and Co. are as lost as we are

(FX/Ringer illustration)
(FX/Ringer illustration)

By Andrew Gruttadaro and Sam Schube

Legion is meant to be a confusing show. The overlap between what’s real and imagined is central to the series’ appeal — and also its most frustrating moments. This week, we learn that most of the show’s characters are about as confused as we are. To keep it all straight, we’re breaking down the cast of characters, figuring out where they are (on astral and physical planes), and asking the most important question: Do they have any idea what’s going on? Characters are ranked from least confused to most. (Ringer podcast host Andy Greenwald is a coproducer on the show.)

10. Oliver Bird

Who is he?

The long-lost husband (played by Jemaine Clement, because sure, why not!) of Melanie Bird, the head of Summerland — the mutant-training academy where most of Legion’s action is set.

Where is he?

Something the show is calling an astral plane: At some point three or four decades back, Bird (while wearing an old-fashioned diving suit) delved so deep into (his own? someone else’s?) memories and consciousness that he wound up trapped inside a floating ice cube that may or may not exist, wearing a safari suit and dancing up a storm. His physical body remains in that scuba suit, held inside a walk-in refrigerator at Summerland.

What does he know?

A little bit more about whatever it is that’s happening to David than anyone else does, David included. Oliver seems to know what traps someone in their own memories, and seemed to expect David to show up in the astral plane. He does not, however, know how to escape.

9. Lenny

Who is she?

Well, ya know, kind of a complicated question. Up until the fourth episode, we were led to believe that Aubrey Plaza’s Lenny was (1) a friend from David’s past, (2) one of his peers at the Clockworks Psychiatric Hospital, and (3) maybe also a figment of his imagination. Now, it appears that first part is not true — David was friends with a man named Benny, not a woman named Lenny — which also calls the second part into question. The third part seems to be a certainty, though, and more and more it appears that Lenny is the personification of whatever entity is preying on David’s mind.

Where is she?

Literally in David’s head.

What does she know?

Since the beginning, Lenny has seemed to know more than most — remember when she told David, “They’re coming for you”? Lenny also knows her way around David’s mind and how to get him to focus his powers. Also, everyone is trying to figure out what the hell is messing with David’s memories — assuming Lenny is that thing, that puts her pretty high up on this totem pole.

8. Melanie Bird

Who is she?

Melanie (Jean Smart) is the proprietor of Summerland, the mutant-training facility that’s taken David in.

Where is she?

Communing with the frozen, scuba-suited body of her astral-plane-dwelling husband, Oliver, who also provides the voicework for the elevators, alarm system, and coffee machine at Summerland.

What does she know?

That David Haller’s brain is a mighty dark place. She was the last of the Summerland crew to (seemingly) escape his memories, and she didn’t do so without a scare. The World’s Angriest Boy in the World, that pesky, ultra-evil children’s book that seems to be at the heart of David’s psychic strife, slams shut on her hand, mangling it in memory world, but not in the real one.

7. The Eye

Who is he?

A member of Division 3, the government agency trying to neutralize David. Like everyone at Summerland, he appears to have mutant abilities.

Where is he?

Currently? Running down a dirt road, fleeing the scene of a car accident.

What does he know?

At the very least, the Eye (Mackenzie Gray) has an understanding of the extent of David’s abilities, which Melanie et al. are still grasping for. He also knows how to whittle:

(FX)
(FX)

6. David Haller

Who is he?

The ostensible main character of this show; also literally a million consciousnesses occupying one body. We think.

Where is he?

David’s (Dan Stevens) body is lying sedated in a dentist’s chair at Summerland, so Melanie and Ptonomy and the rest can plumb his memories. Whatever the other part of him is — his … soul? — is wandering the astral plane, popping into Oliver’s floating ice cube for a cocktail.

What does he know?

That wherever he is is both real and not, which is a step forward. Insofar as it can be said to have a plot, Legion is about David’s journey to understand his unbelievably powerful psychic abilities.

5. Ptonomy, Syd, and Kerry

Who are they?

The X-Men, basically, even though Legion, a series based on an X-Men character, will not call them that. They’re the team at Summerland fighting on the mutant side of the human-mutant war that seems to have broken out.

Where are they?

This crew (Jeremie Harris, Rachel Keller, and Amber Midthunder) spends “Chapter 4” on the hunt for clues about what sent David to Clockworks — or at least a reliable narrator, in the form of David’s ex-gal Philly, or his old psychologist (who David may or may not have beaten to a pulp). They’ve tracked the latter to a lighthouse best described as “Wes Anderson AF,” but he turns out to be the Eye in disguise, laying a trap. Syd and Ptonomy are taken hostage. Kerry is shot.

(FX)
(FX)

What do they know?

That David may have been a bad, bad dude before he was institutionalized: a thieving junkie, and a violent one. Unless, of course, the icky memories they’re wading through are merely covering up the truth, as Ptonomy and Syd begin to suspect.

4. Cary

Who is he?

Bird’s tech-savvy right hand at Summerland. He’s also involved in some sort of shared-body scenario that we can’t quite figure out (even though they explain it very directly!) with Kerry.

Where is he?

At Summerland, minding David’s unconscious body and doing some mighty fine dancing with a broom (in tandem with Kerry’s jumping and fighting out in the world). This is the place to mention that Bill Irwin, who plays Cary, trained as a clown and puppeteered the incredible robot from Interstellar. Shouts to you, Bill Irwin.

What does he know?

Cary seems a little closer than everyone else at Summerland to figuring out what, exactly, David is capable of. While running some tests, he realizes that a silent David is generating ultrapowerful signals in the area of his brain associated with speech. This, of course, is because David contains multitudes he’s always in conversation with.

3. David’s Dog, King

Who is he?

David’s childhood beagle. The little guy followed David everywhere, and the two communicated telepathically. Also? All of that was made up by David — the Hallers never had a pet.

Where is he?

Playing fetch exclusively in David’s mind and memories.

What does he know?

Quite possibly all of David’s secrets. Then again, King probably doesn’t even know that he’s not a real dog, which is one of the saddest things imaginable.

2. Amy Haller

Who is she?

David’s extra-bummed-out sister (played by Katie Aselton).

Where is she?

Held by Division 3 in a frankly chic neo-Brutalist concrete prison.

What does she know?

NOT A LOT, GUYS. She’s still under the impression that her brother has schizophrenia and has gone off his meds.

1. Dr. Kissinger

Who is he?

Kissinger (David Ferry) is David’s doctor from Clockworks. He was with David when they found Lenny lodged into a wall in the first episode. Division 3 came for him after that incident and wiped out any semblance of his existence to cover its tracks.

Where is he?

In the cell next to Amy.

What does he know?

Pretty much nothing, aside from the fact that David has powers and that one of his other patients was telepathically sandwiched in between concrete. He didn’t even know that King was made up!