FX ‘Legion’ Explained: The Devil With The Yellow Eyes, Mrs. Bird & Whether Syd Is Real Or Not

David Haller is Legion, the son of Professor X. FX

The Legion premiere left us with a bunch of questions and no answers. Between the time jumps and suspicous characters like Melanie Bird, Syd, Lenny, and the Devil With The Yellow Eyes, it's hard to tell what's real and what's not. It’s kind of shaping up to be one of those shows, like Mr. Robot, which we shouldn’t waste our time predicting, but do anyways. So we’ve spent an extraordinary amount of time looking for those tiny details creator Noah Hawley, like Sam Esmail, has left behind. Here’s a breakdown of what we do know about episode 1’s biggest mysteries: the identity of The Devil With The Yellow eyes, Melanie Bird, and if Syd is real or not.

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This creepy frame showed up before the mysterious devil's first appearance. Photo: FX

The Devil With The Yellow Eyes appears to be a terrifying manifestation of David’s aggressive and dark thoughts. In the comics, David has multiple personalities and this evil creature could be one of them. Although, there is talk among X-Men fans the Yellow-Eyed Devil could draw upon some longstanding comic book lore.

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Legion calls him, "The Devil With The Yellow Eyes." Photo: FX
The devil is often depicted with a red shadow in the series. Photo: FX

Shadow King is at the top of the list. This villain and Legion do have a history in the comics. He’s an entity of psychic energy and the astral plane, like the mysterious man in Legion, who seems to only appear when David is most disturbed, like in his nightmares. In the comics, he fed of a hatred of humanity, signifying the dark side of consciousness, and appears by possessing others, most often other telepaths and psychics. In the comics, he possessed a man named Amahl Farouk and was attracted to mutants like Karma, Professor X and Legion. 

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This guy looks a lot like Legion's demon. Photo: Marvel
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Shadow King appeared in 'Wolverine and the X-Men' animated series. Photo: Marvel

The fact Syd saw the Devil with the Yellow eyes when she switched powers/minds with Legion gives more credence to the fact this dude is a real villain, not just one of David’s personalities. Syd couldn’t handle Legion’s powers, or the demon’s presence, causing the big scene where Lenny dies getting trapped in a wall. The thing is, if Syd wasn’t real (somewhere), how could she have manifested those powers? If Syd was just a figment of Legion’s imagination, like the interrogators originally suggested, the power switch and Syd’s skin sensitivity wouldn’t really make sense.

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Syd (in Legion's body) sees the devil too. Photo: FX
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This shot appeared when Syd and Legion touched. Photo: FX

This leads me to believe Syd has been projected into Legion’s mind by another mutant, at least in the hospital. Only Legion can see her because she exists on the astral plane. Clockworks may not even be a hospital, maybe it’s a mutant holding facility considering the government is hunting down mutants. The one agent even said he’s never encountered a mutant as powerful as Legion, suggesting they have captured many strong mutants before.

Syd always has bright lights behind her. It's unclear if that's just Legion's perception of her, or a sign she's not real. Photo: FX

Syd is a real mutant on the outside, sent into Legion’s mind to help him escape. In Clockworks, she told Legion what his illness isn’t a illness, almost like she knew the exact thing to say to him to get him to follow her. It also explains why she’s nowhere to be found in the records of the ‘mental hospital.’ When Syd was first introduced, she was always in front of overexposed lighting, which suggests she exists on an astral level. Part of some sort of mutant protection group, she initially just came to check in on Legion and see if he was the mutant they thought he was, but when Legion touched her, things went south and the facility discovered just how powerful Legion really is.

Are the rings on Lenny's fingers a clue to her powers? Photo: FX

This is also evident from something Lenny (who also seems to be a mutant based on the rings on her fingers) says, “They’re coming for you. What she did, when she was you,  had your powers, they're coming and they're gonna kill you.”

Syd’s powers seem to be like those of Rogue, who can absorb memories, knowledge, powers, personalities of whoever she touches. That could explain the scene where after she switches places with Legion, she see’s an array of TV’s in a grassy field which all had pictures of various memories and delusions of Legion’s. At the end of the episode, Syd assures Legion she is real. She and a group of mutants, rescue him for an interrogation and bring them to meet their leader. Mrs. Bird? Maybe she is the person who projected Syd into Legion’s mind and in those final moments, Legion meets the real Syd.

Is Clockworks a mental hospital, or a mutant holding facility? Either way, the reality we see is often one of Legion's delusions. Photo: FX

At first, it didn’t seem like the mutant hunters even know if Syd is real or not. But after the big moment in Clockworks, they seem to be catching on to the fact something fishy is going down with Legion -- almost as if he has people on his side that he doesn’t even know about. Whatever they wanted to find out, their interrogation certainly escalated quickly -- from an interrogation room to an electrocution pool. The interrogator is now talking like Syd is a real person, and want to know where she is. Legion has to be a small piece in this big picture.

'Legion' premiered Feb. 8. Photo: FX

Legion still hasn’t used the full potential of his powers, but so far we’ve seen mostly telekinetic abilities -- levitating his bed, erasing hospital doors, tossing dishes about the room and making things appear (like the elderly people in the background of a lot of his conversations). Maybe even everyone in Clockworks is imaginary, but in that internal vs. external delusions is too much along the lines of Mr. Robot . In the comics, Legion can read minds, travel through time, freeze time, and a lot more abilities to the likes of his father, Charles Xavier.

The big bald booyah from the latest trailer for 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Photo: Fox

It’s also worth mentioning another Devil with the Yellow eyes fan theory: Mojo, a villain with those same bright-yellow eyes who has no history with Legion in the comics. The physical similarities are really the only thing holding this theory together. The fact Mojo doesn’t have a strong relationship to Legion in the comics is an argument for him being a good villain for Legion -- since the series seems to be a departure from Legion’s traditional history. Mojo’s origins are also extremely complicated for a series which already has fans’ heads spinning. Mojo is a member of an alien race known as the "Spineless Ones," who in the comics, live without advanced technology. Nothing about Mojo’s history explains why he’s only seen as part of Legion’s reality--whether it be his delusions or subconscious.

David Haller is Legion, the son of Professor X. Photo: FX

The first episode felt like a tale with a bunch of jumbled timelines, memories, and realities mixed in, making it nearly impossible to nail down an accurate sequence of events. So what do you make of Legion so far? Let us know in the comments and check out the trailer for episode 2 below.

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