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I know what I am.
— David[src]

David Haller is a schizophrenic mutant with immense psychic powers. He was recruited by Melanie Bird to join Summerland in the war between mutants and Division 3. David was also host to a parasitic being known as the Shadow King, which attempted to gain control of David's body and wield his power.

Biography

Early life

When David was a baby, his biological father gave him to the Haller family. Mr. Haller and Mrs. Haller happily adopted David, and while their daughter, Amy Haller, originally believed it to be a dream she too accepted David into the family. Growing up David was never told of the adoption and believed that the Hallers were his biological family.

David grew up in the country with the Hallers. Mr. Haller was an astronomer and would often take David into the forest to star gaze. On one of these trips David told Mr. Haller that the stars talked to him to which Mr. Haller replied that the stars spoke to him too, however while Mr. Haller meant it metaphorically David meant it literally.

This was one of the first signs of David's biological father's actions coming to haunt him. David's biological father gave David up after psychically defeated a mutant known as Amahl Farouk or the Shadow King. However, the Shadow King's consciousness still lingered and found David, attaching himself like a parasite within the latter's mind. To exact revenge on David's father, the Shadow King used David's own power to make itself stronger, planning on seizing complete control of David's body to achieve this. [2]

The Shadow King began to manipulate David's memories and his perception of the world. He disguised himself as a beagle named King which would follow David around as a kid, however only David could see King. Farouk also disguised himself as one of David's childhood nightmares, The Angry Boy. A character from a book that Mr. Haller may have read to him called The World's Angriest Boy in the World. It is unsure if Mr. Haller actually read the book or if this is another memory trick from the Shadow King.

Over time the psychological damage from having the Shadow King manipulate his memories took its toll on David's mental health. He became violent punching a peer at prom, he committed petty crimes, and was often publicly intoxicated. Around this time, David's mutant abilities also began to grow in power, shattering the windows of a police vehicle during one such incident. Sometime after this, he is diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The diagnosis of schizophrenia was the most logical for David, not knowing about his mutant heritage. He often heard voices (people's thoughts) and saw things that weren't there (visions caused by Farouk). A psychiatrists prescribed David medicine which would help with schizophrenic symptoms and inadvertently dampened his abilities. Although David believed he could move things with his mind (something that he could achieve) he wrote this off as a delusion and a symptom of schizophrenia thus he never explored his powers.

Dr. Henry Poole was David's therapist who would regularly see him. Although David would occasionally stop seeing Dr. Poole and stop his medication which led to a relapse in his behavior. Over the years, Henry slowly gained David's trust. David even told him what the stars said.

During this time David graduated high school and attended college for some time before being expelled. After college he had a rough time but attempted to push through with the help of his girlfriend, Philly and his friend Benny. Philly, David, and Dr. Poole would eat dinner together. Philly believed that she could fix David but they would often fight a lot which made life harder. Unlike Philly, Benny encouraged the more violent side of David. Benny was a pusher and often committed petty thefts in order to buy a new drug called Vapor.

Benny encourages David to rob his therapist for drugs. David agrees to go through with it, attending more therapy session than usual about a week before the robbery. In one of these sessions David starts to tell Dr. Poole about the stars before the closet creeks open causing David to say "I'm not supposed to talk about that." Dr. Poole reassures David that there is nothing to be afraid of and closes the closet. David relaxes and tells Dr. Poole what the stars say.

David then robs Dr. Poole, not only taking the drugs that are kept in his office and valuables but also destroys the tapes that recorded their sessions. During the heist Dr. Poole walks in and David beats him to near death, breaking his skull.
Kitchen explosion

David's uncontrollable power exploding the kitchen.

The following day Philly walked in on Benny and David using which led to David and her having a fight. Telling her that he didn't want to talk about it, David took refuge in the kitchen when his powers acted up causing the cabinets to explode and utensils to fly everywhere. Amahl also appeared at this time in the form of the Demon with the Yellow Eyes which only scared David more. Philly then returned to find David surrounded by kitchen objects and terrified. Scared as well, Philly ended their relationship.

Later David attempts to hang himself with an extension cord, but when the police arrive all they could find were rope burns on his neck. This incident causes him to become institutionalized.

Clockworks Hospital

Six years later, David and Lenny met a new patient at Clockworks, a woman their age named Sydney Barrett. David immediately developed an attraction to Syd, and they began dating. Mysteriously, Syd refused to allow anyone to touch her in any way, not even her new boyfriend. Dr. Kissinger later stated that Syd had recovered, and she would be returned to her family. Impulsively, David kissed her good-bye, and he suddenly discovered why Syd had been so obstinate about being touched - Syd was a mutant, a human with uncanny abilities. In her case, she could switch bodies with other people through physical contact. Dr. Kissinger brought David (in Syd's body) to a nurse's office and treated him while Sydney in David's body was being held down by nurses. Sydney then lost control of David's powers causing the whole building to shake. After telling David to stay put, which he did not do, David and Kissinger returned to the Day Room to find all the patients were inexplicably trapped in their rooms. They also discovered all the furniture and doors were gone and Lenny trapped in a wall, dead.

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Promotional picture of Lenny taunting David.

Dr. Kissinger then released David (still in Syd's body) from Clockworks, believing that Sydney would not get another chance to be released after the chaos died down. As Syd, he was escorted from Clockworks. Just before leaving, he spotted two cars. The passengers of one car included a mysterious older woman, Melanie Bird, while the other car carried a younger man, Ptonomy , and woman, Kerry, about David's age. He went into the city and stopped at an outdoor cafe. Two hours later, David's body own returned to him. He then went to his sister, Amy's, house. She agreed to let him stay for a few days with Ben, her husband, and her. Amy showed him to the spare bedroom in the basement. While unpacking David hallucinated Lenny (in actuality Amahl disguised as Lenny) who began a light-hearted conversation with him which quickly becomes melancholic as he remembers she's dead. Lenny tells David that it's his fault she's dead. When he begins to protest that it was Syd using his powers, she retorts, "Don't give a newbie a bazooka and act surprised when she blows shit up.” Lenny then gleefully warns David that "They're coming and they're going to kill you!" Justifiably this scares David and he accidentally telekinetically throws his childhood lamp across the room. Amy comes downstairs after hearing the noise and sees David picking up the pieces of the lamp, worried about her brother and her own safety she removes the gardening tools from the basement.

After taping the lamp back together David dreams about Sydney and the next morning becomes determined to find her. David goes to a pay phone and calls Clockworks inquiring about Sydeny only to be told she is not a patient there and never was. Before he can find out more the man (Ptonomy) and woman (Kerry) from Clockworks appear and begin to follow him. David is able to lose them in a busy plaza but right after is abducted by Walter and Division 3.

Interrogation

David then wakes up in a room where two men, Clark and Walter, sit across from him. They lie and tell David that they're with the police and want to get his statement about what occurred at Clockworks. David re-accounts his story but becomes upset when he thinks Clark doesn't believe him about certain aspects such as the body swapping causing his powers to start shaking the pen that Clark was using to take notes. Clark calms him down and they hook David up to some machines to run tests while he continues. David then incorrectly re-accounts that it was Clark and not Melanie who was in the car outside of Clockworks. Clark tells him that this is not the case which upsets David and he sends the pen flying into Clark's face before destroying the table and sending equipment and people across the room knocking them unconscious. To prevent David from escaping Division 3 fills the room with a gas that knocks David out.

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David being interrogated in the pool.

When David awoke, he was tied to a chair and power cables in the middle of a swimming pool. Clark demanded to know where Syd was. Stating that they, Division 3, have him but want Sydney too. David continues reluctantly continues telling his tale and is met by Syd who was able to project herself into his memories. She confirmed David's suspicions -- these men were not cops at all, but members of Division Three, a secret government agency that targeted mutants, and Syd intended to rescue him. She tells him to slowly slide out of his chair and into the water when he sees the lights.

Once he was back in the moment, David looks around the room as he begins to see dancing lights appear in the air. Clark becomes frustrated with David's inability to tell him where Sydney is to which David replies that they're about to find out. Quickly sliding into the water, bullets are shot into the pool and Clark finds the switch to the power cables no longer in his hand right before the entire room explodes in flame. Dodging burnt corpses, David swims to the other end of the pool where Syd pulled him out and introduced him to two of her allies, the passengers of the second car at Clockworks - Ptonomy Wallace and Kerry Loudermilk. The four mutants escaped the facility with the aid of Rudy and are greeted by Dr. Melanie Bird who is the leader of a secret mutant refuge, called "Summerland".[3]

Summerland

When David arrives at Summerland he collapses into Cary Loudermilk's arms. The high concentration of powerful mutants in one place was making David sick and confining him to a be while hundreds of voices yelled and spoke in his head. Melanie sat next to him explaining that David's "symptoms" of schizophrenia were actually his mutant powers, specifically telepathy. She taught David how to use his telepathy allowing him to finally gain some peace from the voices.

The next day Melanie brought him to see Ptonomy to begin memory work. Ptonomy is a memory artist which allows him and whoever he chooses to go back through a person's memories. Using this ability Melanie, David and Ptonomy are able to look back through David's life and see that every instance of mental illness was just his powers and also gain a better understanding of what triggers them.

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David in his memories of gardening with his mother.

Ptonomy takes David back to his childhood. They explore his memories of planting with his mother and star gazing with his father. David reveals that Mr. Haller died the year before and Clockworks wouldn't release him to attend the funeral. However things begin to go south as they observe Mr. Haller reading young David a bedtime story. David is unable to see Mr. Haller's face and instead listens to the horrify bedtime story called The World's Angriest Boy in the World, a picture book about a boy who beheads his mother for trying to send him to bed. The room begins to shake and David panics waking up from the memory in a hysterical state. To calm him, Ptonomy puts him to sleep.

David then wakes up in another room of Summerland with Ptonomy sitting nearby. Ptonomy comforts him by saying the first time was always the hardest and offering him some milk. Ptonomy then says that he needs to do talk work with Melanie to figure out what it all means and that Melanie thinks David is the key to winning the war. Ptonomy also presses for more information about The World's Angriest Boy in the World but David is reluctant to talk about it and the subject drops.

David then confides in Syd that he doesn't believe the memory work is helping. Syd tells him it will and to give it time. She then confides in him about what it was like in his body and apologizes for killing Lenny. David expresses his desire to have physical contact with her however Sydney says that the closer she gets to someone the more uncomfortable it is. David accepts this.

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Lenny and David selling a kitchen range for drugs.

Melanie, Ptonomy, and David continue with the memory work. They watch a memory of David attending a session with Dr. Poole where David re-accounts why Philly finally ended their relationship while leaving out key details. During the conversation there is a glitch. Next they look at a memory of Lenny (who should have been Benny but David's memory was altered so all instances of Benny were replaced with Lenny) and David selling a kitchen range to the Greek for drugs. They then get high in his apartment and when David looks over at Lenny he instead sees the Devil with the Yellow Eyes. Ptonomy pauses the memory and Melanie asks David about what he sees. David is reluctant to say excusing it as what you see when you're high or a symptom of schizophrenia, however, Melanie refuses to believe this. Ptonomy changes the subject to the glitch in the previous memory and asks David what occurred there. Melanie tells him it's important that he remembers and shows them everything. David protests that he's trying to remember everything and not inhibiting his therapy. He even suggests that he was distracted but Ptonomy retorts that even if David was distracted the surrounding memory would have been intact. Melanie reassures David that they'll find the truth together before having Ptonomy fix the glitch. In the completed scene the trio to sees a brief image of David in a kitchen with millions of objects floating around him. Ptonomy asks David if he saw the image but David says he didn't see anything. Ptonomy asks David to concentrate and try but David only apologizes and says he doesn't know. Melanie reassures David and Ptonomy asks him to make his mind blank in order to get them to the memory. However Ptonomy isn't able to bring the group to the kitchen scene but back to David's childhood bedroom. Ptonomy is unsure of why this happened and tries to bring the group back to the kichen but is unable to change the memory. Ptonomy, becoming increasingly frustrated, says David's too strong. David continues to say it isn't him and Melanie replies by saying that he needs to trust them. The door then slams as the room begins the shake violently causing The World's Angriest Boy in the World book to fall off the shelf and David to become terrified again.

Later Sydney and David talk. Sydney says Melanie wouldn't tell her what happened during memory work and David brushes it off as kid stuff. Syd expresses her concern that David isn't happy at Summerland but David reassures her it is as long as they're safe. He then reads Syd's thoughts that she'd protect him if they weren't.

Later, in an attempt to discover where David's memories are stored Cary Loudermilk places him into an MRI machine, while at the same time conversing with Kerry, who David was not aware of at the time. Before starting, Cary stated that David had an extremely large amygdala, and that he should think about someone he loves. During the scan David hears a woman calling his name but Cary and Kerry say that no one was calling his name. David realizes it's his sister he can hear and it isn't a memory. David then watches as Amy attempts to ask a Clockwork employee for her brother however the employee replies that David Haller was never a patient there nor was Dr. Kissinger a doctor at Clockworks. David sees Walter and Division 3 coming up behind his sister and calls out to her right before she's taken.

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The Devil with the Yellow Eyes

Back in the lab during this experience, David's brain lights up due to neural activity. Cary asks what happened as he had never seen anything like this before. David tells him he heard his sister and Cary tells David not to move and exits the room in a hurry. Now alone, David begins to panic and The Devil with the Yellow eyes appears terrifying David who is trapped in the MRI machine. As his fear builds to a climax he is suddenly laying on the floor of the lab the MRI machine nowhere in sight. As it turns out, he teleported it outside.

David prepared to leave the others and rescue Amy, but Syd persuades him to stay and further develop his powers through the memory work. David is concerned that Division 3 kill his sister but Sydney assures him they won't, because she is the bait. [4]

David tells Dr. Bird about his sister, who decides that memory work had to be accelerated, to do this they would focus on the big events. Ptonomy, Melanie, and David further explored the memory of the day he destroyed his kitchen. Melanie explained that David was not only a telepath, but also had telekinesis as evidenced by the flying kitchen utensils. The next step was to find what triggered David into using his powers. David takes the group to when Philly walked in on David using drugs. Melanie points out it was only when David felt trapped did his powers kick in. David begins to feel uncomfortable but Melanie encourages him to continue. However when Ptonomy tries to continue the memory he is unable to. At this same moment the Devil with the Yellow Eyes appear which terrifies David. Neither Ptonomy nor Melanie can see the Devil but they do see the kitchen door violently slam. They then ask David what happened but he doesn't remember. Ptonomy attempts to play the memory again but something resists him before the trio is brought out of his memory and into reality. Not only were they out of David's memory but they had teleported 600ft through two solid walls and back into the main building of Summerland.

After the failed memory work, David takes some time to himself and sits on a dock. Sydney soon joins him and they begin sharing facts about their childhoods as well as what it was like during the body swap. Sydney also explains how she's come to accept that her power allows anyone into her body.

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Promotional picture of Lenny warning David.

Later, Dr. Loudermilk hooked David up to a few electrodes in an attempt to model his brainwaves and take hormone readings. He asks David to think of something stressful, and David relived a boyhood Halloween, when all of sudden, the scene changed dramatically: his dog, King, ran away and he wandered into a somber field, where he came face to face with the title character of The World's Angriest Boy in the World. After a while Cary asks David through the intercom if everything is okay however David does not respond but the speech center of his brain is active. In actuality David believes he's responding but Amahl Farouk is playing a mind trick on him. As Lenny, Farouk, taunts David that Division 3 could be "gang banging" his sister while he's in therapy and also warns him of trusting Melanie. The Shadow King's words upset David and trigger his powers. David then causes the glass to crack, and a malfunction to occur. Syd then enters the room to help him but instead David teleports/astrally projects both himself and Sydney to the cell where Amy is being held. They watch Amy being terrorized by Division 3, with Brubaker telling her about her brother's powers and tried to coerce Amy into helping them find David and "turn him off". Suddenly, Walter notices them and reaches for the spectral David and Syd. Fortunately, the pair vanished and materialize in the middle of the lake.

The two tell Melanie, Cary, and Ptonomy what they had seen. Melanie recognized the agent - his name was Walter, a former ally of Melanie's husband Oliver when Summerland was founded. David demands that they rescue his sister but Melanie explains that he could not go back to Division 3 for risk of exposing himself or all of them. She tells David that his brain seems to be defending itself, refusing to allow them access to certain memories. Melanie also expresses her concern that the memory work is only making things worse. She elaborates that she isn't giving up on David though because he's too important and she wants to fix him because he deserves to be healthy and happy and then she wants to use him to win the war. To combat the resistance they're facing, Melanie suggests that David is sedated temporarily so she could have unfiltered access to his mind to get a better understanding of his powers. Syd declares that she's going into his memories too. Melanie and David both object to this. David tells her that he's worried about what may happen to Sydney in his memories. However Syd tells him that she'll be fine as it was her who rescued him from a pool surrounded by agents with guns. David tells her that it's part of his therapy and so he needs to do this alone.

The night before the sedation Sydney finds David in the bathroom, hiding. David elaborates that he was not a good person before they met. He lied. He stole. He was high all the time. David was worried that after seeing his past, Sydney would no longer love him. Syd says that she loves him, and because of that there was nothing else to say.

You know, my doctor used to say that the word "monster" is not a noun, that to be a monster, you've first got to do something monstrous.
— David to Sydney [[Chapter 3|[src]]]

The following morning Syd, Ptonomy, and Melanie all enter David's mind. The sedation kept David's rational mind from entering the memory landscape, and so he manifested as a young boy. Since Syd's powers did not work outside the physical world, David and Syd were able to embrace for the first time. As they progress through the memory the group finds themselves watching David rob Dr. Poole.

The world's angriest boy

The World's Angriest Boy in the World.

However soon things turn for the worse. First Sydney notices the room shaking as though caused by heavy footsteps. Next she sees flashes of David eating recording tape. Syd points both of these things out to Ptonomy and Melanie but neither notice these things. Finally a red crack appears in one of the office's walls and long-fingered hands attempt to claw their way out. This understandably unsettles Syd and demands that they have to go. Ptonomy and Melanie are not aware of what is occurring but agree to Sydeney's pleas. But when Ptonomy attempts to exit the memory he finds he can't. Child David then runs out of the room and is followed by Sydney who calls after them. The run through different memories of David becoming high and even of David having sex with Philly. Eventually, they find themselves in David's childhood bedroom. Sydney asks child David where he hides where no one can find him and leads her into the hallway of his childhood home. While child David begins opening up a vent, Sydney notices that The Angry Boy is in the hallway as well. Quickly the duo climb into the vent and hide but the Demon with the Yellow Eyes is right behind them. Syd urges David to wake up, and Syd is returned to reality. She then wakes up Ptonomy and shortly after Melanie joins them but remains under--trapped within his own mind. [5]
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Ptonomy searches David's memory and subconscious for his mind.

Astral Plane

With David not waking up, Cary performs several tests on his body to try and determine what occurred. There was no medical reason for David's coma and he was not brain dead as his mind was active. Ptonomy searched his memory and his subconscious but could not find David's mind. Realizing that part of David's power was being able to create a mental projection space somewhere between reality and dream they concluded that he was trapped in the astral plane.

AstralPlane104

Oliver greets David in the Astral Plane.

In the Astral Plane, David gains consciousness and sees a figure dressed in a diving suit. The figure motions for David to follow them and leads him to a large floating ice cube. The Ice cube is exquisitely decorated in a modernist style. As David takes in his new surroundings, the figure disrobes revealing himself to be Oliver Bird, the husband of Melanie Bird. However, Oliver has been in the astral plane a long time and his memory alludes him.
Ice Cube

Oliver and David in the Ice Cube.

In the ice cube Oliver tells David that he is trapped in the Astral plane, a "no-place, where every day is the same, where you can imagine yourself a kingdom but nothing is ever real."[6] Oliver also reassures him that his monster cannot find him in the ice cube an that it's a safe place. He alludes to the fact that Farouk makes David forget but David protests that there is no monster and it's just his psychology. David also states that he needs to leave and save his sister. Reluctantly, Oliver lets him return to the Astral Plane outside the ice cube telling David that the monster is not a metaphor and more like a parasite.

David then begins to wander the subconscious land of the Astral Plane searching for a way out. As he wanders Farouk, disguised as Lenny, appears as well as the rest of his childhood bedroom. David is not in the mood to play "Lenny's" games and attempts to leave the illusion bedroom only to find himself walking right back into it every time. "Lenny" tells him that they need to talk and that he screwed up trusting the mutants of Summerland leading them to become stuck in this place. David tries to defend them, saying Oliver told him it wasn't their fault before asking who "Lenny" really is. "Lenny" responds by singing "I'm you. I'm me. I'm everything you want to be." She then changes the subject to the fact that they need to leave because everywhere David is, she's there too. To motivate David and activate his powers she shows him an image of what is occurring in the real world, where Sydney, Ptonomy, and Kerry are all unconscious in the back of a van driven by Walter to Division 3. What David does not realize is that Sydney and Walter have body-swapped and that Syd, in Walter's body, is actually driving the mutants to safety.

Return to Reality

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David and Syd watching Walter.

This does the trick and David activates his powers. Between David and Farouk's combined powers they reenter the real world, stop the truck, and release Syd's body (which is being controlled by Walter) and gives her a knife. The real Syd wakes up in time to stop Walter from killing David before attempting to chase her and stop her. David, not realizing the body swap, tackles Walter's body to the ground as the two swap bodies back. Now with his own body Walter shoots Kerry in the shoulder before escaping. [6]

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Promotional image of David in the White Room.

The group brings Kerry back to Summerland where Cary treats her. David then speaks with Melanie telling her that he met Oliver. David also speaks with Syd who attempts to tell him what she, Ptonomy, and Cary discovered about his past however David does not want to know. Instead he shows her that he's learned to control his power placing their minds into an illusion of a beautiful white-walled room by a beach. At first Sydney doesn't understand and becomes fearful when David touches her. But David explains that it's okay and this is a way for them to be together. He created this illusion and they can touch without actually touching and causing a body swap. The two then spend time together in the room naming it the White Room.

After Kerry becomes stable David and Syd meet with Melanie where David tells her that he's going to get Amy in the morning. Melanie reiterates how this is a bad idea but David has made up his mind to go and if Melanie doesn't want to help, she doesn't have to. Syd declares that she'll be going to rescue Amy too. Melanie continues to protest but David changes the topic to her husband. He tells her Oliver looks good and lives in an ice cube. Melanie reveals that he's been trapped in the astral plane for 21 years but before that he was like David, having psychic powers. He discovered the Astral Plane and spent more and more time in there until one day he didn't return. Melanie then asks David to bring him home.

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Promotional Image of David and Syd in the White Room.

In the elevator after the meeting David and Syd talk about going to Division 3, saying it'll be fun. Syd then asks David if they can return to the White Room, which they do. After having sex David asks if it was Syd's first time. Sydney reveals that her first time was with her mother's boyfriend when she was 16. She swapped bodies with her mother and they switched back while he was still inside her right has her mom walked in.

Still in the White Room, Syd is asleep while David speaks with Lenny in a red-lighted bathroom. Lenny convinces him to go to Division 3 alone as with their combined powers they could easily take on the organization with everyone else just getting in the way. David agrees saying that once they have Amy they'll return to Summerland. Sydney wakes up and hears the two conversing and enters the bathroom only to find it empty.

Saving Amy

David travels to Division 3 and destroys the base, phasing soldiers into the ground and walls. He even appears to be enjoying himself while barely breaking a sweat. However, it is not David who is in control as Farouk has completely taken over David's body.

Farouk/David find the cell where Amy was being held and ask Dennis Kissinger where she is now. Dr. Kissinger tells him that Amy is in the interrogation room and David says he'll free Dennis. But David neither frees him nor kills him. David then rescues his sister, killing everyone including Brubaker with the exception of Dr. Kissinger.

Farouk/David then brings Amy to their childhood home. During the travel the real David reaches out to Syd who had finished exploring the destroyed Division 3 with Melanie, Rudy, and Ptonomy. Sydney, now in the White Room with red light spilling through the windows, asks David if he's okay. David, unable to scream, shushes her before singing "Rainbow Connection" on a ukulele. During the song David gestures to the bathroom which is filled with red light, King the dog and The Angry Boy. Syd closes the door and David then gestures towards a telescope. When Sydney looks through it she sees his childhood house before coming back to reality.

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Promotional Image of David begging Amy.

Farouk/David are now in his childhood home with Amy. Amy expresses her gratitude towards David for saving her before asking why the came to the house. She tells him that Division 3 alluded to the Summerland mutants David was working with and their base of operations. David/Farouk reassures her that they'll be joining them shortly but first he wants to talk to her alone. Amy asks what he would like to talk about and David says her secret. "Lenny" then emerges from the mirror and terrifies Amy who begins crying. Farouk then takes on David's form once again and begs Amy to tell her the secret. Amy, disoriented, tells David he was adopted. She explains that she doesn't know who his real father is and Mr. and Mrs. Haller were going to tell him but he became sick and upset and they feared making things worse.

Around this time the Summerland team enters the house only to find that there is no sound. As the team explores the house they are tormented by Farouk. Sydney manages to find Amy in the bedroom. However Amy is sitting comatose-like and staring at a mirror. Syd tries to wake her until "Lenny appears", chokes her before throwing her against the wall where David sat also in a comatose state. While Sydney watches, "Lenny" begins to molest with David's body. "Lenny" continues to taunt Sydney saying "Such a pretty boy, and then you people began putting all these ideas in his head." before violently banging David's head against the wall.

Melanie, Ptonomy, Kerry, and Cary then walk in. Sydney finds herself and David (Farouk still in control presumably) standing and facing them. Walter, disguised as Rudy, then bursts into the room and begins firing a machine gun at David. Syd protects David by hugging David, placing her body between him and the bullets, and telling David to put them in the White Room.

In the White Room, David tells Syd that he can't stop Farouk and that he's too strong. Farouk, as the Devil with the Yellow Eyes, then enters the room and stalks Sydney as she tries to run all the while screaming for David to help her. The Devil with the Yellow Eyes then pins Sydney to the bed causing David to step in and use his abilities to stop time in the real world, and place everyone's minds into an alternate reality. [7]

Alternate Clockworks

In this alternate reality, Melanie, Syd, David, Ptonomy, Cary, Kerry, Walter, and Rudy are all patients at Clockworks and Dr. Lenny Busker (the Shadow King) is their therapist. Events from the original Clockworks repeat themselves however they are slightly altered. For instance Rudy becomes the drooling man at the beginning of Chapter 1 and who also can be seen in the WTF promo while David and Ptonomy, who takes the place of Lenny, watch. While David and Ptonomy discuss how there is no going back to a normal life after the mental illness starts, Sydney comes up to them. She asks if they had noticed a bedroom door in one of the halls but before she can elaborate Dr. Busker arrives to take David to his session.

In the session with Dr. Busker, David expresses his content with the life in the hospital. He feels he's found a rhythm and Syd and him have gotten close. In this reality David also has bipolar disorder and Dr. Busker asks if he's still afraid of losing the control he's found here but David says that this is no longer the case as it seems real.

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Bug covered cherry pie.

In the cafeteria Ptonomy, Syd, and David all eat pie together but Amy, who is a nurse in this reality, takes David's pie and forbids him from eating any. While Syd is eating her pie she finds several bugs in it (referencing a scene from the White Room where a bowl of strawberries is crawling with black bugs) and throws it across the cafeteria.

That night David sneaks into Syd's room and lays in her bed (paralleling the scene from Chapter 1 where Syd sneaks into David's room before telling him that she's being released). Syd once again expresses her feelings of deja vu as well as the need to leave the hospital. David tries to convince her that not everyone is cut out for the real world and perhaps Clockworks will give them their own room together. But Sydney rejects this idea telling him that she can't stay here.

Someday later, David is painting Syd while she reads a book she found about alternate realities, dream states, and memory palaces. Syd once again brings up the bedroom door and the possibility that the hospital isn't real as it doesn't feel real to her. David warns her to be careful because Syd was admitted to clockworks with the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Sydney, knowing this to not be true, becomes agitated. Seeing this David begins to apologize saying how well she's doing especially with the fact that when she first entered the hospital she was strapped down. Sydney protests saying David is the one with schizophrenia and not bipolar while Sydney was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. David continues to try and calm her down but Syd leaves the room.

That evening, David goes looking for Syd and finds the bedroom door she was talking about. Putting his ear up to the door he can hear music however Nurse Amy appears and begins to torment him. Amy tells him he's not wanted and people only pretend to like him while in actuality it's all anyone can do to keep from vomiting around him. She begins to gag violently and even causes David to gag before he yells at her to stop and then leave.

David then goes to Dr. Busker hoping that she will know where Syd is. Dr. Busker proposes the idea that Sydney isn't the right girl for him but David replies that they're in love. Lenny then tells him love is nothing more than a chemical reaction.

Do you know what love is? A chemical. Electrons in your brain sending signals.

Are you familiar with Ophiocordyceps unilateralis? It's a fungus that infects ants. It's amazing, really. The spores take over their central nervous systems and force them to climb to a high point, and then the fungus begins to grow up, bursting from the tops of their heads like a branch. And it kills them, of course. All so it can spray new spores over the jungle, infecting more ants.

When people say love, that's what I think of.

— Lenny to David[src]

David replies that simply telling him that she hadn't seen Syd was sufficient but Lenny quickly cuts him off and continues asking him what the point of life is. She answers her rhetorical question by informing him the point of life is Power, emphasizing the point by placing her foot on his crotch and pressing.

Lenny: Tell me, what is the point of all of this love? All the striving, the friendships.

I mean, what is the fucking point of babies?

David: You mean life?

Lenny: Yes, life. What is the point of life? All of you running around trying to what? Be happy? Fulfilled? You tell me. I'll say this. There's only one being in the vast multiplicity of space that matters. God. And do you know why God matters? Power. That is the point of what you call life. The only point. Power.

— Lenny and David conversing[src]
Promotional Image 1x06 Chapter 6 (2)

The Shadow King telling David the point of life.

Completely dropping the act of being the good psychiatrists Dr. Busker, "Lenny" continues to monologue. Lenny tells David that she knew his biological father who tried to hide David from her. Lenny tells him that David has great potential and power and if they were to combined their strengths they could "give God a run for his money" however when David fell in love with Syd things became difficult for her. Deming the toll of keeping David happy as too great, and only needing his body, the Shadow King trapped David's consciousness in a far corner of his mind where would slowly disappear (this is represented by David being trapped in a glass coffin). [8]

Escaping His Mind

Trapped in a tiny corner of his mind/a glass coffin underground, David panics and bangs on coffin lid screaming to be let out. In his breakdown, his powers kick in and create a physical representation of his rational mind to help him find a way out. David's rational mind takes David's form but with a British accent. David's rational mind calms him by informing him that there is no coffin as it's a metaphor. Next the rational mind has David imagine a classroom which becomes a physical classroom. From here the rational mind slowly works through David's past piecing together what Amahl said.

Promotional Image 1x07 Chapter 7 (7)

David in the classroom.

From here David assumes that Amahl, a mutant, and his father fought in the astral plane with their minds. when his biological father won, Amahl lost his body. To keep David safe, his biological father placed him with the Haller family but Amahl found him and infected him like a parasite. Slowly Amahl fed off his power, while also making David mentally ill, with the goal of taking his revenge on David's biological father and ruling the world. However when Syd arrived it woke David up and now their bodies are in danger in his childhood bedroom.

Now calm and collected, David begins breaking out of his mental coffin. From here he navigates his way through his own mind, which Amahl has trapped, and eventually gains control of his body once again with the assistance of Kerry's halo.

Back in the bedroom time starts again and David turns to place himself between Syd and the bullets. However instead of being impacted by them, David catches them. He then teleports Syd, Ptonomy, Amy, Rudy, Kerry, Cary, and Melanie back to Summerland.

Division 3 Attack

Now back at Summerland, David is relieved that Farouk is gone and attempts to remove the halo but Cary stops him. The Shadow King isn't gone but merely isolated in David's mind and if he were to take off the device it would set Amahl free again.

Promotional Image 1x08 Chapter 8 (1)

David with the halo.

While the group is enjoying lunch, David and Amy talk. Amy apologizes for not telling David that he was adopted and for believing he was sick. She also celebrates the fact that he is a mutant before remembering her husband. David informs her that she cannot contact him as Division 3 would be watching him and once things have settled down they would retrieve him. While walking the halo shifts and David sees a vision of the Angry Boy. Now worried he agrees that they should remove Farouk quickly.

David, Cary, Syd, and Ptonomy make their way to Cary's lab by walking outside. However Clark along with dozens of agents appear and hold all of the mutants at gunpoint, demanding to speak with David while the other mutants could be killed. [9] David, easily piles the agents and removes their weapons with his powers and agrees that they need to talk. 

As Syd and David continue to walk to the Lab, Sydney tells David that it doesn't matter if he saves the world if he doesn't save himself. David responds that for six years he was in Clockworks contributing nothing to society and now given the chance he's going to take it.

Now in Cary's lab, David begs Melanie to let him speak with Clark while Cary attempts to strengthen the halo. Melanie and Ptonomy both think its a bad idea to let David speak with Clark. Cary believes that before they decide anything they need to remove Farouk's presence. If the halo fails Farouk would destroy David's mind and take over his body for good. Cary gives the halo more power and continues to work with Oliver on a way to remove Farouk.

David then went to meditate before meeting with Clark. Melanie then brings Clark out to see David while he's meditating/floating. David tells Clark the war is over if he wants it and leads him to a room in Summerland where Cary has set up his equipment to continue to power the halo however it won't last much longer. Clark comments that David doesn't look well but David says he's fine.

As the negotiations begin Clark attempts put on an air of confidence however David can see through this and tells him not to be afraid. Clark says he's not but David continues to repeat his statement "You don't have to be afraid." Syd who was standing in the back of room, pipes up asking why doesn't Division 3 just leave mutants alone. Clark replies that this cannot happen because they'll overthrow the human race and even if he wanted to accept this peace offering he doesn't have the authority to do so. The meeting ends as David collapse onto the table, the halo no longer having the power to hold the Shadow King at bay. Clark asks what's wrong with him and despite Melanie and the others telling him it's nothing Sydney sets the record straight. Syd tells Clark, and Division 3 listening through him, that David is being fed off of by the Shadow King who is their real enemy and that they should make a truce so they can stop it. Before Clark can answer Melanie has Clark taken to his cell.

The Shadow King's Escape

David wakes up in Cary's lab tied to a chair with electrodes placed on his head and a large disk hovering over him. He asks what happened and Oliver, who is in the room, responds that it doesn't matter as they could be dead in 10 minutes. David can feel Farouk trying to get free and Oliver tells him that when he feels "when we pull, you push". He then turns on a laser system before leaving the room.

Oliver and Cary have identified a second set of brainwaves inside David's head. The device will then target everything that is Faourk and suck it out of David's head using a magnetic field.

As David asks how he would know when the process began, the machine turns on. The procedure begins to work as David, in his mind, watches Farouk's influence being erased from his memory. Farouk, as the Devil with the Yellow Eyes, appears but David isn't afraid asking to see his Lenny disguise. David ponders what life will be like without the Shadow King but the Shadow King keeps his promise of killing David during the process by forcing David to choke himself.

Sydney then runs into the room kissing David and releasing Amahl and transferring him to her body. Amahl then jumps to Kerry's body. David then confronts Farouk in the hallway outside of the lab and the two collided. David forced Farouk out of Kerry.

Believing Farouk to be gone David wakes up the unconscious mutants telling him that Farouk is gone. David also apologizes to Clark saying he was wrong and Clark should be afraid. Clark agrees that Division three should work with Summerland to stop the real enemies like the Shadow King. David then goes to Syd and tells her that she shouldn't have set Farouk free but she explains that the Shadow King would have killed him if she hadn't. David accepts this telling her that he genuinely feels better.

Cary then points out that the Shadow King needs a host to survive and that he should be in someone. The group then realizes that when David pushed Farouk out of Kerry, he inadvertently sent Farouk into Oliver who is now gone.

That night David and Sydney stood out on a balcony enjoying David's freedom. David announces that Oliver and Farouk are heading south before a strange orb appears. David asks if the orb is one of Cary's but Sydney doesn't know. The Orb then scans David before capturing him and floating off. David bangs on the small window screaming for Sydney's help. Syd then runs inside to tell the others.[10]

Powers and abilities

  • Reality Warping: As one of the most powerful mutants known, David has the power to manipulate reality at will. When she switched bodies with David, Sydney Barrett was able to transport all the patients of Clockworks into their rooms, cause the doorways to disappear, cause Lenny Busker to be fused into the walls, and turning the lights in the building red, which she imagined seeing when she experienced a vision of the Shadow King. He was also capable of making bullets unable to harm him, allowing him to stand in front of a group of soldiers firing at him at point-blank range, as well as bring several bullets fired at him and Sydney to his hand, catching them with ease. David's powers possibly have been used subconsciously to cause some of what he imagined or believed to be real to become real enough to affect and interact with the physical world. This is potentially shown with the fact that people other than David interacted with Lenny despite her being a form of the Shadow King inside David's mind and were aware of her apparent death, as well as there being no sign of the wire that David attempted to hang himself, despite the rope burns on his neck, suggesting that he manifested the wire with his power. When confronting a giant delusion creature, he managed to trap them both in an infinite red void before causing it to become the size of an insect and conjuring a mason jar to contain it before imploding it with his a glare. His reality warping power provides him with a number of different abilities.
    • Aura Generation: During his fight with Shadow King controlled Kerry, David was able to generate a blue and white aura of energy around himself. The aura's collision with Kerry was strong enough to force Farouk out of her body.
    • Matter Manipulation: David has been shown to be able to manipulate matter for various purposes, such as to fuse people inside solid matter, as Sydney did to Lenny Busker while inhabiting David’s body. The Shadow King would also make use of David’s powers to turn people into black smoke and sometimes leaving burned, bloody remains behind. David’s power was discreetly used by the Shadow King when a Division 3 soldier grabbed an escaping David, with the man’s head to emit black smoke as he collapsed dead with the sound of his bones snapping. David would use his power on a much larger scale during his raid on Division 3 headquarters, phasing several soldiers through the ground and disintegrating others in a flash of light. David has also been shown to be able to change objects, such as when he changed a gun into a mop. He is also capable of making objects intangible, as he was able to harmlessly phase the delusion creatures out of the heads of their victims. Within one of his imagined alternate realities, a homeless David caused several men to be vaporized in what was apparently a large wave of nuclear fire eminated from his body, leaving their shadows imprinted on the ground. When attempting to break out of Cary's containment field,
    • Inanimation: David was able to cause Clark, Kerry, and Cary to become immobilized, almost as if they were frozen in time, just before removing the delusion creatures from their bodies.
    • Force-Field Generation: David is able to create an transparent barrier capable to blocking bullets effortlessly. The incarnation of him as a homeless man deflected several taser cords fired at him, which harmlessly bounced off the barrier. Before escaping with Lenny from Division 3, David used his powers to effortlessly shield them both from a hail of gunfire.
    • Sound Nullification: While under control of Farouk, David was able to mute all sound around and inside his childhood home.
    • Teleportation: David can instantaneously transport himself and others from one location to another. He triggered this power whilst panicking during an MRI scan, teleporting himself and the machine outside of the Summerland facility [11]. His sister Amy also recalled as a child, he would often suddenly appear in different places, such as finding him outside after having just left him in a bath. After discovering the truth of his power, David learned to have more control over it, allowing him to appear in the hallway that the Shadow King was attempting to escape through using Kerry Loudermilk's body, after having only seconds before been strapped to a medical table several rooms away. By the time of chaos in Division 3 caused the delusion creatures, David was able to seamlessly appear and dissappear with ease.[12] He was also able to cause a car to glow with green energy before cause it to appear in the desert where the Shadow King's body, as well as Lenny, were located, giving her access to the weapon that was stored in the trunk of the car, though the actual vehicle was damaged beyond repair during the process.
    • Time Manipulation: David was able to stop time when he and Syd were shot at by Walter. He was also able to contact future Sydney with the assistance of an isolation chamber built by Cary.
  • Telekinesis: David can move and otherwise manipulate physical matter with his mind, often through the use of hand gestures. The power originally manifests uncontrollably due to anger or stress. He once accidentally caused all the objects in his kitchen to fly around him after an argument with his girlfriend, Philly. After learning more about his power, he became more proficient at controlling it, allowing him to levitate several Division 3 soldiers and keep them suspended against nest each other to form an elaborate tower, while also sustaining the effect effortlessly. It was shown David can use his ability to implode the bodies of others, as he did to a delusion creature and a police officer within one of his imagined alternate realities.
    • Levitation: David is able to float through the air using his powers, usually through concentration and meditation.
  • Telepathy: David is able to read the minds of others, though he had trouble controlling it at first, causing him to hear thoughts at random and being led to believe they were part of his insanity. With Melanie's help and discovering the truth of his powers, he was no longer plagued by voices. He soon learned to peer into the minds, thoughts memories of others, such as taking himself and Cary into Ptonomy's mind and seeing into Lenny's mind to discover that Lenny's new body was once his sister Amy's. [13] He also could implant thoughts and images into the minds of others, as he did to the Loudermilks to fill them in on his plan by giving the visions of it taking place. Later on, he brought Oliver into his mind to torture him without physically harming him and demonstrated the ability to manipulate another person's mind, thoughts and memories on Syd. [14] [15]
    • Astral Manipulation: David has the power to project his consciousness and that of others outside the physical form. Through astral projection, David can intangibly observe the physical plane, or he can travel to the Astral Plane. Through the use of isolation chamber built by Cary, he was able to experience visions of where the Shadow King's body was.
    • Astral Projection: David has the power to separate his mind from his body. In doing so he can travel to the Astral Plane or to other parts of the world. David used this ability twice to see his sister as well as using it as travel to the Astral Plane.
    • Memory Manipulation: David was able to manipulate Syd's memories to make her trust him again when she questioned their relationship and his sanity.

Relationships

Trivia

  • In the comics, David is the son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. His parentage has not been confirmed in the show yet, but his father is strongly implied to be Charles Xavier during the chalkboard sequence in Chapter 7.
  • In the comics, David was possessed by the Shadow King during the Muir Island Saga [16][17].
  • In the comics, David had Dissociative Identity Disorder. This has not yet been confirmed in the show, but is hinted at at various points in the show and possibly shown in Chapter 19.
  • David played soccer as a young boy, and even won a trophy for his team [18].
  • David was born on a Thursday [18].
  • According to Cary, David has an extremely large amygdala [11]. This is the part of the brain that processes memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions.
  • Throughout season 2 Farouk speaks farsi to David which he can understand it's hinted this is due to Farouk being inside David scenes he was a baby.

Appearances

Season 1

Season 2

References

  1. "Chapter 18." Legion, written by Noah Hawley & Nathaniel Halpern, directed by Dana Gonzales, season 2, episode 10, FX Productions, 2018.
  2. "Chapter 7." Legion, written by Jennifer Yale, directed by Dennie Gordon, season 1, episode 7, FX Productions, 2017.
  3. "Chapter 1." Legion, written by Noah Hawley, directed by Noah Hawley, season 1, episode 1, FX Productions, 2017.
  4. "Chapter 2." Legion, written by Noah Hawley, directed by Michael Uppendahl, season 1, episode 2, FX Productions, 2017.
  5. "Chapter 3." Legion, written by Peter Calloway, directed by Michael Uppendahl, season 1, episode 3, FX Productions, 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Chapter 4." Legion, written by Nathaniel Halpern, directed by Larysa Kondracki, season 1, episode 4, FX Productions, 2017.
  7. "Chapter 5." Legion, written by Peter Calloway, directed by Tim Mielants, season 1, episode 5, FX Productions, 2017.
  8. "Chapter 6." Legion, written by Nathaniel Halpern, directed by Hiro Murai, season 1, episode 6, FX Productions, 2017.
  9. Chapter 7
  10. Episode: [[Chapter 8]]
  11. 11.0 11.1 Episode: Chapter 2
  12. Episode: Chapter 15
  13. Episode: Chapter 13
  14. Episode: Chapter 18
  15. Episode: Chapter 19
  16. Uncanny X-Men #278- 280
  17. X-Factor #69-70
  18. 18.0 18.1 Episode: Chapter 1

External links