‘Legion': Aubrey Plaza Tells Us Whether Lenny is Human

The answer, like everything else about the show, is complicated

(Major spoilers ahead for the March 15 episode of the FX original series “Legion.”)

As “Legion” moves on, we’ve gotten more answers, but even more questions about Lenny Busker’s true identity. Although the ultimate question is whether or not she’s human at all.

In a conversation with TheWrap, Aubrey Plaza talked about playing the character. She mentioned the hardest part of playing Lenny was playing “someone that’s not even a human being.”

So we asked her if she could confirm whether or not Lenny was human. Plaza was unsure about the answer, saying “yes” at first and then switching to “no.”

Eventually it landed somewhere in the middle.

“Who Lenny really is started out as a human, or at least a human with other parts,” she said. 

Early notes about Lenny only described her as one of “David’s friends,” and didn’t touch upon anything past episode one. In an official character description, FX wrote that Lenny “who despite a life of drugs and alcohol abuse, knows that any day now her life is gonna turn around, which gives Lenny the likable energy of the impossible optimist.”

In the first episode, Lenny isn’t anything more than this… until she dies, that is. She appears as what seems to be a ghost haunting David, but soon grows in her scope. She appears in memories that she apparently was never in, and at the end of episode four, is shown glitching in and out of existence with what we assume is the Shadow King.

Episode five — the episode that aired March 8 — gave us a bit of an explanation. Her, the demon, and David’s childhood dog King, are all a part of the same entity that lives inside David like a “parasite.” In the comics, the Shadow King is an entity of pure psychic energy that takes control of David and feeds on the hatred of humanity. If Lenny is indeed a part of this entity, that would mean she isn’t human.

The parasitic aspect of the character is touched upon again this week in episode six, when Lenny tells David about Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which only infects ants. When the ant dies, the fungus sprouts out of the ant’s head.

Lenny also adds that David’s real father (who is Professor Charles Xavier in the comics) gave him away in order to hide him from her. However, now he has his very own “walking, talking, fungus,” as she says before turning into her Shadow King form.

All of this, plus Plaza’s details, lend credence to the Shadow King theory, but it also allows us to speculate about the Shadow King’s true form. Is he just an entity, or was he once human, just with different parts?

Legion airs Wednesdays on FX at 10/9c.