The simplest way to describe Legion is by calling it an X-Men spin-off, however as anybody who’s seen a single episode of the present – which started final 12 months – can attest, it is something however that. Sure, Legion attracts upon the X-Men mythology in its characters, however it’s not even remotely emblematic of the superhero style. In the palms of creator and showrunner Noah Hawley, Legion was like a fever dream that melded components of psychological thriller with a tragic love story, after which positioned it in a visually-arresting package deal that was like nothing else on TV.
Of course, all that boundary-pushing got here on the expense of easy narrative depth. The first season of Legion may very well be summarised in just a few strains, and the present’s heavy use of its unreliable narrator-protagonist David Haller (Dan Stevens) and its love for holding the viewers at nighttime finally led to an exposition-heavy episode later within the first season. It offered a number of solutions for these , however it additionally meant that season two – the premiere aired Tuesday on FX, and is on the market for buy elsewhere – would have to cope with that elevated readability.
For higher or worse, Hawley and his co-writer Nathaniel Halpern aren’t desirous about ranging from that degree enjoying discipline, and therefore discover one other means to disorient us and put us within the blind once more. A 12 months has handed – or 362 days to be exact, in the event you hear Syd (Rachel Keller) inform it – since David was zapped into that floating orb and brought away. In the in the meantime, his buddies at Summerland – reminiscence artist Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris), scientist Cary (Bill Irwin) and his body-sharing warrior Kerry (Amber Midthunder), and therapist-boss Melanie Bird (Jean Smart) – teamed up with Division III, the federal government company that was looking them in season one, to cease the Shadow King.
But when David mysteriously returns firstly of season two premiere, he solely thinks he is been gone a day. Syd breaks it to him, telling him how everybody thought he was useless, and tried to think about he was nonetheless okay if she might maintain her breath lengthy sufficient for the kettle to boil. But David has no reminiscences of the interval in between, which is ideal for Legion; the present can slowly unravel that thread over the course of the season to present us what occurred, which is able to most likely include one other twist. And it is already dropping hints of what may very well be mistaken from each angle possible.
The apparent means includes turning David’s allies towards him. Sitting in an in-house Division III restaurant the place meals comes by on mini floating boats like conveyor-belt sushi, Ptonomy probes into David’s thoughts and says he noticed reminiscences, whereas the Division III interrogator Clark (Hamish Linklater) says he needs to do checks, later in the identical room. Even Syd thinks he is holding secrets and techniques from her, and although he palms her a compass that factors to him to guarantee her, he does not carry up the reminiscence of the one-armed future-Syd telling him to assist Shadow King through mild portray contained in the orb.
The different much less apparent means, and the extra literary one as you concentrate on it, is the introduction of the brand new exterior perspective: the narrator, voiced by Jon Hamm (Mad Men). Two minutes into the season two premiere, Legion cuts to black with Hamm’s voice the one guiding mild, as he talks a few large maze that may eat your ideas as an emblem for insanity, after which a couple of minutes later the present provides us a title card: “Part Two – The Madness of Crowds”, setting the theme for the brand new season.
Deeper into the episode, Hamm returns to discuss how delusions start, first through the well-known Zhuangzi-butterfly philosophical anecdote, then one a few regular hatchling and a diseased alien-like one – the latter of which may be seen crawling beneath the mattress within the thoughts palace created by David for Syd and him – and ending it with one a few man who sawed off his leg satisfied it wasn’t his. These metaphors are preceded by one other title card – “Chapter Three: Delusions” – which aside from additional cementing the e-book construction, indicators that we’re someway getting this story within the non-linear order.
That’s simply one other means Legion retains its viewers on their toes, as well as to introducing visible snippets right here and there – suppose the bizarre wolf/pig-shaped man rolling a cart in Melanie’s vapour-dream, or the enormous inexperienced palms with a pointing index finger within the nook of a large shot – with out bothering to clarify them till a lot later. Hawley revels in being eccentric – simply have a look at his different sequence, Fargo – and it is why Legion season two introduces new characters such because the basket-headed Division III chief Admiral Fukuyama and the assorted moustachioed girls who communicate for him in a voice that sounds lots just like the robotic nemesis GLaDOS from Portal 2, or the way it exhibits the brand new work roles of the Summerland people as if Legion have been a actuality present with totally different groups competing for a prize.
Between all this, the season two premiere solely has time for glimpses of the massive dangerous, the Shadow King aka Amahl Farouk, who will probably be performed by Navid Negabhan (Homeland) this time round, seen for a second sitting in a room in Paris, whereas additionally showing as Melanie’s husband Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement), the physique it connected itself to after leaving David, and Aubrey Plaza, who was good within the first season as one manifestation of the highly effective mutant. And in David’s participation within the dance crew sequence, and his kiss with Plaza in the direction of the tip, the episode additionally appears to trace that the Shadow King has some management over him.
It’s simply potential that it is a part of an elaborate lengthy con on Legion’s half, given the way it’s used the anomaly to its benefit beforehand. Hawley has referred to the second season as about exploring group madness in a step up from the primary season’s theme of particular person madness, which affords the present loads of room to delve into the minds of characters apart from David. It’s completely able to entrancing set-pieces and imbuing them with creepy horror, because the season two premiere reaffirms, however it’ll be one other 9 weeks earlier than Legion can lay declare to that deeper intent.
Legion season 2 is on the market to stream on FXNow, and for buy through Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, and Microsoft Store. New episodes air Tuesday on FX within the US.
Adapted From: Gadgets360