This article contains spoilers
This article contains spoilers
In similar fashion to its stellar first season, one promise can be made with the second season of FX’s “Legion”: the viewer will not understand most of what’s happening. But in the case of creator Noah Hawley’s psychological dive into the superhero genre, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Season 1 of “Legion” introduced the viewer to David Haller, a disturbed man locked away in a mental institution. Haller was first diagnosed as a schizophrenic at a young age, but as the first season progresses, he learns that in actuality he is one of the most powerful (and thus, dangerous) mutants to ever exist. To compound the issue, Haller’s schizophrenic episodes are actually symptoms of a mental infection by the parasitic mutant Amahl Farouk (the Shadow King, or as David sees him, the “Devil With the Yellow Eyes”), who has been attempting to assume control of Haller’s body and powers.
In eight episodes, “Legion” Season 1 told a unique story that was as captivating as it was eccentric. Although the first season provided many critical answers, it didn’t give viewers all of them. By concluding on the cliffhanger of Haller being captured by an unknown entity and the Shadow King escaping in the body of another character, viewers were left with more questions than answers. Unfortunately, it seems Season 2 is going to take its sweet time giving viewers those answers.
The Season 2 premiere opens with a year-long time skip. Haller is rescued from his captors and returned to the Summerland team (now working under the enigmatic Division III), where it is revealed he has no recollection of the past year. Time jumps and amnesia plot device shenanigans can work, and viewers shouldn’t expect to have all the answers by the end of the first episode, but denying even the slightest taste of an answer after a year-long hiatus is incredibly frustrating. With more mysteries arising between Division III, the mysterious teeth-chattering disease spreading in Farouk’s wake and the truth behind Haller’s captors, it seems like creator Noah Hawley is just piling on the intrigue with little resolution in sight. Viewers can only hope these mysteries don’t overstay their welcome.
Despite denying fans answers, the Season 2 premiere is certainly not a drop in quality. The same quirky and twisted sense of humor is there, as is the strong, introspective characterization. Dan Stevens is stellar as David Haller. Every nervous twitch and facial expression adds to his character, and he is able to ground Haller in a way that makes a psychokinetic mutant powerhouse feel relatable. Aubrey Plaza shines as always, though she doesn’t get much to do here aside from one particularly great scene. In Season 1, Plaza’s range as an illusionary form of the Shadow King spanned from endearing, to creepy to downright psychopathic while also making it seem like a natural progression of her character.
The cast’s performances truly shine in the standout scene of the episode: the dance-off sequence, a three-way competition between Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement), Amahl Farouk (Aubrey Plaza) and David Haller (Dan Stevens). Calling it a competition is underselling it- in some parts it did indeed reflect conflict between the three characters, but in segments it felt like a courtship. Overall it made for an incredibly compelling scene to reignite the central conflict of the show and potentially tease unlikely alliances.
All in all, the Season 2 premiere is enough to re-engage fans with the “Legion” universe. It gives viewers a taste of each strong element of Season 1 while opening up many interesting plot directions to go in, even if it did fail to provide any major hints or answers.
- Reprises the weirdness of the first season
- Good performances
- More questions with no answers
Photo courtesy of FX