Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen Season 1 of “Legion” yet, stop reading and binge-watch all eight episodes now.
How do you deal with a broken mind? Can you make sense of the fractured dialogue? The jumbled mind-set that defies reality? Now add mutants.
Or as David Haller (the mutant main character who happens to be insane) would say, “You ever make soup? Cut up the meat, vegetables, add broth, cook it for a couple hours? You ever try to unmake soup?” Yes, this is the reduction sauce that is the FX series “Legion” created by Noah Hawley (“Fargo,” “Bones”).
“Legion” is a remarkable adaptation of one of Marvel’s lesser-known characters. The story is wildly told and visually breathtaking. Its musical score is a full orchestration coupled with modern music. What makes “Legion” such a striking show is the visual graphical nature with bold colors and interesting sets. It is recommended to watch this show on a large, powerful monitor or TV set. The visuals are stunning, and the transitions are unique. Those are still there in Season 2, but now is the added narration that is both educational and creepy.
Few shows exist that are as mind blowing. “Fringe” comes to mind and is a good comparison. If you’re a fan of the show by this point you are aware of the loose connection of David to the X-Men. David is the son of Charles Xavier (Professor X). However, names of David’s parents are not used in the show nor any other X-Men, but the implications are there in subtle vignettes.
You see, David spent time in the Clockworks asylum and was initially abducted by a secret government agency, Division 3, dedicated to the apprehension of mutants. A short time later he is rescued by a group of mutants from a facility called Summerland in the hopes of rehabilitating him. He makes friends, learns to control his powers, maintains a relationship with his girlfriend (whom he can never touch), and learns the bizarre truth: He has lived his whole life with another mutant hiding in his mind named Farouk — or the Shadow King, if you prefer.
For much of David’s life, Farouk was an amorphous yellow-eyed demon of his nightmares. Can you imagine the terror? Everywhere you look there is always a yellow-eyed demon lurking in the peripheral. But David, with the help of his Summerland friends, finds a way to eject Farouk from his mind. By the end of Season 1, in the chaos of a Division 3 takeover of Summerland, Farouk escapes in Oliver’s body (Oliver is the former scientist trapped in an ice cube, see my previous article with questions).
The start of Season 2 is teeth-clenching, literally. Completely horrifying. When we last saw David, he had been sucked away in a small metal orb that was a bit reminiscent of “Phantasm.” Now he is back, but a year has passed by and all his friends now work for Division 3. However, he has a lapse in memory and cannot account for his time away to the frustration of his friends.
There are many characters to follow up on. Lenny, David’s once dead friend, becomes a virtual slave after returning from the dead (that one is a mind bender in itself). Farouk leaves a wake of destruction in his path while inhabiting Oliver as he looks for his own body to return to. Syd, David’s girlfriend, struggles over competing with her future self for David’s attention. Cary comes to terms with his sister Kerry (who shares the same body) and their future together. Melanie flirts with addiction after being abandoned, again, by Oliver. Wallace embraces a militant stance. And David hunts for the Shadow King before he finds his body to return to.
By the end of Season 2, you will still be asking yourself if David, his friends, and his war with the Shadow King are all just a figment of his own mind. Did David return to sanity or is it all just a dream? You will be the judge and the answers may still come with the third and final season expected this June. Whatever the case may be, the ride is going to be anything but normal.
To reach Brian Fitz-Gerald email him at email@example.com.