October 7, 2022

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Geek TV Review: Legion Season One

After a promising first episode, the new FX X-Men drama series concluded its first season of strong television.

OK, I said I’d probably review the rest of the season once it finished airing back when I reviewed the pilot episode.

Here is that review.

Wow.

OK, the last episode was a wee bit flat in places as the episode concluded, though much of that may have simply been done to set up next season, but this was some truly mind-bending television.

Dan Stevens plays David Haller, one of two characters from actual X-Men comics.  The other?  That would be telling.  Watch the show and find out.  Trust me when I say that reveal is worth the wait.

At any rate, Haller starts the season locked in a mental institution where he meets and falls in love with Syd (Rachel Keller).  It turns out Syd’s not crazy.  She’s a mutant, and she’s in the psyche ward looking for a really powerful mutant for her associates at the Summerland Institute, a sort of X-Men type team/organization.  After springing David, he begins to learn the voices in his head may not mean he’s crazy.  Of course, they could also mean something else that could cause a lot of problems for everyone.

Anyone who’s seen writer/producer Noah Hawley’s Fargo knows the guy can bring some really surreal and bizarre stuff to the screen, and Legion is his kind of show.  Aside from a moment at the end of the first episode and the last one, this isn’t really a show for superhero brawls.  Heck, most of the mutants at Summerland don’t even have particularly flashy or combat-useful powers, though the powers on display are often highly creative.  I’m not sure how much Hawley got away with just using camera tricks, set design, and other basic sorts of effects over CGI, but this was a highly inventive, visual show, which is perfect for a character like Heller, who in normal X-Men continuity is as a powerful telepath and a schizophrenic does tend to have more trippy adventures, and setting an episode or two entirely within the astral plane here was highly appropriate.

By the by, while there are no slouches in the cast, Aubrey Plaza is amazing.  Her character is just full of surprises.

FX has already renewed Legion  for season two, so I know I’ll be there.  9 and a half body-sharing mutants out of ten.

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