Quick Take on ‘Legion’: A Weird Mix of Visual Pizzazz and Narrative Tedium

  • If you take away the powers of all the characters, the only one who is still interesting enough as a character is Jemaine Clement’s Oliver Bird. 
  • Some viewers say that Legion is very perplexing as a show, but once you get used to the show’s penchant for playing with multiple realities, the story itself is fairly straightforward and all the narrative mechanisms that were being used felt more like repetitiveness than a clever déjà vu.
  • The story would probably have worked better with five to six chapters, instead of eight.
  • Favorite episode was “Chapter 4” – there’s the Oliver Bird introduction, Cary/Kerry fighting spliced with Oliver dancing to Feist’s Undiscovered First, the Benny/Lenny reveal, and Syd facing off The Eye.
  • I like Aubrey Plaza, but as a villain, neither she nor mouldy potato head really works for me.
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Image by FX Networks

 

  • Far too many shots of people walking through forests.
  • Legion operates on a weird, uneven level of audience cognition and understanding. One moment, you have too many questions, and the next moment, you already have guessed most of the answers and just want the show to hurry along.
  • The show likes to mix tones and genres, but there are so many times when horror becomes unintentional comedy in this show. The rampage David and Shadow inflicted upon District Three to rescue David’s sister should have been chilling, but that really fell flat.
  • And on that note, does David or the show even really care about David’s sister?
  • Wouldn’t it have been fun if the memories surrounding The World’s Angriest Boy in the World actually happened?
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Image by FX Network

 

  • In some ways, Legion reminds me of BBC’s Sherlock a lot. Both shows display great visual panache and have fun realizing different planes of reality or mental states. Both protagonists have extraordinary abilities and nearly all the characters in the two shows are apparently obsessed with and can’t shut up about them.
  • Now that most of the mystery has been revealed, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not Season 2 will follow Season 1’s byzantine structure.
  • “Chapter Eight” (the finale) is actually, for me, the weakest episode of Season 1. Coming off of the more momentous confrontation of Chapter 7, the episode feels anti-climatic and lacks a real sense of direness or even, basic common sense. It bothered me so much that David’s cohorts would act and talk so freely about David’s condition in front of the agent from District Three when he is clearly the enemy (an enemy that David is trying to co-opt, but still). With that kind of discipline and only one person in the whole group who’s really capable of combat, how have they not already been vanquished by District Three?!

 

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