TV Review: Legion 2.1 “Chapter 9” (Season Premiere)
By Dr. Zaius
Thursday, April 5th, 2018 at 10:00 am
Episode 2.1 “Chapter 9”
Written by Noah Hawley & Nathaniel Halpern
Directed by Tim Mielants
Starring Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, Jean Smart, Jemaine Clement FX Network
Air date: April 3, 2018
“Do you have any waffles?”
Spoilers below for Legion:
Legion burst back onto TV screens on Tuesday night with the same absurd surrealist approach that made it a fan favorite back in 2017. There is simply nothing off-limits on this show and it runs from the top down. Show creator Noah Hawley has reinvented genre TV with both this and Fargo (also on FX) and his team of actors, cinematographers, special effects people and musicians all work to create the single most unique 70+ minute experience for viewers each week. In the debut for its second season, Legion was laugh out loud funny, wonderfully irreverent, featured voiceover narration from an Emmy-nominated guest star, and of course, because it’s Legion, culminated with an epic dance sequence.
The last time we saw the super powerful David Haller (Dan Stevens) he had freed himself from Lenny/Farouk/The Shadow King (Aubrey Plaza) and was celebrating with girlfriend Syd (Rachel Keller) outside Summerland. Then he was kidnapped by a floating sphere and trapped in the Astral Plane as The Shadow King stowed away inside Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement) and drove off. We open this new season where David is found and assumes its one day later. To his shock it’s almost a year later”¦ or “362 days to be precise” as Syd informs him. She’s quick to forgive him however, since he’s her man. I love their relationship. Despite the utter lunacy of this show, the chemistry between Keller and Stevens makes their coupling very realistic.
As they explore David’s mental health we get an amazing sequence narrated by Jon Hamm delving into how ideas become delusions and delusions become psychoses. This is added by typically insane Legion-style animation and effects. David is shocked to see his Summerland team is now working with Division 3 and the interrogator (Hamish Linklater). It’s sometimes hard to remember that Legion is a Marvel property or technically a “superhero show.” The originality and style immediately made all other superhero TV feel obsolete. But these are mutants, and they actually used the word for the first time I remember here.
The combined team of Summerland/Division 3 is trying to unlock David’s mind for clues to where The Shadow King/Oliver are hiding out. We get a clue in that in order to destroy the Shadow King once and for all they must find his physical body. David is given a chance to help find him thanks to Cary Loudermilk (Bill Irwin), who leads him to an immersion tank with some curious upgrades:
“I’m supposed to find the Shadow King from inside a daiquiri?”
Because it’s Legion we get an obligatory dance-off with Stevens, Jemaine Clement, and of course Aubrey Plaza. The whole cast is awesome and revels in the insanity. This show is an all-out assault on the senses and I cannot be more complimentary with that statement. What drew me to Legion at first was how off the wall the previews were and for a season and an episode it has continually lived up to expectations. There is nothing else like this on TV and it continues to put all other superhero shows to shame.
Legion returns to FX next Tuesday at 10:00 pm EST. Also check out my immediate reactions on the Stardust App and follow me @DrZaiusGoD.