Legion is psychological and philosophical mind-blowing, with stunning visuals, storylines and characters.
The second season of Legion takes the story to an even higher level by including philosophy, existentialism, surrealism, and psychological concepts that create an enthralling and intriguing story. Every episode is a piece of art on its own and tells a small story within a much bigger picture. With the addition of the Narrator, each episode is illustrated and explained in an original and brilliant way. When combining these personal stories, a very intense and creative meta-story comes to life.
With beautiful shots, a creative storyline, and interesting characters, this series is a visual gem, but also gives a lot of food for thought.
This second season consists of 11 episodes with each a duration of 44-68 minutes. It has a continuous storyline, but also little stories to create a whole bigger story, where the stakes are higher than ever.
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After Melanie, Syd, Ptonomy, Cary and Kerry and David found out that another mutant was living and hiding inside David’s mind, they tried to cast him out. But this mutant Farouk Amahl jumped into Oliver who escaped the astral plane and Farouk/Oliver escaped Summerland. In the meantime, David was being kidnapped by a strange orb.
Now a year later, Oliver/Farouk is still missing and so is David. Summerland has joined Division 3 to capture them both. When Ptonomy, Cary and Clark finally track down David, they bring him home, but he has no memories of the last year.
Farouk has his own plans and wants to find his own original body. To find him, they use David who can connect to Farouk’s mind, when lying in a special floating tank. They also try to get David’s memories back. But when he does, he finds out that it was future Syd who kidnapped him with the help of Farouk. It’s them who ask David to help Farouk find his body to prevent an upcoming disaster.
The line between good and evil fades and it becomes ever more confusing what is real and what’s not. Or who the real hero and who the real villain is for that matter. With David in the center of it all.
Why you should watch it
The universe of Legion expands and the series explores more inside David’s mind, using psychological and philosophical theories. The Narrator explains at the beginning of every episode what this episode is all about. With illustrations, pictures and original films, it feels like an in-depth college class that puts your mind at work. He starts out by explaining what a delusion is. That reality and illusion are difficult to distinguish from one another. That’s the core concept of this season and the basic knowledge on which this storyline is based upon. It also reflects David’s personality that becomes darker and has to form its own personality without Farouk controlling him.
Each episode feels like a stand-alone story, but they all fit together like pieces of a puzzle to eventually result in a mind-blowing climax. Every episode is a little gem. It’s full of insights. It’s thought provoking and the visuals and cinematography are just stunning. It’s very rich and full of details that are artistically crafted into the narrative. There’s always much going on, visually and psychologically, but it always feel fresh and new and results in a fantastic story.
With new characters like the boss of Division 3 Admiral Fukyama with a wicker basket on his head and his android assistants, females with mustaches called the Vermillion are just amazingly created. Add to this a dance-off right at the beginning and the trips inside David’s mind and his trips inside the minds of others, a strange disease that freezes people and make them chattering their teeth and this is going to be a very weird but brilliant mind-trip.
There’s a bigger part for Lenny to play and we find out who she really is. She is cause for many beautiful surreal images inside Farouk’s mind. Farouk is a very interesting villain who is charming, sophisticated, intelligent, dangerous, but not fully set on world domination.
The structure can feel a bit slow, but it is meticulously well-crafted to tell an important and clever story. With less emphasis on the surreal horror, but more on the psychological surrealism, there’s also more absurdistic off-kilter humor. It’s strange, alienating, bizarre and is both humorous and scary. The Asian Monks are strange, the Minotaur is creepy, the personal nightmares are weird and some inventions are immensely creative and comical but no less dangerous.
The set design and art decoration are to die for. It’s so beautiful and original and well-crafted. It’s so creative and imaginative without ever becoming artificial. It really fits into the storyline, they underline the characters and the scenes and make the whole series more colorful.
The way the characters interact with the plot is just brilliantly done. They both serve each other, push the story forward, while the characters illustrate the abstract theories and hypothesis. And the plot lets the characters develop and grow and make their own stories. But make sure you do pay attention. Nothing and nobody is what it seems.
It’s all about misconception, misdirection, and misinterpretation. Reality is what the human mind makes off it, while ignoring the objective facts. Everyone sees the world with his/her own personal perception (and thus with his/her own baggage, experiences, culture etc). Each one of us has his/her own ideas or delusions, who can contaminate (nocebo effect) or reject each other. On top of that, we can see patterns that aren’t there, the mind sees what it wants or expects to see. It also shines a fresh light on insanity versus sanity aka ‘normality’. Normal is, the standard that is determined by the majority, thus not in an objective way, but by way of perspective.
This season show us how complex reality really is, and even more so in the universe of Legion, with a multiverse, other dimensions and with the foreknowledge to change the future, or thus creating another reality.
My favorite part
Where to begin? I was completely blown away by this season. I just love everything about it. I already loved the first season, but this second season took it to a whole other level. It was just amazingly mind-blowing in every way possible. I loved the new Lenny, but Farouk himself was really impressive too. The darker side of David was intriguing. The episode where David gets inside Syd’s mind is very illuminating and tells us more about her. The multiverse episode is just amazing, which is really about Amy. And of course the mind battle between David and Farouk is just visually stunning and adds a real comic vibe.
Scare factor: ★★★☆☆
Surreal factor: ★★★★★
Originality factor: ★★★★★
Entertainment factor: ★★★★★
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Cast and crew
Legion is created by Noah Hawley and based on the Marvel character Legion a.k.a David Charles Haller created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bill Sienkiewicz in 1985. It stars Dan Stevens (David Haller), Rachel Keller (Sydney Barrett), Aubrey Plaza (Lenny Busker), Bill Irwin (Cary Loudermilk), Jeremie Harris (Ptonomy Wallace), Amber Midthunder (Kerry Loudermilk), Katie Aselton (Amy Haller), Jean Smart (Melanie Bird), Jemaine Clement (Oliver Bird), Hamish Linklater (Clark Debussy) and Navid Negahban (Farouk Amahl).
Music: Jeff Russo. Cinematography: Dana Gonzales, Polly Morgan. Production company: 20th Century Fox Television, 26 Keys Productions, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Donner’s Company, FX Productions, Kinberg Genre, Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Television, Walt Disney Television. Original network: FX.