Legion

Legion, based on the Marvel Comics by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, is the story of David Haller (Dan Stevens), a troubled young man who may be more than human. Diagnosed as schizophrenic as a child, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. Now in his early 20's and free once again, David loses himself in the rhythm of the structured regimen of life in the daily life: breakfast, lunch, dinner, therapy, medications, sleep. David spends the rest of his time in companionable silence alongside his chatterbox friend Shannon (Aubrey Plaza), a fellow patient whose life-long and alcohol addiction has done nothing to quell her boundless optimism that her luck is about to change. The pleasant numbness of David's routine is completely upended with the arrival of a beautiful and troubled new patient named Syd (Rachel Keller). Inexplicably drawn to one another, David and Syd share a startling encounter, after which David must confront the shocking possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees may actually be real.

Season 1

Roy

I liked the music in this episode; unusual choices that helped set the tone of the show; if there is more of that I will warm up to this show more. The show doesn’t feel like it is holding my hand or pandering me too much like a lot of other superhero shows do. Good to see a superhero show about a minor character; lets the story go more where the writers want rather than be constrained by what fans already know about the character.

6.1/10

Tommy

The first episode of Legion throws you right into the shoes of the character and you are going to be very confused. The main character spends the majority of the first episode in a mental hospital and a few times questions the reality he is experiencing. It’s clear immediately that the show isn’t afraid to let the viewer figure things out for themselves and that is something i can get behind. This confusion might be a turnoff but there is enough in the way of good imagery, a bit of action and some cute character moments that have me keen to see where this goes.

7/10

Matt

Legion is refreshing for a superhero show, it’s so far abandoned the capes and tights aspect of the genre and instead starts by building your understanding of the main character through amazing editing and visual techniques. Legion has a lot of potential to be something unique in an oversaturated genre.

7/10

Episode Score

67

Roy

I quite enjoy how the show is keeping us in the mindset of the protagonist David. Keeping us a little bit confused with unusual editing and such but not as much as the first episode intimating that David is becoming more mentally stable. It is refreshing for a show to not be about action or silly dramas and is instead about what is real and what is going on in someone’s mind.

6/10

Tommy

Legion continues to be very confusing but in a good way. The mysteries are unfolding and I am interested in how these new elements affect and are related to the characters -- or character -- the shows editing continues to shine with great transitions between our perceived present and the memory sequences. We are revealed aspects of David’s past and these add a nice sort of foundation that we can seemingly use to gauge what has happened for real. They also raise a few more questions of course but it only adds to what i want to know going forward and the scenes are compelling all on their own anyway.

7.5/10

Matt

Episode 2 definitely has some more linear moments then the first episode. So this suggests that as we follow David's story and he becomes more clear as to the strange happens in his life the audience will also start to get a clearer picture. Making the audience a traveler participating in David's journey is some damn smart tv.

7/10

Episode Score

68

Roy

This show initially grabbed me by pushing the boundaries and not holding my hand with non-linear storytelling and keeping me asking “what is happening?”. During this episode that question started to turn into “when is something happening?”. I feel like the boundaries are being pulled back in and Legion is losing what made it unique and interesting. The story itself is still enough for me to want to keep watching; small hints are being dropped around for me to try to piece together answers to some of the burning questions I have but I miss feeling as confused as I imagine David is.

4.95

Tommy

I think I got a lot more out of this episode than my fellows here but the repetition of the scenes and such that we’ve seen in previous episodes hasn’t gotten to me and the stakes for going into David’s memories have seemingly ramped up. My eyes were opened to a theory of David’s past and what the picture book means and with that revelation this episode actually gets better as a device to subtly lay the groundwork for that to be revealed in a satisfying way to the audience. As always the lighting and editing are used to good effect and for me i found this episode to be quite tense and creepy at times.

7.5/10

Matt

As I had predicted earlier the show is taking on a more linear way of storytelling as the David's mind becomes less fractured. The major roadblock for me at the moment however is the repetition of the memory sequences. I’ve seen the same three sets countless times over three episodes and it’s bordering on boring. That being said there’s still enough unanswered questions to keep me engaged but in order for me to remain invested it’s time to move forwards with the story.

5.5/10

Episode Score

58

Roy

This episode is bringing it back. For some reason I love watching scenes and not quite knowing if it is showing us what one of the characters is seeing, reminding the viewer of something or merely portraying an idea. I missed this in the last episode and I am so happy to say that it is happening again. Some questions I had got answered and now there are new questions that I *need* answers for. Who is that mystery beagle? What are Germaine’s powers? The characters visited a lot of new locations and got a lot of things done. There was even some action. Everything I have liked about Legion was packed into this episode.

7.3

Matt

My complaints of last episode have been addressed and we see a concentrated effort to move the story and characters forward at a stronger pace. I always preach about organic drama and this episode of Legion has it in spades. Our heroes find themselves in a perilous situation even though they have acted according to character and have made intelligent moves and as an audience member I am very on board with this. I also loved the introduction of Jemaine Clement in this episode, that dude is just so much fun to watch. He nails his performance and has me geared up for more. All in all legion came back strong this week, a trend I hope continues going forward.

7/10

Tommy

This episode had a very nice progression in terms of pacing and doling out revelations. The story that unfolds outside of David’s mind best resembles a thin detective narrative with a bit of sneaky interrogation, discovering clues at a location and all that good stuff with super powers getting added to it. What grabbed me the most this episode though was what was going on with David as he finds himself in the astral plane. Which is a real treat visually, but once we meet Germain Clement’s character things get amped up even more. In his performance we get this wonderful character that has this great screen presence who you feel might have lost his mind yet still seems to know a lot more than he lets on. Revelations are a very important part of this show and this episode it would seem the tide is turning in terms of questions raised and answers given. The sense of progression this gives feels good and with the episode’s pacing and the raising of stakes episode 4 is a joy to watch.

8/10

74

Roy

Legion is really bringing it all together. I wasn’t sure how much better it would get than the last episode but this show is continuing to impress me. The cinematography in this episode was certainly something to remark up and I will be doing so presently. Fabulous implementation of rarely used techniques like complete silence to both enhance the mood and to show us what is physically happening in the scenes. This episode had a good amount of action, heaps of plot development and is continuing to treat me as an intelligent viewer. Very excited to see how the Devil With The Yellow Eyes continues to develop. The only thing I miss from earlier episodes is whacky yet appropriate music choices.

8.9

Matt

The use of classic filmmaking techniques are not only on display in this episode but are used expertly to give legion a very unique voice making it a show that stands above the rest in the current tv landscape. One aspect of this episode that caught me by surprise was the amount of body horror in the episode. David’s powers do some pretty nasty shit to the Division's soldiers and it reminded of the very first X-Men film, which at the time didn't shy away from the more disturbing aspects of mutation in relation to what powers can do to regular humans. This episode is tense, suspenseful, thrilling and gives you everything you need while giving you room to interpret as well.

7/10

Tommy

More than any show Legion uses more tools of filmmaking than any other show and always to good effect. This episode uses something quite blunt and underutilised, silence. There’s is a terrific scene where no sound is played and it is used very efficiently to show us David’s power, deliver some comedic relief and to ramp up the tension. If nothing else Legion is increasingly becoming a masterclass of film making. However what is going on in the episode in terms of the narrative and characters remains compelling as we see more of the ramifications of actions taken in the last episode and a cliffhanger that, like the use of silence feels like a bat to the head( but in a good way). Overall this episode is the best so far, with great filmmaking, character moments and visuals that run the gamut from gruesome to serene

9/10

Episode Score

83

Roy

Legion continues to stimulate my mind and show me stuff I can't get from other shows. I like that the show has been brought back to the hospital because that is where all the whacky stuff that I love happens with interesting cinematography and music. There are many details that make me wonder if they are a clue to what is going on or they are red-herrings. The star of this episode, and maybe the whole show, is Aubrey Plaza. She showcased a fantastic breadth of acting as the Devil With Yellow Eyes that was a pleasure to watch. I have nothing bad to say about this episode; I loved it all.

8.95/10

Matt

Sadly this episode slows everything down to a crawl as we visit a familiar set and once again the DNA that makes up our characters. The problem is I know why Sid can’t touch others, I know why the carys are so close. For me it’s just rehashing and even the technical brilliance of the show is not enough to keep me engaged. I will say that Aubrey Plaza’s acting was a wonderful treat in a mediocre episode and she was at least preventing me from giving the show a 4.

5/10

Tommy

The majority of this episode leaves us in a mental institution with scenes that are pretty much direct lifts from the first episode. This and a few other things in the episode basically make it clear that this is all not real. Where you think all the characters are and what kind of state they are in is not quite clear and this episode like all of the others hints at a lot of things and I always feel like you could figure it out if you make the right connections. As far is it is done here, the mystery and the piecing things together is still fun and engaging. There are some nice character things that happen here as well and although everyone’s performances are good Aubrey Plaza absolutely knocks it out of the park.

8.5/10

Episode Score

74

Roy

I keep saying that I love Legion for not holding my hand. For throwing crazy stuff at me and expecting me to work out what is going on. This episode, Legion has, in an interesting and entertaining way, made sure that I am up to speed with everything that is going on. With the series about to end and the climax nigh, this is a great move; that scene with David working out everything with his rational mind was great. Legion showed yet more styles of film and they were all used with great effect to enhance the tone and story. Great stuff.

9/10

Matt

Every time I complain about pacing on this show, it gets thrown back in my face with the latest episode. This week we see some of the most wonderful uses of technical film maker I have seen ever full stop. Not since Buffy the vampires Hush episode have I seen such an amazing use of silence. Then the audience is treated to an animated sequence that harkens back to comics while saying so much with such a minimalistic approach.

8/10

Tommy

Things within the fake mental hospital are resolved and what a conclusion. Another style of filmmaking is brought to bear and it just makes this show feel so unique. Although not a lot happens during the episode if you think about it, there are just some excellently crafted scenes and great performances. There are two main examples I want to go over, there is your typical recap scene that is more or less usually expository which Legion uses to catch up those watching who are lost, but they also do a nice character scene where David convinces himself of what is happening accompanied by neat chalkboard animations. The other example is of course the climax which mostly happens in classical silent film style which is set up beautifully and works so well with what is happening on screen. As always the performances are great, Germaine Clement is back which is always wonderful, the visuals effects look great and the cliffhanger leading into the finale sets up a nice conflict right off the bat.

9/10

Episode Score

86

Roy

Legion isn’t a show that you can analyse piecemeal; it is too thoroughly cohesive for that. On its own, this wasn’t the best episode of Legion, it wasn’t even a great episode, but it was just about everything I liked about the series in nutshell. It was one of the more straight-forward episodes of the season and I felt it needed to be for the finale; despite that, it still threw us some curveballs to keep us guessing into the next season, which I will definitely be picking up.

7.5/10

Matt

The more linear approach to the season finale is I think a necessary move to keep the story progressing. It may not have been as creatively driven as the previous episode but it does help viewers wrap their head around the events of the season. We also get to experience a different perspective to the X-Men universe and that comes from the Humans working in Division three, there are lines that I loved coming from our Division 3 Agent that did make me wonder if mutants shouldn’t be reviewed and held under tighter conditions. Horrible thing to say but as is made quite clear how does democracy survive gods among us? As a whole Legion pushes the boundaries of what we have come to expect of a Superhero tv show. The film making techniques on display are a cut above everything else I am seeing at the moment. Then as a cherry on the top is the amazing acting coming from Aubrey Plaza. If she is not at the very least nominated for an Emmy I would be very shocked.

8/10

Tommy

The season finale of Legion is a little bit of a letdown considering the quality and stakes of what happened previously. There’s not as many cool things that happen especially compared to the previous episode. That isn’t to say that the episode isn’t good because it does a ton of good filmmaking like showing just enough to endear me to the “villain” before all the stuff goes down. Things are just a lot less mysterious, more linear and less interesting visually than they've been throughout the season. Everything is well executed still but there’s a bit of magic lost in the finale although the ending is trademark Legion in how it continues to make you question what is going on. Overall not an memorable finale, but the season as a whole was great and the finale does enough to makes me very keen to see season 2.

8/10

Episode Score

78

The first season of Legion is definetely on the better end of the spectrum when it comes to super hero television. It starts off quite slow but as the season unfolds the constant stream of mysteries remains compelling. Add to that the great performances, especially from Aubrey Plaza and all of the brilliant cinematography, editing and different filming techniques makes this season definetely worth a watch.

Season Score

73

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