Legion season 2 episode

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Season 2
Legion


Critics Consensus

Legion returns with a smart, strange second season that settles into a straighter narrative without sacrificing its unique sensibilities.

91%

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Critic Ratings: 37

80%

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User Ratings: 1130

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Legion: Season 2 Videos

Sours: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/legion/s02

Legion Season-Premiere Recap: Identity Crisis

Legion

Chapter Nine

Season 2 Episode 1

Editor’s Rating 3 stars ***

A scene from the season premiere of Legion. Photo: Prashant Gupta/FX/FX Networks.

What kind of show does Legion want to be? In its first season, it was a psychological horror thriller, a twisted love story, and a superhero story built on X-Men mythology — a mash-up of wildly different genres. While it doesn’t need to settle on one predominant storytelling mode this time around, the challenge is clear: How do you bring such disparate elements together to create a more cohesive vision?

But cohesion will have to wait. Legion’s season-two premiere, “Chapter Nine,” bombards us with new information, strange visuals, and spectacular set pieces, with confusion serving as the goal for writers Noah Hawley and Nathaniel Halpern. They want us to feel disoriented, putting us in the shoes of David Haller (Dan Stevens), who is found at the start of the episode nearly one year after his disappearance at the end of last season.

It’s been 362 days since David was sucked into a mysterious orb, and his friends have gone through some major changes. The Summerland crew is now working with Division 3 to track down Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement), who has been possessed by Amahl Farouk, a.k.a. the Shadow King (Navid Negahban), and is spreading a mental virus that leaves bystanders catatonic and creepily chattering their teeth. Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris) works with the investigative branch of Division 3, Cary (Bill Irwin) is in research, and Kerry (Amber Midthunder) is in tactical. Meanwhile, Syd (Rachel Keller) and Melanie (Jean Smart) are part of the strategic board and have convinced the organization that mutants aren’t a threat. The year has been especially unkind to Melanie, who has gone off the deep end and is wallowing in sorrow exacerbated by her use of vapor, David’s past drug of choice.

Division 3 headquarters gives the Legion design team a new location to fill with striking imagery, and much of the thrill of “Chapter Nine” is in seeing how the series continues to push the stylistic limits of the superhero genre. I’m fixated on the waterway that flows through the Division 3 cafeteria, where tiny boats carry dishes of food to diners. It’s a fun visual, but it’s also representative of one of the series’ major issues: style sans function. This stream brings David the waffles he craves when he finally wakes up, but the logistics make little sense. Who actually ordered these dishes? Is it a random assortment of food that cycles around the room over and over again? How does each meal stay fresh? We see very few people in the cafeteria, so why are so many dishes rolling down the river? None of these questions matter to the overall narrative, but whenever I see the stream, I wonder what’s the point of having it there.

Imagination without intent makes things feel random, and many of the design choices for Division 3 are confusing. Why does Admiral Fukuyama wear a large basket over his head? Why do his attendants have feminine bodies, mustaches, Prince Valiant haircuts, and computerized sing-song voices? There’s no denying that these design elements make Legion stand out — especially as a superhero show — but they can also pull us out of the story if they don’t serve a purpose. The first season had plenty of weirdness for the sake of weirdness, and I’d like to see more specificity about why such weird details permeate the series.

Jon Hamm joins the cast this season as a narrator who addresses the audience during chapter breaks, beginning with a speech asking the viewer to visualize a mental maze representing madness. These sequences engage most directly with mental illness, exploring the nature of delusions with the ancient Chinese story of Zhuang Zhou’s butterfly dream, a contemporary tale of a man who saws off his leg, and a creepy visualization using two chicks — one healthy and fluffy, the other deformed, skeletal, and covered in an inky black substance. That inky chick comes back into play later in the episode, crawling up to the bed where David and Syd are spooning in the astral plane. These two lovers have a steamy psychic reunion set to the Rolling Stones’ “We Love You,” but David is keeping secrets that threaten to pull them apart. The chick symbolizes all the darkness that David is trying to supress in order to reconnect with his partner, but as we learn more about David’s past year, it becomes clear that he’ll need to open up if he’s going to maintain their relationship.

The script openly addresses the cliché of it all when Clark (Hamish Linklater) tells David about how he would watch soap operas as a child with his mother and eat ice cream whenever characters had an evil twin or amnesia. David is currently dealing with both of those: He doesn’t recall much of what happened in the past 362 days, and while he may not have a physical twin, there’s a malevolent psychic entity that potentially still has a grip on his mind. Pointing out clichés doesn’t excuse them, and this conversation draws attention to the fact that, despite its unconventional style, Legion is still rooted in traditional plot points. At the end of the episode, a common superhero trope gets folded in as we learn that the orb was actually sent by a one-armed future version of Syd, who communicates via white light drawings. She tells David that he needs to help Farouk find his body — even though that’s exactly what Division 3 is trying to stop — and this message from the future considerably changes the direction of the season.

Dan Stevens continues to be a captivating lead, and there’s a fundamental shiftiness to his performance that reflects the mix of discomfort, confusion, and anxiety at the root of David Haller. After the events of last season, David seems to be free from Farouk’s influence, but that doesn’t mean he’s in a healthy mental state. Given that time hasn’t passed for David the way it has for the others, the trauma of his possession is still very raw, and some of the most powerful moments are when Stevens shows David’s fear of falling victim to his nemesis once again. (On a lighter note, the show is also taking more advantage of Stevens’s sex appeal, and this episode finds quite a few excuses for David to take his clothes off.)

Rachel Keller brings depth to Syd, as she’s had to become a pillar of strength for this group despite the profound pain of losing David. With Melanie incapacitated, Syd stepped into a leadership role, and she’s even learning how to control her powers by swapping bodies with her cat. Keller’s strongest scenes in this episode have no dialogue, like the sequence of her holding her breath and waiting for a tea kettle to hiss, a game that gave her hope that David was still alive. She’s doing some silent-movie-level emoting in this scene, and that sense of loss is amplified when she shows up as Syd’s future self, projecting intense pity and sadness on her slightly aged face.

I predict the pairing of Oliver and Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) is going to be a highlight of this season, and “Chapter Nine” opens with their characters relaxing in a pool, baking in the sun. This is a prison of Farouk’s making, and even though they’re both trapped, at least they’ve been put in an idyllic setting where they can just lounge around and sip on drinks. With the exception of one early shot of Farouk in Paris, the Shadow King manifests as Oliver and Lenny through most of this episode, and one of David’s few memories of the last few months involves a showdown with the two of them in a nightclub.

This isn’t a traditional superhero fight, but a dance battle set to electronic music and filmed by director Tim Mielants like a Robyn music-video. I love that dance has been a part of this show’s formula since the Bollywood routine in the very first episode, and this fight between David, Oliver, and Lenny is one of the instances where the show’s eccentricity really works. The action fits the setting, it brings out new elements of the actors’ performances, and the abstract nature of dance makes the entire sequence more figurative. Ptonomy confirmed earlier in the episode that David was actually seen dancing in the club, but the structured choreography suggests an added psychic element to the movement. The stylistic flourishes give these character interactions deeper substance, and ideally Legion will maintain this dynamic as it moves forward.

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Everything to Remember About Legion Before Watching Season Two
Legion Season-Premiere Recap: Identity CrisisSours: https://www.vulture.com/2018/04/legion-recap-season-2-premiere.html
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Though “Chapter 9” can feel a bit like a slog, it dutifully must do the table setting for the rest of the season. We rejoin the Summerland gang one year after “Chapter 8,” with David finally discovered after disappearing in that mysterious orb. The Summerland gang are now fully integrated with Division 3, working alongside Clark (Hamish Linklater) and their new boss Admiral Fukuyama as the “spear” in the government’s war against unruly mutants. The Shadow King, Amahl Farouk, is still on the loose in Oliver’s body, with Oliver and Lenny wasting away, trapped inside of his mind. A new threat, The Catalyst, which turns regular folks into teeth-chattering statues, is also a problem, as it appears to be following The Shadow King on his globetrotting journey to locate his original body.

It’s fairly straightforward superhero stuff dressed up with idiosyncratic production design and cinematography, except now the novelty has worn off a bit. Legion can’t surprise with an impromptu dance number or spaced-out sex scene anymore, which means Hawley must try to up the ante with new oddities that don’t always work. I love the sound of Jon Hamm’s voice as much as the next red-blooded American, but his cutaway speeches about mazes and delusions complete with Chinese fables and self-amputations feel like the work of a writer getting high on his own supply.

That being said, the second season already seems more interested in its characters’ development. Syd is reasonably upset about David’s absence and worries about when she might lose him again. She can also tell that David may know more about his time away then he is letting on. Cary and Kerry appear to be at odds and out of synch, Ptonomy is more suspicious of David than ever and his allegiance can no longer be assumed, and Melanie is completely checked out after losing her husband yet again. The most intriguing member of the Division 3 ensemble is Clark, who’s still seemingly holding a grudge against David despite the fact that they find themselves on the same side. Their scene together is the episode’s highlight and gives us more information about Clark’s backstory. After seeing his home life last season and his road to recovery, we know more about this uneasy ally than any of our other supporting characters, and his and David’s dynamic is one I’m excited to explore further.

If there’s something to be gleaned from the premiere that feels encouraging, or perhaps maddening if you’re already struggling to keep things straight, is that what we think we know about David and his relationships to his friends and adversaries feels like it will be upended. For instance, a revealing flashback from David’s time in the orb reveals he was visited by a future, older and one-armed, version of Syd that implores David to help the Shadow King locate his body. It’s advice that goes against everything we know so far about the series, but if it reunites Dan Stevens’ David and Aubrey Plaza’s Lenny, then bring it on.

Sours: https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/legion-season-2-episode-1-review-chapter-9/
Legion Season 2: Episode 11 Season Finale Breakdown!

Season 2

Original run

April 3 – June 12, 2018

The second season of Legion premiered on April 3 at 10/9c on FX and concluded on June 12, 2018.[2][3] This season originally consisted a total of 10-episodes until May 1 that year when FX and Noah Hawley ordered an additional episode at the last minute, bringing the episode order to eleven.[4]

Synopsis

Based on the Marvel Comics by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, Legion is the story of "David Haller" (Dan Stevens), a man who believed himself to be schizophrenic only to discover that he may actually be the most powerful mutant the world has ever seen.

From childhood, David shuffled from one psychiatric institution to the next until, in his early 30s, he met and fell in love with a beautiful and troubled fellow patient named "Syd" (Rachel Keller). After Syd and David shared a startling encounter, he was forced to confront the shocking possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees may actually be real. Syd led David to "Melanie Bird" (Jean Smart), a demanding but nurturing therapist who heads a team of specialists - "Ptonomy" (Jeremie Harris), "Kerry" (Amber Midthunder) and "Cary" (Bill Irwin) - each of whom possesses a unique and extraordinary gift. Together, they helped David to recognize and harness his hidden powers. With their support, David finally unlocked a deeply suppressed truth - he had been haunted his entire life by a malicious parasite of unimaginable power. Known as the "Shadow King," this malevolent creature appeared in the form of David's friend "Lenny" (Aubrey Plaza), but is actually an ancient being named "Amahl Farouk."

In an epic showdown, David and his friends battled his demon, ultimately forcing it from David's body. Unfortunately, Farouk found a new host - Melanie's husband "Oliver Bird" (Jemaine Clement) - and escaped. Just when they thought they'd earned a moment of respite, a mysterious orb appeared and took David away to an unknown place. With David and Oliver missing and Farouk on the loose, the team forms an unlikely alliance with their former enemy "Clark" (Hamish Linklater) and his well-funded government organization, Division III. Meanwhile, Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban) is on a new path to attaining infinite and world-ending power.

Noah Hawley serves as Executive Producer, along with John Cameron, Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory. Legion is the latest project from Hawley and Cameron, two of the executive producers of the Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R)-winning FX anthology series Fargo. Legion is produced by FX Productions and Marvel Television, with FXP handling the physical production. [5]

Cast

Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast

Episode list

# Image Title Writer(s) Director(s) Airdate
1S2 E1 Promo 1.jpgChapter 9Noah Hawley & Nathaniel HalpernTim MielantsApril 3, 2018
Unlikely alliances are formed and the search for the Shadow King begins.
2S2 E2 Promo 1.jpegChapter 10Noah Hawley & Nathaniel HalpernAna Lily AmirpourApril 10, 2018
David meets his oldest enemy.
3Legion promotion picture 2.jpgChapter 11Noah Hawley & Nathaniel HalpernAdina SmithApril 17, 2018
David navigates the maze.
4Chapter 12 Image.jpgChapter 12Noah Hawley & Nathaniel HalpernEllen KurasApril 24, 2018
David is tested. And tested. And tested.
5Vlcsnap-2018-07-25-07h32m08s634.jpgChapter 13Noah Hawley & Nathaniel HalpernTim MielantsMay 1, 2018
An uneasy reunion leads to a shocking truth.
6Vlcsnap-2018-07-25-08h20m33s370 - Copy.jpgChapter 14Noah Hawley & Nathaniel HalpernCharlie McDowellMay 8, 2018
Madness visits Division Three.
7Tsk.pngChapter 15Noah Hawley & Nathaniel HalpernCharlie McDowellMay 15, 2018
A delusion starts like any other idea .. But ends in disaster.
8Vlcsnap-2018-07-26-03h56m14s823.jpgChapter 16Noah Hawley & Jordan CrairCharlie McDowellMay 22, 2018
The path forward is revealed.
9Vlcsnap-2018-07-26-04h29m15s505.jpgChapter 17Noah Hawley & Nathaniel HalpernNoah HawleyMay 28, 2018
Inner demons take control.
10
Sours: https://legion.fandom.com/wiki/Season_2

Episode 2 legion season

Every week, we pick a new episode of the week. It could be good. It could be bad. It will always be interesting. You can read the archives here. The episode of the week for June 10 through 16 is “Chapter 19,” the finale of the second season of FX’s Legion.

Legion’s season two finale had the worst of both worlds. Its long-planned reveal, staged as a twist, was so heavily foreshadowed that it was easy to predict, but it also happened so perfunctorily that it felt like the show had thrown it together at the last minute.

This might, honestly, sum up much of the FX superhero drama’s second season, which was always doing interesting things but rarely found ways to make them connect. Legion did many of the things a TV show must do in its second season to succeed — from spending lots of time with the supporting characters to developing some degree of skepticism about its protagonist’s journey — but every time it felt like it was settling into a groove, it would jet off on a new fantastical adventure that dragged it off into some other realm entirely.

This isn’t a problem, not exactly. At its best, Legion embodies the spirit of a comic by someone like Warren Ellis or even Alan Moore, someone who uses the form to examine deeper questions of human psychology and philosophy, often point blank. (It’s the best way to explain why season two of Legion kept pausing the action to have Jon Hamm’s narrator lecture the audience on the nature of consciousness.) As a collection of crazy things that happen, Legion remains unparalleled.

But the second season finale revealed how badly the series wanted to be a story about the roots of toxic masculinity, a show that would confront its central audience with their own failings and inability to police nerd culture’s behavior when it comes to the women within or near it. And the split between its “crazy things keep happening!” storytelling approach and a desire to consider the roots of toxic masculinity might be wide enough to swallow the show whole. Spoilers, of course, follow.

The second season finale pulls the rug out from under the audience — but it’s not clear how much intention it has to just put that rug right back

“Chapter 19” focuses on what happens when its hero, David Haller (Dan Stevens), finally does battle with the villainous Shadow King (Navid Negahban, in a delightfully odd performance). The two meet in the desert and fight after a short musical number. They battle via animated avatars, one of the show’s frequent nods to its main character’s roots in Marvel X-Men comics.

Eventually, the fight is interrupted (via means that would make the show sound too weird to exist — suffice to say they involve a tuning fork), and David’s girlfriend, Syd (Rachel Keller), pulls a gun on her lover, revealing that she knows a future version of herself is trying to preserve the life of the Shadow King, because his help will eventually be needed to stop a future version of David from ending the world, a thread the entire season has been playing with. After a lot of sturm und drang, David wipes Syd’s mind of this particular set of memories. The two return home. They have sex.

He’s robbed her of her agency, of course. She never would have had sex with him if her memories had remained intact. To keep his relationship, David removed his lover’s autonomy. And to its credit, the show knows this. It doesn’t excuse David’s behavior, and it has Syd put said behavior in very clear terms: He drugged her and then had sex with her. He raped her.

The sequence that works best in the episode is when David tries, desperately, to deny to others and himself that he’s a rapist. “I am a good person! I deserve love!” he chants over and over to himself, an idea the finale earlier dismissed as “a delusion.” And that’s because he isn’t a good person. He broke one of the cardinal rules of morality in what he did with Syd, and he certainly doesn’t deserve her love any more.

FX

The finale leaves room for him to be redeemed, but via medication and treatment, not some grand act of romantic self-sacrifice. His life might be over-the-top and exciting, but if David wants to be a good person again, the route back will be mundane and a little boring, especially for someone who spent years in a psychiatric ward and fears going back. And even if he gets back to karma neutral, he’ll still have a black mark on his soul.

Instead of following that route, David escapes with the similarly damaged Lenny (Aubrey Plaza). The two jet off into nothingness, and it’s clear that season three will shift its focus to Syd as the series’ hero, trying to track down her ex before he can end the world.

It’s a weird, superheroic spin on our era of women using their voices to stop toxic and terrible men, and if I thought for two seconds the show would know how to do that, I’d be way more excited for whatever’s about to happen next.

Legion is probably too enamored of its weirdness to tell as rich and emotionally complicated of a story as it wants to

At every turn of Legion, the series has had ample opportunities to question David or develop a skepticism about what he’s doing or what he stands for. And at every turn of Legion, the series has nipped that questioning in the bud.

Very early in the run, for instance, it posited Jean Smart’s Melanie, the head of a mysterious division looking into the rise of mutants with superpowers on Earth, as a kind of authority figure who might be able to help David harness his raw power (which is apparently considerable, even as the series struggles to depict it half the time). But surprisingly swiftly it undercut whatever authority Melanie had, until she spent much of season two pining for her long-lost husband. (The two, reunited in the finale, mostly appeared in a weird flash-forward that seemed designed to write them out of the show.)

FX

This basic pattern — the show starts to question David, then reveals that no, he is right! — has persisted throughout both seasons of the show. And in this interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner and creator Noah Hawley seems interested less in the idea of David’s villainy than in him as a sort of supervillain Walter White. This may seem a petty distinction, to be sure, but I think Hawley’s remarks are telling. Legion ultimately won’t be interested in David’s dark actions because of how they affect other people, I fear, but because of how they make him seem like a cooler, more complex, more badass character.

Breaking Bad succeeded because Vince Gilligan might have liked Walter, but he was also intensely skeptical of him; I don’t know that Legion has ever possessed enough skepticism of David as a character, a superhero, or a plot mechanism to really pull off what it wants to do. And that’s even reflected in how the show reveals his villainy — not through the eyes of Syd, but through the eyes of David, who experiences it as a twist. To really get the full weight of that moment, Syd would have had to be front and center throughout, but I’m not convinced Legion understands her as anything other than David’s great love.

I would love to be wrong about this! A dissection of toxic masculinity existing within a superhero series is a compelling way to smuggle some thoughts about the world we live in today into a genre context that makes them easier to approach than something more straightforward. And in the flawed but fascinating third season of Fargo, Hawley was able to do some of the same with the idea of capitalism as a global force gnawing away at the world, which had become broken and wrong.

So, yes, Hawley can dissect broken systems when he wants to. And there is room for Legion’s future to talk about something big and important in a way that not only better grounds the show but makes sense of its many thin supporting characters. (If it could make Syd more than a series of plot functions, that would be lovely.) But, boy, season two of Legion did not give me a lot of hope.

Legion is available on Hulu and FX’s streaming services. Season three will most likely arrive in 2019.

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View all 1663 stories Sours: https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/6/17/17469148/legion-season-2-finale-recap-chapter-19-david-villain
Legion Season 2: Episode 2 Breakdown!

Legion recap: 'Chapter 9'

Legion’s season 2 premiere, Chapter 9, is a thorough refresher course on the series. The episode doesn’t summarize plot or reintroduce characters quite the way the sophomore opener of a less psychedelic series would, but it reiterates, on a conceptual level, the intricately choreographed dance party of the mind that is watching the show. Season 1’s lingering threads — who will David (Dan Stevens) be without Farouk occupying his mind? Why did a weird orb beam David away from Summerland? — are wound up in a net of new questions to re-tangle a narrative knot that had nearly been untied.

It may be disappointing, at first, that David has taken a few steps backward on his journey of self-realization, but Legion is a series that thrives on questions and craves the confusion born of an unreliable mind. The more David can hold himself together, the less the show’s premise can do the same, and Noah Hawley and Nathaniel Halpern, the writers of Chapter 9, seem to know it. Even as they establish new mysteries by destabilizing David, Hawley and Halpern take a few metafictional pokes at the amnesia and time travel hocus pocus they have to use to do it.

Before catching up with David, the episode opens on a shot of Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) and Oliver (Jemaine Clement) floating lazily in the center of a pool. Lenny poses what would normally be a simple question to Oliver: “Is it Tuesday?”

But there are no simple questions on Legion. “This is a conversation about time,” Oliver responds. “I try never to have conversations about time.” That rule could be a reference back to Oliver’s lengthy stint of timelessness in the Astral Plane, or it could be a way to ease the audience into the potential time-travel reveal that comes later in the episode from Syd (Rachel Keller).

Whenever it is for the two of them, Lenny and Oliver are trapped. As the camera zooms out, it’s revealed that the pool is inside the eye of Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban), who is seated in front of the Eiffel Tower. Zooming out more still, the shot reveals the Parisian scene to be inside the eye of yet another Oliver, who is sitting at the bar in a club. Cue an appropriately timed narration on the nature of madness as a mental maze. (Recap continues on next page)

Later, possibly in the same club where that Oliver-Containing-Oliver found himself, Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris) and Clark (Hamish Linklater) find David surrounded by what appear to be the clothes of a few disintegrated people. Nearby is a room full of victims of a teeth-chattering psychological infection.

When David comes to, he’s informed that his team of Summerland mutants have been folded into Division 3, the government organization that was hunting them throughout the first season. According to Ptonomy, Melanie (Jean Smart) and Syd convinced Division 3 leadership that most mutants are harmless, and the two groups joined forces to hunt dangerous enemies like Farouk.

David thinks he’s only been away for a few hours, but by Syd’s count he’s really been gone for 362 days, so there’s a lot about Division 3 that he needs to have explained. Ptonomy first gives David a quick breakdown of the three divisions (Division 1 is global command, Division 2 is science, and Division 3 is boots-on-the-ground operations), as well as the subdivisions of D3.

Coming to grips with the basic organizational structure, David has a few more specific questions, such as, “Was there a guy with, like, a basket on his head?” and, “Why are [the armed guards] children?”

The answer to the second question is that children are immune to the Catalyst, that teeth-chattering infection that seems to follow in Oliver and the Shadow King’s wake.

For the first question, the answer is sort of yes, but he’s not really just a guy. The basket-headed figure and a host of neatly mustached cyborg women make up Admiral Fukuyama, the hivemind boss of Division 3 that refers to itself as “the machine that bleeds.” But before David is sent to get his orders from Fukuyama, he has to check in with an incredulous Syd.

As the only eyewitness to David’s orb abduction, Syd is justifiably eager for some answers. She tells David that she thought he was dead despite holding her breath for his return, figuratively and often literally, for months. When David isn’t able to explain where he’s been, Syd settles for a quick makeout session instead.

There’s a seed of distrust sprouting between David and Syd, which probably isn’t helped by Ptonomy’s theory that the Shadow King still has a hold over David, and certainly isn’t helped by a Melanie who seems to have reached the end of her rope.

Melanie, whose telepathic significant other also tends to disappear, is well beyond holding her breath for Oliver’s return. She, in fact, has taken to a different sort of breathing exercise — getting high — to cope with her situation. In the face of that level of negative thinking, even the locator compass David gives Syd so she can always find her way back to him probably won’t be enough to correct the divide that’s developing between them. (Recap continues on next page)

Syd and Ptonomy aren’t the only ones who are skeptical of David’s memory loss either. After a brief aside on the definition of delusion, ranging from a man who questions whether he is a butterfly to grisly demonstrations involving leg amputation and cannibalistic chicken monsters, Clark pays David a visit.

In another wink to the intentionally heavy-handed mystery crafting Hawley and Halpern have implemented in season 2, Clark compares David’s amnesia claims to the soap operas he watched with his bedridden mom as a kid. To get to the bottom of what happened, Clark tells David that the organization will soon carbon date him “like you would a fossil.” He also fills David in on some of the intel D3 has gathered on Farouk. From what they understand, the Shadow King “came to be” in the 1800s in Morocco, but that’s all they currently know, which makes the task at hand especially difficult.

That task, as outlined to David by Fukuyama, is to find Amahl Farouk’s true body before Farouk does. Since the mutation that gives Farouk his power is genetic, Fukuyama explains, reuniting his mental presence with his physical form would allow the Shadow King to become unstoppably powerful.

David’s first attempt to recover his memories and locate Farouk leads to what is without a doubt the most Legion scene of a very Legion-y episode of Legion. While floating in a pool of strawberry-flavored poison in a sort of proto-Cerebro of Cary’s (Bill Irwin) design, David has an extended flashback to an aggressive, windswept dance battle between himself, Lenny, and Oliver. All three dancers perform as soloists with individual backup crews, indicating, perhaps, some supernatural connection between Farouk’s three vessels. There really is no telling yet what this club scene could mean in the overall scheme of things, other than that the show is as bizarre as ever.

Just as bizarre is the revelation that comes after the dance scene. During his first night back with Syd, David recalls some of what happened to him in the orb. Within the orb’s endless abyss, David met a disheveled version of Syd. She appeared to have been through some tribulations, and she was already wearing the compass pendant David had given her in the previous scene. Orb Syd, unable to speak for some reason, used a light wand to draw pictures for David. From the unnecessarily vague pictographs, David discerned that the Syd in the orb was from the future, and that she wanted David to help Farouk find his body. David also suspected that it was future Syd who sent the orb to take him in the first place, but that point remains unclear.

So far, season 2 is walking a line of self-awareness that brings the artifice of the storytelling to the forefront. That’s a dangerous level of confidence in writing, but if any show has earned a little trust in delivering high-risk, high-reward plot structure, it’s this one. As season 2 progresses and it becomes clearer which mysteries are solvable and which are merely David’s delusions, Hawley could invert all the soapy, pulpy clichés to deliver something awe-inspiring to an audience that thinks it knows what’s coming.

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Sours: https://ew.com/recap/legion-season-2-premiere/

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Legion (season 2)

Season of television series

Season of television series

The second season of the American cable television series Legion is based on the Marvel Comics character David Haller / Legion, a mutant diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age. The season is produced by FX Productions in association with Marvel Television. Noah Hawley serves as showrunner.

Dan Stevens stars as Haller, with Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder and Jean Smart also returning from the first season to star. They are joined by Jemaine Clement and Hamish Linklater, promoted from guest roles in the first season, and Navid Negahban. A second season of Legion was ordered by FX in March 2017, with filming for the season relocating from Vancouver to California, to take advantage of tax incentives. Production began in September 2017, with practical effects again a priority for the series' crew. The season features the parasitic Amahl Farouk / Shadow King, portrayed by Negahban, searching for his original body after being forced out of Haller's mind at the end of the first season.

The season premiered in Los Angeles on April 2, 2018, before its FX debut on April 3. It ran for 11 episodes, concluding on June 12. The series was renewed for a third and final season on June 1.[1]

Episodes[edit]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main article: List of Legion characters

Recurring[edit]

  • The Vermillion:
    • Jelly Howie
    • Brittney Parker Rose
    • Lexa Gluck

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In June 2016, FX President John Landgraf said that Legion, if successful, could run for as many seasons as Hawley feels it needs to tell the story.[20] In January 2017, Hawley said he was open to continuing the story past the first season, but didn't want the audience to get to the end of the first run and have "no resolution of any kind at the end of it." Star Dan Stevens said, "I know for a fact that there are more issues that David has to deal with than the one that we really address in the first season."[21] FX renewed Legion for a second season on March 15, 2017.[22] At the end of that month, Hawley explained that he planned for the season to have ten episodes, and to focus more on the series' other characters in addition to David Haller. He added, "I do tend to think that that's important, that even though the show isn't an anthology like Fargo, each season has a self-contained-ness to it, an identity to it. But I think it's a little too early to talk about what that identity might be."[23] The season order was later expanded to eleven episodes, as announced by FX in May.[24]

Writing[edit]

Hawley noted that the first season was about Haller's internal struggle against the Shadow King, and that the latter's transference to the character Oliver Bird at the end of the season signified a change to an external struggle for Haller that this season would explore. Hawley wanted to avoid having a villain-of-the-year structure, with the second season introducing a new antagonist, instead wanting to continue the story surrounding the Shadow King from his introduction in the first season that "makes for a potential showdown that we're really invested in as an audience".[23] Hawley added that with the Shadow King reveal at the end of the first season, Haller can now blame "every bad thing he's ever done on the entity that's now gone, and now is thinking, 'I'm just a purely good person'... there's sort of a hubris to that."[25] Stevens said that "we haven't even really scratched the surface of the number of characters or entities that are contained within [Haller]. The Shadow King was obviously one of them, and a large part, but there's a lot more going on."[26] Hawley did not have a plan for the second season when he ended the first on a cliffhanger, and enjoyed the challenge of developing the story from that point, noting that this was the first "true" second season he has created. Hawley did not have to repeat this at the end of the second season, as he had a plan for future seasons by that point.[27]

The second season begins a year after the end of the first, with Hawley feeling the time jump allowed them to "muddy the waters" rather than be "all clarity all the time", since "that's the fun of the show, the mystery of trying to figure things out." Stevens added that "everybody's going to be playing catchup", including the audience and Haller. Hawley also said that the season would explore the world of heroes and villains, and that it was not yet decided which direction Haller would go.[28] The season spends more time inside the minds of the characters and in the Astral Plane than the first, and also explores "more specific genres and storytelling moments" to both be more ambitious than the first season and not repeat what had been done before; Hawley wanted to "use the genre to solve the characters ... to explore the characters and stories that you couldn't in a straight drama". The main story of the season focuses on Farouk searching for his original body, since mutant abilities are genetic and being reunited with the body will make him even more powerful.[29] The season includes some episodes that Hawley considered "more stand-alone", that are still relevant to the plot of the season but were less interested in the plot and more character-focused. This was something Hawley had not been comfortable doing during the first season due to introducing the "different than everything else"-series to audiences then.[27]

To avoid the season becoming "a good versus evil or white hat versus black hat situation", Hawley wanted to focus on thematic ideas such as "our shared reality being a choice that we make. Sometimes societies go a little bit crazy. How does that happen?" To help explore that idea, Hawley created an "educational segment" which he soon decided to add to each episode of the season. The segments are narrated, and are intended to "take these concepts of mental illness, and visualizing them in a way where you can tell a story."[17]

Casting[edit]

Returning from the first season to star are Stevens as David Haller,[13]Rachel Keller as Sydney "Syd" Barrett,[14]Aubrey Plaza as Lenny Busker,[13]Bill Irwin as Cary Loudermilk, Jeremie Harris as Ptonomy Wallace, Amber Midthunder as Kerry Loudermilk, and Jean Smart as Melanie Bird.[14] Hawley considered Barrett to be the co-protagonist of the season alongside Haller, calling it a "two-hander", with the season further exploring their relationship and comparing it to that of Melanie Bird and her husband Oliver.[29]Hamish Linklater joins the main cast, having portrayed Clark Debussy in a guest role in the first season.[16][14]

With the end of the first season establishing the importance of Jemaine Clement's character Oliver Bird, now the host of the villainous Shadow King, Hawley said that he had talked to the actor about the next season, and that he was "excited to come back".[23] Clement's return was confirmed in July 2017,[13] also being promoted to the main cast,[14] along with the announcement that Saïd Taghmaoui had been cast as the true form of the Shadow King / Amahl Farouk, succeeding Plaza who played the character using the appearance and persona of Busker in the first season.[19][30] In November, during production on the season, Taghmaoui announced that he was no longer involved with the series, and FX confirmed that "a decision was made to recast" the role of Farouk.[31]Navid Negahban was revealed to have taken over the role in January 2018.[15] Hawley explained that Taghmaoui had not been "a great fit", leading to the recast.[28] Negahban joins the main cast as well.[14]

Jon Hamm narrates the educational segments throughout the season. Hawley did not want the narration to feel "tainted" by having one of the series' characters give their own point of view, and wanted an actor who could give "a sense of identity and a feeling of control [as if] the show itself has a point of view and it's all going somewhere". He compared the voice that he wanted for the narration to Alec Baldwin's from the film The Royal Tenenbaums, and considered Hamm—who he thought had "a great voice"—after working with him on the film Pale Blue Dot. Hamm agreed to take on the role,[17] and Hawley thought he gave the segments "such character", comparing the final performance to Rod Serling.[32] Hawley added that he was "pretty confident" the actor would only be providing his voice to the series rather than ever appearing onscreen.[17]

Quinton Boisclair was confirmed to be returning as the Devil with the Yellow Eyes in July 2017.[19]Katie Aselton also returns from the first season in a recurring role as David's sister Amy, before her body is infused with Busker's DNA allowing that character to return to life.[18]

Design[edit]

New costume designer Robert Blackman continued the theme of mixing 60s and modern-day fashion. While each character's outfits were updated, the color palette for each character mainly stayed the same: Barrett wears orange and black in addition to yellow (with Keller saying black represents her character's "protective barrier"); and both Cary and Kerry Loudermilk wear navy and tan. Notable changes include: Melanie Bird's style changing to comfort clothing to portray her mourning in Oliver Bird; Wallace's suits featuring more color and floral designs at times; Busker's swimsuits showing how the character is being used and abused by the Shadow King; and Farouk sporting three-piece suits.[33] Haller's style becomes more British punk, drawing inspirations from Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten to portray a character coming from one mental institution to another.[34] The season also moves Haller's hair closer to its unique look from the comics, with Stevens saying "it creeps ever higher".[28]

To create the sound of teeth chattering, for the people afflicted with the Catalyst mental virus, Hawley allowed sound supervisor Nick Forshager experiment with different approaches. Simply recording the actors on set chattering their teeth "didn't have that biting sound that we really needed", so they experimented with alternative sounds like horse hooves. They ultimately found that any sound they produced close to teeth chattering came across as fake teeth, so they tried recording the teeth of the sound department's staff in different ways. The final version used in the series was recorded with a Neumann condenser microphone and then digitally manipulated to give it a "kind of eerie multilevel sound".[35]

Production designer Michael Wylie worked to continue the "all time" setting of the series in the second season, taking inspiration from styles and architecture across decades so as not to make the show appear as if it takes place in a specific time or place. Because much of the season takes place in Division 3 headquarters, Wylie wanted to clearly distinguish the sets from those used for Summerland in the first season by changing a recurring motif: circles were used a lot throughout the designs of the first season, and hexagons are throughout the season two sets. He thought this added some "familiarity" to the sets and made things "easier to design, and we also know that whenever you see a hexagon that you know you are in Division 3 without anyone having to tell you". Because of the tendency for a government facility to become "unbearably sterile", Wylie looked to add depth to the sets with custom-made wall paper and complicated floor designs which did not go so far as to make the spaces feel personalized.[36]

The robot-like Vermillion that Division 3 leader Admiral Fukyama communicates through have feminine physiques and mustaches. They went through several variations, with Hawley wanting their look to be based on Dennis Franz. The set in which the Admiral and the Vermillion are introduced was initially going to look like a larger version of the wicker basket that Fukyama wears. The Division 3 dining hall is based on Hawley's idea of a "sushi-go-round" restaurant but with the food on boats floating in water, with Wylie's final design labelled a "1970s Italian waterpark version". The water for the boats zig-zags through the set, causing issues for the crew trying to maneuver around the room. Also built was Cary Loudermilk's "lair", the series' take on a traditional superhero lab, which includes an "amplification chamber" that is an homage to the machine Cerebro that appears in the comics and films. It is based on research into isolation tanks rather than any designs originating in the comics to prevent the series from simply copying what came before.[36]

Filming[edit]

For the season, Hawley looked to move production of the show from Vancouver to California to better accommodate his busy schedule.[37] This was made possible when the show was awarded over $11 million in tax incentives by the California Film Commission under its "Program 2.0" initiative.[38][37] Hawley called this change of locale "another way that we helped the show not settle into a sort of familiar routine of standing sets and that sort of overly familiar sense of it's the same thing, week in and week out."[37] He added, "I'm going to try and look at southern California in a way that we haven't looked at before, to try and find a way to tell stories that are urban and rural and in the astral plane as it were, and continue to look like nothing else."[23] Filming began on September 28, 2017.[39] The opening sequence of the season was filmed in the backyard of a Hollywood Hills home, in the sun, clearly establishing the different setting from the overcast locations of the first season.[36]

As with the first season, Hawley was committed to emphasizing practical effects when creating the season's visuals. This included creating physical title cards to be filmed rather than digitally adding lettering.[28] Hawley also wanted to explore alternative representations of the usual elements found in superhero series, such as depicting a fight sequence as a dance battle, explaining, "A fight is a very black and white, two-dimensional thing. We're fighting and I'm trying to beat you and you're trying to beat me. But what if the scene is... part of it is peacocking and part of it is a courtship dance and part of it is fighting because 'I hate that I have to work with you' etc. You can't express that in a fight sequence, but in a dance fight you can."[40] Negahban joined the series during production on the eighth episode following the recasting of the Shadow King, and had to reshoot all of the scenes from the first seven episodes featuring the character.[41] Filming for the season took place in a desert.[28]

Music[edit]

Composer Jeff Russo stated in April 2017 that he would begin work on the season, including developing new thematic material, in June after he completed work on the third season of Fargo.[42]

A soundtrack album for the season featuring Russo's score was released digitally on May 25, 2018. All music by Jeff Russo, except where noted:[43]

1."Dance Battle"5:11
2."Farouk / The Shadow King"5:13
3."Future Syd"5:10
4."Many Days (Synth)"12:47
5."Where is David?"8:57
6."Lenny and Oliver (Farouk)"0:55
7."Division 3"0:54
8."Orange Bridge"1:17
9."Sliding Door David"1:00
10."End of Life"0:50
11."Lost in the Desert"1:55
12."208 Main on Ends"1:16
13."Laboratory"0:46
14."89 Days"6:29
15."The Magic Man"2:28
16."Carousel"1:57
17."202 Main on Ends" (full version)2:54

A second album for the season was released August 17, featuring classics reimagined by Russo. Hawley, who pitched song ideas to Russo, provided lead vocals, with Russo backing on harmony vocals and various instruments including the Moog Synthesizer IIIc.[44] Creating the covers were a "unique way to help propel the story,” Russo stated, “All of them have lyrical significance and we thought it would be a great idea to do them in the style of the show's music.” The deluxe edition of the album features a cover of "Behind Blue Eyes" as performed in "Chapter 19" by Dan Stevens and Navid Negahban and a cover of "Road to Nowhere" by Rachel Keller from "Chapter 2" in season one. All music performed by Noah Hawley and Jeff Russo, except where noted:[45]

Shared universe connections[edit]

For the second season, Hawley wanted to further explore the connections between the series and the wider X-Men universe, particularly in paralleling common elements found throughout the universe such as the "gray approach to morality and how characters can cross that line, like Magneto." This was something Hawley felt was unique to this universe, and "not the same kinda black and white universe that you get in other comic franchises, and so I really wanted to play with that." The season also continues to explore Haller's father, Charles Xavier, though Hawley was reluctant to confirm an appearance by one of the X-Men film actors (Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy) reprising that role for the show since he felt incorporating elements directly from the films "too quickly" was "cheating on some level", rather than telling his own standalone story first.[29]

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

The season began airing on FX on April 3, 2018,[46] and consisted of eleven episodes.[24] Hawley had previously said, in March 2017, that he expected the season to begin airing in February 2018.[23]

Marketing[edit]

Footage from the season debuted at the FX Television Critics Association panel in January 2018, introducing Negahban as Farouk in an announcement of his casting. Hawley and several cast members attended the panel.[28] A trailer for the season was released online at the start of March,[16] and multiple commentators noted that it indicated the noteworthy aspects of the first season would be retained for the second—an unreliable narrative, "stunning" visuals, and significant cast members including Stevens, Plaza, and Clement. The dancing featured in the trailer and the introductory footage of Negahban were also highlighted.[47][48][49]

An artistic video installation created by Marco Brambilla Studio was open to the public at Goya Studios in Los Angeles from March 30 to April 1, 2018. It consisted of a chamber that several people could be sealed in, with a "moving kaleidoscope of imagery from the series" then displayed on screens around the chamber and onto a series of mirrors above to "completely envelope you in a very trippy, very Legion manner". The images were backed by music, and included teases of the second season. Visitors to the exhibit could also get their photo taken with a series of mirrors that evoked the style of promotional posters released for the season.[50] A "blue carpet" premiere event was held for the season on April 2, at the Directors Guild of America headquarters in Los Angeles.[51]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 89% approval rating for the second season, with an average rating of 7.66/10 based on 30 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Legion returns with a smart, strange second season that settles into a straighter narrative without sacrificing its unique sensibilities."[58]Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 85 out of 100 based on 10 critics for the season, indicating what the website considers to be "universal acclaim".[59]

Accolades[edit]

For the 70th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Dana Gonzales received a nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) for the episode "Chapter 9".[60]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legion_(season_2)


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