Legion is something of an enigma in the Marvel universe. A full-blown anti-hero with some equally full-blown mental health issues. In the comics, he is a member of the X-Men and also the son of Professor X but don’t expect that to make him anymore relatable.
Season 1 was met with critical acclaim for its incredible visuals and a deep, almost surreal, storyline. The episodes and narrative structure often played heavily with concepts of time and reality which, on occasion, would make even the deepest thinkers scratch their heads.
Back to the craziness
Season 2 would continue the story as David began a new hunt for Amahl Farouk also known as the Shadow King. Farouk is on a hunt to find his real body after leaving David and entering the body of Oliver.
What follows is 11 episodes of philosophical studies into the psyche of our anti-hero. Is he a hero or is he the enemy that will bring forth the end of the world? Many of these episodes almost seem to have no purpose what so ever, other than to pose more questions about what it means to be aware of yourself.
At times this meanders and it’s easy to get lost in what’s going on, especially when it starts to take place in multiple timelines and dimensions at the same time. That’s not to say that it’s hard to understand but at times it’s certainly made harder than it needs to be.
Better in the end?
The series finale leaves the plot wide open for Season 3 after Farouk and David are locked in a psychic battle before a giant tuning fork named ‘The Choke’ is activated. The Choke removed the abilities of mutants and of course, ends their battle. David’s girlfriend Syd shoots at him after she is shown a future where he destroys the Earth but the bullet is shot out of the air by Lenny who’s role in this season is largely unknown even by the end.
Eventually, there is a trial and David is tricked into becoming the accused. Threatened with execution for crimes he could potentially commit in the future he pleads that he’s a good man that deserves love.
This is undone as Syd tells him that he brainwashed her using his powers in order to make her love him and sleep with him. He falls apart when he realises he could be the bad guy after all and escapes as his true powers unfold, taking Lenny with him.
Existentialism and Mutantism
There is an overriding theme in this season revolving around the concept of delusion and we are asked if the true delusion is that David deserves love at all.
So that’s all pretty heavy, but whereas Season 1 introduced us to the characters and had a solid narrative whilst maintaining a philosophical and surreal approach, this season just doesn’t gel quite so well. It’s a shame because the main plot of the season, the race to find Farouk’s body, could have been gripping and entertaining but they chose to increase the abstract, ultimately losing the interest in the narrative.
On the up
Whilst this all sounds quite negative we still really enjoyed this Season. The acting of Dan Stevens (David/Legion) is outstanding, as is that of Navid Nagahban (Farouk/Shadow King), Aubrey Plaza (Lenny Busker) and Jemaine Clement (Oliver Bird). In fact, there are very few, if any, poor performances in a show that just oozes quality. The cinematography is once again phenomenal and creates a genuine sense of the time period as well as the turmoil going on in this world.
We really are looking forward to season 3 as the story of David and Lenny on the run could be fantastic. David clearly needs to come to terms with who he is and as we said before we still aren’t sure of the role of Lenny going forward. We know that David is no saint but also know his moral compass is generally in the right direction but will this mean that Syd becomes a villain?
One of the final scenes saw Oliver and Melanie living together in the Astral Plane, apparently in the same giant ice cube that Oliver had been living in while missing in season 1. They talk about life and mention the recent events although they had forgotten about some key characters as it had been three years ago. They also mention the destruction in the real world so let’s hope we get to see what brings that about.
Something tells us that David becoming Legion is going to be a destructive and turbulent ride which gives us hope for a great third season.
Legion is available to stream on Now TV and will also be available on Amazon Prime TV later in the year.