11th May2018

‘Legion 2×06’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


If you look at most television shows, you can see the rules that they all follow. There are those brave ones though that don’t do that, the ones that stand out. Legion is one of these shows that rips up the rule book and creates something truly different, which some of us love but others just can’t connect with.

In this episode of Legion, the season comes to almost a full stop and we look into a world of multiple realities for David (Dan Stevens). We see everything that could have been and was, the evil and the good. The most important element is, most of them include his sister Amy (Katie Aselton).

One thing that Legion has done well is to handle the subject of mental illness well and open up the viewers eyes to the fact that David is a person whose weakness is in his mind. That isn’t to say it is made up, but that his powers are through thought and reality, and that is where he is attacked. Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban) is described as a parasite that feeds off the mental power of David, which is probably why he plays a part in this week’s episode.

In superhero themed stories, it is always interesting when a hero goes to the evil side and gives in to his weakness. In this week’s episode of Legion, we get to see David take this on, becoming a billionaire who literally becomes the richest man in the world (much to Farouk’s pleasure). This is a reality where he has fully given into what Farouk represents, but happiness is not part of it. It is interesting though that this is a reality where his sister accepts his powers and in many ways is complicit in what he does, trying to feed off the money he is making. Much to David’s displeasure.

We do get to see a reality where David is truly happy and has the perfect family. The main element of this of course is that this is not one including Summerland. This maybe the dream life where he was never infected by Farouk, or even had powers at all. That is the idea of the multiverse of course, that there is a possibility for ever path to be taken, even the perfect one though this is the one that is always just a dream.

What Legion will always be remembered for is that it is brave television. To just pause the story-line and take a step out of the reality of the show then do a “What if?” episode just like out of the Marvel comics is an interesting move. To also have fun with certain pop culture references is also a brilliant move, especially an homage to Clockwork Orange, which made me fall in love with this episode and even deeper with the show as a whole. If you are a fan you’ll know it as soon as you see the iconic shot leading up to the recreated scene.

One way I interpret this episode is that this is David trying to find that one reality where he can be with his sister the way she was. What we see though is that the other realities are full of different variations of the same David still going through mental illnesses that impair him, even leading him to attempted suicide or even death at the hands of others. Whatever way we interpret it though, the same outcome is always found, the happiness he longs for after the loss of Amy isn’t there in the form he (and we) wanted.

In some shows, this episode may have been called a filler, like when a show like Supernatural forms a story based on flashbacks to previous episodes. In Legion though, this episode is more of a reminder of just what Makes David who he is, including the powers he has and what cost they take on him and those around him. Dan Stevens gets to show what a great actor he is, and without Aubrey Plaza and Jemaine Clement stealing scenes from him, he truly excels in his performance of David and we are fully immersed in the worlds that he inhabits.

An episode that shows Legion at its very best, which also has the power to confuse those who haven’t drank the Legion kool-aid yet, I for one love it. It is fair to say though it is an acquired taste, but one that is so divine that it is truly one of the best shows to come to television. Is this the best thing ever to be based on Marvel’s X-Men? The answer is simply yes.

***** 5/5

Legion airs on Fox TV in the UK on Tuesdays.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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