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Legion - FX Network/Marvel

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Sean Bryan, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I think David is someone with an enormous sense of entitlement. He feels that he was screwed over by the horrific events of the first three decades of his life, and now the universe owes him love. So in his mind, every horrific thing he does is just balancing the scales for the mistreatment he endured.
     
  2. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    It's surreal to see a version of Charles Xavier -- the background, the powers, the goals, even Cerebro -- stripped of all the franchise trappings. This Xavier either hasn't yet formed the X-Men or (thanks to the horror show of a mutant he picked first) never does form the X-Men.
     
  3. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Yep. Definitely a tonally different episode in some ways. Both parents institutionalized; David was doomed at birth. :)

    I've always been just a bit confused about 'when' Legion takes place. I've ignored most of they stylistic elements of the show as a clue as to when it takes place, but this episode seems to suggest that David was born in the late 40s or early 50s which would put the contemporary timeline somewhere in the 70s. Mutants don't seem to be part of the public consciousness in Legion's 'now' which would put it squarely in the '70s in terms of the overarching X-Men mythology.

    - Walter.
     
  4. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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  5. Message #125 of 137 Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Last night's episode of Legion (S3E4) was probably as weird as Legion has ever gotten, and that is saying something. :)

    Had a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of entities that could exist out of time. With everyone and everything unstuck in time it seems like causality is going to get extremely complicated. Even more than what has been depicted so far this season.

    If felt like the most chaotic episode of the season, and the narrative was more opaque vs. other episodes this season. It felt like it would have been right at home in season two. Hopefully things will get clearer.

    David demonstrated his abilities once again, and I am still curious to see if he can unwind what has been set in motion.

    Edit: A few other comments...

    For a show that is visually distinctive, I felt like the use of color in this episode was just top notch. Also, loved the still photo montage that was used to present the segment where the trio from Division was 'between time'. Really an interesting visual approach to the storytelling.

    The segment using a clip from The Shield was a nice touch which (I believe) was intended to convey that we the audience were also experiencing time anomalies.

    I should probably watch this episode again.

    - Walter.
     
  6. Message #126 of 137 Jul 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
    Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Guess I'm the only one posting. :)

    Another terrific episode. Can't believe it is almost over. :(

    In Monday's episode we get a clearer view into David's rationalization of his actions. If he can go back and fix things then none of this happens. Everyone gets a do-over and none of the terrible things he has done will have taken place. Three more episodes to see if that is how it works out.

    We finally see Legion and it was one of the cooler things the show has done conceptually at least in terms of audience payoff (IMHO anyway). It hints at the reservoir of power that David can command. The musical interlude was quite well done, particularly Clark's participation. :)

    The show ends with the teaser regarding David's new plan to make things right. Kind of curious what he has up his sleeve.

    - Walter.
     
  7. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I'm just getting to this show. I know I have to catch up on this season. Should be up to speed this week.
     
  8. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    I love this show. I can hardly understand any of it, but that doesn't matter at all. The use of color and effects are amazing, as is the unexplained strangeness (e.g. mustaches). I love how they portray the creatures from outside of time with jump cuts and word balloons. Visionary.
     
  9. Message #129 of 137 Jul 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
    Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    The show continues to surprise, with nearly the entire episode in the astral plane and then the opening credits at the finale. The episode should have started with a clip of Monty Python's "And now for something completely different."

    Really nice seeing Oliver again (one of my favorite characters of the series.) Of course there was a 'rap battle'. :)

    I'm guessing that the 'Wolf' was supposed to represent Farouk and Cynthia was a stand in for David? Not exactly certain what Sydney learned that she thinks will give her the upper hand. Perhaps the 'not everyone wants to be saved' lesson has given her more license to deal with David?

    Watching Oliver call the young Sydney 'Little Bird' made me think of the SyFy series Killjoys, where the particular phrase is used quite often; but of course Oliver's last name is Bird, so it makes sense that they would use that phrase in Legion where it is slightly more fitting.

    I don't remember if we have ever seen the Loudermilks merge to heal one of the characters at the expense of the other. Seems like a new thing, but the series is so daunting to absorb at times that I might not be remembering a previous usage of this ability. (??)

    - Walter.
     
  10. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I've caught up to the episode with Xavier, which I thought was very good. This has to be among the most unique things that ever been on TV.
     
  11. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Producer

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    I'm still watching! Frankly I thought everyone was getting bored of me gushing over Legion so I've been building up a few episodes before posting again :)

    I still think this is the most inventive show on television. Every frame is both entertaining and challenging. That I wrote that about a Marvel comic book show is in itself astonishing.

    If I can roll the clock back a bit to the Charles/Gabrielle episode, I especially like how the show portrayed Gabrielle's mental trauma. In my interpretation, the box was Gabrielle's psyche. The box had a hole in it for her hand. Her hand grasped the doll (the Angriest Boy...). The doll's likeness to Hitler is not a coincidence. The doll is her trauma. When Charles (who is apparently at the hospital only to treat people--he doesn't actually need to be there) enters Gabrielle's mind, he literally loses time. We see this in the sudden time skip. That's an interest way to portray trauma. Gabrielle's mind is so traumatized that when one of the most powerful mutants ever takes a mere glance he loses minutes (hours?). After the time skip--after Charles has helped Gabrielle ever so slightly--Gabrielle's hand is no longer stuck in the box. She can literally let it go.

    David is the literal product of Charles and Gabrielle. He has Charles' powers (but amplified) and Gabrielle's mental issues (but also amplified). David even shares the visual device tied to his mother's trauma in the Angriest Boy in the World. I think there's a case to be made that the doll and book are never and were never real objects: they are visual storytelling devices Hawley and his team are using to portray mental trauma/issues.
     
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  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I finally had a free Saturday with no obligations and no health issues, so I took the morning to catch up on "Legion". I found the second season to be frustrating and ultimately unsatisfying, but this season has felt like a return to form in a big way. There's a lot of surreal, strange shit but none of it feels extraneous or self-indulgent.

    I think this was very intentional. Assuming they succeed in changing the timeline for the better, the revised chronology would roughly align with the movies, with the first class of the X-Men enrolling in the early sixties. It would also preserve Magneto as a Holocaust survivor.

    The place between time, where the creatures come from, owes a large debt to the "Twin Peaks" revival, and the place above the convenience store.

    Every season has a Syd-centric episode, but I think they definitely saved the best for last. I loved the Syd's second childhood was simultaneously literal and a fairy tale parable. All our protagonists have lived very chaotic, destabilized lives. Melanie and Oliver bet that the key to save the world was to give just one of our extraordinary characters a stable and nurturing upbringing, where they could feel safe and loved.

    If Jean Smart and Jemaine Clement don't get guest actor nominations for this episode, they might as well just stop handing them out. We see so few truly adult characters on television these days, because lack of maturity leads to conflict, and conflict fuels drama. But Melanie and Oliver were so warm and responsible, kind but authoritative. Just lovely to see something good amidst so much bad.

    Cynthia was one David's "Manson Girls" whose mind got transported to the astral plane roughly the same time as Syd's.

    So you could see the Wolf as representing David, or just as a more general manifestation of darkness and despair.

    It's happened before, but not to the same extent; when Kerry was fatally wounded, Cary reabsorbed her and took roughly half of her injuries. It allowed both of them to survive when neither of them could have with the entirety of the injuries. Here Kerry needed to be in primo fighting shape, so Cary took on the full extent of the injuries.

    Bill Irwin and Amber Midthunder were so great in that scene. It's a sort of unprecedented relationship, sort of like being twins but both more intimate and more removed. The love they have for each other was so clear in that moment, though.

    I think this is right. And Gabrielle passing along the Angriest Boy doll to David is a metaphor for how parents can pass along their trauma to their children.

    It's clear from the penultimate episode that there is a strong genetic predisposition to mental illness in Gabrielle's family, and that the wartime horrors she experienced further exacerbated her struggles. Just like David was probably always going to struggle with mental illness, but having an Omega-level mutant rattling around in his head sabotaging him and filling him full of nightmares exacerbated his struggles.

    I hope the finale is about saving David rather than just defeating him. I loved that in Chapter 25 the weapon that the Birds armed Syd with was empathy -- even for someone who wronged her so severely.
     
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  13. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Finally caught up with this season of Legion in time for tonight's finale (although I'm not sure I will see the finale until tomorrow). The most recent episode was very good. The guy playing Farouk has been so good all these years, but this might have been his best episode yet. It's amazing to me to think that this whole storyline in Morocco came from one 20-page comic book published more than 40 years ago.

    Legion remains one of the most inventive shows I have ever seen. Even when it's not very satisfying narratively, it's gripping visually. The first season was issued on blu-ray, but the second only on DVD and the third is only planned for DVD. I would love to see a blu-ray box set of the series, if for no other reason than the amazing visuals in this show need to be seen in HD.
     
  14. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Navid Negahban played Abu Nazir during the first two seasons of Showtime's Homeland series. He played a character not unlike Farouk in that series, not an Omega-level mutant of course, but someone who was incredibly manipulative and subtle in his machinations. Influencing the series' protagonist (Brody played by Damian Lewis) in a style similar to that which we see with David Haller on Legion. When I saw that Negahban was cast as Farouk before/around when Legion started, I knew the show's casting people had done their homework.

    People say that they would pay money to hear Morgan Freeman read his grocery list. Well I would extend that paradigm to Navid Negahban whose line readings during Legion have been a work of art and one of the most enjoyable aspects of the series.

    - Walter.
     
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  15. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Producer

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    I really enjoyed the ending. Iconoclastic, really (for a show that includes--though is never really about--super powers).

    Across the psychedelic, hippie-tinged season, an answer rang out to the question: (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding?
     
  16. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I don't know that I was expecting this to be wrapped up with such a neat little bow. I think I was expecting Part 18 of the "Twin Peaks" revival but got Part 17 instead. It felt a bit too pat, a bit too superficial.

    For all of that, it was a satisfying finale. I liked that the resolution of the series (and the fate of the universe) ultimately came down to David making a moral choice. In sparing Farouk, he saved himself.

    I was kind of hoping that erased-from-existence Syd would end up back on the Astral Plane, reunited with Melanie and Oliver.

    Nice call back closing things out with "Happy Jack” by The Who, the song that opened the pilot.
     
  17. Message #137 of 137 Aug 13, 2019 at 6:20 AM
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 6:42 AM
    Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    I sort of see where Adam is coming from in his comments about the finale. it did seem perhaps a bit too neat; but doesn't everyone want a reset button - the ability to get a cosmic 'do-over'. So from that standpoint, it did have some emotional resonance.

    I particularly liked the idea that 'contemporary' Farouk was altered by his time with David and by sharing that experience with 'past' Farouk he could alter the latter's attitudes towards making peace with David. I thought that the kaleidoscope style sequence of reliving David's existence was brilliantly done, BTW. A bit showy perhaps, but dazzling nonetheless. Clearly Farouk was still up to shenanigans during his time in David's head, but the (eternity?) that he spent in the timeless place was the experience that enabled him to develop empathy for David and perhaps some remorse over his own course of action. This also must have been communicated to the 'past' Farouk which led to his reaction.

    As far as who gets credit for saving reality, it sort of felt like a team effort. Charles and 'contemporary' Farouk started the discussion of an amicable accord and the more volatile characters needed some coaxing but went along eventually.


    I will miss this series and I hope it will eventually get a complete Blu-Ray release. Might have to sign up for the FXNOW at some point in the future when I decided there is enough FX content that I want to revisit, assuming no HD release of seasons 2 and 3 of Legion. But that is a ways off at the moment.

    Great series and very happy to have experienced it.

    - Walter.
     

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