The end of Legion is nigh. And it looks bonkers.
David Haller (played by Dan Stevens) was diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age. After meeting Syd (Rachel Keller), David discovers that his 'illness' is his mutant powers. Working with a mutant organisation called Summerland, David realises that his mind is infected with the parasitic mutant, Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban). After expelling the Farouk, David seeks to find Amahl's original body before Amahl but in the second season's finale, it's revealed that in the future, David will destroy humanity—the hero that Haller envisioned he would be, turned out to be the villain.
His villainy is further cemented when David sexually assaulted Syd by psychically-drugging her. Still insisting that he's the good guy and betrayed by his friends, David left.
David has passed the point of no return but the light at the end of his tunnel comes in the form of Switch (Lauren Tsai), who can travel back in time. This is where our story picks up…
Here be spoilers…
What we like
Time travel isn't easy to portray. At least, it's not portrayed interestingly enough. Primer, an indie movie about time travel, is dense and complex. It had people in it explain how their machine works, compleat with sketchings on a notepad. Run Lola Run showcased alternate timelines by following the path of a protagonist's decision until its conclusion before rewinding to that moment when the protagonist picks another choice.
In the utilisation of time travel in Legion, we have Switch enter a hallway with doors marked with how far back into the past she'd like to go. This is accompanied by an audio instruction in Mandarin (English subtitles are displayed) explaining how her powers work. While this sort of vehicle might be out of place in a conventional time-travel plot, given the nature of Legion, this feels right at home.
Lauren Tsai is a surprising choice for this role. Known for her art, modelling and stint in the reality show, Terrace House, Tsai's foray into the acting role has her displaying a sort of subdued curiosity and frustration when she's unable to alter events to her liking. Not only is it apt for her character, who is caught up in something bigger than her, Switch acts as a way for people to be reacquainted with the show. It'd be interesting to see what else Tsai has to offer down the road.
David is obviously in denial. He has put together a commune where people can love him. So convinced that he's the hero of the narrative that he fails to see the negative of his assault on Syd. Of course, all this adoration is aided by David's power of suggestion and the blue liquid (we'll find out more about that in future episodes).
The outfits look wonderful as always, this time taking several pages from the hippie era. I mean, if you want to delve right into themes of personality cults and psychedelics, the 70s is a great place to be at. Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) is still as unhinged as before and the return of the Loudermilk siblings (Bill Irwin and Amber Midthunder) bring back some raw physicality and lovely new toys (robot Ptonomy, anyone?)
What we didn't like
We saw only the premiere so we can't really speak about the rest of the season. There's time travel involved so there might be a possibility that David might use that as a sort of erasure to his affront against Syd. I mean, I don't think that would happen; Noah Hawley, the creator of Legion, is an astute man and the best way forward for David's character is acceptance and atonement.
But time travel is a very enticing backdoor that's too convenient as a plot device and does nothing for a character's growth. We shall see.
What to look out for
Superorganism, amirite? Only Legion can implement a mini-music video with the band performing "Something For Your MIND".
Look out for the subtle cartoon elements like a giant hook yanking someone off-screen only to leave behind a cup spinning in the air before it hits the ground.
Legon's third and final season is out on FX.