FX’s ‘Legion’ remains a visual whiplash in Season 2

There are shows you watch, and there are shows you have on.

I have an entire stable of series — including everything from ABC’s “The Good Doctor” and “Designated Survivor” to CBS’ “SEAL Team” and Fox’s “9-1-1” — in my Hulu queue so I can kinda sorta listen to them while doing other things.

I specifically sought out Fox’s “Lucifer” just for background noise.

Then something comes along like “Legion” (10 p.m. Tuesday, FX) that demands all the attention you can muster — and then some.

Created by “Fargo’s” Noah Hawley and based on the comics by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz that are set in the X-Men universe, “Legion” spent its first season exploring whether David Haller (Dan Stevens, “Beauty and the Beast”) was schizophrenic, a wildly powerful telepath or, most alarmingly, both.

Then he was sucked into a tiny metal orb that sped off for parts unknown.

If you missed that first season, it’s absolutely worth a binge. But to give you an idea of how fantastically offbeat the drama is, take this scene from the Season 2 premiere.

Geneticist Cary Loudermilk (Bill Irwin) is wearing a protective suit while trying to reach David. He’s physically present, but, Cary notes, “It’s possible that his mind is locked in the astral plane.” In a control booth, something with a head resembling a wicker basket from Pottery Barn communicates telepathically with identical women with Auto-Tuned voices who look like Sonny Bono disguised as a 1970s magician. When Cary removes his helmet and refuses to put it back on, a security force made up of helmeted children rushes in threatening to shoot him. That’s when Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder), the young woman who shares Cary’s body, emerges from inside him ready for a fight.

Later, the theme song from “The Banana Splits” plays an integral role.

TV’s most aggressively stylized series is a visual whiplash in which relatively anything can happen. “Legion” is a startling mindscrew that often resembles something Cirque du Soleil might have teamed with M.C. Escher to stage at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The result is like being repeatedly dropped midway into someone else’s fever dream.

David proves to be one of the best audience surrogates on TV, because he rarely has a clue what’s happening and what is or isn’t real.

In Season 1, he was close friends with fellow mental patient Lenny (Aubrey Plaza), until it was revealed that she was merely a vessel for an ancient being named Amahl Farouk who had haunted David since he was a child. At season’s end, Farouk escaped from Lenny and leaped into the body of scientist Oliver (Jemaine Clement, “Flight of the Conchords”). So when David encounters them both in the new season, he’s understandably confused as to what the person who looks like Lenny, and is laughing while licking an oversized lollipop and riding a carousel, really is.

“Does it matter?” Oliver asks. “Bodies and minds, humanity. Nobody has ever asked a puma its opinion or a stalk of asparagus how it feels. My associate is who she needs to be at this moment.”

Those two moments aren’t even as strange as “Legion” gets.

At one point in the first two episodes, something happens that makes even David take a step back and say, “Whoa!”

You’ll surely be saying the same thing long before that.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas
The Pinball Hall of Fame was created by Tim Arnold and opened in 2006. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas
Trainer Lou “Mack” McCammon guides several rescue dogs through a series of tricks and jumps two shows a day weekends through December at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like