Legion: Chapter 9
April 3, 2018 8:22 PM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

The Season Two premiere reunites David with his friends from Summerland, who have joined their former enemies at Division 3 in order to pursue their mutual enemy: Amahl Farouk, aka the Shadow King. Though David has been missing for a year, he remembers the last events from Season One as if they happened yesterday. Let the mutant dance-off begin!
posted by homunculus (42 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
this remains the best show on television. and now it's got jon hamm voiceovers! what more could you ask for?
posted by JimBennett at 8:30 PM on April 3, 2018


what more could you ask for?

For Noah Hawley to personally deliver a bag of shrooms to my house every Tuesday evening for the next 10 weeks.
posted by homunculus at 8:36 PM on April 3, 2018 [12 favorites]


More recaps are up now:
*AV Club recap - Legion asks if we can lie to ourselves in an electrifying second-season premiere
*Vulture Recap: Identity Crisis
*Den of Geek - Who is David Haller - What can we tell about Legion Season 2 from his X-Men comics appearances? and Episode Review - Legion kicks off season two in typical mind-bending style. Read our thoughts on this head trip here!

I don't think we need to bother with 'show only/books included' conditions for this series anymore, right? I only did it last season I think because some people didn't want to know any comics spoilers about who David's father was or what the deal was with the Shadow King, but, I don't think there's any secrets of this season that are a direct adaptation of the comics.

Very happy the show is back and as trippy as ever.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:54 PM on April 3, 2018 [2 favorites]


Here's a MeFi post relevant to the case of Albert A.
posted by homunculus at 10:23 PM on April 3, 2018


Only a few minutes in, but shoutout to the Oviatt Library at Cal State Northridge for getting promoted to center of crazy ass mutant research.
posted by sideshow at 11:19 PM on April 3, 2018 [1 favorite]


WHAT. WHAT THIS WAS ON?

Why didn't you tell me.
posted by Justinian at 1:12 AM on April 4, 2018


Google Play season pass: purchased.
Alas, I'm resigned to living in 24 Hours Behind World.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:39 AM on April 4, 2018


So that was Jon Hamm narrating, right?

Also that was quite the Jane's Addiction deep cut right there.

I think I need to watch it again about 10 more times before I have any actual commentary.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:22 AM on April 4, 2018


Anybody know if Hulu is going to be streaming Legion again this season? They had the episodes week by week last year, but I don't see anything new posted just yet.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:52 AM on April 4, 2018


Strange Interlude, what I found online seems to indicate they won't be (if they do I'm going to be pissed because I bought that season pass thinking they weren't!). I read that Hulu is offering it as part of their new live TV package, but not for their on-demand streaming customers.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:18 AM on April 4, 2018


I had a feeling that was the case. I'm willing to wait, as I have no shortage of other things to watch, but it is disappointing.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:48 AM on April 4, 2018


It's going to repeat on FX on Saturday.
posted by homunculus at 12:11 PM on April 4, 2018


Glad this is back. The wait seems to have been worth it.
posted by Golem XIV at 12:31 PM on April 4, 2018


Feels like a riff on Age of Apocalypse. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the deep cut given Noah Hawley is supposed to be a giant fan.

I am nervous about our characterizations of women. The first season played up to my discomfort, but built enough story justification that I let it go. But Syd should not be blindingly "David's my man" at this point.

There's plenty of opportunity to create that nuance. But I have a natural cringe response to the ownership associated with loyalty to their man. It worked mostly because it reminded you of how lonely Syd must have been, and how important the existence of someone like David is for her. But losing David briefly to the Shadow King should make her cautious and concerned - wanting this to be her David, but also wanting to be sure this is her David.

And there's our sexualization of Lenny. It walked the line in season 1. But it worked because it was part of the long seduction by the Shadow King, and always punctuated by his monstrousness and impatience that sex appeal didn't work. The chaos of trying to find what would motivate David to comply was interesting. With Oliver, it feels gross. It's more obvious that there is no Lenny, this is just an NPC dolled up and made sexy because it makes Oliver compliant.

But this is just an impression based on a few scenes, and there's time to build in nuance. Fingers crossed.
posted by politikitty at 3:59 PM on April 4, 2018 [5 favorites]


Also that was quite the Jane's Addiction deep cut right there.

This show does love it some Jane's, that's for sure.

I LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH

My husband, who is a massive comics nerd and entirely here for any and literally all comics adaptations, seems to have made it his mission to try and figure out why I have a few superhero shows that I love (Legion, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage) and I 100% don't give a single solitary shit about the rest, or any of the comics or mythos. He's so stymied by this phenomenon, it's delightful. I just want a great tv show, I don't care what it's about or what genre it is. Find me any show with Legion's style, writing, talent (or hngg tousled Dan Stevens) and it could be about aliens or superheroes or alpaca farmers, I don't care.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:14 PM on April 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


yeah i always find myself describing legion show as "kind of a superhero show," but that's like calling 2001 a sci fi movie. this show transcends genre.
posted by JimBennett at 7:35 PM on April 4, 2018


another yeah, for anyone who is intrigued by the buzz for this show but fears gatekeeping or missing something because they don't know comics or superheroes - Legion has no prerequisites, beyond an ability to engage with something that makes you say "IDK WTF just happened, but it's bizarre and gorgeous and I need to know what happens next".
posted by bartleby at 9:09 PM on April 4, 2018


I just want this show and Bojack Horseman to have babies because their exploration of various mental health issues is frighteningly thorough, yet entertaining.

It better fucking RAIN Emmys next year!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:54 PM on April 4, 2018


I thought it was pretty good. I'm interested in the threads the premier set up, but extremely disinterested in the idea that it might all be in David's head. The plot did a pretty good job of hinting towards that last season without really going all in on the conceit, so I hope it also avoids it this time.
posted by codacorolla at 10:36 PM on April 4, 2018


I would watch this show just for the look. It's beat perfect again and again. But the trippyness and the storytelling just put it over the top for me. So Good.
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:10 PM on April 4, 2018


I was over the moon for this episode. The new mustache minions, then the psychic astral plane battle displayed via epic dance battle, and finally the base line from White Rabbit driving the final scene? I'm in love. Also, I said to my wife, "Damn he's fine. Not fair."
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 12:30 PM on April 5, 2018


The thing that disturbed me the most was the mustaches.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 3:30 AM on April 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


Hey this was great! My favorite thing was the samurai warrior with a basket on his head and his non-gender-binary androids. Just ridiculously self indulgent and Baroque. The tone of this show reminds me somehow of when I was reading Sandman back in the early 90s, when that comic book felt so transgressive and inventive and delicious. This rendition of Legion feels like the TV version of that.

I agree with JimBennett that "this show transcends genre". OTOH it is definitely genre TV in that it presses all the comic book / scifi / nerd buttons. The overlay of psychedelic and disorienting video makes it seem arty but I'm still on the fence about whether it's brilliant or just silly. Definitely enjoyable though.

As many high points as the show hits on style, I'm a bit worried about the plot. So they're going to hunt the world looking for the body of the Shadow King? That feels pretty Scooby Doo. And honestly I don't like David as a character at all. He's obnoxious and self absorbed and not sympathetic. Syd is better but politikitty is right that she's too much in service to David here. And surely they're not just writing Melanie off as lost to the depths of grief, are they? She was the best character in the first season IMHO.
posted by Nelson at 7:07 AM on April 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


I thought Melanie was given some pretty on-point truth bombs to deliver vis-a-vis the men in their lives using "I must go, my planet needs me!" as a means of control.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:37 AM on April 6, 2018 [8 favorites]


I have no idea what I just watched and I want more right now immediately.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:10 PM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


But Syd should not be blindingly "David's my man" at this point.

See, I thought that line was pretty heavily telegraphed as Syd trying to convince HERSELF it was true without quite believing it. She wants Melanie to be wrong, but she isn't totally sure that she is.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:15 PM on April 6, 2018 [5 favorites]


So the order of things is David gets ORB'D! > meets FutureSyd > some time maybe passes? > psychic dance battle with Oliver and Lenny > joins up with Oliver and Lenny to help find the Shadow King's body on FutureSyd's advice > some time maybe passes? Somewhere in these events a year goes by unless he was out of sync with time in the orb and time just went by on the outside... > back with his friends at Division III, yes? I think, anyways. Although the intro with Oliver and Lenny saying they're trapped then being shown in the eye of Amahl Farouk who is in the eye of David in the nightclub maybe throws a wrench into things if it's not just metaphorical.

One of the things I forgot about this show was how fast it goes, I was surprised when I was reminded that the first season was only eight episodes, SO MUCH HAPPENS.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:04 PM on April 6, 2018


Amahl Farouk who is in the eye of David in the nightclub

Oliver in the nightclub. Oliver twice.

The women with moustaches through the magnifying lenses are possibly the most Sienkiewicz thing yet outside actual Sienkiewicz. It's odd - the work I think of first when it comes to his illustration is very much of the late 1980s, but that hallucinatory aesthetic is bang up to date. It's like it took the wider world thirty years to catch up with him.

(The most Sienkiewicz thing in popular culture outside of Sienkiewicz up until Legion was Natural Born Killers, of course. I always say that.)
posted by Grangousier at 12:02 PM on April 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


I rewatched the episode, mostly because it's mandatory with SO MUCH, and also to see if I could agree with showbiz liz's interpretation.

Syd's conversation with Melanie is mostly Melanie pointing out the parallels between Oliver and David. It's not about whether or not David is David, but whether David can really be All In with Syd. Because [David/Oliver/Prof X] are always going to be so fascinated with the rabbit hole that is their powers and confuse responsibility with saving the world with going out on exciting adventures while the women make sure the world doesn't actually blow up.

It's the conversation with Ptonomy that she doubles down on the fact that David is her man when he brings up the possibility he's lying about having memories of the missing year. From there, she goes to David and asks him to not keep secrets and let her be part of his adventures.

She's all in that David is David. Her concern is that while David is her man, David might not be capable of that same devotion.
posted by politikitty at 12:33 PM on April 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


Have I talked about the Shape Stuff in these threads before? I have this feeling like the way geometric shapes are used in this show reveals some hidden meanings (circles are associated with Summerland, chains of circles seem like they might be used to signify relationships, triangles crop up in sinister ways, etc), and I keep thinking about going back through the first season and obsessively screenshotting to see if I can figure it all out. The sudden prevalence of hexagons associated with Division 3 has only intensified this.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:40 PM on April 9, 2018 [9 favorites]


My husband has made a game of ostentatiously pointing out all the X's in the set and costume design. (He does it because he knows I could give a shit about this being part of the X-Men universe and thus do not care about the X's.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:33 PM on April 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was a little worried that this season would be a little more, y'know, sedate, straightforward, that sorta thing, given that the psychological conceit from the first season had pretty much wrapped up in the last couple of episodes of the last season.

Nope. Didn't have to worry about that. No sir.
posted by Kyol at 9:00 PM on April 9, 2018 [3 favorites]


'X's and '0's - Noughts and Crosses as we call it, or as it would be better known here Tic Tac Toe. So that's their little game, is it...?
posted by Grangousier at 6:05 AM on April 10, 2018 [2 favorites]


(And Circle, Square, Triangle, Wave, of course. Which is Very Serious Parapsychological Research and not a game at all.)
posted by Grangousier at 6:10 AM on April 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh, and while I'm freeforming w/r/t symbolism, as a non-American it took me a while to notice that the episode is called Chapter 9. Whatever that signifies.
posted by Grangousier at 7:27 AM on April 10, 2018


It just means it's the 9th episode of the show. They've all been titled Chapter #.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:58 AM on April 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh, really? Huh. I do get carried away, sorry.
posted by Grangousier at 11:06 AM on April 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also that was quite the Jane's Addiction deep cut right there.

I rewatched this episode today and Melanie's vapor trip session set to Jane's Addiction with a very industrial music video style hallucinated legless minotaur might be the most 90s thing I've seen in quite a while.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:35 PM on April 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


So, there was the part where Shadow King/Lenny was nurturing the "bad" idea/psychosis. And then they show David sleeping and presumably being introduced to the idea. Then the next thing we are shown is the whole thing about Future Syd telling him to work with SK.

So what is the idea? is that just a false memory about the time in the orb? something that has yet to mature and we will see its affect on David later?

I probably think in much too linear fashion for this show.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:26 AM on April 13, 2018


Of course, I'll get even more carried away in another fifteen chapters, unless that's the gag he's been leading up to all along, in which case I respect him for playing the really long game (I mean, that would be six episodes into season three).
posted by Grangousier at 11:30 AM on April 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


I did enjoy watching this, but I'm a little up and down with it - I love that so much of the story is told in a symbolic rather than literal way. A dance scene to show the feeling and nuance behind the action? hell yea! Random mustachiod models with GlaDOS' voice supporting a basket headed man? eh, I wish there was a little more hint that there was a reason behind all of that weirdness. I looooove surreal imagery, but it does need some meaning or it ends up being kinda hollow. I look forward to the rest of the season, though, I hope that as the plot is fleshed out it will all get pulled together and feel more coherent.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:39 PM on April 15, 2018


Random mustachiod models with GlaDOS' voice

Oh yes, I meant to add to my previous comment that I'm glad the turrets from Portal are continuing to get work.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:46 PM on April 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


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