If you’ve ever partaken in hallucinogenic drugs, the world according to David Haller might remind of a trip you once took; if not, consider yourself honorably and unadulteratedly initiated.
Opening to the suitably trippy sounds of The Who’s Happy Jack,
The kids couldn’t hurt Jack
They tried and tried and tried
They dropped things on his back
And lied and lied and lied and lied and liedBut they couldn’t stop Jack, or the waters lapping
And they couldn’t prevent Jack from feeling happy”
The wonderful thing about Noah Hawley’s take on a Marvel superhero is, whether X-Men uninitiated or staunch mutant aficionado, with Legion we’re all on nearly equal, unbalanced footing; his unique approach means we’re all figuring things out as we go. You could as easily opt for a quick read around to familiarize with a bit of character history, but its just as much fun to let things unfold. Buoyed by strong leads and intense chemistry — Dan Stevens in a diametrically opposite role to his quiet Downton charmer, and Rachel Keller (as Syd Barrett – in homage to the Pink Floyd singer) continuing to impress with her Fargo follow-up — a slow starting “Chapter 1” gives way to increasing intrigue and escape from the confines of facility walls. One forbidden kiss (“Don’t touch me!”) with Syd and the instantly smitten David’s world turns upside-down … literally (at least from his POV).
Touching Syd, who apparently has her own mutant powers, means she and David switch bodies a la Freaky Friday, and because Barrett has conveniently been released from Clockworks, David simply walks right out. Unfortunately, in a world where superpowers are involved, someone is always waiting to control or steal away, and so it goes with the wickedly fun Interrogator (Hamish Linklater) and The Eye (Mackenzie Gray), the latter of whom reads like a variation on Bokeem Woodbine’s Mike Milligan.
Though I’m certain Plaza’s Busker is supposed to be one of our favorites, I just couldn’t connect with the character — even if she got some of the best lines:
“Good hair, nice hindquarters.”
“So, what’d it feel like? Titties? Stop looking at me like that, man. I know, I’m dead. You killed me. Don’t blame her — she’s was just a newbie riding around in your body. Don’t worry about me, it’s you that’s got problems. They’re coming for you, babe. They know what you did at the hospital. They’re coming for you and they’re gonna kill you.”
Who or what is The devil with the yellow eyes?
What did David do to Dr. Poole?
What happened at Red Hook?
The soundtrack thus far is fantastic. In addition to Happy Jack:
The Rolling Stones: She’s a Rainbow; Jane’s Addiction: Up the Beach; Serge Gainsbourg: Pauvre Lola
Did you notice the wheelchair in the room, right before the kiss?
“Lenny is dead, somehow she ended up inside a wall.” Yeah, what’s up with that?
“You guys have any waffles?” David really likes waffles!