Review: Legion S01E01: Chapter 1

Legion centers around David Haller (Dan Stevens), a schizophrenic who hops from one psychiatric hospital to another. This show requires your undivided attention because there’s so much happening that you can easily miss something by multitasking. You’ll be questioning what’s real and what isn’t just as often as David is. Legion is a mutant, but the show won’t mingle with the other ongoing X-Men projects. With that in mind, there’s isn’t really any prior knowledge you need to dive right into the show.

Chaotic is one way to describe this show. David lives in a constant state of trying to stay calm and Noah Hawley captures that so well throughout this episode. The cinematography plays well to the storyline and adds to each chaotic moment. The editing throughout also mimics the mood. When things get chaotic, you get faster cuts and hectic shots.

A lot happens in this extended episode. We’re introduced to Lenny Busker (Aubrey Plaza) and Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller) in addition to David as the main characters in the hospital. While the show throws a lot at the audience, little of it is explained. Lenny is a drug addict, but we have no sense of her powers. We just know that she really loves her headphones. Plus, she ends up in a wall, which is a whole other issue in itself. Syd clearly knows all about her powers because she makes it known that no one can touch her skin. Despite this, David does and they have some sort of Freaky Friday body swap.

Destruction, awkward moments, clumsiness, and all around weirdness find their way into this show. Each of these moments get paired with a fitting music choice, whether it be a song or a score. One standout moment is when David essentially destroys the interrogation room he’s being held in by flipping up the table and tossing everyone around like rag dolls. While it’s subtle, the music adds that little something extra to the scenes.

Noah Hawley is known for his work on Fargo and while this doesn’t have quite the same type of humor, it’s still there. Hawley tailors his skills to this story and it results in a show that looks stunning and every word seems purposeful. This show is off to a great start and I’m eager for how it will all play out.