Is the American horror story TV series overrated

Legion: Season 2 - plot is overrated in series anyway

The plot slams on the brakes in the most ambitious episode of Legion season 2 so far, in which we dive into the past of Rachel Keller's Syd.

Who needs action when they can take an Eternal Sunshine-esque trip into the soul of a neglected main character? legion In the fourth episode of the second season, she tackles an experiment that is unfamiliar even for her own standards. Chapter 12 is referred to as the first bottle episode of the series, comparisons to The Fly from Breaking Bad are also drawn, while others dismiss them as filling material. Somehow the 2nd season has to have 10 instead of 8 episodes. In fact, the script for the plot of the disease and the search for the Shadow King's body puts on the brakes and with the painful memories of Rachel Keller's Syd teaching David a lesson on the strength we can draw from the pain we suffer. Probably someone had too much Nietzsche breakfast.

It is one of the narrative most ambitious episodes of Legion, also because the plot has been postponed to the substitutes' bench and large parts of the episode are carried by the audiovisual experience. Again and again we see Syd crawling out of the icy birth canal into a touchless childhood. The experiment is admirable, but not completely successful.

Syd has long deserved her own episode in Legion

A reproach that I will most certainly not accept: Chapter 12 of Legion is nothing more than sealing material for an extended season. For the fact that the love between David (Dan Stevens) and Syd (Rachel Keller) plays such an important role in the series, their relationship was often superficially thematized or from David's neurotically transfigured perspective. In season 2, a change of direction is urgently needed, as dictated by the plot. It is Syd from the future who leads David to betray his mutant partners and secretly collaborate with the villain Shadow King. That same one-armed Syd has also made hints that David himself is the villain who will be up to mischief in the future.

More: Legion - Who's That Guy With the Basket & Other Burning Issues

In season 1, Syd's presence was instrumental in David's spiritual liberation, season 2 welds the two closer together, as she now knows about David's secret plan - on both time levels. Two conspiratorial bees in the huge Division 3 basket. Whether the whole thing is a Shadow King's sham or not, Syd deserves the show's full attention as she and David betray their mutant friends and former Division 3 hunters. Legion looks at the world through the eccentric eyes of David Haller, but through him can also look into the souls of his companions.

The ride of the soul leads to a test of the likeness of Syd. And the marmot greets every day. Again and again David sees similar stages from Syd's childhood, again and again he draws the wrong lesson from what is shown. The perspective is always shifted a bit, those involved are arranged slightly differently, new music is played or the section expanded. Precisely because in many cases there is no dialogue, the sequences achieve an extreme density of emotions. When we watch Baby-Syd scream for the first time with every touch, how her mother (Lily Rabe from American Horror Story) tries to embrace her lovingly in a roundabout way, she later adores Teenie-Syd (outstanding: Pearl Amanda Dickson) in smiles at an intimate understanding and the viewer suspects that it will break: Legion cuts into the flesh, which is not a matter of course in a superficially "cerebral" series.

Chapter 12 of Legion could contain an essential lesson for David

The intense glimpse into Syd's childhood releases her from the lurking cliché of the crazy or hurt love interest that must be saved by a man's love. Looking back, we don't see a lonely woman longing for a savior, but a survivor. Love, she explains, is beautiful, good, and worth saving. But she learns for survival through pain and anger. The pain she suffers as a result of her mutation, which fails physical contact, and which reaches others like a lightning rod: the boy who harasses her physically, the teasing girls who beat her up in his body, and finally her mother's partner who is illegitimate is accused of rape - because of her reckless body swap as a curious-horny teen. Pain and not love, so the reverse conclusion, forces them to deal with the consequences of their actions.
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For David, teaching could be essential. He leaned upside down in a conspiracy to save love, so Syd from the future. Finally, he slowly came to terms with the fact that his alliance with the Shadow King costs lives. Take the Jon Hamm monologues from the last few episodes and expand them to 40 minutes! The result is an instructive episode like Chapter 12. It is definitely relevant to the plot, but it doesn't waste its energy by laboriously pushing its cogs forward, where calm has the same effect. Only at the end, when Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) is dragged into Division 3 with an apparently new old body, does the plot rattle again. This is commented on with a wink by the title sequence, which comes a little too late, shortly before the credits.

You learn from an experiment like Chapter 12 even if it fails

The groundhog idea is the ideal laboratory for the playful scientists in the Legion writer's room to lead another experiment. Always subliminally resonating: How much context does a viewer need to find their way around a Legion episode? In this case we immediately step into the life loop of Sydney "Syd" Barrett, who does not sing with Pink Floyd, but is alternately accompanied by Bon Iver, The National and Tame Impala. It takes 15 minutes for the first reminder of the context to occur. Chapter 12 follows directly from the last episode, in which David is immersed in the spirits of the tooth-grinding sick in Division 3 in order to heal them. It takes 21 minutes before we slip out of Syd's mind for a short time to see what the others are up to: The contagious monk is dead, everyone except Syd and David are awake again. Unfortunately / luckily, the two of them miss the catastrophic toilet situation, as hundreds of people, freed from Malm's torture, have to empty themselves at the same time.

Ultimately, the consequence of potential viewer alienation is more admirable than the implementation. Director Ellen Kuras finds meaningful images for Syd's experiences, which flow into one another. Not by chance, she was working as a camerawoman on the Ctrl-X drama Forget Mine! With. Boredom does not arise, but the repetitions and variations lack individual expressiveness in places. David's guesswork is partly disconnected from what we observe with him. The images impress, they touch, but stand alone they collapse in front of the narrative goal. It takes David to come up with the attempted solutions and at the end even an explanatory monologue for the bingo moment. Still, I'd rather watch a failed Legion experiment than any "filler episode" from the Marvel Netflix canon.

Quote from the episode: "Burn with me." (Syd)

  • Egon Schiele, whose (self) portraits we see in the gallery, was an important influence on the original figure design of the Legion comics by Bill Sienkiewicz (Vulture). Above you can see the poster he created for the series.
  • Incidentally, Schiele was arrested in 1912 because he was accused of seducing a minor.
  • Jeff Russo and Noah Hawley covered Cream's White Room and Burning Down the House from Talking Heads.

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The 2nd season of Legion always runs Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. on FOX in Germany and is on afterwards Sky ticket to see.