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The new season of FX starts with fun time travel



Photo: FX
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"PLEASE STAY" reads the screen in the opening seconds of "Chapter 20," the third season of Legion . It's possible that "Look, just stay with us, we'll really try to make it worth it" was too long to take a test picture, and the show went off with the usual old school. After a second season that alienated many viewers (ending with a particularly discouraging remark), Noah Hawley and Company were able to forgive some playful requests to endure their weird little series. Either way, the words soon dissolve into "BEDTIME IS HERE," a targeted announcement for the show's hallucinatory hallmarks at the beginning of the last major trip. Is there a real justification in the narrative? Hell, it would not be Legion if it did.

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The smartest move this first episode makes is to put the audience in the perspective of a brand new character, essentially using The Mutant Power of Switch to tell the story, the series, and the Rescuing characters from the grim destiny that caused them. The final season ended with the transformation of loyalties that had torn up the structure that had established this series: After secretly working together with the future version of Syd for the second season to prevent Amahl Farouk, the Shadow King, from dividing 3 killed ̵

1; he must save The world of Future David, it seems – David has crossed the line. He tortured Oliver to death and believed that he still had Farouk's mind. Then he sexually attacked Syd by playing with her thoughts (to eliminate her bad feelings for him) and then sleeping with her. It was a disgusting ending to a narrative that was struggling to maintain momentum and led Division 3 not only to turn against David, but join forces with the Shadow King to keep him under wraps. It went wrong; David grabbed Lenny and left the city. And instead of playing Expository Catch-Up (which will come later), we'll start with someone we've never met before – a new beginning to allow a new entry into the distorted world of the show.

Switch (who's completely content with calling her first name for her new mutated sobriquet) plays in this story with the same disconcerting perspective that can easily be transferred to a cautious audience to make it easier to identify. The little we know about their lives suggests an isolated and strictly controlled existence. So it's no shock that she takes the chance of an adventure when the flyer recruits someone with her precise mutant power – time travel – an elliptical scavenger hunt. Her journey is essentially an allegory to anyone watching the show as she leads them from the "real world" to the trippy-fugal state of David's new home, a house, through a kaleidoscopic tunnel (of course, with a dance number heading) populated by self-proclaimed cultists to get high on David's "peace and love" psycho cocktail.

Photo: Suzanne Tenner (FX)

Of course, as David immediately has good reason to be careful telling her that one of the rules of access are no secrets to what he demonstrates by reading her mind and her bedroom up replicates in the smallest detail. "How about trust?" She asks. "I tried." But despite these warning bells, reinforced by the realization that David spent most of his life in mental hospitals, with a literal (non-metaphorical) monster in his head, Switch is determined to help David by first holding him alive, Before Division 3 can arrive in Sydney, a bullet shoots him in the chest. What happens twice. All this suggests that Switch knows a little more about the situation than she claims, because when Farouk greets her on the Astral plane and offers to make an agreement with her that is comparable to what David may have offered, she rejects him with a statement that contains a multitude: "The reason is simple. He is a man. And you are a robot. "Farouk is equally frustrated and pleased with her disappearance. It is a new puzzle to be solved. With his later efforts to keep Syd from joining the strike team to eliminate David, he has his own mysterious reasons to keep his enemy alive.

Members of our old team seem to be in a strange place. Yes, they hunted David, but Cary Loudermilk was also busy building a new mainframe cybernetic home in a replica of ptonomy, albeit with a mustache. ("Beware of the mustache man," says one of David's warnings on the flyer Switch sees.) It's unclear how much of Ptonomy's left – when we last saw him, his consciousness was doomed to walking around in the mainframe – and with this new version, it goes straight to the side with Vermillion. We only have to deal with them for a few moments (unless you count David, who repeatedly vaporizes Kerry during the division's attacks), but the speaker milk remains one of the few warm and inviting gigs on the show.

Photo: Suzanne Tenner (FX)

Or rather one of the few, until David started his new cult, apparently checking new recruits into the house with Lenny. When David was confronted with the seriousness of his actions, he dismissed the responsibility, but the weight of his guilt certainly weighs heavily on his mind. Why should one create a place that is designed to do nothing but offer blissful happiness, free of secrets or ulterior motives? He hurt the person he loved – horribly betraying it (thank God, the show is not trying to venture that retreat, which would be even worse) – and it caused him to become the embodiment of a good, someone, nobody could possibly have a problem with it. "I'm the magical man," he says to Switch, shadows of past moments that David was convinced were all right. Remember what he tells Switch about the reason he asks his followers to stay with him and to love each other: "Love – I need that." That's what he told himself at the end of last season, Division 3 and Syd tried to do something about him in a makeshift jail, supposedly for his own good. "I'm a good person … I deserve love," he told them. It looks like he's getting what he thinks deserves.

Or at least part of it. It's just a quick glimpse, but when Switch looks into the small façade of a house where David invites her to tea and finds out why he needs a time traveler, she sees another David, who is much less gentle and confident about the whole situation that requires his alter ego to know exactly what the hell he's up to with Switch. David's insistence on no secrets does not extend to himself, it seems. More importantly, the show may be prepared to deal with the effects of David's actions. I am not sure if it is able to get the emotionally charged nuance needed to cope with a man who deals with the fact that he has committed sexual assault potential.

Photo: Suzanne Tenner (FX)

Oddly enough, the show seems to do nothing to change anything the reverse situation. We know that Farouk is a rapist, murderer and many other terrible things. But he sauntered through Division 3's airlock as if he had a free pass. This is probably the result of his whispered machinations, which we saw in the last episode, when he used his powers to influence the minds of all who he works with, so that they treat him as equal and not as the prisoner, the he should be so clear. It's just the premiere, so it's time to deal with it, but it's so strange that hopefully the show will do it sooner rather than later.

And Syd? Sydney is an insider tip at the time. Farouk evokes the fact that she is chasing after David for revenge, not for the sake of abuse, and while she denies it, there is not much insight in the few minutes we spend with her. The person we deal with most at this hour is Switch, and it's all for the better: Legion needed a means to bring people back, and their story serves to bridge the gap between the startling phrase of bridging events that brought us here and a hopeful new direction for the narrative. It is no coincidence that structurally this is one of the most direct and unequivocal consequences the series has ever had. There's a time traveler here to remedy this, and after the story of David Haller, a villain, slammed into the mire of too many what-if-reality distortions last year, a course had to be set on which the chaotic distractions were on time, not morality.

Scattering Observations

  • As always, I'm here for the skim milk. Cary, awakening mainframe / ptonomy: "I still have to test his reflexes -" Kerry: [ pow! ] "Slow."
  • Legion Important Music Voices of the Week: The number for Dry Cleaning Dance is set to a slightly overhauled remix of superorganisms "Something For Your Mind," which is pretty self-explanatory (this show loves the music cues on the nose), while we get a return performance of The Rolling Stones with "2000 Light Years From Home" as Switch for the first time arrives at the cult house. And all ends with a heavily distorted cover of the Steve Miller band "Fly Like An Eagle". Speaking of the house, it looks like New Janine was really pregnant, and Lenny, her cornflake girl, is still credited as a middle-age parent.
  • Lenny, still not one who crushes the words, "Is that a cult?" "Yes."
  • There seems to be a bigger plan for David and his feel-good drug and it's about having lunchboxes with his Face it.
  • Even Switch's time-travel hours are fascinating – an entertaining transition to Jon Hamm's strategy last season. Especially the whole thing "do not travel too far, otherwise you will wake the demon".
  • Clark's husband is now apparently a full member of the team. "Why do we have no time traveler?"
  • Welcome back, all about Legion Ratings! It's good to talk to you all about a show that can be captivating, crazy, inspired or angry, but never boring. I am looking forward to read your comments.

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