FX

A evaluation of the Legion season two premiere developing simply as quickly as a ship brings me my waffles…

Image your self studying a recap of an episode of tv. It’s written by your pleasant neighborhood TV critic, however in your thoughts it’s being learn aloud by somebody extra spectacular — let’s simply say Jon Hamm. Your reviewer, by Hamm, is making an attempt to interrupt down all of the memorable pictures and themes of this episode, to untangle all of the strands of plot and characterization. He’s considering essentially the most esoteric verbiage he can assume to use to the issue, and possibly choosing a meta gadget the place he begins the recap by writing concerning the technique of writing the recap.

Jon Hamm will get a calendar alert and realizes that he has three different cameos

to movie that day, so he offers up his voiceover duties, leaving solely your reviewer to fumble round on this huge, attractive, empty white area to fill with no matter ideas he can cobble collectively about this bizarre, hypnotic, intentionally opaque hour-plus of TV. He comes to grasp that the recap may even be one thing white and infinite: an egg, and till you crack it open, you received’t know if it has perception, madness, or neither.

Or, as James Poniewozik has dubbed them, Hammeos.

The critic considers the sturdiness of this gadget and goes again to reread his evaluation of this present’s new season, the place he argued that it was finally a triumph of fashion over substance, however with such ample model that the dearth of substance didn’t a lot matter, and he recollects the numerous dazzling pictures and soundscapes featured on this episode alone:

* He thinks about how the episode opens, for example, on a ravishing, sun-dappled swimming pool the place Lenny and Oliver float peacefully, imprisoned in some lush and peaceable psychological jail by the Shadow King, every little thing solely as actual because it must be, so Butler’s arm seems to convey Oliver a contemporary drink, despite the fact that there’s no person — and no physique — round for miles. After which how we pull out by the numerous layers of Farouk’s thoughts and David Haller’s till Clark and his males discover David in a nightclub surrounded by a dance flooring stuffed with mentally frozen people;

* He remembers yet again the chills and nausea he felt the primary time he heard a whole lot of tooth chattering towards one another in unison, and the way such a well-recognized sound elevated exponentially might be so unsettling;

* He thinks about how matter-of-factly the episode presents the concept that Syd is now utilizing her powers to swap our bodies with a housecat, and the way properly Rachel Keller is ready to undertake feline mannerisms to shortly get the concept throughout;

* He marvels in any respect the strangeness filling each nook of the body on the new Division three headquarters, from Admiral Fukuyama having a basket on his head (obscuring the face of actor Marc Oka), to his cadre of catsuited and mustachioed fembots

, to all of the baby troopers, to the paintings on Fukuyama’s partitions creating the phantasm that every little thing is tilted 90 levels, to one thing as comparatively innocuous as all of the meals within the cafeteria being served by tiny boats floating alongside a bit of river reduce down the center of the tables;

The critic pauses this gadget to level out that there are six completely different mustache ladies who seem in varied mixtures, performed by Jenna Borrenpohl, Jelly Howie, Ashli Dowling, Caitlin Leahy, Brittney Parker Rose, and Lexa Gluck. The reviewer wonders what the casting name notes appeared like, and the way every actress responded when she was proven their wig and mustache.

* A broad smile crosses his face upon fascinated with the animated story of the person who dreamed he was a butterfly (or vice versa), and the way that led into extra disturbing explanations of how an innocuous thought can result in insanity, and to a filth-covered creature (very like Lenny appeared by the tip of season one) devouring a clear and harmless chicken (a lot as Lenny appears now), and a shudder hits his backbone as he recollects the crippled Minotaur-like monster limping its method by Melanie’s room whereas she will get excessive from her elephant vaporizer;

* An excellent broader smile seems on the considered the frilly dance-off between David, Oliver, Lenny, and their respective dance groups on the nightclub, with Cary after all empathetically dancing in his lab, as a result of why wouldn’t you wish to let Invoice Irwin transfer like solely he can?

The critic thinks concerning the deeper that means of all of this. He considers how deftly the premiere units up a construction for the season — a race to seek out Farouk’s unique physique, which may make him extra highly effective than ever if his thoughts returns to it — after which how simply as swiftly the ultimate scene, that includes David speaking with a one-armed Syd from the long run, flips it on its head by having Future Syd inform David to assist Farouk in his quest.

What is occurring? When is it occurring? Are we higher off, like Oliver within the pool scene, refusing to consider time? Is Future Syd reliable? Is David, for that matter, or is he nonetheless underneath the sway of Lenny/Farouk someway, as Ptonomy worries, and as hinted at when Lenny kisses David in one of many episode’s closing photographs?

And, finally, does any of it matter? Or is the insanity simply the tactic by which this present delivers all these exceptional pictures?

The critic solely is aware of that he was entertained. And that he’ll want a brand new gimmick to attempt to unravel all of the strangeness occurring subsequent week. So for now, he places “White Rabbit” on the turntable, busts out a number of dance strikes, and invitations the remainder of you to make sense of all of it if you happen to can — or if you happen to even wish to.

What did all people else assume?

Alan Sepinwall could also be reached at sepinwall@uproxx.com. He discusses tv weekly on the TV Avalanche podcast. His new e book, Breaking Dangerous 101, is on sale now.

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