Help a Legion (S1) Noob - No spoilers

I’m lost. I am familiar with the genre and some of the source material from the X comics. I’ve seen things which I consider similar (Shutter Island, Mr. Robot). And still WTF???

I watched episode 1 and I don’t know what is real, and what isn’t. I get that the point may be for me to feel like that, especially to empathize with David. I can’t trust anything I’m seeing, so even what appears to be an earnest appeal at the end of the episode is untrustworthy because it is in the same surreal style as the rest of the episode. 

I am hoping this show has some rules for figuring this all out, and that I will start to piece it together. I know the guys did not do a podcast-per-episode on S1, so if anyone can point me to a good one, I’d appreciate it. If anyone has any tips for how to watch/interpret what I’m seeing that doesn’t spoil the show, I’d also appreciate that info. Otherwise, I feel like I’ll end up having to watch everything twice.

Comments

  • HunkuleseHunkulese Québec, Canada
    edited July 17
    They actually did do a podcast for season one. They skipped season two.

    I don't really remember the first episode, but I've found that Legion doesn't really hold up if you try to engage with it too deeply and try and figure things out. Just sit back and enjoy the experience.
    rkcrawfTravisElisa
  • Ah good to know on both counts. I’ll go look for it in the archives! Thanks.
    Travis
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, I had the same concerns. If you can't tell what is and what isn't real, then what the fuck? The key is Hawley never really tries to trick you, and something's are both not real and yet real at the same time. For example, psychic battles are depicted in a very surreal style, but it's clear who is winning and who is losing and what the stakes are. Mental illness and unreliable narrators are a key "feature"of the show, but again the show usually gives you context to understand what is true from a useful point of view.

    There's nothing really like it on television, and I'd buy that it's not to everyone's taste. As mentioned, we have full coverage of season one, and I think I was on 3 or so of Jason's Podcastica only coverage of season two, and I'm back with Jason and Rima for season three!
    rkcrawfTravisElisarustywright4
  • I get the frustration but I think season one may have the most straightforward  narrative of the whole show so far.  I remember not knowing what is real and what isn’t which is frustrating and is a part of a lot of shows these days (looking at you Westworld) and doesn’t always pay off. But imo legion S1 unfolds brilliantly as it  goes on. Maybe if you approach it like those old 3D art posters -  pay attention but don’t try to focus too hard and it will all come clear. TBH some stuff is never clarified but it all more or less makes sense at end of season. If you go on with the show, S2 is less cohesive- still awesome but I think I liked S1 more as a whole. I hope you come to enjoy it. It is definitely a unique and creative show. 
    rkcrawfTravisElisarustywright4
  • So I rewatched E1 again, and I’m on board. I think I just needed time for my brain to take in. A character like Lenny is so weird, I didn’t accept her when I first saw her, so I was already prepared for her transition. But 2nd time around it made more sense. There’s still something I missed where David reverts back to himself...maybe I will figure that out later. 

    I usually end up loving shows that I have to adjust to. Thanks!
    TravisElisa
  • edited July 17
    Read the episode specific recaps from this site after you finish watching each episode...https://legion.fandom.com/wiki/Legion_Wiki 

    I am in the middle of a rewatch of Legion and I have been reading the recaps after each episode and they help a ton as far as understanding what is happening.
    rkcrawfElisa
  • edited July 17
    @awookiee I am listening to the podcast (easier to do with a commute), and then if I have questions I will check out the recaps. I was on AVClub before, but I can try Fandom. 

    @A_Ron_Hubbard - Thanks for the reply. I am almost regretting that y'all skipped S2, even though there were probably valid reasons too. FWIW, I'm glad that there is a S1 companion to get through. At least I don't feel like I'm 2 years behind, even though I am. The cast is hitting on the exact points I raised above, so maybe you all were psychic.

    After the second watch of the pilot, I now want to skip work and go binge the rest. It's been a long time since I've been this excited about a "new" show (prob The Expanse). 
    awookieerustywright4
  • redlancerredlancer Seattle
    First few episodes can definitely be a W in TF is going on here (actually, most of the show is that...)

    But thinking about it now, most of the plot is presented at face value, what you see is what you're getting in the context of the show and it's wacky insane visuals and mind-bending plot, although often through an unreliable narrators point of view.

    If you're worried that half-way through the series there's going to be some kind of "Hah! it was all a dream! Nothing actually happened and you wasted your time!" twist, there isn't anything like that, at least through (what will be the final) season 3. The show can definitely be bizarre, but seems to be 'real' in terms of what's happening to the various characters and what's at stake for them, and the consequences of their actions.

    Travisrkcrawf
  • I'm so crazy jealous. My wife and I were just talking about how we wish we could watch it from the beginning for the first time again. It's just such a unique, amazing show. I hope you dig it as much as I do. Enjoy!
    rkcrawf
  • redlancer said:


    If you're worried that half-way through the series there's going to be some kind of "Hah! it was all a dream! Nothing actually happened and you wasted your time!" twist, there isn't anything like that, at least through (what will be the final) season 3. 

    That was my big concern. I assumed Lenny was imaginary from the get-go because she has huge headphones on during a group therapy session and no one acknowledges her. There's a line from Syd about closing your eyes so the hospital disappears. The guy who looks like Art Garfunkel seemed just too weird to be real. David reverting back to his own body is hand-waved. So that was a concern. 

    But yes, I feel now, that I've got the pulse and can follow it. I forgot Noah Hawley created it, so that also gives me a frame of reference. @Travis - Yes, super excited!!
    Travis
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    Podcastica covers all 3 seasons. It’s just ARon got super busy in S2 so he only appeared on A couple. It’s a fabulous show. Closest thing to acid without the side effects. 
    rkcrawf
  • Elisa said:
    Closest thing to acid without the side effects. 
    That's my jam! That dance number in E1 was the best thing I've seen on TV in a long time.
    Elisa
  • Teresa from ConcordTeresa from Concord Concord, California
    I just finished season one. It’s the type of show where I say, “I liked it?” and then admit a short time later that I’m all in for season two. Aubrey Plaza alone makes it an easy decision. I am sad, however, that I did not enjoy the podcast coverage. Not going to listen, especially without Jim and A_ron. Too bad because this is definitely a show that benefits from a breakdown. 
    Elisa
  • I just finished season one. It’s the type of show where I say, “I liked it?” and then admit a short time later that I’m all in for season two. Aubrey Plaza alone makes it an easy decision. I am sad, however, that I did not enjoy the podcast coverage. Not going to listen, especially without Jim and A_ron. Too bad because this is definitely a show that benefits from a breakdown. 
    It would have made for an amazing discussion for the typical Bald Move show coverage.  I listened to the Podcastica coverage but even when A.Ron was in on it, it still isn't the Bald Move coverage.  It definitely made me realize how much I enjoy the guys' typical coverage versus Podcastica's top 3 or 5 moments style of podcasting.  It was still fun to listen to but nowhere near what it could have been had Jim and A.Ron covered it.  
    Elisarkcrawf
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