If season one of “Legion” seemed like a hallucinogenic trip down a nightmarish rabbit hole, then season two is the full realization of this terrifying, yet mesmerizing mutant wonderland.
FX’s hit Marvel series, which returns Tuesday night, has somehow found a way to up the ante for 2018, taking viewers on another wild and trippy ride through the astral plane. The show continues to be a visually stunning spectacle that bucks superhero conventions, putting an avant-garde spin on the fan-favorite genre.
Created by “Fargo’s” Noah Hawley, “Legion” is a very loose adaptation of X-Men character David Haller (Dan Stevens), who may be the world’s most powerful telepath, but is hindered by his crippling mental illnesses. However, aside from passing mentions of mutants and allusions to Haller’s famous father Professor Xavier, the show tends to downplay its comic book roots.
Season two picks up about a year after Haller was abducted by a mysterious orb in the season one finale, although it only feels like a day has passed for the super-powered protagonist when his girlfriend Syd (Rachel Keller) and the rest of their pals finally find him. Haller has seemingly expelled the villainous Shadow King from his mind, but now must relocate the telepathic tyrant before he reunites with his original body and becomes even more powerful.
Legion review: Season 2 is another mesmerizing trip down the rabbit hole
The Shadow King is quite possibly the scariest villain on television at the moment, as Amahl Farouk has the ability to take over people’s minds and bodies, forcing them to do what he wants or live in horrifying realities created deep within their subconscious. Aubrey Plaza brilliantly played the Shadow King in season one and now shares the duties with Navid Negahban, who puts his own delightfully twisted spin on the psychic terror. "Flight of the Concords" star Jemaine Clement also gets to flex his muscles as the evil monarch, as the body of his character Oliver (another powerful telepath) is the current host for Farouk.
The new season of “Legion,” of course, keeps viewers guessing as to what’s real and what isn’t, but builds upon this surreal world by adding in more fantastical, sci-fi elements. Haller and company have now teamed up with Division III on their quest to stop the Shadow King, a mysterious organization run by Admiral Fukuyama, the group’s leader who wears a basket on his head and has a trio of mustachioed, gender-fluid androids that do his bidding.
From the psychedelic visuals and pecuiliar characters to all those amazing dance numbers, everything about “Legion” is wonderfully strange and should no doubt captivate the imaginations of fans all season long.
"Legion" season two debuts Tuesday at 10 p.m. on FX.