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Published on February 10, 2017

Television Review: "Legion"

On Wednesday night, FX premiered their newest show, “Legion.” Many people are unaware of what it is about, so some prefacing should help get you up to speed on all you need to know about the show. “Legion” focuses on an “omega-level mutant” from the X-Men Universe, whose name is Legion, hence the name of the show. His real name is David Haller and he is one of the most powerful mutants alive. This is because he is the son of Charles Xavier, the founder of the X-Men. Charles, also known as Professor X, is an incredibly powerful mutant in his own right. In the comics, David is a paranoid schizophrenic with multiple personality disorder that leaves him with potentially thousands of personalities. These personalities are constantly battling for control over his mind and his life, and because of this, David does not always know who he is or what is real. And the craziest part is that each personality he has possesses a different superpower, essentially giving him almost every power imaginable. Among these, time travel, teleportation, telekinesis, reality and emotion manipulation, shape-shifting and telepathy are most notable. In summation, David Haller is incredibly powerful but incredibly unstable, and it's hard to tell which makes him more dangerous.

In the show, David doesn't know he has powers, he just believes he is mentally unwell. Accordingly, he has been put into a mental institution. He is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, which holds true to the comics. He lives in the institution until an incident causes his powers to unravel, much to his own surprise. The show will most likely make many deviations from the original comic book origins, but that is not atypical when making the jump from page to screen. The show’s premiere was met with raving reviews, albeit underwhelming viewership. David Haller is portrayed by Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey,” “Beauty and the Beast”), and is joined by Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation,” “Dirty Grandpa”). Jean Smart (“Fargo,” “24”), and Rachel Keller (FX’s “Fargo,” “Supernatural”).

“Legion” is a trippy thrill ride into madness and the human psyche. What do you do when people fear you and you don't know what is real? Find out by catching up on Wednesday's episode and tuning into FX, Wednesday's at 10 pm. Happy watching, mutants. Fans of the comics, fans of quirky, trippy programming, and fans of quality television will all enjoy this show, I have no doubt.