East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, June 19, 2019, Page 2, Image 2

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    cover story
Mutants in wonderland
‘Legion’ travels through time in Season 3
By Kyla Brewer
TV Media
he battle between good and
evil has been raging in prime
time for decades, but one particu-
lar series blurs the lines between
hero and villain. FX’s “Legion”
has captivated TV viewers, and
fans have one more chance to
enjoy the show before it’s over
for good.
Dan Stevens (“Downton Ab-
bey”) returns as dangerously
troubled mutant David Haller in
the season premiere of “Legion,”
airing Monday, June 24, on FX.
Diagnosed with schizophrenia at
a young age, Haller had no idea
that he was actually a mutant un-
til a fateful encounter with a fel-
low psychiatric patient revealed
the truth. The show is based on
the character from the Marvel
Comics Universe, an extremely
powerful being who’s the son of
X-Men leader Charles Xavier.
This marks the third and
final season of the show, much
to the chagrin of fans. During
a “Legion” Season 3 panel at
this year’s WonderCon in San
Francisco in March, creator Noah
Hawley explained why it made
sense to end the show, despite its
popularity and acclaim.
“I feel like where we left him
at the end of the second season,
again at his lowest point, there’s
only two ways that he can go
— he can either get back to a
healthy place, or he can go off the
bottom of the map,” Hawley said.
“Obviously it’s bittersweet, but a
story has no meaning without its
In the first season of the show,
Haller was brought to a mutant
facility known as Summerland,
where he learned to control his
mutant powers. He soon discov-
ered that his mind was infected
with a parasitic mutant known as
the Shadow King/Amahl Farouk
(Navid Negahban, “24”). All the
while, his new allies tried to pro-
tect him from Division 3, a heavily
funded anti-mutant government
agency. However, in Season 2, the
2 | Screentime
Summerland staff had teamed
up with Division 3 to take on the
Shadow King.
The visually stunning series
intentionally mixes 1960s style
with modern elements, presum-
ably to reflect Haller’s twisted
perception of reality. There’s a
time-traveling aspect to the new
season, which will only add to
the already psychedelic visuals.
What’s more, previews for Season
3 feature references to “Alice in
Wonderland,” promising a whole
new level of trippy storytelling.
Season 3 trailers also have
viewers in a tizzy because of their
introduction of an iconic X-Men
character. “Game of Thrones”
alum Harry Lloyd, best known
for his role as Viserys Targaryen
in the HBO hit, has been cast as
Prof. Xavier, whom viewers see
in flashbacks in “Legion’s” early
Season 3 teasers. Haller’s mother
will be portrayed by Danish
actress Stephanie Cornelius-
sen (“Mr. Robot”). Also new to
Season 3 is Lauren Tsai (“Terrace
House: Aloha State”), who joins
the cast as Switch, a mutant
whose time-traveling abilities are
key to Haller’s ultimate plan to
undo the damage he’s done.
Fans of “Legion” will be
happy to see several familiar
faces from the first two seasons
of the show. Favorite Aubrey
Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”)
returns as Lenny Busker, Haller’s
best friend. Though she died in
Season 1, Farouk later gave her a
new body. Rachel Keller portrays
Haller’s girlfriend, Syd Barrett, a
mutant with the unique ability
to switch bodies with others by
touching them. Keller was cast
in “Legion” after her breakout
role in Hawley’s “Fargo,” which
also starred fellow “Legion” cast
member Jean Smart (“Designing
Women”). Smart played Melanie
Bird, a demanding psychiatric
therapist at Summerland, for the
first two seasons of the show.
The supporting cast also in-
cludes Bill Irwin (“Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit”) as Cary
Loudermilk, a mutant scientist
June 19, 2019 | East Oregonian and Hermiston Herald
Navid Negahban as seen in “Legion”
and one of the founders of Sum-
serves as Bird’s memory spe-
merland. He and fellow mutant
cialist, thanks to his ability
Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midt-
to remember everything and
hunder, “Roswell, New Mexico”)
transport people back into their
co-exist within the same body
own memories. Hamish Linklater
most of the time. While they can
(“The New Adventures of Old
take separate physical forms
Christine”) rounds out the cast
when they need to, Kerry only
as Division 3 interrogator Clark
ages when outside of Cary’s body, Debussy.
leaving her much younger than
Behind the scenes, the cast is
her counterpart.
in good hands with Hawley at the
Mutant Ptonomy Wallace
helm. In addition to creating “Le-
(Jeremie Harris, “Blue Bloods”)
gion” and “Fargo,” he’s worked
as a writer and producer on the
hit Fox drama “Bones” and has
written five novels. He’s won a
number of accolades and awards,
including an Emmy, two Golden
Globes, a Critics’ Choice Televi-
sion Award and a Writers Guild of
America Award.
His unique take on the comic
book genre in “Legion” has been
a hit with viewers as well, earn-
ing the show high marks on the
aggregator review sites Rotten
Tomatoes and Metacritic, which
are based on user reviews.
Thanks to Hawley’s vision,
solid performances and stunning
visuals, FX’s latest hit appeals to
a vast cross-section of TV viewers,
not just fans of superheroes and
comic books. Enjoy a new season
of unexpected twists and turns as
David Haller teams up with an-
other mutant in the new season
of “Legion,” premiering Monday,
June 24, on FX.