“Legion” Season 1 Episode 1 Recap and Review: “Chapter 1”


The latest superhero show, “Legion,” starts on FX, and it’s nothing like you would expect. In fact, it’s one heck of a head trip.

Welcome to Bam Smack Pow’s coverage of FX’s Legion! This is going to be one heck of a ride, as just watching all of the commercials and trailers for the show, I have no idea what to make of it.

So how’s the first episode? I spent the majority of the day tiling a shower, so let’s see how this goes!

Not-So-Short Summary

We start with “Happy Jack” by the Who, so already I love this. It’s flashbacks of a happy childhood until the voices start. It leads to crazy violence, drinking, prescription drugs, and a noose made out of an extension cord.

This isn’t your average X-Men movie.

Welcome to Clockworks Psychiatric Hospital.

There are a heck of a lot of trippy sequences in Legion, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s very different for a superhero show. David’s dreams stress him out so much that he actually ends up levitating everything in his room, and it all comes crashing down

“What if your problems aren’t in your head? What if they aren’t even problems?” Sydney Barrett says in their therapy session. And that’s the key question for this new show.

LEGION — Pictured: Dan Stevens as David Haller. CR: Frank Ockenfels/FX

There’s a lot of back and forth between David’s past in the mental hospital and his current interrogation about “the incident” (that involves a dead girl) and whether Syd was real or just his imagination. Also, no idea what’s going on outside of the interrogation; they appear to be in some kind of school.

His interrogator and another mysterious man in a suit are basically trying to figure out if David knows how powerful he is, if he actually has those powers, and if it’s worth it to keep him alive.

It’s interesting to watch David attempt to control the voices and also control his powers. The slow-motion capture of the kitchen exploding is extremely cool, especially because he stands in the center of the chaos, completely untouched. Until a knife flies by and cuts his cheek.

Let’s talk about the incident.

LEGION — “Chapter 1” (Airs Wednesday, February 8, 10:00 pm/ep) — Pictured: (l-r) Rachel Keller as Syd Barrett, Dan Stevens as David Haller. CR: Chris Large/FX

Syd is leaving the mental hospital. David has to rush in to say goodbye, and ends up kissing her despite her “no touching” policy. There’s a literal spark between them, and the world turns upside down. They carry David away and usher Syd out of the area.

David’s not having it, and his powers agree with him. There’s explosions of light and some gentle tremors… as it turns out, they switched bodies. The hospital is put on lockdown, but all of the doors have disappeared. And Aubrey Plaza’s Lenny got caught in a wall and is very much dead.

Syd/David is ushered unceremoniously out of the hospital before things can get crazier. He sees a mystery car and his interrogator steps out of it.

And that’s when he jams a pen into the guy’s cheek with his powers and all hell breaks loose (in the interrogation). The table disintegrates, he shoves everyone into the walls telekinetically, and then they use the knockout gas on him.

So the main twist is that Syd is sitting with her bag at a cafe after leaving the hospital, but really, it’s David, no longer Syd (or so we’re led to believe). He even feels his chest to double check.

LEGION — Pictured: Aubrey Plaza as Lenny “Cornflakes” Busker. CR: Frank Ockenfels/FX

On Halloween, David shows up at his sister’s house to crash. They set him up in the basement. And then Lenny shows up to blame him for her death. He does at least apologize. “They’re coming for you, babe,” she warns. “They’re coming and they’re going to kill you.”

Back in the interrogation, they’ve moved him to the swimming pool where he’s submerged with electricity ready to go.

As it turns out, they’re after Syd as well, but David doesn’t know where she went. There’s a crazy scene in his memory where Syd tells him what to do in his interrogation and how she’s going to save him.

In the swimming pool, David dives underwater as lights flicker around him. The guards fall to the bottom of the pool as charred skeletons. His rescue by Syd is a weird mix of the swimming pool and the mental hospital to keep you guessing as to what’s real and what’s imagined.

But their escape from the school is pretty awesome, as we get some cool telekinetic powers in action.

And the reveal that this part is real. Next week will be completely different.

Post-Credits Stinger

Nothing this week. Sorry, this usually works with Agents of SHIELD.

Badass Moment of the Week

David straight-up asking Syd if she wants to be his girlfriend. And she says yes. After talking for all of two minutes. Pretty badass.

Best One-Liner

“On the plus side, I have mastered the art of eating with a spoon,” David tells his sister.

Kudos to the creators for making one of their characters Syd Barrett, who definitely is not the original frontman for Pink Floyd. How long until we get some Pink Floyd in the soundtrack?

So Syd’s powers involve skin to skin contact to switch consciousnesses with someone. Makes sense as to why she wouldn’t want anyone to touch her.

There’s a lot that I didn’t touch on, because I don’t really know where to start. All of the flashbacks to a young boy and girl playing side by side. I’m sure these things will make more sense as Legion continues.

Next: Iron Fist: First Full-Length Trailer Gives A Familiar Superhero Origin Story

Next week’s Legion will be even crazier, as this new regime he’s followed will try to unlock David’s true potential in a mysterious war we know nothing about yet. Stick with us here at BSP for all your coverage needs!