The Legion Season One Finale Wasn’t a Home Run – But The Series is a Resounding Success

Photo Credit: Michelle Faye/FX

Legion Season One Finale Plot:

As David (Dan Stevens) gains full control of his powers, the gang gets a rare opportunity to learn more about the secretive Division 3, but the Shadow King still looms, and makes one final stand to destroy David.

The season finale of Legion was good. It wasn’t great. This episode never stood a chance after last week’s absolute masterpiece. That was a Herculean like act to follow, so we have to cut this episode a little bit of slack. It was an inevitable letdown. For a series that has been jam-packed, weird, heavy and innovative beyond belief, the season finale was surprisingly ordinary and straight-forward. It still felt like a Legion episode, don’t get me wrong, but there isn’t much to analyze here. We’ll start with the beginning, because it was an odd way to start.

As this is the season finale, it was curious that the first ten minutes focused solely on a character we barely remember from the first episode, unless I missed something. Really? The random government guy (Hamish Linklater) who interrogated David for like five minutes that one time? That’s what we’re doing? We get this huge deep dive on a character who hasn’t been seen since episode one, not counting the two minutes when he popped up at the end of last week. While this was a well-directed sequence, it felt like a cheap trick to get us emotionally invested in a character quickly, as he played a crucial role in the episode. At least he’s more interesting than the Eye. The first act is all about the Division 3/government gobbledygook that I honestly could care less about. Once Aubrey Plaza comes back into the picture, the episode was off and running.

The Shadow King was easily the MVP of the first season, in particular Aubrey Plaza’s performance. This was just a damn good villain. The performance was sinister as hell, but credit the make-up and costume designers who made Plaza look like a 1990’s Tim Burton character on steroids. The Shadow King continued his intense manipulation for one last hurrah, and it was the only part of the episode that was truly outstanding. David and the Shadow King have one final standoff. It was good, but a tad underwhelming.  With a villain like the Shadow King, there was no way we were going to get a clean resolution. The ending was pretty appropriate.

Other than learning more about Division 3 and David’s battle against the Shadow King, nothing else really happened.  All the side characters were completely pushed aside. Syd (Rachel Keller) was crucial in the episode, but was used more as a plot device. The wonder twins had a decent back and forth, and Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris) had a couple memorable lines, but that’s it. Everyone pretty much stood in the lab and were complete spectators.

It sounds like I really didn’t like this episode, but it was still a very solid Legion offering. While it wasn’t packed to the brim like previous episodes, you still got that vintage Legion feel with its style and musical selections. To see David take control of his powers was definitely worth the price of admission, especially his first telekinesis moment where he basically makes a Christmas tree out of the random government guys.

While the finale was a slight letdown, this first season of Legion was a resounding success. With so many damn superhero/comic book material to consume, Legion brings a much needed breath of fresh air to this genre. I can’t wait to see what they bring next.

Speaking of next, there is a post credit scene, and I have absolutely no clue what the hell that was.  I’ve never been more confused in my life.  I’m intrigued, but seriously, what in the name of Charles Xavier was that?!?

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 (Very Good)

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.