Legion S1 Recap and Rankings

If you’ve read any of my reviews, I think my love for the show is clear. It’s well paced, visually striking, and its characters are very well developed. Each episode has a couple spectacles, and there are a number of legitimately great moments throughout. It has a very good cast! The music is phenomenal – both the use of popular songs and the original compositions. (“Crickets” is especially good.) If I have a gripe, it’s that the first season is brief, but it’s very difficult to complain about even that.

So, let’s do this.

11) The Eye / Walter


He’s perfectly serviceable as a blank, emotionless boogeyman. It’s difficult to rate him any higher because of how little development he gets. I’m kind of disappointed that there wasn’t more to him, frankly.

10) Melanie

Jean Smart is very good in this role, for what little screentime she gets. It feels like Melanie is somewhat extraneous to the plot, though, that her role could have been filled by Cary and not much would have changed.

9) Amy

I actually like Amy as a character. I think her loving but weary attitude towards David is very believable, and I like that she doesn’t try to act tough towards the government spooks. She’s likeable, I think, but more than that, she’s realistic. Wicked Nurse Amy was a lot of fun, too, while she lasted.

8) Oliver


He is kind of fun, and he is able to deliver exposition without it seeming clumsy. Plus he contributes just enough to the story, I think. His role in the escape from fake CLOCKWORKS is nicely coordinated. I do think he’s a bit of a ham, though. But Jemaine Clement!

7) Ptonomy


Interesting powers, sharp dresser. Has more in common with the government’s opinions of David than the others, which may not be popular but it is apt. Carrying a tommy-gun is a nice anachronism in a show full of them.

6) David


I wanted to rank David higher, really. I feel like he’s good-natured and I like his weirdness. But his impulsiveness is hard to reconcile. Maybe I just liked the other characters more. Do not take this as a knock on Dan Stevens, who really sells David’s various moods and mental states through his expressions. Dan does very good work here.

5) Syd


I think she starts out well enough and becomes stronger as the show goes on. I like her willingness to argue and to make bad decisions for the sake of her relationship. She has some very strong character moments: switching with The Eye to save her team, the uncomfortable meeting with David’s ex, and especially bargaining with Lenny near the end. Some very good line readings and her ‘power’ is handled very well.

4) Clark


The only reason Clark is this low is because he disappears for six episodes of an eight episode season. I love his approach to his work, I love that he has a stable home life, I love that he nearly dies and takes a personal grudge in finishing the job. Good dresser, too. The defeated “shit” he drops at seeing David stack up his soldiers is a great line reading. Basically, he has enough personality for an entire division of square government spooks.

3) Kerry


I love her balance between codependency with Cary and tightly wound aggression. “My turn” is one of the better lines in this season. Her keeping tabs on Clark is a perfect use of the character. Her fear at being abandoned in fake CLOCKWORKS and pursued by The Eye is painfully realistic, as being upset about it afterwards. Maintaining that consistency is good characterization. And she goes into the climactic showdown at David’s house with a spike bat! I think she’s great.

2) Cary


Cary is probably the least cool of anyone on the show, and I love him for it. Basically he is a huge nerd without openly being obnoxious like a huge nerd most of the time. He’s extremely practical and calm in the face of all kinds of chaos. I give him a little more credit than Kerry for making their relationship work, if only because it would be easy for his character to come across as needy or creepy. I love his science-based approach to things in a world full of scientific anomalies.



Like there is any question. Basically the opposite of Cary, and the unhinged weirdness that defines so much of the show. Could be overrated due to my love of April Ludgate, but I doubt it. When Lenny is revealed for her true self, I think the show takes off, and Aubrey Plaza is dynamite in these moments. The victory dance, the ant/fungus speech to David – these are phenomenal. And Lenny becoming desperate near the end is great stuff. The rest of the characters are appetizers, even very good main courses. But Lenny is the indulgent dessert that this show needs.