How do you end a story like Legion‘s first season? Over the last eight weeks, we’ve been treated to a surreal, expectations-defying head-trip of a show. Legion has opened up new ideas about what a Marvel superhero show can be. It’s been unafraid to confuse and overwhelm its audience to put us in David Haller’s shoes. Now that David’s more in control, it starts to feel more like what we all assumed an X-Men TV series would be. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Legion‘s season finale was still an exciting and satisfying conclusion. It just didn’t reach the highs of the episodes leading up to it.The finale at least opened in a surprising and refreshing way. Remember Clark, the Division 3 interrogator from the first episode? We get to see what happened after he got caught up in the explosion. He spent some time in the hospital with nearly half of his body covered in burns. We see his husband and their adopted son try to comfort him. He may have seemed like a soulless government villain in the pilot, but Legion went out of its way to show us that he had a life and a family that cares about him. Allowing us to empathize with an antagonist, no matter how minor, is a rare, interesting move for a superhero show.We see Clark insist on going back into the field, which leads us to the end of last week’s episode. The Division 3 soldiers have stormed Summerland, with Clark ordering them to kill everyone but David. But there was nothing to worry about. David is more in control of his mind than he’s ever been. With a flick of his fingers, all the soldiers are knocked into a pile. This sequence wouldn’t be out of place in any other comic adaptation, but it signals a noticeable change in tone for Legion.Hamish Linklater as The Interrogator (Photo via FX)Clark and the SummerLand team spend a decent portion of the episode talking out their differences. It’s more interesting than it sounds. Melanie suggests that it’s time for the human race to evolve, meaning Clark and his cohorts had better accept that mutants exist. Over the course of the episode, Clark appears to begin to understand. He sees what the Shadow King is doing to David and realizes, at least for now, that they should all be working together. Whether the rest of Division 3 sees that is another story.It soon becomes clear that it’s time for the Shadow King to come out. There’s one problem. Because Syd was in David’s body for a time, the Shadow King can communicate with her. He knows what the Summerland team is planning to do. Appearing in Syd’s mind as a decaying Lenny, the Shadow King threatens to destroy David mind if they try to force him/her out. The threat comes with a stomach-churning metaphor about trying to unmake soup. The only way David survives Lenny’s departure is if Syd helps him/her escape unscathed.The team straps David down in Cary’s lab, and the treatment begins. For a while, it seems to be working. We see David relive all his memories from early childhood to Clockworks. Lenny is slowly removed from each image. It’s not long before the Shadow King starts to fight back. Surrounded by images of himself as a baby, David tries to talk to the zombified Lenny. It’s a testament to what a strange, fun ride this series has been that a sequence like this can feel like a step closer to normal superhero fare.Bill Irwin as Cary Loudermilk, Rachel Keller as Syd Barrett, Jeremie Harris as Ptonomy Wallace, Dan Stevens as David Haller. (Photo via FX)As Lenny begins to fight the extraction, hurting David in the process, Syd decides she has to save him. She runs into the room and kisses him, which transfers the Shadow King into her body. Kerry runs in behind her, and with a touch of Syd’s hand, the Shadow King is now in her body. Apparently satisfied with Kerry’s abilities, he stays in her body, attacking Cary and knocking him to the ground. Ptonomy comes in firing his tommy gun, in the dumbest, most nonsensical moment of the entire episode. Sure, I guess a gun firing wildly into the air adds some tension, but there was no reason for it. No one gets hit, and it isn’t even clear what he was trying to accomplish. It’s just a stupid, pointless sequence that is thankfully over as soon as it starts.After psychically knocking Melanie to the floor, the possessed Kerry meets David in the hallway. The two charge at each other, psychic energy building around them. It almost looks more like a live-action Dragonball Z scene than anything X-Men related. They collide, and the blast sends them both flying backward. It also knocks the Shadow King out of Kerry’s body. David and Kerry make sure everyone is OK, which they all are. Except for one person. Oliver is unaccounted for. It doesn’t take long to figure out that the Shadow King hopped into Oliver’s mind and escaped. Just before the end credits, we see Oliver driving away from Summerland in a left-hand drive car. He’s alone until the camera pans past the windshield and looks into the passenger window. There’s Lenny. It appears Aubrey Plaza and Jemaine Clement will be co-villains for season two.Jemaine Clement as Oliver and Aubrey Plaza as Lenny. (Photo: Screenshot via FX)Or maybe not. Like every Marvel superhero adaptation, Legion ends with a post-credits scene. As David and Syd stand together on a deck, a strange ball floats up to them. They don’t have long to wonder what it is before it scans David and traps him inside. Noah Hawley just had to mess with our minds one last time, didn’t he? I guess we’ll have to wait until next year before we find out just what the hell that was.After all the big reveals in last week’s episode, it makes sense that this show would be dedicated to battling the Shadow King. I was just hoping the final showdown between David and Farouk would look more like the rest of the season has. Instead, it looked like a superhero battle. Not the same, but not altogether too different from what other TV shows and movies have given us. Again, that’s not to say the finale was bad. Even when Legion gives us straightforward superhero TV, it’s some of the best, most visually engrossing superhero action out there. That’s just not the reason I fell in love with this show. And hey, I have no idea what a “better” conclusion would be, or if one was even possible. Endings are hard. Especially for a show like Legion.
There are far too many places in Japan to get delightful treats. I’m writing about a new treat every week, it seems, and I never actually get to taste them. I’m back again with another set of adorable sweets from Ginza Cozy Corner Bakery near Ueno Park in Japan, where there’s a whole cavalcade of adorable critters that look good enough to eat. And you could if you were anywhere near them.First up, the Cozy Panda-san Cake is a sponge base cake with strawberry cream in the middle as well as raspberry jam and white chocolate. The Cozy Usagi-san Cake is a sponge base with strawberry cream and even more strawberry flavor on the outside, and it’s also pink! Then there’s Cozy Lion-san Cake, with banana white chocolate mousse, as well as strawberry cream and chocolate buttons.The Cozy Kuma-san Cake is sponge cake and strawberry cream with chocolate mousse. The Cozy Wani-san eclair looks like a crocodile! It has custard and cream and Uji Matcha tea flavoring on top. Last but not least, the Swans are made with custard and cream as well as pink sugar, cocoa, and white sugar. What a smorgasbord of delicious treats!If you’re into tasting adorable and sweet cupcakes and cakes, you’ll need to make sure you hurry on down to this bakery if you’re ever in the neighborhood. There’s too much awesome to go around!View as: One Page Slides1. 2. 3. 4.
Who Are They?Mario’s original nemesis, this stubborn ape and the 1981 arcade game named after him helped usher in Nintendo as one of gaming’s biggest players. He’s also a gorilla wearing a tie with his own initials on it, which is just magnificent. But while his history with Mario is certainly significant, Donkey Kong really struck out on his own in the acclaimed Donkey Kong Country series on the Super Nintendo.Smash HistoryWith no Bowser or Ganondorf in the original Smash 64, Donkey Kong is the closest thing the first entry has to a villain. He’s also the game’s first attempt at a heavyweight character. Donkey Kong barrels over opponents with beefy physical strikes like wind-up punches, hand slaps, and knocking out fools with his head. But as later entries added more heavy characters, Donkey Kong received the surprisingly agile animal grace that also defines his platforming series as a way to stand out.What Looks New in Ultimate?Aesthetically, DK’s fur looks worse but his eyes bug out more so it’s kind of a wash there. He has a new Final Smash: a flurry of punches from Donkey Kong Jungle Beat which is a game that needs all the attention it can get. From the competitive side, consensus seems to be he’s better overall but his trademark cargo throw, aerial headbutt “ding-dong” combo isn’t as a potent. And since the recent Donkey Kong Country games, while excellent, represented a return to form, it’s not like there’s anything new for this DK to draw from when it comes to movesets.Our Hopes?Donkey Kong is just so outstanding in general. He’s far and away the funniest Nintendo character. And his general hard-hitting playstyle is just entertaining enough to me as a fan of the character overall. But DK’s platformers have this flowing sense of momentum to complement all the weightiness. It would be nice if Donkey Kong’s Smash Bros. feel could replicate this somehow.Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases Dec. 7 for Nintendo Switch. Until we can play more for ourselves, changes we talk about here are mostly speculation. For more thoughts check out our Smash hands-on as well as cool Switch games to play that aren’t Smash Bros., because those definitely exist.View as: One Page Slides1/761. Read Mario’s Guide2. Read Donkey Kong’s Guide3. Read Link’s Guide4. Read Samus’s Guide5. Read Dark Samus’s Guide6. Read Yoshi’s Guide7. Read Kirby’s Guide8. Read Fox’s Guide9. Read Pikachu’s Guide10. Read Luigi’s Guide11. Read Ness’s Guide12. Read Captain Falcon’s Guide13. Read Jigglypuff’s Guide14. Read Peach’s Guide15. Read Daisy’s Guide16. Read Bowser’s Guide17. Read Ice Climbers’ Guide18. Read Sheik’s Guide19. Read Zelda’s Guide20. Read Dr. Mario’s Guide21. Read Pichu’s Guide22. Read Falco’s Guide23. Read Marth’s Guide24. Read Lucina’s Guide25. Read Young Link’s Guide26. Read Ganondorf’s Guide27. Read Mewtwo’s Guide28. Read Roy’s Guide29. Read Chrom’s Guide30. Read Mr. Game and Watch’s Guide31. Read Meta Knight’s Guide32. Read Pit’s Guide33. Read Dark Pit’s Guide34. Read Zero Suit Samus’s Guide35. Read Wario’s Guide36. Read Snake’s Guide37. Read Ike’s Guide38. Read Pokemon Trainer’s Guide39. Read Diddy Kong’s Guide40. Read Lucas’s Guide41. Read Sonic’s Guide42. Read King Dedede’s Guide43. Read Olimar’s Guide44. Read Lucario’s Guide45. Read R.O.B.’s Guide46. Read Toon Link’s Guide47. Read Wolf’s Guide48. Read Villager’s Guide49. Read Mega Man’s Guide50. Read Wii Fit Trainer’s Guide51. Read Rosalina and Luma’s Guide52. Read Little Mac’s Guide53. Read Greninja’s Guide54. Read Mii Fighters’ Guide55. Read Palutena’s Guide56. Read Pac-Man’s Guide57. Read Robin’s Guide58. Read Shulk’s Guide59. Read Bowser Jr.’s Guide60. Read Duck Hunt’s Guide61. Read Ryu’s Guide62. Read Cloud’s Guide63. Read Corrin’s Guide64. Read Bayonetta’s Guide65. Read Inkling’s Guide66. Read Ridley’s Guide67. Read Simon’s Guide68. Read Richter’s Guide69. Read King K. Rool’s Guide70. Read Isabelle’s Guide71. Read Ken’s Guide72. Read Incineroar’s Guide73. Read Piranha Plant’s Guide74. Read Joker’s Guide75. Read Hero’s Guide76. Read Banjo and Kazooie’s Guide ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President‘Undertale’s’ Sans Is Basically a Brand New ‘Sma… Stay on target Donkey Kong Beats Down!Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is huge. Not just in terms of hype and importance and sales potential, but just in terms of sheer stuff. The Nintendo Switch mascot fighter features over a hundred stages, nearly a thousand songs, and too many Pokemon and items and Assist Trophies to think of crammed onto a cartridge you can plan on the go or on a TV. When you have as many big franchises as Nintendo, putting them all in one game will make that game is very big boy indeed.But the biggest, most exciting thing about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is its mind-blowing, heartwarming roster of playable characters. Fighting games pride themselves not just on the strength of their mechanics but the strength of its fighters, especially in a crossover fighters like this. And Super Smash Bros. Ultimate crushes all rivals by including every single playable character from the across the four previous games in the twenty-year-old series. Include the new combatants and so far we have over 70 fighters to wrap our heads around. We’re excited, but we’re also intimidated. So to get ready for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, every day, character by character, we’re creating the ultimate guide to all of its characters. Today’s fighter: Donkey Kong.