Legions Season Finale Was Almost Uncharacteristically Normal

first_imgHow 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.last_img read more

Farmed and Dangerous Chipotles Weird Propaganda Web Series

first_img Finally, KFC Makes A Colonel Sanders Dating GameKFC Tests Plant-Based Beyond Fried Chicken in Atlanta Streaming online videos services like Netflix and Hulu and Amazon developing their own original shows is the new normal. Arguably, shows like Transparent and Orange is the New Black are artistically superior to what you can watch on network channels.However, what isn’t normal, at least not yet, is a brand creating a dramatic web show on one of these platforms to advance its agenda. But that’s exactly what everyone’s favorite Mexicanish fast food restaurant Chipotle did with 2014’s Farmed and Dangerous on Hulu.Take a look!Farmed and Dangerous is a four-episode show about an evil company called Animoil that wants to efficiently pump questionable chemicals directly into farm animals instead of letting them eat real food. You see, it’s all about the dangers of factory farms that other restaurants rely on.Legitimately celebrated actor Ray Wise (also appeared in the Tim and Eric movie around this time) plays the devilish PR rep using slick lies to convince the world that these dangerous agricultural practices are actually healthy, a moral mandate even. The only person who can save the world from exploding cows and eight-winged chicken is humble free-range cattle farmer Chip(otle) Randell and his Real Food.I’m not saying that Farmed and Dangerous is Triumph of the Will-level dangerous propaganda, but it is maybe one of the more ambitious and insidious examples of that hot new marketing trend Sponsored Content. If you’re fortunately unfamiliar with the concept, Sponsored Content (or Native Advertising) is content designed to look like original articles and videos but is actually a commercial.Sponsored Content is a thoroughly researched story on spicy chicken paid for by KFC. It’s lists about NYC’s girls sponsored by HBO’s Girls. And it’s a web show about the evils of factory farming produced by a restaurant that proudly advertises its ethical food sourcing for its decent tacos and burritos. It’s no secret that Chipotle is behind the show, but since the restaurant plays little if any role in the plot, if you weren’t paying attention you could think this is just some weird web miniseries that encourages you to support the farms Chipotle happens to also support.Warning consumers about the real dangers of artificial ingredients is certainly a noble goal (although Chipotle’s staunch refusal of GMO ingredients may have played a part in its recent, stock-killing viral epidemics). But my problem with Farmed and Dangerous is my problem with basically all of Sponsored Content. It’s designed for brands to creatively deceive users who either have ad blockers or are just smart enough to ignore more obvious ads into looking at the advertisement, which is as gross as it sounds. The only thing grosser is the oozing David Lynch nightmare imagery Farmed and Dangerous uses to further demonize its targets, which again probably deserve to be demonized.Sponsored Content lurks inside of honest editorial working against the audience’s own interests. As John Oliver explains, it’s the result of the wall between business and news independence/integrity eroding because folks can’t be bothered to pay for media. It’s like using colorful mascots to sneakily sell slop to children but for adults. At least I know Mac Tonight is a burger shill, unlike the very memorable Chip Randell.“I hope Farmed and Dangerous inspires other brands to stand for something,” the makers of Farmed and Dangerous finally breaking my will.This wasn’t even the first time Chipotle pulled a stunt like this. In 2013 the chain aired a lovingly animated short film (and subsequent mobile app) called The Scarecrow about evil farms set to a haunting Fiona Apple cover of “Pure Imagination.” Frank Ocean was originally involved until Chipotle refused to remove its branding from the “humanitarian” ad.The Chipotle cinematic universe is even interconnected since Ray Wise’s Farmed and Dangerous character Buck Marshall dismisses the video’s message.Farmed and Dangerous aired three years ago but currently there don’t seem to be any ways to watch it. It’s no longer on Hulu, and the website just links back to Chipotle. After all, these days the company does have more things to worry about than paying someone pretending to be Ray Wise to spout the company line on Twitter.I just wanted to document the show’s existence for weird internet/advertising historical purposes, so we don’t all trick ourselves into thinking this was another Street Sharks fever dream lie. Yes, it’s true, Chipotle really did make a propaganda web show. Stay on targetlast_img read more

The Ultimate Super Smash Bros Character Guide Donkey Kong

first_imgWho 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 targetcenter_img 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.last_img read more