Sean Bean: Legends Season Two is a One Man Show

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So Sean Bean has returned as Martin Odum, John Cameron, Dimitry Petrovich, et al. Legends, on TNT in season two is a one man show.  Gone is Ali Larter and the rest of the FBI team and all that remains is Tony Rice (Morris Chestnut) who is, according to press releases a “recurring” presence.

The show premieres officially on November 2, with The Legend of Dimitry Petrovich. The season opener sports a voice over by Bean where he brings viewers up to speed on what is going on in his fractured world.  The action this time around takes place outside the borders of the US and begin in London, for “present day” Odum.

The episode starts in Prague, 2001. Where Odum is portraying Petrovich, a particularly nasty bit of work who has blown into town and already inserted himself into the local mob family.

In present day London Martin has a one night stand  and meets the young lady’s former lover, a bent copper,  who tries arrest Odum as he leaves the woman’s flat.

He resists arrest and does so in front of a CCTV camera and as a result enters the law enforcement system as a bolo. Now “Odum” has to avoid the police while trying to remember who he is out of all the legends he has lived.

The season two premiere does a considerable amount of jumping back and forth, not just in time but locations change as well. Prague, London and an boarding school called The Sedley School where a young Odum reveals he  may have a photographic memory.

It is investing to note that Bean’s adult Martin sports a rather calmed down Yorkshire accent even though, according to the flashback, his younger self did not. Since most boarding schools in England require quite  a bit of money to attend, it can be taken for granted that the youngster came from money.

Ergo, the accent would have been that of English toff versus Yorkshire “bit of rough.” That said,  with Odum’s background and the amount of Legends that the character has gone through, it is not surprising that his adult accent has changed.

Taking away the expository scene set in the boarding school, which shows not only a remarkable memory, but a rebellious streak, “David  Bowie the First,” leaves the jumps between Prague and London.  FBI agent Ballard features in scenes that take place in both America (Washington DC) and Prague and the man has definite issues with Matin Odum, aka Dimitry Petrovich who must have been responsible for removing a limb from the agent in Prague.

In terms of moving the story forward, it makes a huge amount of sense for Odum to head to Europe and England.  Placing season two in a more global setting and moving away from the US also gives the series a better chance at longevity.

Legends continues to entertain, the scene set at the posh boarding school (which could conceivably not be a boarding school, but as it appears to be a boys only establishment the odds are it is) where the headmaster/history instructor asks “who am I” is an excellent nod to the adult Odum’s predicament.

Bean’s character still has no idea who is he or what his origins are. Just as last season, he is a tortured and lost individual.  The scene where Odum meets with Graves, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, and for the merest moment thinks he is the old man’s son, is revealing and touching. These are the scenes that reveal a vulnerability that is a clear juxtaposition to the man’s violent expertise and ability to totally  immerse himself into another person’s life.

Harking back to the school scene once more, it is this astonishing feat of memory that obviously allows Odum to easily and automatically assume new legends as required.  With total and absolute recall, the lie must become real, so much so that the real man was lost long ago.

Herein lies the allure of the series and despite the loss of all those familiar faces from season one,  Sean Bean’s character in Legends is complex enough, and the actor talented enough, that the show should continue to do well.

Season two begins properly on November 2 but can be seen early via TNT’s online site.  Tune in and see this Sheffield born actor go through his paces as Martin Odum yet again.

 

Legends and Sean Bean Are Back on TNT

MORRIS CHESTNUT AND SEAN BEAN LEGENDS
Legends and Sean Bean are back on TNT. The second season begins on November 2 on the network. However, there have been some changes with the show that viewers became addicted to in 2014. The cast roster has been completely turned on its head with a lot of familiar faces now gone. In fact the only other character, and the actor playing him, from season one to return is Tony Rice (played by Morris Chestnut).

10 episodes will continue the story of Bean’s covert operator who learned in season one that his entire life was just another legend. While “Martin Odum” will continue his search for identity, his compadres have changed. Gone are Ali Larter, Tina Majorino and new actors, Ralph Brown (Agent Carter), Ave Zoli (Sons of Anarchy), Steve Kazee (Shameless), Aisling Franciosi (The Fall), Kelly Overton (True Blood) and Klara Issova (Crossing Lines) have joined the operative’s journey of discovery.

Where the first outing of Legends was land-locked in the US, with a few flashback sequences set outside the borders, the new season has been filmed across Europe. Season two opens with Odum (Bean) avoiding authorities for the murder pinned on him at the last of season one. The tortured man and agent will travel across the European continent and England searching for clues to his true identity and will discover some pretty horrific facts that he may wish he had never learned.

While Crystal McGuire has left Martin’s support network, new contact Nina Brenner (played by Kelly Overton) from the CIA and Tony Rice (Chestnut) help Odum in his global quest for the truth. These two lead him to a possible link to his past, Ilyana Crawford and her troubled daughter Kate (Klara Issova and Aisling Franciosi)

Martin learns that he has connections with a retired spook, Terrance Graves (Brown). All he learns begins to clash with his present life and the lie (legend) he has been living. Odum also finds out that he has more than one crime that someone wants to pin on him. Back in 2001 the FBI wanted to arrest him for a different offense entirely.

The older case was run by Agent Curtis Ballard (played by Steve Kazee) and the agents accomplice a Czech police officer Gabrielle Miskova (Winter Ave Zoli). Martin must learn the truth in oder to clear his name and attempt to keep his troubled past from catching up with him.

Legends is adapted from Robert Littell’s award-winning book and is produced by Fox 21. The showrunner is Star Trek: Voyager and Perception executive producer Ken Biller. Other executive producers for the second season are Howard Gordon (Homeland, 24), Homeland and Lie to Me executive producer Alexander Cary and Jonathan Levin (Charmed).

Quantico: Every One is Beautiful (Review)

PRIYANKA CHOPRA

Quantico premiered on Sunday night and ABC have added what may turn out to be great addition to their fall lineup. However, the new show has some problems, more than just the “Everyone is Beautiful” cast. There may well be a large amount of agents in the FBI who look as though they belong either on a catwalk or on the pages of a fashion magazine, but it is not likely.  While the stunningly good looks of the main cast members provides some very nice eye candy for the viewer it does not go very far toward building credibility.

Add  to this  the far-fetched plot thread of  Elder Eric Packer managing to hold on to his “live” weapon and, undergoing a guilt trip of epic proportions, shooting an innocent woman (rather than the douche who has been heckling the poor chap non-stop) and then killing himself.

While the moment is pretty impressive,  the fact that the FBI training facility at Quantico apparently rely upon an “honor” system of the trainees returning their live pistols to get back the faux red-handled weapons they are required to wear at all times is a bit dodgy at best. This “system” alone beggars belief as well as the fact that the thoroughness of the vetting process managed to miss tragic “crime.”

In essence,  Eric Packer slept with an young Malawi girl (the girl was 14) and got her pregnant. Taking the girl to an illegal abortionist, she dies. Packer manages to keep the bureau in the dark about the crime. As the director of the training program relays the details of the crime to her second in command she pins the blame on to him.

Herein lies another problem with the plot. The deputy director, Liam O’Conner relays to the director, and the audience,  the plethora of checks that should have caught the crime.  Yet moments earlier, Alex Parrish is told by the agent in charge after the Terminal Station explosion that the FBI received a tip that one of the new agents was a terrorist.  Surely all the checks, tests, background research and so on would have made this an impossible situation.

ANTHONY RUIVIVAR, PRIYANKA CHOPRA
Alex being question about the explosion.

The worse offender of the “unbelievable” plot device is the Nimah Amin “twins” thread.  The fact that, due to her religious beliefs, the agent in training has her own room does help facilitate the ruse. However,  to infer that the FBI training and vetting program is that inept must be ruffling a few real feathers in the real Bureau.

The last “nail in the show’s premiere coffin” is that  “undercover agent,” Ryan Booth (Jake McLaughlin) who has apparently been keeping an eye on Agent Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) under orders from the former deputy director who is now director of the training facility. Apparently, the two meeting on the plane was not a fortuitous event at all and has shades of Stitchers all over it.

There are too many lose ends and tangled threads in this season one opening. By the time end credits roll, we learn that Booth is dead and that Parrish is blamed for his death and the explosion.  The former director, Miranda Shaw,  helps Alex to escape custody in order to find out what is really going on.

Quantico starts off with a pilot episode that could have used a lot more time to set itself up. The implications are that none of this scenario is real and all part of the agent’s training.  Although apparently this is not the case…Who knows? What does not help is that several of the story lines fail to mesh convincingly and some scenes feel tacked on in an attempt to make the characters feel more real.

For example, Johanna Braddy’s character Shelby Wyatt commiserates with Caleb, the candidate who made the late Eric Packer’s life a misery until he killed himself. In the scene, he asks why Wyatt is being so nice to him as all he has done is treat her horribly. At no time in the pilot do we see Caleb being horrid to anyone apart from Eric.

The scene is meant to show Shelby’s compassion but feels added on to round out her character.  Perhaps the biggest clanger is the change of Chopra’s character. After having sex with Booth at the airport carpark, she shows that her mind is almost Holmes-ian in its ability to analyze clues on the spot. Yet later when she is asked to help to investigate the explosion she flounders from minute one.

While the scenario of the terrorist explosion and Parrish being the scapegoat are, apparently, meant to be “real” versus some classroom exercise, it feels disjointed and false. This is another example of a television show premiering with too little time spent on-screen setting up the audience for the verse they are presenting.

Quantico may well turn out to be a winner for ABC. Certainly the cast are attractive enough, as well as more than capable performers, but this one may take some time to find its footing.  Thus far the series feels more like a template and somewhat less than a “unique” offering. Perhaps as the series moves forward things will become clearer. The series airs Sundays on ABC.

 

Wayward Pines: Choices and Plot 33

Still showing Theresa and Bill Wayward Pines
In last week’s episode of Wayward Pines, The Truth, Ethan climbed “over the mountain” and discovered savage creatures and a city in ruins covered with vegetation. He also learned that Wayward Pines was an “ark” started by David Pilcher/Dr. Jenkins who rescued the escapee from abbies who were about to attack. In Choices Ethan learns about what the town really is and why he was chosen to become a resident and viewers learn about plot 33 and a faction who want to escape.

At the beginning of the episode, there is a flashback to a long-haired Pilcher wandering a destroyed city street and he passes burning cars and freshly dead people lying in the road. After the opening, Ethan is flown back to the control center that runs and maintains Wayward Pines and the 200 volunteers who live and work in the “complex.”

While Ethan goes to have his “abbie” wound treated, Theresa finds Ben sitting deep in thought. His newly gained knowledge as a member of the first generation is weighing heavily and speaking to his mother Ben reveals how much this has affected him. She tells him that “everything will be all right, I guess,” and heads off to work.

Ted, the home delivery man, drops off a package at the toy store run by Kate and Harold and asks about one that they want sent out. The two go into the back of the shop to Harold’s workshop. It seems that Pete had a package the three need and Kate angrily tells Ted that he should not be meeting them there. She tells the delivery man to look for the late McCall’s package at his workplace and Ted replies that it won’t be easy as Bill is always there and that new “cute” brunette is working there.

At the real estate office Henrietta is quitting because Bill “hired” Theresa as a agent instead of her. When Mrs. Burke follows her departing colleague out of the office to apologize, the woman warns her to be careful and mentions McCall and his belief that plot 33 is “a way out.” When Burke asks what plot 33 is, Henrietta hurriedly ends the conversation.

As Ethan gets his arm treated, he learns more about the doctor, including that she is Pilcher’s sister. Afterward, he comes across a captured abbie in the facility and learns more about how David set up the ark. It is revealed that Wayward Pines’ doctor is a recovering drug addict as well as Pilcher’s sister and that David is not as close to her as she is to him.

Flashbacks show his struggle to set up Wayward Pines and a couple of characters are met that play, or played, an important part in the town, the head teacher who was learning to be a hypnotherapist and now runs the school for the “first generation” and the former sheriff was a security guard for Pilcher’s company. Pilcher takes them both as volunteers and the sheriff’s first job is to kidnap a disgraced doctor for the new ark.

As Ethan learns more about Wayward Pines and its beginnings, Theresa looks up details about plot 33 and finds out that Bill is not a very nice boss at all. Kate stops by to talk to her former lover’s wife and the two go for coffee. A new inductee is being processed for the town, a Sara Barlow from Missouri, “she’s a teacher,” the doctor says proudly and Ethan wants to know “how many?”

Ted uses Kate’s diversion to grab McCall’s package and fends off Bill’s questions about Kate. Theresa is told by Kate that she wants them to all be friends and to be “closer.” David explains to Ethan why he was chosen to be a part of the new world. Pilcher also explains that he and the volunteers were put to cryogenic sleep for 2,000 years in order for the earth to regenerate.

It took Pilcher and his group two years to rebuild Wayward Pines after they woke up and that the perimeters were built to keep “things” out. Ethan reveals that he does not like how the leader of the ark runs things. Kate, it turns out, does not like life in the town either and she, along with Harold and a few others, are planning an escape.

Burke tells David that he needs to tell the people what is going on and that the public executions must stop. Pilcher agrees that the executions should cease but that he cannot tell the denizens of the ark the truth. Turns out he did once before, with Group A. Ethan, Theresa, Ben, Kate and many others are part of Group B. The first group broke under the strain of the knowledge and it resulted in an almost complete meltdown. As David says, “They emerged from Plato’s Cave and it blinded them.”

The ruins seen at the beginning of the episode were the remains of Wayward Pines after Group A self destructed and Pilcher reveals that the “new generation” are the real hope for humanity. Ethan recognizes that his son Ben is one of those meant to “enlighten” the town. David tells Burke that a new group means to take down the fence and Ethan vows to stop them without killing anyone.

Choices is all about the various choices made by those who opted to follow Pilcher and those who have decided not to. The disappearances that brought Ethan, Evans and Kate to Wayward Pines to investigate and then become a part of the town, were choices made by David to fill his new world with the right people. Somewhat disturbingly, it looks like Ben may be crumbling under the same information overload as did the members of Group A.

Matt Dillion brings a certain world weary gravitas to role of Ethan Burke now that he is not trying to escape and in Choices his character learns about what the town really is and why he was chosen to become a resident and viewers learn about plot 33 and a faction who want to escape. Toby Jones as the cold and distant savior of humanity is brilliant. The show continues to peel back further layers to each of the characters in Wayward Pines. Pilcher’s sister comes across as a bright eyed “Pollyanna” in the flashbacks, the teacher as an almost fierce zealot and the late Sheriff Pope was an ex-con and former drug addict as well.

There appears to be common denominator shared by the powers running the ark. Several were drug addicts, or mentally unstable, like the overly zealous teacher, or like Burke who suffered some sort of breakdown. Pilcher himself lacks the ability to really empathize with his fellow man and for all his posturing, it appears that David targeted people who were flawed to populate his oasis of mankind.

Wayward Pines airs Thursdays on Fox.

Legends Two Hour Season One Finale (Recap and Review)

Legends Two Hour Season One Finale (Recap and Review)

Legends with its two hour season one finale sees Martin Odum being held and beaten by the Saudi security team of Prince Fayeen. As they rough Odum up, they threaten his family, Martin responds by telling his interrogator that he is going to kill the man. In last week’s episode the prince’s men broke into his old home and took Sonya and his son. When they call Martin, his wife attacks the men and gets the worst of it. Odum tells his captors that he will give them what they want. They unwisely untie the agent who then summarily overpowers them all.