When TNT started promoting Legends last summer I got excited thinking that it could very well could be a Taken prequil where we learn just exactly how Liam Neeson got his particular set of skill but with Ned Stark playing the main role. When it actually premiere it ended up being a mediocre show where Ned would go deep undercover yet still manage to solve the case in one to three episode despite real deep cover operations taking months to years. Basically it was just a slightly grittier version of what you would expect from a CBS procedural.
At the end of the first season, one of Stark's alias, Martin Odum was set up for killing the head of the FBI. If this was a CBS procedural we could expect Martin to clear his name by the second episode and back going undercover by episode three. But apparently TNT and the producers found the first season as lackluster as I did because season two because the are switching things up. And by switching things up, I mean they are gong the hard reboot route like I do not remember any series before doing
Going into season two, the season has jettisoned the entire cast besides Ned Stark as he who is now on the run in England. Morris Chestnut does show up in the first the very least in the first three episodes but is now listed as "Very Special Guest Star." Now season two looks much less CBS procedural and more cable international spy show like Homeland and The Americans but with many more title cards. There is an infinite increase of title cards because this will flip between current day London, 2001 Prauge when Martin had taken on a Legend of a ruthless Russian drug lord, and even goes all the way back to 1975 to visit a young Martin in school. By the third episode things move to France while we even get another character's flashback in Lithuania.
The modern day England plot follows Martin as he avoids both international and local police but I find the modern day and flashback scenes in Prague much more interesting. Fourteen years ago FBI agent Curtis Ballard was investigating a murder and Dmitry Petrovich (Odum's alias) was on the top of the list. Clearly the case effected him and has left him less of a man, in more ways than one, ever since. After seeing Odum's picture splashed across the present Ballard heads back to the city to figure out how this ruthless Russian mobster he chased a decade and a half ago turned out to be one of his colleagues.
Of course Martin's time in England has ties to this case to as he runs into a woman from his Petrovich past with a teenage daughter (once you do the math in your head it is easy to make an assumption; you will learn if the assumption is true or not by episode two) who just learned her mother is Chechen and decides to practice the faith of her ancestors.
I mentioned that I do not remember any television doing such a hard reboot as Legends is doing for its second season. This is probably because you run the risk of alienating your main audience and those that did not like the original concept will be extremely hesitant to give it a second chance. But I do appreciate TNT and the show taking a risk because the show is significantly better if you give it a chance. And TNT seems to be behind the show, releasing the premiere On Demand and other steaming outlets last week and have also announce that the second episode will be put up On Demand tomorrow morning after the first episode airs. And for fans of binge watching TNT has also already announced that they will stack the entire season of Legends, meaning episodes will remain available on demand throughout the entire season.
Legends airs Mondays at 10:00 on TNT. You can download episodes of Legends on iTunes.