TNT's Legends: Do You Spy a Hit?

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Martin Odum doesn’t just go undercover in TNT’s Legends, which premiered Wednesday night – he becomes his covers, burying himself in the fabricated backstories and character quirks that come with the job.

However when Odum (played by Game of Thrones‘ Sean Bean) returns home after a months-long deep-cover assignment, a mysterious stranger tells him that what he presumes is his true identity is just an elaborate “legend” as well. Unfortunately, Odum can’t dispel that accusation since he’s beginning to unconsciously slip in and out of the many personae he’s created over the years.

But that’s not all that happened in the series premiere. Before you tell us what you thought about Legends, let’s recap:

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THE TALENTED MR. ODUM | FBI boss Yates (The Practice‘s Steve Harris) and Odum’s new partner Crystal (Heroes‘ Ali Larter) argue about letting the veteran agent work another case. When Crystal cites three shrinks who found him unfit for duty, Yates focuses on the fourth, who hailed Odum as “the most naturally gifted operative” they’ve got. (Sounds like he’s a glass quarter-full kind of guy). Having lost the battle, Crystal introduces Odum to one of the techs they’ll be working with, Maggie (Veronica Mars‘ Tina Majorino), who quickly notes their similar military brat childhoods as an explanation for Bean’s lack of American accent. (Well-played, TNT.)

THE STING | The secretive “founding father” (Zeljko Ivanek, of course) of the Citizens Army of Virginia wants to meet Lincoln Dittman, one of Odum’s “legends.” When Odum’s asset is late to the meet-up, Crystal is forced to go undercover as a stripper so she and her partner can figure out a new game plan. Their covers are nearly blown, before Odum does “what he does best,” spinning a backstory that the tech team works to verify with each word. Later ,as the “founding father” outlines his big, bad, bomb-filled plan, one of his men picks up Crystal on his radio frequency — this time, Odum’s cover really is blown. As FBI agents swarm the hideout, Odum faces off against the “founding father” and the detonator he’s holding. He quickly disarms the man, having figured out that much like other villains, he’s too scared to actually die for his cause. (And so, Sean Bean doesn’t die. Huzzah! Yet.)

DEEP COAT | Odum has Bobby — the team’s other tech — investigate security footage of the hooded mystery man who contacted him, so he can figure out the guy’s identity. Alas, Bobby winds up dead for his efforts. Odum nonetheless makes contact with the man, agreeing to meet him at the train station. But just as he gets there, the stranger is stabbed in the gut and left for dead. As Odum demands answers, the dying man tells him to take a book out of his pocket. Odum does so, before hopping on the first departing train.

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No doubt Odum’s quest for his “true” identity will become central to the series as Legends goes on, slowly affecting everyone around him. And with Bean heading a cast full of familiar faces, not to mention the weekly procedural element, the show offers an entertaining summer viewing option.

That’s what we think, but what’s your take? Grade Legends via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice.

Follow Nivea Serrao on Twitter.

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21 Comments
  1. Tran says:

    Already saw the pilot On Demand and it really got me hooked. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out. I give it an A.

  2. jar says:

    I’m on the fence. I love the cast, I’m a huge fan of the Bourne movies and that genre in general but the pilot didn’t really work for me. I’ll give it another shot next week. I don’t know why, but I’m calling Tina Majorino as Sean Bean’s daughter

  3. BetsyBoo says:

    I’m with jar — I LOVE this genre (Bourne, Homeland, 24, Baldacci, etc.) and was so looking forward to this. I think I might have enjoyed this more had most of it not been in the dark with whispery dialogue (says the old lady who can’t see). I’m intrigued enough to watch for the rest of the summer, but sadly, this prob would not make my broadcast season must-see list. (Snaps for Tina M – she is a delight!) (And I anticipated not being able to believe Ali as an agent, but she acquitted herself well.)

  4. Jenna says:

    I’m hooked. Lots of intrigue and a great cast.

  5. Coal says:

    Watching the 1st episode on Demand, then having to wait an age to see the second episode is becoming annoying. Now I feel like I’ve been waiting for months for the 2nd episode ( Outlander too). About the show, I liked it. Looking forward to see how it progresses.

  6. TinLV says:

    Cool show…its like 24 meets Bourne Identity..great spy stuff…action, intrigue, mystery.. I really liked it and I just. love Sean Bean.. since he is the main character, maybe he’ll get to live this time..

  7. Alichat says:

    I’m actually kinda bummed the Pitch Pefect guy (Bobby) was killed. Although if it was a choice between him and Tina Majorino, it’s Mac all the way! I wasn’t overly impressed with the show. It just didn’t gel….just didn’t click. Maybe it’s because they tried to introduce too much stuff in the episode? Perhaps they should have established what a great agent Martin is, have one small moment of him zipping between Lincoln and Martin personas, then have the stranger dude show up at the end. In the second ep, address the family, the handler/bed buddy (Crystal is his handler not his partner), and kill Bobby. I may give it another viewing or two since most shows need a few eps to get the bumps out, but if it’s about the same, I won’t stay with it.

  8. James D says:

    Loved It. They made a wise decision casting Sean Bean this sort of role is tricky to play and you need a very versitile actor to play it, which Sean Bean is in sades, let’s just hope he can make it out of this one alive :) on a side note I hope the writers are smart enough to use the terminology correct. Covers are very different from Legends lets hope they know it and don’t mix the two.

  9. CBWBDK1 says:

    Great new show!

  10. Bark Star says:

    A very generic and almost formulaic show, only elevated by a great cast, chief among them Sean Bean. This is TV fast food for the masses. Wich is why It will be a success.

  11. JuliaJ. says:

    I wasn’t impressed with the pilot. I do like Sean Bean and Tina Majorino, but Ali Larter/Crystal wasn’t believable to me. I will give it another episode or two before I will decide if it’s worth my time.

  12. Dean says:

    I’ll give it two more episodes but so far liked it. It reminds me a bit like Intelligence without all the techno lingo which is probably why it works its old school old fashion spy espionage drama with great writing which is more than I can say for the former.

  13. Laurie says:

    Thought the production was above average, Sean Bean is one hell of an actor, loved Tina M, but I’n not going to be watching. Almost EVERY new show is obsessed with having a MYSTERIOUS BACK STORY that MUST be solved because the main character’s life is IN DANGER if it isn’t or there are MYSTERIOUS FORCES at play, yada, yada, yada. Frankly, I’m getting tired of having to keep notebooks on each such show so I can remember who’s who and what has been done to them or what they’ve done to/for others. Too. Damn. Much. Like. Work.

  14. Kvivik says:

    I REALLY wanted to like this show. As I’m watching the first part, Sean Bean is hooking me in. Then they brought in the other ‘main’ characters and I suddenly lost all interest in it. Most of the acting done by the ‘team’ of good guys seemed like nails screeching on a chalkboard. It totally killed my interest.
    I watched the full episode, and I agree with Laurie, I’m tired of shows with ‘mythologies’. Especially when you know that they are going to be dangled with no resolution in sight.
    I am going to give this show my usual 3 episode trial as pilots aren’t usually the best episodes to judge a whole series by. But I’m very disappointed as I was looking forward to this show since I heard about it in the spring.
    Oh, and Sean Bean gets to use his real accent as Martin, it’s AWESOME!

  15. Denise says:

    I think I’ll give it a few more episodes as well – I’m on the fence. Being from Chicago, I couldn’t help but cringe when they were driving in a scene along a major road with a sign indicating 5th Ave (this doesn’t exist in Chicago). It was clearly downtown LA. Also, Sean Bean’s character was supposed to be going to the train station in LA but was driving a car with an IL license plate. Just seems like sloppy work. I also think Ali Larter is really bad in her role.

  16. kirads09 says:

    I thought the pilot was exceptional. A few Bourne Identity feels. Love Sean Bean, love the cast. Yep, I think it will be a hit.

  17. Virgil says:

    I would’ve liked the show, if it weren’t yet another OBVIOUS use of propaganda. Just like every show on TV, they love the domestic terrorist angle complete with talk of freedom, liberty (founding father anyone), dont tread on me flags in the background, etc. Which annoys me to death because in the REAL WORLD the groups on which these ideas are based have the lowest statistical crime rate of any group in the entire country, including police. I’m so tired of the constant use of pushing this completely fabricated and BS agenda through entertainment. These things aren’t happening, won’t happen, and are a disgrace to the US as a whole. To take peaceful freedom loving people (who I might add have been CORRECT about everything that’s happened the past 15 years) look like crazies who want to blow everything up is not only completely far fetched and ludicrous, it’s quite insulting to the people who are just trying to prevent this country from going off a cliff in a peaceful and non-violent manner. But I guess that’s why they use TV to push these ideas. The most mentally weak people will be exposed to it over and over again until they delude themselves into accepting it as reality.

    • Andrew Mckim says:

      @Virgil
      Spot on analysis. Total psy-op in an attempt to brainwash the American people to be fearful of Libertarians, gun-owners, returning vets. False-flag narratives sold to the American people to get them to give away their constitutional rights in the name of so-called “freedom.” The real villains need to be exposed. We need to ask better questions: Who (exactly) is forcing these scripts to be adopted in Hollywood for the sole purpose of conditioning us to accept a dystopic future run by psychopathic technocrats, with the end game being nothing less than the total enslaving of mankind forever.

    • John Adams says:

      I came to this website to write the same exact comment as you. Thank you for renewing my faith in humanity somewhat in that there are at least some individuals that can see propaganda for what it is. Great job!

    • I turned this off when the boss suggested that bombing an IMF economic cooperation summit would turn this recession into a depression. Say what? Every theme in this show is geared around how centralized control (political and economic) is the savior of mankind and its operators are performing a vocation who’s only interest is in furthering God’s work. This show is meant as a brainwash update patch for the simple-minded.

  18. Under Duress says:

    propaganda is so thick – couldn’t watch 5 minutes.

    Dumb Backwoods hillbillies – trained, armed, and willing to die for their cause. This story is so played out.

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