In case you went to sleep early Saturday night and then slept through all of Sunday, you might have missed the Hiro Murai directed video for Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.” In the video Gambino (the alias of actor Donald Glover), dances and smiles his way through the song while chaos reigns in the background. Which is, you know, the point. But what you might not know is that Murai also directed the best dance sequence from the first season of Legion!
Murai worked pretty heavily in music videos (and was a frequent collaborator of Childish Gambino), until he transitioned into TV with Legion “Chapter 6“. In the episode, David Haller (Dan Stevens) has been sent back to Clockworks, the mental asylum we first met him in, in “Chapter 1“. Except he hasn’t really been sent there… His arch-enemy The Shadow King, in the guise of Lenny Busker (Aubrey Plaza) is trying to gain access to all aspects of his mind and body.
Halfway through the episode, Lenny/Shadow King cuts loose, and dances through all the “rooms” in David’s mind — now that she has the run of the place. It’s a stand-out sequence not just because Plaza kills it; but because it completely upended what Legion could be. Yes, there was a dance scene in the premiere… But this scene let the show loose, just like Lenny.
Since then, Hiro Murai has gone on to direct a few other TV shows. For FX, he took on an episode of Snowfall, and 13 episodes of Atlanta with Glover. He directed an Amazon Original, Sea Oak. And most recently he directed two episodes of Barry on HBO.
Fingers crossed he comes back to Legion some time soon. Until then, you can watch “This is America” and Lenny’s dance scene, over, and over, and over, and over…
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