Legit, Season 1, Episode 4: “Anger”
Written by Peter O’Fallon, Jim Jefferies, and Rick Cleveland
Directed by Peter O’Fallon
Airs Thursdays at 10:30pm (ET) on FX
Through its short run, Legit hasn’t separated Jim, Steve, and Billy for long periods of time, focusing instead on building the relationship between the three. The opening minutes of the pilot, however, are a notable exception, indicating how poorly Jim fits into larger society, and how his interactions go awry even with a friend present. This episode dives back into that well, putting Jim and Steve on a flight with each other, and taking a closer look at Billy’s relationship with his mother, and manages to extract a well of laughs from both storylines, working as an excellent re-entry point into the series while opening the first real hints of serialisation.
Watching Jim in public, first on the date, then on the airplane, was very interesting. Putting Jim and Steve on the plane allowed for a longer exposure of Jim to the public, and the public to Jim, and the show takes full advantage of that, displaying varying reactions from passengers and the flight attendant as the flight goes on. Jefferies and Bakkedahl both work excellently in these scenes, with the former once again walking right up to the line of abrasiveness without falling over into unlikability. It’s very telling that Jim’s first ally on the plane is a child, as that is possibly the best insight into his nature that could have been provided prior to Jim’s outburst.
Watching Billy, independent of Jim for the first time in the show’s run, was also illuminating. Billy hasn’t spent much time with his mother outside of the presence of others, and seeing how the two interact helps provide a lot if insight into Billy’s desire to be independent and grown up. Watching how Janice and Billy both interact with the prospective nurses also aided in this insight, while proving hilarious on its own. It was also nice to see Ramona return after her brief stint last week, and regardless of whether the mother or the son gets their way as a result of the final interaction between the two, it is bound to have an effect on all the main relationships going forward.
Overall, this was another solid episode. While there was no real forward progression story-wise, this episode clearly proves the show can bring the laughs whenever needed, potentially nipping the criticism of a show advertised as a comedy not being funny in the bud. The cuts between Steve and Billy’s complaints, as well as their banter at the beginning of the episode, is the strongest indication of brotherly bond the two have shown to date. The schoolyard fight feel of the airplane altercation was a nice, subtle touch, and the show’s willingness to both call Jim out on his behaviour, yet not have him immediately change as a result, makes for a very interesting character study. Whether Janice manages to impose a live-in nurse on Billy, and what kinds of issues the trio tackle once Jim returns from Omaha, are worth tuning in for next week.
– Deepayan Sengupta