Legit, Season 1, Episode 6: “Family”
Written by Peter O’Fallon, Jim Jefferies, and Rick Cleveland
Directed by Peter O’Fallon
Airs Thursdays at 10:30pm (ET) on FX
A running theme in Legit has been how, despite the initial off-putting impression Jim Jefferies puts out, those who get to know him mostly tend to like him in some capacity, with the notable exception of Janice Nugent. To date, however, the show hasn’t really explored the path one takes towards getting to know Jefferies better and liking him, as Steve and Billy both were well-acquainted with Jim prior to the show’s beginning, and Peggy and Ramona’s acquaintance with the offstage persona of Jim Jefferies has largely happened offscreen. This episode explores what happens when Jim gradually opens up to someone, leading to a heartfelt episode that manages to still find the humour in grim circumstances.
It was great to see the character of Steve get fleshed out further. While the writers have previously put Steve’s trouble with women and fear of flying on display, not much has been known about his life outside of his relationship with Jim and Billy. Giving him an opportunity to drive part of the story, both metaphorically and literally, was a smart move that fleshes Steve out some more, adding dimensions to him outside of being Jim’s best friend. Dan Bakkedahl has performed superbly through the small run that Legit has had to date, and this episode is no exception. It will be interesting to see if the show decides to introduce his neighbour or his ex-wife at some point, and how Steve reacts to them with the knowledge he gained from the camera in the car.
Jim’s interactions with Clay were also fascinating to watch. Getting a firsthand look at how Jim talks to someone previously unknown on a one-on-one basis, rather than how he relates to people when performing, was a treat to watch. The idea of exploring how a comic gets started through Clay was an inspired idea, and whether the relationship between him and Jim takes on a larger dimension or remains confined to this episode is something worth looking out for, as the idea of Jim becoming a professional mentor on his road to legitimacy is a promising one.
Arguably the best recurring aspect of the show to date has been its ability to throw in a somewhat cynical moment at the end of every episode that still doesn’t undercut the character progress made, and this episode, with Clay blatantly stealing Jim’s joke, was no different. The moments serve a very effective purpose, in that they prevent the show from falling into saccharine territory, and ground the progress in reality by proving that change is never immediate. It was also good to see Ramona gain some more identity beyond simply being Billy’s caretaker, and hopefully the show explores other sides of her in the coming weeks as well. It’s a testament to the show that the lack of Billy’s presence did not prevent the episode from being entertaining, and where the show goes from here is worth tuning in for next week.
– Deepayan Sengupta