Spoilers for the season premiere. The premiere of Legion Season 2 was as boldly surreal as one would expect after seeing the mind-shattering first season. While viewers were treated with dance sequences on the astral plane and basket-headed government leaders, the most surprising part of the episode didn't have anything to do with mutants. Mad Men star Jon Hamm is the narrator on Legion, who, in the premiere episode, pontificates on ideas such as madness and delusion. It looks like he'll be sticking around all season to provide context for the famously knotty story.
After spending seven seasons performing monologue after monologue about the American Dream and the practicality of owning a photo projector on his acclaimed AMC series, there's really no better fit for the role of Legion's narrator than Hamm. The sheer fact that the show used a recognizable voice without calling attention to the identity behind it fits snuggly into Legion's history of playing tricks on its own audience. The familiarity of Hamm's voice lends a sense of trust and authority to the narrated segments — but is Hamm really just a narrator? With a show like Legion, there's every reason to believe that there's something more behind these brief informational scenes.
In an interview with TVLine, Legion showrunner Noah Hawley explained that the role of the narrator will be continuing past the Season 2 premiere. He said, "There’s a narrator throughout the whole season in places, for those sort of educational segments." When it comes to how Hamm got involved in the role, Hawley told the site that he simply "asked him." He continued, "I had met him recently, and gotten to know him a bit. So I just asked. There’s no harm that comes from asking." And Hawley is pleased with Hamm's performance. "It really pops. It gives those sections such character," he added.
Judging from Hawley's words on the subject, it appears that there is no deep secret or incoming twist surrounding Hamm's involvement as a narrator. The sequences featuring the actor's voice all seem to be more for the benefit of the audience, not having any connection to the characters of Legion — unless David Haller isn't telling his associates that he's getting internal crash courses on the origins of delusion that use horrifying bird skeletons covered in black goop as a visual metaphor. However, just because Hawley hasn't indicated that there's a twist coming related to this narrator doesn't mean that audiences should be so trusting of this familiar voice.
Hamm's past roles have shown how efficiently his good looks and calm affect can get others to trust him, often against their own best interests. His role as a seduction coach/digital clone interrogator/cabin buddy on Black Mirror is one of the most memorable in the series, and proves how Hamm's sheer affability can be bad news for others. The actor managed to make Don Draper a likable character through seven seasons of cheating, scheming, and general unkindness. And his role as Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt even goes so far as to make fun of how Hamm manages to make audiences love even the most detestable characters. His character is an emotionally abusive cult leader, but also someone who can enrapture an entire courtroom with a song.
There are few voices as warmly authoritative as Hamm's, but fans of Legion know better than to immediately trust something new. The Legion Season 2 premieres features announcements throughout Division III reminding members to report any and all disruptions in reality, as that would indicate that they may be being affected by the Shadow King. If Legion has a trick up its sleeve regarding Hamm's narrator, then the Shadow King may be infecting the audience itself in the form of one of television's friendliest voices.