TNT's Legends season 2 gave the thriller series a dramatic facelift, but sadly, it proved too late to save it. Sean Bean is an actor best known for his appearances in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, GoldenEye, and Game Of Thrones. Whether he has a leading role or a cameo, he always lends some gravitas to a project. That said, he's also become somewhat infamous for the disturbingly high mortality rate of his characters. Outside of rare exceptions like the Silent Hill movies or Troy, its usually a safe bet Bean won't make it to the end credits.
The actor himself has gotten in on this joke in recent years, including his appearance in video game Hitman 2 as an "undying" target. The hashtag #DontKillSeanBean was also used by TNT to promote their thriller series Legends. The show is based on Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation by Robert Littel, where Bean plays Martin Odum, an FBI agent who is the best at creating false identities dubbed "legends." Odum is about to inhabit one of these undercover identities so completely he practically transforms into another person, with examples include a stuttering construction worker who turns to terrorism. This takes something of a toll on his personal life, and he calls his own identity into question when he learns Odum may just be another legend too.
The first season of Legends was a slick, entertaining procedural with a cool hook. It was produced by 24's Howard Gordon and just like that series, it was a tense thriller peppered with action and surprise twists. The show never really took off in the ratings, so when Legends season 2 was greenlit, it was given a big makeover. Cast members like Ali Larter and Morris Chestnut were dropped - though Chestnut later returned in a guest role - as was the procedural format of Odum taking on a new case each week.
Instead, Legends season 2 zeroed in on Martin Odum's past, with the story being split between present day, and 15 years in the past when he was he was undercover as a gangster called Dmitry Petrovich. The show became more of a moody thriller than an action drama, and Odum learns some shocking secrets about his true past. Legends season 2 was a tonal reboot that attempted to reinvent the show, and while critics complained about its complex structure - involving multiple timelines and flashbacks - it received better reviews than season one, especially thanks to Sean Bean's performance(s).
Unfortunately, while the aim was to improve Legends fortunes in the ratings, season 2 fared even worse. Those who enjoyed season 1's more action-based approach were turned off by the genre shift, and viewers who hadn't seen the first season didn't bother with season 2. It's a pity because while Legends season 2 had issues, it was more ambitious and took some interesting risks. It also ended on a cliffhanger which will now never be resolved - at least it ended with Sean Bean's character still alive though.